GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – In North Carolina, more than 19 cyclists are killed every year. The League of American Bicyclists held a class Saturday to teach riders the importance of bike safety.
“They have a potential of hitting me,” Will Smith said, adding that he gets frustrated with inconsiderate drivers and the lack of bike lanes in Greenville. “When they come up behind you, and they honk the horn just to scare you. That’s not really fun.”
According to The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, around 75% of fatal or serious cyclist wrecks happen in urban areas.
“They come up very close to me and I lock up a little bit because I know they are there and I see them in my mirror and I lock up and it kind of makes me a little bit nervous,” Smith explained.
The course went over everything from learning how to properly fit a helmet to learning hand signals.
“It really increases the cyclists’ confidence,” one of the instructors, Leah Mayo Acheson said, “You are going to be a better cyclist if you are aware of what you are allowed to do on the road.”
The class also included booklets that showed riders what to do and what not to do. Mayo Acheson said things like this help cyclists who are just starting out.
“A lot of cyclists may not be aware because they may be beginners on where they are on the road, as well as how you are switching lanes to make different turns throughout the road,” Mayo Acheson said.
Smith said he’s now thinking about riding on major roads after this course, “I’m definitely going to know a little bit more and I probably will want to ride a little bit more and put those skills to the test.”
After the safety course, bikers went on a 10-mile bike ride in Greenville to test out their new skills.