The Hotter’n Hell 100 is fast approaching which means the presence of more cyclists on the roadway. The Wichita Falls Police Department reminds motorists to share the roadway and be aware. Here are a few safety tips to remember:
- Bicyclists have the rights and duties of other vehicle operators:(551.101)
Yes, this means you have to stop at stop signs and red lights, but cars are required to yield right-of-way to a bicycle when appropriate, just as to any other vehicle.
- Ride near the curb and go in the same direction as other traffic: (551.103)
Near the curb is subjective (we recommend leaving a cushion of about three feet) but the law gives a cyclist the right to take the lane when necessary for safety.
- At least one hand on the handlebars (two are safer): (551.102c)
One when signaling but two when turning works well.
- Use hand and arm signals: (545.107)
Point the way you are going, let the other operators know what you want to do.
- One rider per saddle: (551.102a)
Don’t let your friends share your bike while riding unless you’re both on a tandem.
- You may ride two abreast as long as you don’t impede traffic: (551.103c)
Racing and taking the lane are special cases.
- Must have a white light on the front and a red reflector or red light on the rear (for riding at night): (551.104b)
The light is primarily so people can see you coming from the side, where their headlights do not shine on your reflectors. The law, effective as of Sept. 2001, states that a red light can replace a red reflector.
- Brakes capable of making the braked wheel skid: (551.104a)
Don’t test that front brake to see if the wheel will skid while riding, especially downhill.