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Warmer temperatures bringing more runners and bicyclists outside

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - Spring has sprung. Time for those early morning walks, a run through the park and bike rides with the family.

"Summer is coming right around the corner, so we're really excited about that," said Abel Hernandez, a sales manager at Bill's Bike & Run. "Biking season is going to get up and going with it."

If you're someone who is ready to join this growing group -- or hit the ground running -- there are a few things you should be aware of.

"The most important thing is you've got to be spatially aware," said Cody Thomas, a sales associate at Bill's Bike & Run. "You've got to understand where cars are coming from, if there are cyclists, people with dogs."

Even though pedestrians do have the right of way, you still need to always keep an eye out for cars any which way.

"There are some knucklehead drivers out there, so you want to make sure that even though you do have the right of way you do make (eye) contact with the car and make sure that they see you and do start slowing down before you jump out in front of them," Thomas said.

You also need to be aware of where you are running or biking. There are sidewalks and bike lanes for a reason.

"You don't want to be mixing the two," Thomas said. "Bike lanes are specifically for cyclists and while the sidewalks aren't always great, if you can be on the sidewalk you want to be on the sidewalk."

The Idaho Falls Police Department adds that bicyclists must stick to the road and bike lanes.

"The laws are written so that they can use the rules of the road," said Officer Jason Miller, of the Idaho Falls Police Department Traffic Division.

"They should be going with traffic consistently," Hernandez said. "You should be stopping at all signs, all stop signs, all yield signs, exactly like traffic laws."

But before you jump on that bike or start your run, make sure you are prepped with the right gear.

"Reflective gear is a must," Thomas said.

Bright-colored clothing, reflective helmets, shoes, anything to alert cars that you are nearby, too.

 "In the last couple years I've had some accidents where people were wearing dark clothing, hoodies and stuff like that during the nighttime," Miller said.

Another way to make sure you stand out is to get yourself lights.

"We also recommend that you have a taillight and a headlight," Hernandez said. "It's is not just for rider safety, but also for the vehicles."

According to IFPD, if you're riding a bike in Idaho Falls you need to have a light on the front.

"If you don't have a light, it is illegal and you can be stopped by the police," Miller said.

And, of course, wear a helmet.

"Just stay safe out there, that's our biggest concern," Hernandez said. "Just make sure you are always buying a helmet when purchasing a bicycle."


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