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Cyclists urge sharing the road


As a triathlete, Mary Eggers logs plenty of time on her bicycle.

But after her friend, Fairport teacher Heather Boyum, was killed in July while riding in Penfield, Eggers had been hesitant to take to the road. It didn't help that, shortly after the Boyum tragedy, another of Eggers' friends was run off the road by a large truck. For several weeks, Eggers rode indoors on a trainer.

But Boyum's tragic death inspired Eggers and several other area cyclists to start talking about staying safe on the roads. As interest grew, the approach shifted from a group discussion to a general meeting with presentations from speakers including MVP Health Care cycling team director Todd Scheske and Monroe County Sheriff Patrick O'Flynn. The meeting was last Thursday.

Cyclists have the legal right to ride on roads — with some exceptions, like expressways — but they are obligated to ride single file, to ride with traffic, and to obey traffic signals and stop signs.

Eggers says improving the road environment for cyclists may come down to educating drivers, increasing awareness about the presence of cyclists on roads, and reminding cyclists to check their own behavior.

"You hope that people are going to listen to the message and change their behavior," Eggers says.

Cyclists should also report experiences like being run off the road to law enforcement, she says. Many cyclists may just brush-off the incident and go back to riding, Eggers says, but police do want to know when drivers behave dangerously toward cyclists.