Tencate is among a growing community of “transportation cyclists” in Boise who have forsaken automobiles in favor of bikes to get to and from work. For these avid two wheel pilots, it isn’t just a fair weather sport–they hit the streets in most any weather day or night. That’s where the attention thing comes into play for Tencate.
He ALWAYS wears a helmet and dons a brilliant orange vest trimmed in fluorescent electric lime tape as he pedals a bike with more flashing lights than a police cruiser. The only thing he lacks to clear traffic is a siren. From the front he has a brilliant LED headlight that will strobe or shine steady. From the back he sports the slow moving vehicle triangle found on farm tractors along with a set of tail lights that can be seen a mile away. “See and be seen” is a GUARDIAN safety slogan that could save a life.
With the recent rash of tragic and deadly bike accidents in Boise, the GUARDIAN has decided to provide a forum for both motorists and cyclists in an effort to bring some attention to the problems as well as offer some potential solutions. Monday a 93-year-old man apparently traveling the wrong way in traffic collided with a car at Roosevelt and Franklin on the Boise Bench. Elsewhere a 16-year-old sans helmet tumbled off a two wheeler and cracked his noggin. No vehicle was involved in that incident.
We have contacted some of the major players to get them onboard the safety bandwagon. Ada County Highway District is distributing a 48 page safety brochure and bike law digest compiled by the Idaho Transportation Department. It will be available in bike shops and fire stations this week for free.
The AAA Auto Association will probably be advocating safety vests, helmets, and lights similar to those used by Tencate. Boise coppers will no doubt be making more contact with errant cyclists–they already patrol and enforce traffic laws violated by automobile drivers.
Meanwhile, Team Dave will do the usual task force/committee to look at what can be done to preserve Boise’s status as a “Bicycle Friendly” community.
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