Greenbelt closure putting cyclists on the street

Boise Greenbelt is flooding early this year. (KBOI Photo)

Many people ride the Greenbelt purposely so they don't have to ride in the street alongside cars.

However, with the option to ride on the Greenbelt gone there are some some safety tips cyclists should consider before taking the bike out.

For many, one of those reasons they ride the Greenbelt reigns supreme.

"You don't have to worry about traffic and cars," said Lauren Henkin.

Henkin rides on the Greenbelt every day. Or, at least she did until river levels forced the city to shut down most of the pathway.

"I mean now I just have to cross the main roads using the crosswalks and stuff," Henkin said. "Which isn't quite as convenient or quick."

It's also not as safe.

Riding the pathway and riding in the street are two entirely different animals.

When you're riding on the Greenbelt anything that can hit you is either right behind you or right in front of you, but when you're riding in the street something can hit you from any direction.

Just ask Chris Haunold, general manager of Idaho Mountain Touring.

"A lot of times cyclists are kind of invisible," Haunold said.

Since the Greenbelt closed there's been more traffic in bike lanes, which mean cyclists need to watch out for cars and each other.

"Biggest thing is sometimes people think, they were taught as a kid to ride against traffic and that is wrong, that is a recipe for disaster," Haunold said.

No matter how careful everyone is disasters will happen. So always ride carefully and wear a helmet.

According to city officials the river will stay high and fast until June, maybe even later, so these cyclist may be forced into the streets until well into the summer.