Last updated: April 26. 2014 10:32PM - 2388 Views
By - jsoprano@timesleader.com

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Now that it appears that we are finally done with snow and we have some cycling weather, I find myself thinking back to some advice Rich Adams of Around Town Bicycles gave me last year.

I had stopped by the shop looking for a topic for the first column of the season. Adams told me I should write something reminding drivers to give those of us that prefer self-propelled, two-wheelers some respect.

“I would make it my first column every year,” he said.

While this isn’t my first column of the season, it is a topic worth revisiting.

Motorists need to give us some space.

And in Pennsylvania, it’s not just a courtesy. It’s the law.

When passing a cyclist, drivers are required to give the rider a 4-foot buffer. Drivers can cross the double-yellow line if necessary to give a cyclist room. If a driver can’t give the cyclist a 4-four buffer safely, the driver should wait to pass the cyclist until they can.

The law has been on the books for nearly two years, but I doubt a ticket for violating the rule has been written in Northeastern Pennsylvania. According to a story in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, only 13 citations were issued for violating the rule in the first 13 months the law was in effect.

Still, it’s a good rule.

Drivers should also remember that cyclists may be forced out into the traffic by obstacles such as potholes, storm grates and gravel.

And, please, lay off the horn.

Trust me, we know you are behind us. Laying on your horn is not only unnecessary and obnoxious, it can be dangerous. A startled cyclist isn’t a good thing.

Of course, respect is a two-way street and cyclists have to uphold their end of the bargain. The traffic laws that apply to motorist apply to cyclists, too.

If you are new to road riding, check out the Pennsylvania Bicycle Driver’s Manual at http://tinyurl.com/polnzl.

Novak, Lukas continue to impress

The solid results continue to come for Tunkhannock native David Novak.

Riding for his Lindsey Wilson College cycling team, Novak had a pair for second-place finishes in last two events. Novak finished second in the road race at the Notre Dame Collegiate Cycling Classic in South Bend, Indiana, on April 12. He followed that up with a second-place finish in the criterium at the Marian Midwest Cycling Classic in Indianapolis on April 19.

Novak also had an eighth-place finish in the criterium at Notre Dame.

Novak’s Lindsey Wilson teammate Luke Lukas, of Courtdale, also turned in some fine performances at those two events. At Notre Dame, Lukas finished 11th in the road race and 20th in the criterium. In Indianapolis, Lukas had 13th- and 14th-place finishes in a pair of criteriums.

Time trial set

Area riders will be able to take part in a “Race of Truth” in the Hazleton area next month.

The Hazleton YWCA will hold a time trial in Nescopeck on May 4. The race will feature a 16-mile course along Honey Hole Road. The entry fee is $40.

Riders will set out on the course in 30-second intervals beginning at 8 a.m.

If a time trial isn’t for you, the YWCA is holding a duathlon on May 18. For more details, go to http://tinyurl.com/kfoyv52.

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