Jackie Rehwald, Springfield News-LeaderPublished 10:37 p.m. CT May 25, 2020

By all accounts, local bike shops are quickly running out of bicycles and manufacturers are behind in shipping new inventory.

But for those lucky people who bought a bike in time, two longtime cycling enthusiasts shared some advice and tips to help beginners get started and stay safe.

David Hutchison, who’s been riding for some 62 years, and Keith Donaldson, who’s logged about 35,000 miles over the last 10 years, are both licensed cycling instructors in Springfield.Keith Donaldson rode about 35,000 miles in the last decade.

Keith Donaldson rode about 35,000 miles in the last decade. (Photo: Courtesy of Keith Donaldson)

Donaldson and Hutchison agreed one of the most important things for cyclists to practice when on a road is to treat the bike as though it were a vehicle. It’s equally important that other drivers treat the bike as a vehicle, as well.

“Bicyclists need to understand they have the right to be there,” Hutchison said, adding they must also follow the same rules as drivers. That includes signaling before turning, stopping at all stop signs and following all traffic laws.

Motorists, too, should treat a bicycle as though it were another car. When passing another vehicle, you wouldn’t pass halfway into that vehicle’s lane. So if you are passing a bicycle, wait until it is safe for you to get in the opposing lane to pass. David Hutchison has been riding a bike for about 62 years.

David Hutchison has been riding a bike for about 62 years. (Photo: Courtesy of David Hutchison)

In other words, cyclists must own their lane and not hug the curb, Donaldson said. 

“I ride in such a way so that when they pass me, they actually have to do a full pass into the oncoming lane,” Donaldson said. “It makes them wait until it’s safe for them and for me.

“You really take ownership of the lane. You do everything possible to not impede traffic,” Donaldson said. “But in certain situations, you need to impede traffic for your own safety and for the safety of others. If you hug the curb, it encourages drivers to try and squeeze by you, which will either get you in trouble or (the vehicle) might clip somebody else’s mirrors.” 

Hutchison said¬†…

To see the entire article, please visit the original article in the Springfield News Leader