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Two Most Dangerous Areas For Bicyclists

July 28, 2014, 10:00 PM by Don Jorgensen

Two Most Dangerous Areas For Bicyclists

There have been at least 15 bicycle accidents in Sioux Falls this year, one of them fatal.  There was also a fatal bicycle crash near Steen, Minnesota, earlier this month.

Surprisingly, one bicycle safety expert says the most dangerous spot for a cyclist is not on a busy street where there's lots of traffic.

Chris Parsley is the president of the Falls Area Bicyclists.  He's also one of three certified bicycle safety experts in Sioux Falls so he knows what he's talking about.

"You know, the most dangerous spot is going to be riding on a sidewalk against the flow of traffic," Parsley said.

Using our GoPro camera, we get to see what he sees. Parsley says riding on a sidewalk against traffic is dangerous.

"When you hear someone running into somebody on a bicycle, the first thing they say is, 'I never saw them.'  Of course, they never saw them because they weren't looking on the sidewalk for something to be there; they're looking for their opening for traffic," Parsley said.

Another dangerous spot for cyclists, Parsley believes, is in a residential neighborhood.

"There's a lot of things going on that I'm looking out for: car doors opening, looking out for kids running into the street, pets.  Those sorts of things," Parsley said.

Parsley says riding on a busy street like Minnesota Avenue is much safer, but it's important to use hand signals at all times.

"I have to signal and let everyone else know what's going on because none of them can read my mind any better than I can read their minds," Parsley said. 

Parsley says following these simple safety tips, Sioux Falls' streets would be safer for everyone. 

"So I'd really like to see more people riding their bikes in the street and less on the sidewalk.  Then maybe instead of 15 incidents between a bicycle versus car, we'd have four or five," Parsley said.

Parsley never had any close calls while we followed him on Minnesota Avenue.

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