The warm weather in Gallatin County seems to be here to stay, meaning it’s time to dust off those bikes and ride to work, hit some trails, or cruise the town for some fresh air on wheels.
In Gallatin County and throughout the state of Montana bikes are considered legal vehicles, which means that cyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as motorists. In light of the fact that May is National Bicycle Safety Month, and on the heels of celebrating Bike to Work Week in Gallatin County, the Gallatin City-County Health Department has gathered some useful bike safety tips and resources from the Montana Department of Transportation. So, whether it’s a joyride or a sunny ride to work, you can make sure that you’re on the right track to pedaling safely.
The following are general safety tips from the MDT:
- Be smart: Stay alert while riding at all times
- Be visible: Wear reflective clothing at night and use bike lights on the front and back of the bike
- Watch for road hazards: Road hazards can appear quickly, so make sure you are aware of current construction conditions
- Rumble Strips: Be aware that you may encounter rumble strips (grooves) along or across the shoulders of various roadways. Please use extra caution when traveling in these areas.
- Helmets: Montana law does not require it, but we highly recommend the use of helmets while riding.
- Potential Wildlife Hazards: Part of Montana’s appeal is our wildlife. Be aware that you may encounter animals crossing the roadway, especially at dawn or dusk. Do not approach wildlife as they may defend their territory or young.
- “Bikes/Runners on Roadway” signs are available: If you are planning a bicycling or running event in your community, large or small, you are undoubtedly considering the safety of the participants. MDT has an excellent resource to help ensure a safe event—bright-orange “Bikes/Runners on Roadway” signs.
Bicyclist Signing Guide, download this file for instructions about the proper use of signaling while biking around motorists and pedestrians.
For more information about safety in Gallatin County, go here.