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A mountain biker heads out to enjoy a morning ride along Xerxes Avenue South and American Boulevard West.

Mayor’s memo: Biking with the rules of the road

Many of us ride bicycles on streets, trails and even sidewalks in Bloomington. With better weather, the popularity of biking surges. What can be more enjoyable than a bright spring day, a bicycle to ride and the wind at your back? Only one thing tops that list, and that’s safety.

Biking is a fun sport that’s growing in popularity, but to really enjoy your time on two wheels, safety is a must. Before you hop on your bike, take a fresh look at the rules of the road.

“Everyone shares the road,” Traffic and Transportation Engineer Kirk Roberts said. “Whether you are on a bike or in a car, we need to be mindful of others and be courteous.”

As a year-round bicyclist, Roberts rides around 2,000 miles annually. He takes care every pedal of the way. His top safety tips are to remain visible and predictable at all times. Ride on the right side in the same direction as cars do. In Bloomington, you can legally ride on the sidewalk, but under Minnesota law, you are also permitted to ride on the road.

When using the road, cyclists must follow regular traffic laws, so be sure to come to a full stop at stop signs. Always be aware of the situation around you and be mindful of traffic.

Remember to wear a properly fitted biking helmet. Have your bike tuned up and in good working order. To avoid flats, check tire pressure before every ride.

By all means, get out and bike. With our abundance of streets and trails, bicycling opportunities abound, but the sport is more fun when everyone keeps the rules of the road in mind.

The Bloomington Bicycle Alliance has local biking information available. Visit blm.mn/bikealliance to find out more.