WFPD and cyclists give tips on bike safety

WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - There are less than three months from the Hotter'N Hell Hundred and cyclists are getting on their bikes before the sun comes up to train.

Officers with WFPD and riders want people driving cars and riding bikes to be careful.

Charlie Zamastil is the director of the Midwestern State University cycling team.

He and other cyclists are training early to beat the heat.

"I lead a ride four days a week that starts anywhere from six to seven a.m.," said Zamastill.

"It is not uncommon for a couple of us to get up early in the morning and get in a ride at like 5 or 6 a.m.," said Amy Floyd, a member of the MSU cycling team.

Most of the time riders will share the road with drivers.

"You do a lot in sharing the responsibility," said Floyd.  "As much as it is their responsibility to look out for our safety and obey all the rules it is ours as well."

Wichita Falls police officer, Jeff Li has seen first-hand rules being broken with drivers and riders.

"Motorists can become impatient," said Li.

"They don't allow enough space between themselves and the cyclists that that's where we come to have issues with cyclists maybe hitting the vehicle or vehicle hitting the cyclists."

One way cyclists can stay safe on busy roads is by wearing reflective gear.

Texas law says cyclists must have reflectors on the bike and ride with the flow of traffic, which includes stopping at stop signs and red lights.

Most riders will also have blinking lights to draw attention to themselves.

Another tip for cyclists is trained on less crowded roads.

"Knowing routes is very important so we don't get caught in too much traffic," said Ramon Rueda, a member of the MSU cycling team.

Zamastill said following the rules can save lives.

"That is a person you're dealing with," said Zamastill.  "That is someone's mother, daughter, son, brother, or husband.  Whatever inconvenience you might feel or be slowed down by a cyclists 10 to 20 seconds that is nothing compared to a loss of a lifetime with that person."

There is an HHH training group that practices three times a week that leaves from downtown Wichita Falls. For more information, click here.

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