Paying attention to surroundings key for safe biking - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Paying attention to surroundings key for safe biking

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  A Brandon man is in jail tonight, accused of killing a mother riding a bicycle with her children.

Christopher Weber is facing vehicular homicide charges.

The Minnesota State Patrol says the 25-year-old hit Andrea Boeve while she was biking with her kids on Highway 270 near Steen, Minnesota.

Boeve was a mother to two little girls.  

Troopers say she was following Minnesota law when she was biking with her two little girls Monday.  

In Minnesota, bicyclists are required to be operating to the farthest right possible, traveling in the same direction as traffic.

We're told that's just what Boeve was doing when she was struck.

Bicyclists in Sioux Falls say drivers and bikers need to work together so everyone can be safe.

And that means both parties paying attention to their surroundings and respecting one another.

"At this point I'm scanning around, just to make sure no body is running a red light, try to make eye contact with as many drivers as I can," said bicyclist Clint Kolda.

He's a certified cycling instructor for the League of American Bicyclists.

"You just have to keep an eye out for people, watch around, keep an eye on your surroundings, and watch everything around you because there are things that are out of your control," Kolda added.

President of Sioux Falls Area Bicyclists and Instructor for League of American Bicyclists, Chris Parsley, said the safest place to ride may not be where you think.

"If there's something directly in front of the driver and they see that object they're not going to run into that object. Somebody that's on a side walk, most drivers aren't looking there for something to be in their way, they're looking right in front of them," Parsley explained.

He added to ride with the flow of traffic.

"Riding against traffic you can't see any of the street signs, can't see any of the stop lights, cars definitely are not looking for anything coming towards them on a sidewalk," Parsley continued.

Michael Christensen is also a cycling instructor.

He says safety protection is important.

"If you are in a collision you have that protection around you to hopefully help with some injuries," he explained.

But the most important thing is that the law states all bicycles have the same rights and responsibilities as drivers on the road.

"Therefore, bicyclists are vehicles. So drivers of cars should react to bicyclists as if they were any other vehicle on  the road," said Christensen.

Chris Parsley added he actually feels safest on big roads so he can have his own lane.

Or when he's biking down Minnesota Ave. during rush hour.

Because cars don't go much faster than about 30 MPH.

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