The stretch of Route 1 from the Nassau Bridge to the southern limits of Dewey Beach has become one of the most dangerous in Delaware.
As summer approaches, drivers will begin sharing the road more and more with cyclists. Despite an expansive network of trails, there remain gaps in the biking network, creating situations where bikers are traveling on heavily congested roads and in close proximity to vehicles traveling at high speeds.
Cycling in the Cape Region has steadily increased over the years, much like the population. The creation and ongoing maintenance of trails in the area have made it an attractive destination for cyclists of all ages and skill levels. Unfortunately, accidents along Route 1 have also been on the rise, some of them involving cyclists. Transportation officials and biking advocacy groups have been working together to increase and maintain safe biking practices.
The Delaware Department of Transportation and the nonprofit Sussex Cyclists have partnered to help bikers in the area remain safe on their travels. During their June 6 checkpoint at Epworth United Methodist Church in Rehoboth Beach, they offered tune-up maintenance, helmets, lights, maps and free air. The checkpoint was a judgment-free zone with a focus on equipping as many bikers as possible with necessary safety equipment. Cyclists need not fear in the future if they aren’t properly equipped for safety and roll by, as chances are the checkpoint has the gear they need.
Sussex Cyclists volunteers and DelDOT employees will be inviting cyclists traveling near the checkpoints to stop in for a safety check, safety gear and maps to help them safely navigate what has become an increasingly dangerous Route 1.
Transportation officials recommend everyone, regardless of age, wear a helmet. The rear bike light is red and the front light is white, increasing the biker's visibility in traffic. Maps allow riders to chart courses that minimize travel on hazardous roads.
Future checkpoints will be held at the following locations:
• Church Street and Canal Crossing Road - 4 to 7 p.m., Wednesdays, June 14, July 12, Aug. 9, Aug. 16
• Nike Outlet and Royal Farms - 4 to 7 p.m., Thursdays, June 22, July 6, July 20
• Epworth United Methodist Church - 5 to 7 p.m., Tuesdays, June 27, July 18, July 25.
More information, including county bike maps, can be found at deldot.gov/programs/bike/biking_in_delaware/index.shtml.
To learn more about Sussex Cyclists, go to sussexcyclists.org.