Gas prices making you want to bike instead? Here’s what you should know

Lincoln has almost 140 miles of bike trails

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – With gas prices and temperatures on the rise, more people are hopping on their bikes to get to work or school or just explore Lincoln.

During the pandemic, bicycles were hard to find because of supply chain backlogs.

Now bike stores in Lincoln may look full, but only because they have finally started receiving some of those shipments from a while back.

Now is the time to get a bicycle if you need one, as you never know how long it may take to receive another large shipment.

“A lot of bike shops have been putting orders in and trying to get as much product as they can since the pandemic, said Damon Hershey, general manager at Cycle Works. “Since the rise, demand is high, and supply hasn’t always been able to supply that. So many of the bikes that shops have in their inventory currently are bikes they’ve been planning on getting for quite some time. We are stocking for the season essentially.”

With rising gas prices, bike shops in the area are seeing an uptick in people purchasing bicycles.

“I think a lot of people start out maybe recreationally riding, they see how easy it is to get around town via bike,” Hershey said. “Of course, with gas prices the way they are right now, that’s a great alternative transportation is riding your bike, and for a lot of people, it becomes the best part of their day.”

People bike year-round regardless of the weather, and Lincoln has nearly 140 miles of bike trails.

“Lincoln year in and year out is rated as one of the top 10 communities in the entire country, regardless of size, for commuting ability, and a lot of it is because of our bike trails,” said Mike Heyl of the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department.

Bicyclists have rules they must abide by, just like motorists do.

Always remember to wear clothing that will stand out, as you want to be visible to those on the road.

“Lights are required in the state of Nebraska,” Heyl said. “Every bicycle that is on the road needs to have a white front light and a red taillight.”

Just like riding a motorcycle or driving a car, there is always a risk of a crash.

Both bicyclists and motorists need to slow down around intersections and give each other about 3 feet of space when passing.

Heyl pointed to the truck-bicycle crash on Monday night near South Cotner Boulevard and A Street.

“It was at a very odd intersection that had six streets, technically three streets crossing, so you had six streets you had to tend to look at,” he said. “If you will take a little more time and slow down at those, yield if you are uncertain. But yes, Lincoln is a very safe town to commute in.”

And before you get on your bike, don’t forget a helmet that fits you head properly, no matter how short of a ride you’re going on.

May is National Bike Month, and the City of Lincoln is encouraging everyone to take part in Bike to Work Week from May 16 to 22.

There will also be events for families to learn more about bicycle safety.

  • Wednesday, May 4, 5 to 7 p.m. – Safe Kids Blast – Pentzer Park, 27th and Potter Streets
  • Tuesday, May 17, 5 to 8 p.m. – Safe Kids Bike Safety Event – SouthPointe Pavilions
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