Keely Brooks shares her love of riding a bike through Southern Nevada Bicycle Coalition

The expression “it’s as easy as riding a bike” has serious meaning for Keely Brooks. The Southern Nevada Water Authority climate change research project coordinator wants to make riding a bike safe for everyone. It hasn’t been easy for Brooks who cringes whenever she hears of another cyclist who died from a senseless collision with a motorist.

Brooks, who is a founding member of the Southern Nevada Bicycle Coalition, was recently elected for her fifth term as the nonprofit’s president. Her objectives for SNVBC are to encourage more locals to start cycling for recreation or to commute, give individuals the confidence that they can ride safely in Southern Nevada, and for Las Vegas to host more cycling events to showcase Southern Nevada’s hidden breathtaking trails, and to attract more tourism to Las Vegas.

To accomplish SNVBC’s goals, Brooks has become the voice of the biking community by representing cyclists when urban planners, Clark County, or city officials are making decisions that can greatly impact cyclists. Brooks is adamant that SNVBC represents all cyclists whether they are part of the SNVBC, another cycling group, or a lone rider. One of the coalition’s achievements Brooks is most proud of is that SNVBC was integral in the county’s decision to change the rumble strip design on the well-traveled stretch of Blue Diamond Road (State Route 160); making it safer for both riders and drivers.

During her tenure as SNVBC president, Brooks made it a point to remind cyclists of safety tips and to obey traffic laws; especially being mindful of Nevada’s 3-foot passing law (NRS 484B.280). Although Nevada is one of 27 states that has a 3-foot law, many drivers are unaware of the law which states that motorists must give at least three feet of space when passing a bicyclist or move into a left lane if one is available.

“When a motorist and bike collide, the car always wins,” Brooks said.

To protect cyclists further, in 2017 Brooks spearheaded the More Space! Keep it Safe, Nevada initiative to help make drivers aware of Nevada’s 3-foot passing law. Brooks championed to get Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department the only device in the state that can measure the distance between a motorist and cyclist. She also organizes enforcement rides that include officials from LVMPD, Henderson Police Department, North Las Vegas Police Department and Nevada Highway Patrol to educate motorists. She hopes that through her work, combined with educational billboards, taxi ads, and guest appearances with local news outlets; she will help Southern Nevada accomplish the goal of having zero collisions between motorists and cyclists. That is Brooks’ ultimate goal.

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