RAGBRAI riders are facing a 77 mile journey today from Spencer to Humboldt. This is day two for the 35th annual bicycle ride across Iowa. Motorists traveling through northern Iowa this week are being reminded to watch out for bikes. Jessica Lown (rhymes with town) is with the Iowa State Patrol.
"You always want to make sure to slow down a little bit," Lown says, "remember that they have every right to be on the road like you do." She’s advising motorists to be patient, and steer clear of the bicycles. When passing a pack of bikers, Lown suggests getting as far to the left as possible, "Get as close to that yellow line as you possibly can, so those cyclists have plenty of room and you’re not zipping by and brushing a little too close.
Lown says drivers should also keep their full attention on the road. "Don’t be multi-tasking while you’re driving," Lown says, "stay off the cell phone, don’t be putting on make-up or shaving while you’re driving. Be alert…watch for those cyclists like you would any other car." Last year in Iowa, there were 443 crashes between motor vehicles and bicycles, resulting 433 cyclists injuries and five fatalities.