The League of American Bicyclists established in 1956 a month in honor of encouraging and educationg people to ride their bikes. May is National Bike Month and not only should you ride your bike, but the reason you should be riding your bike are important too.
The creation of this celebration is to encourage people to live a healthier lifestyle with getting out and riding their bike, but also help the environment. So many cars are on the road, if more people rode bikes to their work, we could have less traffic and create a somewhat cleaner world.
Understandably, not everyone can switch over to only riding their bicycle, but Long Islanders can take their bikes out or rent a bike for a day and enjoy the many trails and parks on the island. But, before you go out biking, you must be sure to follow certain safety regulations when riding your bike. The New York State Parks offers a few suggested rules for bikers:
- Obey all traffic regulations, lights, signs, and markings.
- Wear an approved helmet for protection. If the bicyclist is 14 years or younger, a helmet is required.
- Keep to the right and ride with traffic, not against it.
- Ride single file.
- Do not carry packages that interfere with your vision or control.
- Be careful at all intersections, particularly when making a left turn.
- Use hand signals to indicate turning or stopping.
- Protect yourself at night with reflectors, headlight, and taillight.
- Ride your bike defensively; watch out for the other bicyclists and drivers.
Additionally, New York State Parks has created many bike paths for bicyclists to ride. Be sure to check out ones they have recommend this month and all summer:
- Northern State Parkway from Meadowbrook Parkway east to Wantagh State Parkway
- Wantagh State Parkway from Northern State Parkway south to a point near Sunrise Highway
- Wantagh State Parkway from Cedar Creek County Park south to Parking Field #5 at Jones Beach State Park
- Bethpage State Parkway from Southern State Parkway north to the Bethpage State Park traffic circle
- Belmont Lake State Park
- Bethpage State Park
- Governor Alfred E. Smith/Sunken Meadow State Park
- Heckscher State Park
- Hempstead Lake State Park
- Jones Beach State Park
- Orient Beach State Park
- Valley Stream State Parks
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[Source: New York State Parks: Bike Paths]