Bicycling is an increasingly important part of the way we get around. Many of us choose to ride to work, to the store, or to visit friends instead of driving. We ride to save money, we ride for health, or we ride just because, frankly, it’s more fun than being behind the wheel. We ride everything from old beach cruisers we’ve had stored in our garages, to state-of-the-art road bikes that weigh less than a small dog.
When I say we, I refer to a diverse group of people. We are lawyers and roofers, retirees and school kids. We are doctors, painters, window-washers, waitresses, school teachers, artists, and mechanics. We are dads and moms, sons and daughters.
We are also, mostly, drivers. The majority people who bicycle for transportation still take most of their trips by car and still spend most of their time behind the wheel. They know what it’s like to be on either side of the bike lane, and how vulnerable being on a bike can feel
Bicycling is more than just a transportation choice, it is an important part of our region’s economic success. The Roanoke Valley has invested heavily in promoting its outdoor amenities, and those include safe streets for folks to ride on, whether for work or for play. Every mile ridden is a mile of gas saved, and given every dollar spent on a gallon of gas takes 90 cents from our economy and local businesses, bike-friendly streets are an important part of keep dollars here at home. And for folks for whom a car – with all of its expenses – is a luxury, cycling is how they get to jobs and contribute to the local economy.
In the last few years, bicycling for transportation has surged in the Roanoke Valley. A wider variety of people ride than ever before, and our communities are responding by adding bike lanes and other amenities to make it safer for folks to ride their bikes. But the last few years have also been tragic ones for some people who ride. We have seen cyclists threatened, injured, and even killed on the Roanoke Valley’s roads.
This campaign is focused on bringing attention to how it can feel being a cyclist sharing the road with motor vehicles. Through a series of five images, we tell a different story about how vulnerable a cyclist can feel, and how important it is for everyone behind the wheel to pay attention to their fellow road users.
This campaign wouldn’t be possible without the support of our generous sponsors. Please thank them for their commitment to making our streets safer places to cycle.