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Protecting bicyclists on the road

Posted at 10:08 PM, Jun 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-10 23:18:40-04

TULSA, Okla. — Thousands of bicyclists are getting ready to hit the streets for Tulsa Tough.

It's important for drivers to be aware of them, or other cyclists and pedestrians on the road and keep them safe.

Ry Lewis bikes to work every day, rain or shine. But there was a time when he couldn’t. He was riding his bike to work in Nov. 2018 when a truck hit him and took off.

“I woke up on the side of the road," Lewis said. "They’d left me. And it wasn’t very fun. Ended up with four plates in my knee and a rod through my femur.”

He credits his helmet with saving his life. Just six or seven months after the accident, Lewis was back on his bike, but with a new awareness about him.

“I practice very good spatial awareness," Lewis said. "And so I hear the cars coming up behind me. And then a lot of the times, not on the commuter, but on my other bikes, I actually fire radar off the back of my bike and so I can get notice when a car is coming.”

According to INCOG, there were 18 pedestrian fatalities and 1 bicyclist fatality on Tulsa streets in 2019.

The city of Tulsa is working to make it a safer place to ride with bike lanes. But even so, Lewis warns to always be cautious of your surroundings on the road.

“Don’t assume cars are looking out for you because they’re not," Lewis said. "And don’t assume cars are paying attention in this day and age with cellphones there’s a lot of distraction, especially on drivers.”

For cyclists, Travel with Care Tulsasaid it’s important to signal when turning and always use lights when riding in the dark.

No matter who is on the road, give each other some space. Lives depend on it.

“Every road user, whether pedestrian, bike rider, or driver, is someone’s family member," said Zhao Wu, transportation and public outreach planner at INCOG. "So we all need to respect each other.”

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