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Bike safety rules

Summertime is not just a time for swimming at the beach or boating at the lake, but it's a time for many to put the pedal to the...well, pedal.

This time of year, bicyclists can be seen traveling all around - on highways, county roads, city streets, and, of course, trails.

Bicyclists, as well as motorists, should know the rules of the road before they head out and hit the pavement.

According to Keith Melrose with the Alexandria Police Department, the rules for bicyclists should be pretty easy to follow - they are the same rules that motorists follow.

For instance, if a bicyclist and motorist arrive together at a stop sign, whoever was there first should continue or whoever is on the right.

"Make eye contact with the driver of the car at an intersection," was Melrose's advice for bicycle riders.

He also advised that motorists be aware of their surroundings and keep an eye out for bicycle riders.

Bicyclists, unless they are on a trail, should ride with the flow of traffic, not against it like walkers and runners.

They should keep as far right as possible and no more than two abreast, said Melrose.

If bicyclists are riding at night, Melrose suggested that they wear bright-colored clothing; adding that reflective gear is best.

And although they are not required by law, Melrose highly suggested for bicyclists to wear helmets.

"They're light and you can't really tell they are on," he said. "And they can save your life."

Melrose noted that within the Alexandria city limits, there are restrictions for bicycle riders, which include the following:

•Bicycles on sidewalks are prohibited. According to a city ordinance, section 6.19, subdivision 1, it shall be unlawful for any person, other than law enforcement personnel acting in the scope of their duties or persons under the direction of law enforcement personnel, to ride a bike on the sidewalks adjacent to streets within an area bounded by 3rd Avenue to 8th Avenue and Elm Street to Irving Street (including the streets on the perimeter of the defined area) in the city of Alexandria at any time.

The state of Minnesota also has rules for bicycles, which can be found at the following website,

Whether riding on a city street, county road, highway or even the trail, Melrose said bicyclists, as well as motorists, need to be aware of their surroundings and each other.