The Road to Bike Safety - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

The Road to Bike Safety

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Roads in Bismarck and Mandan are busier than ever.

There are more cars, more trucks...and more bicycles.

And they all have the same right of way as the other.

Mike Chaussee and photojournalist Tom Palanuk ride the roads with a local biker who tries to stay safe on the road..

(begin broadcast story)

Every adventure has to start somewhere.

"I go through this little ritual if that makes sense," says Patrick Hall.

Patrick Hall's adventures usually begin in his back yard.

And on his bike.

Hall bikes about 3000 miles a year...that's about 15 to 20 miles every time he hits the roads.

"The hills are what's good for you, where you get some good elevation, gets the heart going."

He plays it safe.

"Always a helmet, always a helmet."

And prefers to bike on the trails.

"From where I live here, there's no way to the trail system without going through the city streets. Normally I feel pretty safe on the city streets, I'm amazed at how courteous drivers are."

The city of Bismarck marked bike routes on city streets.

They help bikers, and drivers, know the protocol.

"I'm glad to see them, there's a number of them around town and it just helps the flow."

But where the roads aren't marked, drivers can be unsure what to do when following a bike.

The North Dakota Safety Council says..you should treat a bike like it's another car.

"They can be slower, but they have every right to be on the road just as a car does," says Peter Pomonis, ND Safety Council.

Hall knows cars will pass him.

He just asks drivers to be patient, and give him some space...

"That's good, there are some of top of you like that, no matter what," says Hall.

He also knows he can be annoying to drivers on the road.

"I wish I could tell you I was perfect, never made a mistake near other cars, but I can't."

But, he says he receives more friendly waves, than nasty gestures...

"Some of us deserve one once in a while."


(end broadcast story)

The latest statistics from the pedestrian and biking information service says more than 700 bikers die in traffic accidents every year.

That's two a day.

Most are men, and most are adults.

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