November 20, 2009

Bicycle Ambassador gives tips on turn signal diplomacy

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One of Mayor Richard M. Daley’s Bicycling Ambassadors advocated cycling and bike safety, Wednesday afternoon outside Cobb Hall.

Bike Ambassador and passionate cyclist Nicholas Van Zoeren said his goal was to encourage students, “If they don’t have [a bike] to get one, and if they have one, to ride as safely as possible.”

Some safety tips come as a surprise to even the most safety-conscious bikers, Van Zoeren said. For example, Lake View trail, a popular bike tour through Chicago, is one of the most dangerous places to bike in the city.

Van Zoeren also addressed the challenges of road cycling. “If [cyclists] want respect from motorists, they must obey the rules of the road.” Signaling for turns and stopping at red lights also apply to bikers, he said.

Daley’s ambassadors serve as a public-awareness outreach team that promotes safety for all road users and encourages Chicagoans to ride their bikes more often. They visit schools, summer camps, and events all over the city, directing most of their efforts toward children. To date, Van Zoeren estimated the ambassadors have reached over 16,000 children.