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Lights On Bikes: Bicycle Boom Leads To Renewed Focus On Cycling Safety

A cyclist rides at night through Yellow Springs
Chris Welter
A cyclist rides at night through Yellow Springs.

There’s been a dramatic increase in bicycle sales, and subsequent supply shortages, since the start of the pandemic. That means more people sharing the roads, and more opportunities for accidents. On Monday, June 7, bicycling advocates held a series of safety events across the Miami Valley.

In Yellow Springs, as the sun began to set along the Little Miami Bike Trail, volunteers from the local chapter of Bike Miami Valley were out installing safety lights and handing out helmets to kids. The event was targeted at people who use their bike for transportation— those who ride at dawn, at dusk and at night.

Chapter president Mark Heise was at the event. He said reflective clothing is nice—but flashing lights are even better.

“It grabs a driver’s attention. If you think about it, even the lines on the pavement today are reflective. It’s a white line fever kind of thing," he said. "You just kind of get into a groove and you're not paying as much attention. This way you’ve got something flashing in front of you.”

The safety lights and the helmets (and their installation) were all free, thanks to a partnership with the Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission Ride Share Program, Heise said.

Environmental reporter Chris Welter is a corps member with Report for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms.

Chris Welter is the Managing Editor at The Eichelberger Center for Community Voices at WYSO.

Chris got his start in radio in 2017 when he completed a six-month training at the Center for Community Voices. Most recently, he worked as a substitute host and the Environment Reporter at WYSO.