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posted: 7/15/2013 5:00 AM

Learn the safe way to ride a bicycle

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Last month a bicyclist was hit and killed by a car at Busse Woods, and now a pedestrian at Arlington Lake died after being hit by a bicyclist. This is very sad for everyone. These are not accidents, these are crashes that kill and injure people, our family, friends and neighbors every day.

Paul Schmitz was correct when he said people need to "be courteous." That is no guarantee. I am a bicycle rider, I have crashed, and it hurts.

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There is help out there. It sounds as though crowding is the beginning of the problem on this Arlington Heights trail. It is popular for people of many abilities. But when a trail is too crowded, we need to expand our our comfort zone.

Ride to a coffee shop in downtown Arlington Heights. Ride to a sandwich shop in Rolling Meadows. Ride to Busse Woods. Ride to Harper College. If you walk, pick a new destination. Let your village trustees know you want more safe routes.

If you want to learn how to ride a bike, or be more comfortable riding on streets, go to bikeleague.org to ask for a League of American Bicyclists instructor who will help you, a friend, a company, or a school learn the safe way to ride. If you want to give input to the developing State of Illinois Bike Plan go to http://www.altaprojects.net/illinois-bike-transportation-plan/. If you want to be an advocate, join the Active Transportation Alliance at activetrans.org. If you want to join with neighbors to connect trails, come to the grass-roots Trails Linking Communities meeting at 10 a.m. July 18 at the James Pate Philip State Park.

These are actions you can take now. Pick one. Do it with a friend, do it with your child and keep enjoying the outdoors.

Terry Witt

Bartlett

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