Evening light brings out Augusta cyclists

Wednesday, March 14, 2012 2:28 PM
Last updated Thursday, March 15, 2012 1:40 AM
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More cyclists will be on area roads with the extra daylight gained by last weekend’s time change, and enthusiasts are asking motorists and cyclists to take additional precautions.

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Andy Jordan (left) and Nate Zukas lead a pack of cyclists along 13th Street during a recent evening ride from a downtown bicycle shop.  CHRIS THELEN/STAFF
CHRIS THELEN/STAFF
Andy Jordan (left) and Nate Zukas lead a pack of cyclists along 13th Street during a recent evening ride from a downtown bicycle shop.

Randy DuTeau, the chairman of Wheel Movement CSRA, said by e-mail that cyclists should have flashing lights on their bikes and a headlight or front flashing light to make themselves as visible as possible. Motorists should exercise caution and provide cyclists at least three feet of space when passing.

“Regardless of what is on the road, motorists must be aware and drive in a way that allows them to react to unforeseen circumstances,” DuTeau said.

The Augusta area has seen its share of cycling-related wrecks recently. Three people have died in the past year in bike/vehicle incidents, with the latest occurring Feb. 5, when Gerald Hooker was killed in Aiken County. He and his wife were struck by a vehicle on Banks Mill Road while riding a tandem bike.

On Tuesday evening, a group of cyclists in spandex shorts strapped on helmets for their evening ride from Andy Jordan’s Bicycle Warehouse on 13th Street. Darren Owens said the evening rides average about six to seven people in the winter, but the groups swell as spring gives way to summer.

“It’s hard to believe it’s March already,” Owens said.

Ross Douglas said he looks forward to the opportunity each spring to spend evenings on the roads and “burn off some of the winter fat.”

“It’s really nice to get out more,” he said.

Comments (11) Add comment
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corgimom
38720
Points
corgimom 03/14/12 - 08:31 pm
1
0
I invite someone to drive on

I invite someone to drive on roads like the far end of Five Notch Rd in NA, pass a bicyclist with 3 feet to spare, and not hit an oncoming car.

I've said it before, a large number of roads in the CSRA are nothing more than paved wagon tracks. They were designed for mules and wagons, not automobiles, and certainly not automobiles and bikes. Sharp curves, blind hills, no shoulders, narrow bridges, a significant slope between the road and the narrow strip of dirt at the side- the roads are highly dangerous. When you consider that a car doing 55 mph is travelling nearly a mile per minute, the idea that a bicyclist isn't courting serious injury and death by riding on those roads is just foolhardy.

Every time there's a bike accident the cycle enthusiasts scream and holler and shout about "their rights" . I always think, that considering the terrible roads, it's a credit to the drivers of the CSRA that there aren't more horrific accidents. And the drivers aren't to blame for the design of the roads any more than the bike riders are. Those roads are dangerous for everyone, not just bicyclists. Accidents on those roads are common for car drivers, too.

Car versus bike- the car wins, every time.

corgimom
38720
Points
corgimom 03/14/12 - 08:35 pm
1
1
And is it just my poor

And is it just my poor eyesight, or does it look like not every one of those riders in the picture has a working headlight but they are riding down the road anyway?

corgimom
38720
Points
corgimom 03/14/12 - 08:37 pm
1
1
And look at the second

And look at the second picture- how would the car in the background be able to pass the bike riders with 3 feet to spare and not drive into oncoming traffic, since the riders are not riding single-file but riding several abrest?

wribbs
521
Points
wribbs 03/15/12 - 05:07 am
1
1
corgimon. You are right about

corgimon. You are right about the second picture; they are impeding the normal flow of traffic. I'm a cyclist too and when I ride in a group we always stay single file.

walrus4ever
354
Points
walrus4ever 03/15/12 - 06:34 am
1
2
Its all about "me" and my

Its all about "me" and my entitlement. We are expected to bend to the most vocal and with the constant referral to past accidents guess who gets the most press from the AC advocates. About every 3 weeks from the same source.

corgimom
38720
Points
corgimom 03/15/12 - 06:52 am
1
1
The pictures, especially

The pictures, especially picture #2, are a perfect example of why there are accidents- because many cyclists do dangerous things, like block the lane of traffic. Then they complain that drivers don't "respect" them.

john
1212
Points
john 03/15/12 - 08:00 am
2
0
I agree with you corgimom and

I agree with you corgimom and wribbs on pic 2. They should be single file on that road. On pic 1, they probably have headlights, but might not have turned them on since it was still light out. I guarantee they had their tail lights on. Im a cyclist and ride with a group on occasion. we are working to make sure we are doing our part to be safe and considerate. Pic 2 is a horrible example of cycling behavior. They story quotes Randy regarding what motorists must do, but I can tell you from first hand experience, Randy constantly talks about cyclists responsibilities as well.

bill.waters
18
Points
bill.waters 03/15/12 - 12:39 pm
1
1
Corgimom: The 3-foot passing

Corgimom:

The 3-foot passing rule is for the state of Georgia. In South Carolina, all that's required is a "safe" distance. While I sympathize and empathize with your frustration on the narrow portions of Five Notch, there is a solution. Simply wait until you have a safe margin to pass. Regard cyclists as you would any other slow, but legal obstruction, such as farm equipment, mule-and-buggy. etc.

bill.waters
18
Points
bill.waters 03/15/12 - 12:44 pm
1
1
SC and Georgia law also

SC and Georgia law also "allow" us to ride two abreast. We try to be courteous, and safe, when circumstances allow. If you don't believe me, you're welcome to check out the OCGA and SC. The O(fficial) C(ode) of G(eorgia) A(nnotated) is available on line, as are the SC Laws concerning cyclists.

walrus4ever
354
Points
walrus4ever 03/15/12 - 07:31 pm
0
0
I wonder what circumstances

I wonder what circumstances make being discourteous and unsafe acceptable. Obstruction is exactly right. Stomp your foot and proclaim your "legal" right to the asphalt , ride two abreast cuz the law says so on crowded roads, and get your name in the paper sooner or later.

twolane
191
Points
twolane 03/15/12 - 10:39 pm
0
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hahaha a pictures worth a
Unpublished

hahaha a pictures worth a thousand words...breaking the law and the one thing we drivers gripe about...not riding single file but riding two and three abreast BLOCKING THE ENTIRE LANE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!....now you see why bike riders get run over

bill.waters
18
Points
bill.waters 03/16/12 - 11:26 am
0
0
Walrus4ever: You miss the

Walrus4ever: You miss the point. I said that the law "allows" us to ride two abreast. I didn't say that it was safe or courteous. We know how you feel. Do you feel the way that we do? We are your accountants, doctors, optometrists. artists, sons, brothers, and fathers. Can't you exercise good judgment and not try to pass us when there are other cars approching? Or turn in front of us after looking straight at us?

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