Are you interested in a quick and fun way to get to downtown Lee’s Summit? It may be time to think about using your bike.
Downtown Lee’s Summit has added 15 new bike racks and 30 bike parking spaces. Biking can be great for a leisurely ride, long-distance pedal or a daily commute. Luckily, Lee’s Summit is full of great sidewalks, bike paths and trails to provide connections for safe biking and running.
The new bike racks provide great support for your bike and can easily accommodate a lock. If you have seen the new short posts, with an LS enclosed in a circle, then you have seen the new racks. The bike racks are located in front of the following locations: Do Drop Inn, Lee’s Summit History Museum, Amtrak Station, Howard Station Park, Third and Main, Whistle Stop Cafe, Bike America, Life Transformations, The Stanley, Scrapbook Station, The Filling Station, City Hall and the farmers market lot.
“I think the new bike racks help promote cycling in Lee’s Summit,” said Kevin, an employee at the Lee’s Summit Bike America store. “They are a great connection between the complete streets and the city. I am excited to see them in use.”
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Before using your bicycle, make sure it is ready to ride. You should always inspect your bike to make sure it is working properly. Below are some safe riding tips from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Adjust your bicycle to fit. Stand over your bicycle. There should be 1 to 2 inches between you and the top tube (bar) if using a road bike and 3 to 4 inches if a mountain bicycle. The seat should be level front to back. The seat height should be adjusted to allow a slight bend at the knee when the leg is fully extended. The handlebar height should be at the same level with the seat. Also, check your helmet for a proper fit.
Check your equipment. Before riding, inflate tires properly and check that your brakes work.
See and be seen. Whether daytime, dawn, dusk, foul weather, or at night, you need to be seen by others. Wearing white has not been shown to make you more visible. Rather, always wear neon, fluorescent, or other bright colors when riding day or night. Also wear something that reflects light, such as reflective tape or markings, or flashing lights.
Control your bicycle. Always ride with at least one hand on the handlebars. Carry books and other items in a bicycle carrier or backpack.
Watch for and avoid road hazards. Be on the lookout for hazards such as potholes, broken glass, gravel, puddles, leaves, and dogs. All these hazards can cause a crash. If you are riding with friends and you are in the lead, yell out and point to the hazard to alert the riders behind you.
Obey all traffic laws. A bicycle is a vehicle and you’re a driver. When you ride in the street, obey all traffic signs, signals, and lane markings.
Stay alert at all times. Use your eyes and ears. Watch out for potholes, cracks, wet leaves, storm grates, railroad tracks, or anything that could make you lose control of your bike. You need your ears to hear traffic and avoid dangerous situations; don’t wear a headset when you ride.
Look before turning. When turning left or right, always look behind you for a break in traffic, and then signal before making the turn. Watch for left- or right-turning traffic.
Next time you are headed to Downtown Lee’s Summit for a quick shopping trip or a day of exploring, think about heading out on your bike.
Molly Wichman is a Lee’s Summit resident and member of the Livable Streets Advisory Board — a mayor-appointed, volunteer board whose goals include working to make our community and our streets more “livable,” safe and accessible for all of our citizens.