I had hoped intently that the rumor shared last night about David Landgraf being hit and killed while cycling would turn out to be wrong.
Tragically, for all those who knew and respected the retired teacher and Birkebeiner skier, Landgraf died Monday afternoon from the injuries he suffered when a car hit him on Highway 27, south of Hayward.
Landgraf was one of six cyclists to be killed on Wisconsin roads since July 1.
This collection of tips from theBicycle Federation of Wisconsin
and theAAA motoring club
should be reviewed and remembered by everyone looking to ride and drive safely.
Cyclists are legal and intended users of the road and as such must follow all the rules of the road. This means riding in the same direction as traffic, obeying traffic signals and stop signs. When riding at night, a white front light and red rear reflector are required, but using bright front and rear lights can make you much more visible to motorists.
Ride predictably, in a reasonably straight line, staying about three feet away from parked cars and the edge of the pavement. It is generally less safe to hug the edge of the road.
Evaluate where you intend to ride and know where crashes are more likely to happen. Most crashes occur at intersections. In urban areas with frequent intersections watch out for cars turning left across your path and those who might cut you off by turning right in front of you. In rural or suburban areas, crashes on narrow roads where traffic moves at higher speeds are often fatal. Try to avoid high speed roads unless they have a paved shoulder or bike lane.
Wearing a helmet can reduce your risk of injury in the unlikely event that you are involved in a crash.
Drivers of motor vehicles need to share the road with bicyclists. Be courteous - allow at least three feet clearance when passing a bicyclist on the road, look for cyclists before opening a car door or pulling out from a parking space, and yield to cyclists at intersections and as directed by signs and signals. Be especially watchful for cyclists when making turns, either left or right.
Make a visual check for bicyclists by checking mirrors and blind spots before entering or leaving a lane of traffic.
Stay alert, avoid all distractions while driving.
This last piece of advice comes from a resident in the Northern Kettle Moraine.