Lynchburg Cyclists Ride Together to Promote Safety

Lynchburg, VA - May is national bike month, and many events are going on to celebrate and encourage more people to ride.

At the Doctor John Bell Memorial Ride Saturday morning, organizers said the ride is about remembering their friend and promoting safety.

Paula Dahl, who organized the memorial ride, says the awareness may have prevented Dr. Bell's death while riding his bike six years ago.

"We just want to memorialize him because it was really because of him that the share the road signs finally got into position," Dahl said. "What we would like as cyclist is just awareness that we are out there riding on the roads."

Signs on Boonsboro Road remind drivers to watch out for cyclists.

Many say the signs are great, but bike lanes are even better.

People will have more of an option to commute to work if they feel a little safer in a bike lane versus out on the open road," Dahl said.

A bike lane was recently added to Rivermont Avenue in Lynchburg, but most streets in Lynchburg don't have any bike lanes.

"Cyclists are allowed to be on the road when a car passes them they have to give at least 2 feet between the bicyclist and their car as they are passing by them, " said Officer Ed Ferron with the LPD Bicycle Partol.

Officer Ferron says cyclists have the same rights to the road as anyone else.

"They are not allowed to ride on the sidewalk. When they ride they have to be on the road and have to follow all the same laws as a motor vehicle would," Ferron said.

Dahl pleads with every driver, asking them to be extra careful when passing a cyclist.

"Pass us with caution, don't pass us in a blind curve," Dahl said.

Cyclists say the new bicycle lanes are just the first of many things to come.

If you would like more information on how you can donate to the Dr. Bell Memorial Fund to help increase bicycling awareness, visit the following links: