2015 Safety Announcement

Bikers' Right-of-Way has Changed for Bike the Bend 2015  

The sixth annual Bike the Bend is less than a week away, and promises to be an exciting time for more than 2,000 riders who will enjoy the unique opportunity to pedal side-by-side as they explore together the vehicle-restricted streets of our region.

But we need to make you aware of an important distinction with the June 14 ride that is unprecedented in our history. For the first time, bicycle riders will not have the priority when the vehicle-restricted route intersects with traffic crossings in parts of South Bend. 

Our team learned on Friday, June 5, from the South Bend Mayor's Office that the number of officers who have signed up as of that date for Bike the Bend-paid duty at intersections is significantly less than in previous years. Only four South Bend officers have indicated their availability for the approximately 26 intersections requiring a police presence in South Bend, when typically 50 officers have been available. (In parts of the route in Mishawaka and St. Joseph County, officers there are providing full coverage.) While the number of officers on duty in South Bend could likely increase by Bike the Bend Sunday, our leadership is taking the steps to ensure all riders are aware of this potential difference in police oversight.

Only police officers or their designees are allowed to direct traffic. Fewer officers at key intersections mean there could be places where the route crosses a busy thoroughfare where there is no police presence. Even though vehicles are restricted along the entire route in South Bend, thanks to the South Bend Traffic and Lighting Division's placement of barricades, cones, and approximately 120 "Road Closed" signs, fewer officers may mean drivers (for example, those going to church or those living along the route) could accidentally access the restricted route. Riders will need to be aware of their surroundings, including road hazards, traffic signals, other bicycles and vehicles.

We are already taking steps to ensure the ride will be safe, including seeking to increase the number of Point the Way volunteers, who are stationed on sidewalks along the route. We also have 24 volunteer Zone Ambassadors, experienced cyclists who ride segments of the route to provide assistance. Our Point the Way volunteers provide directions to riders and answer questions.  Route volunteer learn more about their intersection and duties during Volunteer Orientation at Packet Pickup on Saturday, June 13. To volunteer, e-mail volunteer@BiketheBend.com or visit our website: www.BiketheBend.com/event/volunteer 

We will have updated information on police presence for the South Bend portion of the route during Packet Pickup on Saturday June 13, 9:00AM-4:00PM at the Kroc Center, 900 W Western Ave, South Bend, IN  46601.

Ultimately, safety begins with personal responsibility for each of us bicyclists. So please ride with caution by following these steps:

  • Observe all traffic signs, signals and lane markings, especially when approaching intersections.
  • Ride in a predictable manner in a straight line, using hand signals to indicate your intentions.
  • Be aware of your surroundings, including road hazards, traffic signals, other bicycles and vehicles.
  • Be visible: Wear bright colors and reflective materials.

A bicycle helmet has always been required for all Bike the Bend participants.

Thank you for being part of Bike the Bend, the vision of Louise Addicott and the area's premier family bike event, presented by The Louise E. Addicott and Georgina Joshi Foundation. Enjoy our beautiful community and the many snack/rest stops along the route - from the pancake, sausage and fruit breakfast from 6:30 to 10:30 a.m. at The Kroc Center (sponsored and staffed by INOVA Federal Credit Union) to the many exciting events at our snack/rest stop location, including the HealthWorks "Feastival," the South Bend Parks and Recreation climbing wall, drawings for a bicycle and South Bend Cubs tickets,  delicious menu items from Bar Bici Italian Street Food, The Kitchen BMX bicycling information, former Notre Dame and Green Bay Packer football player "Red" Mack who will display his ring from Super Bowl I, and the 574 Cycling (a local women's cycling club). 

Many thanks to our underwriting sponsors, INOVA Federal Credit Union, GTA Containers, Inc., Praxair Foundation, Beacon Health Systems, Visit South Bend Mishawaka, Martin's Supermarkets, Bar Bici Italian Street Food, Nyloncraft and Barnes & Thornburg; our media sponsor, WSBT-TV and our Snack/Rest stop sponsors, Burkhart Advertising, Bike Michiana Coalition and Urban Adventure Games, FASTSIGNS South Bend, Bar Bici Italian Street Food, Cressy & Everett and Center for Hospice.

If you have any questions, please contact us at info@BiketheBend.com.  Let's enjoy the ride and demonstrate why we are a Bicycle Friendly Community.  See you on Bike the Bend weekend!


Glenda G. Lamont


Bike the Bend, Inc.

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