Bicycle Commuting Resource Page
Have you ever thought about riding your bike
to work? There are many benefits to choosing this transportation option whether you plan on bicycle commuting
every day, a couple times a week, or only occasionally. You’ll
be doing your part to cut down on congestion and make the La
Crosse area a better place to live and work. And there are
plenty of benefits to you as well!
Rules of the Road
Improve Health and Fitness. Like any form of
regular, aerobic exercise, bicycling improves personal fitness,
enhances energy levels, reduces stress, and stimulates the immune
system. Bicycle commuting is a great way to build regular exercise
into a busy, but often sedentary, work routine. Bicycling is a
moderate, low impact exercise which can be continued throughout
Save Money. Bicycle commuting saves you parking fees, fuel
costs, and maintenance costs. Insurance premiums usually are lower when you do not
use your car for commuting to work. A new bicycle could pay for itself in a few months.
Avoid Congestion. On a bicycle,
you can travel on secondary roads and paths, often arriving in less
time than if you’d driven through rush-hour traffic! And you can
usually park your bicycle quickly and close to your destination.
Check out your bike and yourself, especially
if you haven’t bicycled in a while. Take it slow at first if you’re
not used to moderate exercise. Look over your bike for loose or
broken parts, and make sure there’s enough air in the tires.
Take a few trial rides to get used to
your bike and riding in traffic. Do this at a time when your are not
in a hurry so you can stop if you need to, or check out different
Choose your route carefully. The best way to
get someplace by bicycle may not be the way you normally drive. Get
a La Crosse Area Bike Route Map
from the La Crosse Area Convention and Visitors Bureau or the City
Planning Department to help you find recommended routes. Try a few
different routes to see how they compare.
Figure out where you’ll park. Find out from your
employer ahead of time if there are bicycle parking facilities on
the premises, or look around to find your best parking options.
Rules of the Road:
Obey all traffic laws, signs and
signals just as you would if you were driving a car.
Obeying the law is your first defense against
crashes, and is the best way to gain respect from other road users.
Signal your turns; stop as required by law; communicate with other road users so they’ll know what
you’re doing and where you’re going.
Bicyclists are invisible to most motorists. Wear bright colors
in the daytime; use reflective materials and lights at night. Don’t
hide from traffic.
Ride in the direction of
traffic only. Motorists in intersections
and driveways do not expect you to be coming the wrong way on the
road. In addition, you have less time to maneuver in traffic, and
your chances of having a head-on crash are much greater. Wrong way
riding is also illegal.
Follow the Three Foot Rule:
By law, drivers must give you three feet
clearance, and you must give them the same distance. Don’t ride
between lines of cars. Ride at least three feet from parked cars to
avoid being hit by a suddenly opened car door.
Scan the Road Ahead.
At intersections, watch for turning cars and
pedestrians. Mid-block, watch for cars pulling out of driveways,
alleys and parking spaces. Yield the right of way to pedestrians in
Bicycling on sidewalks is
prohibited, except where allowed by the community.
It is generally safer to ride on the street keeping
as far to the right as possible. If you have to ride on a sidewalk,
pedestrians always have the right of way. Give an audible warning before passing pedestrians, and
pass with care. Ride slowly on sidewalks or walk your bike if there
are many pedestrians.
La Crosse Area Bike Route maps are included as part of the
LAPC Regional Bicycle Plan.