Many bicyclists are hitting Texoma's roads training for the Hotter'N Hell Hundred. The ride is just a few weeks away, and motorists are urged to use caution. But it's not just up to drivers to make sure everyone stays safe on the roads.
Bicyclists have the same rights as motorists on Texas roads, but that means they also have the same responsibilities. Jarvis Polvado, owner of Texoma Cycling Center said, "There's a few drivers out there that give drivers a bad name. Well, there's a few cyclists out there that give cyclists a bad name by not obeying the traffic laws."
If cyclists don't follow the rules, they could pay the price. Texas DPS Safety Education Trooper Tony Fulton said, "The transportation code does allow for someone riding a bike to receive a traffic citation...just as if you were in a car."
Fulton added that although cyclists have the same responsibilities, drivers don't always see them on the road. Avid cyclist Benito Torres knows that first hand. "I'm riding along one day and I hear these tires screeching really loud behind me and I look behind me and there's this car coming up close," he said.
To stay safe and avoid accidents, Torres wears white or neon clothing. That makes him more visible to drivers who aren't fully alert. One thing Torres doesn't wear are earbuds that go to a music device, which is something all cyclists are urged to avoid.
"You know, people may be honking at them or people may be hollering at them for whatever reason, but if they have their music in their ears cranked up, you may never hear what's going on around you," Polvado said.
Cyclists and motorists are urged to think beyond the law so everyone can stay safe in the weeks leading up to Hotter'N Hell,
"Around here we have a lot of increased bicycle activity, so we just need to be aware of it," Fulton said. "You know, watch out for them; just be cautious. Be courteous of each other."
One way to be courteous is by helping eliminate road hazards. This can be done by keeping your pets on a leash when you're out walking them and not throwing trash on the roadway.
You can watch our coverage of the Hotter'N Hell Hundred Saturday morning, August 25th right here on Newschannel Six. We will have live team coverage all morning from the start of the race until the first person crosses the finish line.
Michael Aaron, Newschannel 6