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Governor Issues Bike Month Proclamation

May 20, 2010 -- (JUNEAU, Alaska) - Governor Sean Parnell signed an official proclamation May 10 designating May as Bike Month, May 17-21 as Bike to Work Week and May 21 as Bike to Work Day.

The number of bicyclists on Alaska roads is expected to rise sharply this month as Alaska joins the nation to celebrate National Bike to Work Day and to kick off the summer bicycling season.

Yearly, the national nonprofit League of American Bicyclists declares May as National Bike Month and helps organize Bike to Work Week and Bike to Work Day. City and borough mayors statewide have proclaimed Bike to Work Day in their communities.

The Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (DOT&PF) joins with organizers of Bike to Work events throughout the state to encourage both bicyclists and motorists to be extra careful on Alaska roads not just during Bike to Work Day, but always.

As in other states, bicyclists are recognized in state law as legitimate users of Alaska's roadways. Bicyclists are required to follow the "rules of the road" by riding on the right side of the road, signaling turns, and stopping at stop signs and stop signals. Additionally, bicyclists should ride on the shoulder if one is available and in good condition.

Motorists can do their part too, by allowing a safe distance between their vehicle and the bicycle when passing and by not cutting off bicycles when making a turn. Four in 10 crashes between bicycles and motor vehicles in Alaska occur when motorists are turning right.

"As bicyclists take to the roads, I urge people to ride safely, and I encourage riders and motorists to be careful and conscientious of their surroundings," said Leo von Scheben, Commissioner DOT&PF.

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