Campaign encourages sharing the road - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Campaign encourages sharing the road

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May 1, 2006

Albany-- More than 500,000 people are injured each year and more than 700 die in bicycle crashes. To increase safety awareness, Governor Sonny Perdue proclaimed May Bike Month in Georgia. The program encourages motorists and cyclists to share the roads.

Two wheels and one road is all Chip Battle needs on his quest for health and recreation.

"It's just fun. It's just nice to be on the road," says Battle. A road that takes him and his riding buddies over hills and along the Good Life City's smooth pavement.

"Albany has got real good terrain. You can get out of town in just a couple of minutes and you're out on country roads with very little traffic," says Battle. Whether he's pedaling through very little traffic or even a big flow, it requires caution.

"We always need to be cautious because you have to be aware of what's around you," says Battle. And being aware of what's behind as well. Riders are taught to obey the rules of the road.

"By that, all your stop signs, your yield signs. Don't weave in and out of traffic," says Cycle World's Jim Laue. But the rules require two players, cyclists and motorists. "They have to give you a little bit of room out there and we do appreciate any amount we can get," says Laue.

Cyclists say sharing the road is the best way for all to be safe. For some, the road sharing seems to be working. "In all the miles I ride, I have very few problems with motorists," says Battle.

Others haven't been as lucky as they ride because of what they call driver frustration or impatience. "I've had a box of chicken bones thrown at me. I've had beer bottles thrown at me, had a friend hit from behind with a bat up in Cordele," says cyclist Chris Weaver.

"Here lately there's been a lot of hit and runs," says Laue.

So Battle and the rest of these Albany riders hit the pavement in what they call safe numbers and they hope to educate. "We just have a good time," says Battle.

Although the modes of transportation are different, it's a good time on two-wheels they want to share with those who drive on four.

Share The Road Campaign organizers remind drivers to pass bicyclists safely and remember cyclists have the right to ride on the roads.

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