By Ian Scharine
As the days become shorter and the nights cooler, we can expect the rides to begin to turn more colorful. The canyons of the Salt Lake Valley are a gorgeous and treasured sight shared by motorists, hikers and cyclists year round. Improvements to Big Cottonwood Canyon where the Tour of Utah was recently held have widened the road in sections and paved rough sections along shoulders. Even with added space, cyclists and drivers must take heed to watch for one another and provide safe passing distances. This not only applies to the canyon roads, but to city routes. Salt Lake County has added around 150 miles of bike lanes, shared lanes and routes during the past two years and this is sure to attract more cyclists to the road. With schools returning to session many of these routes will be used by students as well. Morning and late afternoon commutes are times when all users of the roads must proceed with respect and caution to others.
The Salt Lake County Bicycle Ambassadors conduct classes and demonstrations in Road Respect, proper helmet fit and use, safe riding techniques and more. If you wish to request them for demonstrations at your school or organization, you can contact them through their website at: www.slco.org/active-transportation/. We're excited about the County Health Department's efforts to encourage Active Transportation among citizens. They are planning on visiting schools and educating youth to the benefits of healthier, more active lifestyles. This behavior benefits all of us and bicycles can be a big part of it. If you see a way that the Salt Lake County Bicycle Advisory Committee or the Bicycle Ambassdors can reach more people or you would like to get involved with efforts, reach out to us through our websites or attend our meetings on the first Wednesday of each month. You don't have to be on a committee to be involved, we believe that being part of our community is the most important membership of all!