I received a phone call today from a driver who was stopped for a red light in the lane next to a cyclist. The driver was in the lane for proceeding straight ahead while the cyclist was in the right turn lane. When the light turned green, the driver went straight, as did the cyclist, who then shouted at the driver for not giving him space.
I mention this story because it is a good reminder that bad biker behavior reflects on all of us. She just assumed this rider was an HBC member, hence the call to me, as HBC President.
Bike riders are legally obligated to follow the same rules as motor vehicle drivers. That means stopping for stop signs and red lights, using turn signals, and yes, being in the correct traffic lane. Whenever you see a news article about cycling, there are always the angry follow-up comments posted about bike riders cutting through intersections, riding on sidewalks, cycling in groups more than 2 abreast, etc. You get the idea.
Like it or not, when we ride in public, we are ambassadors for HBC and the whole biking community. Please keep that in mind when you are out on the roads. We can’t be accountable for every rider who breaks the law, but we can do our best to set a good example by showing people that many cyclists do follow the rules of the road.
In 2014 cyclist Francisco Jose Ventura Guerra pedaled from Madrid, Spain to Anantapur, India, fundraising for the dalits kids (the untouchables, the lower cast in India ). With the collected money, over 300 bikes were purchased that provided these kids with a Safe Way to go to school. With the same objective, he has started a new trip in May from NYC to Anantapur India. Last weekend some HBC riders met Francisco in Harrisburg and escorted him to Dave Kurth’s house, who hosted him for the evening as a Warm Showers guest. Then on Saturday the he was escorted to the Newburg. Francisco is very passionate about this charity and comments on how lucky we all have things. “We flush our toilets with drinking water”. He is advocating for the Vicente Ferrer Foundation and they are trying to get something going here in the USA as well.
If anyone would like to help Francisco by donating something to VFF the information is below. It might be nice to add a little note that you are from the Harrisburg Bicycle Club if you are donating.
Harrisburg Bicycle Membership Co-Chairman
At the United Way’s Volunteer Center Awards ceremony on April 21, Ross Willard, founder of Recycle Bicycle Harrisburg, was presented with the Volunteer of the Year Award in the adult category. Ross began his non-profit service over 15 years ago when he saw kids riding bikes with no brakes. Since then, he has recruited many volunteers who work with him to provide bikes, parts, repair and training for anyone in need. RBH primarily serves adults and children in Harrisburg neighborhoods who would not be able to afford to purchase or repair bikes. Last year RBH gave out over 900 bikes, many as a result of their Earn-a-Bike program where teens and adults who want a bike must volunteer at least 4 hours at RBH before the bike becomes theirs. RBH is currently conducting a Capital Building Campaign so they can finally settle into a permanent location. To learn more about Ross, Recycle Bicycle of Harrisburg and how you can help, go to http://recyclebicycleharrisburg.org
Safety Drive 2016
May is National Bicycle Safety Month. The Janet A. Pontius Safety Foundation and Harrisburg Bicycle Club are celebrating with an expanded Safety Drive 2016 including helmets, lights, and mirrors. Five dollar coupons good during May, June, and July, are at participating bicycle shops. Visit your participating shop before coupon supplies run out!
Cole's Bicycles is offering an additional five dollars off helmets costing over $50.
World Cup Ski & Cycle, Camp Hill
Pedal Pusher, Harrisburg
Mountainside Ski & Sports, Mechanicsburg
In Gear Cycling and Fitness, Hummelstown
Holmes Cycling & Fitness, Camp Hill
Cole’s Bicycles, Carlisle
Bicycle & Fitness Outfitters, Elizabethtown
Adventure Cycling and Fitness, York