Cycling can cut time, but poses risks



By Monica Sanders

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Riding a bike can be a quick way to get around campus and Lexington, but there are safety hazards cyclists may face while on the road.

Sonnet Henderson, a mechanical engineering freshman, rides her bike to get around campus quicker. Though she does not wear her safety gear or plan to, she has not had any injuries.

Henderson said she uses the “be cautious and careful” technique but she sees many cyclists wearing headphones — which she said may cause them to be unaware of their surroundings.

Gabrielle Erickson, a psychology freshman, rides her bike from her North campus residence hall to her South campus classes.

“I have only had one minor injury while riding my bike. One time I hit a curb and fell off my bike; I scarred up my knees and elbows pretty bad,” Erickson said.

Broke Spoke volunteer Steven Curtis, a cyclist devoted to reducing his carbon footprint and inspirating others, is no stranger to bike incidents.

Almost two years ago, Curtis was cycling by Woodland Park and had an accident with a pedestrian who was staring at his phone. The two collided when the pedestrian took a sharp turn into Curtis’ path.

“I noticed he was looking down on his cellphone, not paying any attention to his surroundings,” Curtis said. “I was maybe going 15 to 20 mph heading the opposite direction as him.”

Curtis was knocked off his bike, hit the pavement and broke his collarbone.

“They didn’t ask me what happened. The story that they put out was: ‘Cyclist hits pedestrian’,” Curtis said. “Of course I contacted the police office weeks later to try to explain what really happened, but they told me it was impossible to change the story … The real story never got clarified.”

Curtis was hit Friday by a distracted driver. Curtis also recommends drivers to be more educated on how to be alert.

“You have to be hyper vigilant. When I am riding my bike, I am constantly watching everything around me,” Curtis said. “Assume nobody sees you. Assume the worst is going to happen.”