With a population of just over 170,000, Eugene is situated on the Willamette River. Home to the University of Oregon, this northwest Oregon city naturally attracts bicycle enthusiasts. If someone caused you to be injured while riding your bicycle, you should protect your rights and seek a Eugene bicycle accident attorney.

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Initiated by the League of American Bicyclists, this designation recognizes bicycle-friendly cities. It is their way to highlight which American communities are supporting and promoting bicycling as a healthy, economically, environmentally transportation alternative.

There are five levels of the BFC award: diamond, platinum, gold, silver, and bronze. To be awarded gold, Eugene demonstrated that it caters to all types of bicyclists from the daily commuter to recreational cyclists to competitive roadie of all ages.

Recently, Eugene has built three new bike bridges with plans for three more. They are also experimenting with bike-specific signaling at intersections so that cyclists are safe as they move across lanes.

Eugene has also started to add more protected and buffered bike lanes. A two-way protected bikeway is expected to connect the University of Oregon to downtown Eugene.

Safe Biking Events

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Most cities have safe routes to school. Eugene treats the recruitment of kid cyclists as critical. The city employs three full-time safe routes school coordinators.

Throughout the year, regular ongoing and single event activities provide opportunities for cyclists to get together.

On the last Friday of the month, Breakfast at the Bridges celebrates the camaraderie of path users, commuters, and new riders. They are encouraged to grab a quick bite, have a coffee, meet City staff, and find out more about cycling in Eugene.

The Smart Cycling Social Ride provides an introductory cycling safety class.

The Knickerbocker Bridge event welcomes walkers and cyclists. Hosted partly by the University of Oregon Outdoor Program, this initiative strives to keep the river trails. The event ends with a Volunteer thank you party at Mat Island Park.

Eugene Bike Routes

Eugene offers a temperate climate and a plethora of beautifully manicured bike paths. Along the many scenic routes are bicycle repair shops, bike retail stores, and rental establishments.

There are so many Eugene bike paths that you will have trouble choosing. Pick up a bike route map available from the city of Eugene.

The Covered Bridges scenic bikeway is a favorite of locals and tourists.

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If you want a more ambitious bike route, why not try a multi-day trip through Willamette’s farmland? Mountain biking on week-ends with a group is popular. Try the Mackenzie Trail or the O’Leary Bridge Trail. For more information, go here.

Bike Safety

Cyclists in Eugene take bike safety seriously. They warn cyclists:

  • Always wear a helmet.
  • Wear reflective clothing.
  • Use lights at night.
  • Make sure your bike is in top working order.
  • Whenever possible, cycle in a group.
  • Always carry a cell phone.
  • Practice bike safety, obeying traffic rules.

The Oregon Department of Transportation runs a Bicyclist Safety Program. Its aim is to promote safe riding, thus reducing the number of cycling deaths and injuries.

GEARS, The Greater Eugen Area Riders offer Confident Cycling classes all year round. The cost is very low cost. Confident Cycling classes teach the laws of safe cycling. They also discuss the skills and techniques for confident riding. Ride safely is stresses. The course also deals with state laws and bike riders. Bicycle safety checks are done. First-aid for bikes covers how to fix a flat tire, safe bike riding skills, and techniques for avoiding crashes. The nine-hour course is recommended for cyclists fourteen and up.

Cycling Accidents

The number one Eugene residents give for not continuing to cycle to work or for recreation is a danger.

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In San Francisco, the biggest danger to cyclists is being “doored”. Note that this doesn’t occur in all biking communities. Car owners open doors into a cyclist everywhere. But, in San Francisco, it is the biggest cause of cyclist death and injury.

How about in Eugene? Compared to the average American city, there is a higher percentage of cyclist deaths in Eugene. But that isn’t because Eugene cyclists are more careless or Eugene drivers are more dangerous. It is because per capita, Eugene has more people on bikes. If you look at a national average, Eugene is a safer place to cycle than the national average—by a significant margin.

Eugene residents who have chosen not to bike see accident rates as increasing. Actually the rate has remained pretty constant. But residents have a perception of danger. There is no research to back their fears. It’s media coverage. It’s anecdotes about friends or family members who have had accidents.

Your Cycling Rights

Just because other vehicles are bigger, faster, or more powerful, it doesn’t mean they can ignore cyclists’ rights.

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As a cyclist, you are expected to follow the rules of the road. You are also expected to take safety precautions like a helmet, reflective gear, a well-maintained bicycle, and lights.

While you are not allowed on freeways, you have a right to share the road with other vehicles. Cyclists have the legal right to ride in the center of the lane when that is the safest spot.

If you are cycling past a parked vehicle, you have the right to expect that passengers will look before they open the vehicle door. Failure to do so may result in their being fined for being careless.

Bicycle lanes are only intended for cyclists. Motorists can be fined for driving or parking in bicycle lanes.

When riding on shared paths and through parks, you are expected to give pedestrians the right of way.

What to Do if You are Injured

Bicycle accidents can result in serious injuries to the head, neck, and spine. They can cause broken bones, internal injuries. Bikers have even lost limbs, or been paralyzed in bike-automobile accidents.

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Bicycle accidents in Eugene cases may be very complicated. That’s why you need an attorney who specializes in representing the unique needs of cyclists.

If you have been injured in a cycling accident, it’s time to think about hiring a Eugene bicycle accident attorney. You need a lawyer like Ryan Hilts who specializes in protecting the rights of cyclists. If you have been injured in a cycling accident, your first call should be to Ryan Hilts.