By Gary Boulanger, Bikeradar.com
American pro road racer Dave Zabriskie has launched Yield to Life, a non-profit organization devoted to creating a safer environment for cyclists and, by so doing, encouraging more people to ride for their own health, the good of the environment and the well being of society.
"It is my mission to humanize and personalize cyclists to help motorists to always be aware that we are "life" and that we deserve a safe space on the road," the Slipstream-Chipotle rider said. "I love to ride my bike as do my fellow cyclists, but we should not have to place out lives at risk everyday for that enjoyment."
Zabriskie, 29, is the only American to consecutively win stages in all three grand tour races: the Tour of Spain, the Tour of Italy, and the Tour de France. He is the current United States Time Trial Champion and member of American team Slipstream-Chipotle during its 2008 season.
According to Zabriskie, by making cycling safer and promoting the activity as a responsible means of transportation and a healthy means of recreation, Yield to Life can contribute to tackling some of today's major concerns-from such issues as pollution and global warming to obesity and diabetes. In this way, Yield to Life can play a role in increasing the quality of life not only for cyclists, but for everyone-for our generation and those to come.
"Yield to Life will engage in a vigorous awareness campaign to promote positive attitudes toward cyclists and replace any hostility that exists between motorists and cyclists with understanding, respect, and appreciation for all life on the road," he added. "Safety for every cyclist is the top priority of Yield to Life.
"Cycling is a healthy, life-affirming, environmentally-sound activity that adds value to anyone's life. Since cyclists' lives are often in motorists' hands, motorists must understand the vital role they play in a cyclist's safety."
According to the Foundation, Yield to Life's mission will be to:
1) Concentrate on road-rule education programs for motorists and cyclists alike through driver's education programs, public awareness movements and media campaigns in order to ensure a safer and more harmonious environment for all those on the road.
2) Engage in a hands-on educational program with target audiences that range from school assemblies to corporate conventions. Workshops will be created to arm cyclists with tips for navigating through traffic and tools for riding in a safe and responsible manner.
3) Work on a database for cyclists to find the best, the safest and the most accommodating roads for commuting and for recreation.