A new initiative to help keep bicycle riders safe on the roads pulled a crowd to Varsity Sports Thursday. The idea is to get more people with bicycles to Light It Up.
Lights are a tiny tool that can make a big difference when someone rides the highway on two wheels. Lights help motorists spot cyclists better, but not everyone who rides a bike has them. Cyclists who rolled into Varsity Sports left with a new set of front and rear lights. Local cyclist, Erin Bennett, hopes the move sends a message to drivers.
“People need to realize that we are mothers and fathers, and some are kids, sisters and brothers, and we are important too. I think it's important that we are as proactive as possible to make ourselves safe as we can,” Bennett said.
What some consider a sport, or a way to stay in shape, is some people's only mode of transportation. Bicycle commuter, Jimmy Williams, says he doesn't own a car. “I ride ten miles a day, sometimes seven days a week,” Williams said.
In an effort to make people more street smart, Varsity Sports and local non-profit, The Rocketkidz Foundation, partnered to help provide 200 free lights to cyclists in the metro area. Williams' bike is already equipped with reflectors, but the lights are an added layer of security he did not want to pass up. “It's a good thing. They help make people more safe riding the bikes up and down the road,” Williams said.
Owner of Varsity Sports, Jenni Peters, says Light It Up was created to help make cyclists more visible, but she hopes the initiative goes beyond the front steps of her store. “I think we'd all like to see Baton Rouge be a more bike friendly community and have more bike transportation like some other communities do, so if this is one tiny step in that direction, I am all for it,” Peters said.
Lights will also be given away and installed on bicycles for free over the next few days.
LIGHT IT UP EVENTS
Another cycling event is scheduled for August 12. The Blessing of the Bikes is being held at St. Joseph Cathedral at 7:30 a.m. Varsity Sports is kicking off, “Pass on the Light.”
For more information, contact Craig Brouillette (text) 225-993-9706 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Blessing Bike ride will end at Magpie Point Marie. Magpie will be open for guests from 9 to 11 a.m. that morning.
BLESSING OF THE BIKES
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