Being a local, Chicago-based bike shop, we see the hassles of cars and the congestion they cause. We also see the dangers of not knowing how to properly cycle using Divvy Bikes. Second City made a humorous take on what they think it is to Divvy:
But when visiting or living in the lovely city of Chicago, there are easier ways to get around the city than renting a car. You can walk, cycle or scream at a taxi driver at the top of your lungs hoping he will stop. I choose to cycle. Now with Divvy bikes, it gets easier to pedal around the city. Here is a list of safety tips when using Divvy bicycles to avoid looking like the people in the Second City video:
Wear a Helmet
Though helmets are only encouraged and not required by law to ride a bike, still wear one. Seeing the mayor of Chicago with his majestic, wind-whipped hair not shielded by the protective nature of a stylish helmet can be confusing; a helmet will save your life. Between 2005 and 2012 there was 9,000 bicycle-related crashes with 32 resulting in fatalities. Even though the number of fatal crashes has decreased, the number of injury-producing accidents has increased significantly. With many bike shops, one being Village Cycle Center, around Chicago offering incentives for wearing a helmet, please go and get one. Same goes for you, Rahm.
Honor the Rules
Imagine you’re driving a car, with the wind going through your hair, you miss the stop sign and you smash into another car. Now imagine you were on a bicycle when that happened. You’ll see why honoring traffic laws is important. With 55 percent of crashes occurring at intersections, stopping when you have to, instead of when you want to, will save your life. Also, do not ride on the sidewalk, they are for walking, not riding, hence the name sideWALK.
If you are swerving in-and-out of traffic, acting like you had one too many, most likely pedestrians and motorists will not know how to treat you. Plan your route, take the route and do not endanger yourself or others for the sake of shaving a minute off your commute. Do not talk on your mobile phone either; if you cannot wait to talk to your friends or family, walk your bike to the nearest sidewalk, make the call and then continue riding.
Riding a bike is supposed to be exciting, so enjoy the ride and remember to have fun. Chicago is fun and we keep it local, like right-down-the-street local.