Cyclists to ride to the Capitol and promote road safety

The Florida Department of Transportation will hold a bicycle ride Friday called “Ride for Safety,” to promote safety for bicyclists.

The ride will begin at Langford Green at Florida State University at 9:30 a.m. and will continue to the Capitol.

The police departments of the City of Tallahassee, Florida A&M and FSU will serve as escorts when traveling downtown.

Morgan Holton, assistant for the State Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Program, is ready to inform those in North Florida about the safety precautions that go with riding a bicycle.

“The initiative is to promote bicycle safety and to educate motorists, cyclists and pedestrians on road safety,” Holton said. “Since our main goal is to promote road safety, we strongly encourage all cyclists to wear a helmet as well as children who are participating.”

The need for a safety workshop is crucial.

According to a Florida Traffic Crash Statistic report, since 2010, there have been nearly 5,000 bicycle crashes. Out of those crashes, there were roughly 4,600 injuries and 76 bicyclists have died.

Andre Ellis, a junior information technology student from Miami, said he hates seeing cyclists drive alongside of him on the streets.

“I feel like every time I come across a cyclist on the same road as me I’ll hit them,” Ellis said. “I wish they just rode on the sidewalks instead.”

Kemar Smith, a junior psychology student from Tallahassee, occasionally rides his bike when he wants a good leg and cardio workout, but lately, he has been feeling nervous when on the road with others.

“It seems like everyone is in a rush nowadays,” Smith said. “The roads aren’t safe for cyclists anymore. I get extremely nervous riding alongside cars and motorists, especially in heavy traffic.”

The event is free to the public. All participants will receive a free “Alert Today Alive Tomorrow” t-shirt and a bag full of safety items.

Participants can also enter their names in a raffle to win a free bike. To enter, you must like the FDOT Facebook page and place your name in the comment box.  All raffle participants must be present at the Alert Today Alive Tomorrow Ride for Safety to be eligible to win and claim the prize.