Senator Farley Salutes National Trails Day By Offering Biking Safety Tips

Hugh T. Farley

June 01, 2005

State Senator Hugh T. Farley (R,C - Schenectady) reminds constituents that Saturday, June 4th, is National Trails Day.

"This day is meant to promote public awareness and appreciation for our great outdoors and the trails that guide us through it," Senator Farley said. "Cyclists, joggers and walkers in this area have access to some great recreational trails, including the Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail in Schenectady County, sections of the Canalway Trail in Montgomery County and the FJ&G Bike-Hike Trail in Fulton County. This day should find plenty of activity in our region."

Senator Farley noted that several local organizations are planning trail improvement projects for June 4th in honor of National Trails Day, including: at Saratoga Spa State Park, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the Crescent Avenue Parking Area, organizers will be improving trails on the eastern side of the park; Schenectady Bike-Hike Trail Clean Up will be held from 9 a.m. to noon by the Schenectady Chapter of the Adirondack Mountain Club and Friends of the Mohawk-Hudson Trail at the Seneca Street entrance, Schenectady; Wilton Wildlife Preserve will construct a new trail from 9 a.m. to noon at the Fox Parcel on Route 50,Wilton.

Senator Farley would like to take the opportunity to remind constituents who will be cycling on the trails to be safe when biking.

"By increasing attention and education on the issue, I hope to encourage bicyclists to protect themselves so that they have an enjoyable summer. The health, well-being and recreational enjoyment of bicyclists is important," Senator Farley said. "The best way to have fun is to not get into an accident. The best defense against bicycle accidents is safe and skilled handling of the bicycle."

The Senator also said there are rules of the road that apply to bicyclists. "When riding a bicycle, the basic traffic laws that apply to the automobile driver also apply to you. That includes stopping at red lights and stop signs. And remember, under State law, children under the age of 14 are required to wear safety helmets when operating bicycles. And know that it is illegal to wear earphones plugged into a radio, tape or CD player while riding a bicycle."

The following are some safety tips Senator Farley said people should know and follow when riding their bicycles:

* Use proper hand signals.

* Ride single file.

* Give pedestrians the right of way.

* Never hitch a ride onto moving vehicles.

* When riding after dark, your bike must be equipped with a headlight, taillight, and a reflective device, and you should wear reflective material.

* Don't assume that you always have the right of way. Make eye contact with motorists.

* When riding on a bike path, pass people on the left and alert them when you are passing so they don't veer into your way. Also, be extremely careful at spots where the bike path crosses a road.

Senator Farley has free brochures on bicycle safety and helmet use and they are available through his office by calling 455-2181 (Albany), 843-2188 (Amsterdam), 762-3733 (Johnstown) or toll-free at (800) 224-5201.