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Bike Shop Owner Offers Tips on How to Stay Safe While Biking in NWA

A bike rental shop is warning local cyclists to stay alert when riding in our area. Mojo Rentals owner David Neal says with the growth of Northwest Arkansas, there are a lot more bikers and drivers sharing the road and cyclists should act as if the driver cannot see them.

“When someone’s driving a vehicle and they’re not paying attention, things can turn deadly quickly,” Neal said.

A family from Minnesota came to the bike rental shop in Bentonville to rent three bikes. But when the family was at the intersection of Tiger Blvd and NW A street in Bentonville, a driver hit another car and rebounded into the bikes.

“They saw what was happening, and they all literally, physically jumped out of the way and none of them were hurt seriously,” Neal said.

He says he now has $20,000 of bikes that are unusable and the costs will be paid by the insurance of the driver who nearly hit the family.

“This is a big loss for us beyond just the physical loss of the bikes themselves,” he said.

Neal says he doesn’t want to see any cyclists get injured or killed. He encourages cyclists to assume drivers cannot see them, and that they should be aware of their surroundings. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 1,000 bicyclists die and more than 130,000 are injured in crashes that happen on roads in the United States every year.

Charles Mag loves to bike, but there have been times when he was almost hit.

“You have to protect yourself at all times,” Mag said.

He says one of his friends had his hip broken due to being hit by a car.

“He was trying to cross the street and the lady wasn’t paying attention and he knew he had the right of way,” Mag said.

Mag assumes most drivers do not notice bikers.

“I don’t trust anyone when it comes to being on the bike. If I can’t get the eye of a person when I’m crossing the street, I either don’t go or I go behind them,” he said.

Neal says when bikes have some damage to them, some parts can be used again. But in this case, he says he’s scared to use any of the parts that could be salvageable because he doesn’t want it to fail for the next rider.

Source: Northwest Arkansas News