How often have you come across bicyclists as you drive on our major highways, like Crosstown, SPID or the Harbor Bridge?
Some might think bicyclists are safer on the streets than on highways, but at least one cyclist likes to ride anywhere the law allows. That even includes busy highways and freeways.
The law states that, as long as the cyclist is on the right-hand lane, motorists must follow or pass, no matter the speed.
Gene Sartin from Dallas was in town visiting our area, and taking to the highway on his bicycle. He is an avid cyclist, and says he knows the rules of the road.
To the surprise of dozens of other motorists, Sartin was cycling on the right-hand lane of a very busy Crosstown expressway, and onto Interstate 37. He eventually went on the Harbor Bridge as well.
"I take a lane, you take a lane. What's the difference? You're going ten miles an hour on your car, I'm going seven miles an hour up the bridge on my bicycle," Sartin said. "I still have right of way. I can't be fearful of what I don't know, and what I don't know is what people behind me are doing; and if they decide to run over me, then so be it."
While Sartin may have been peddling at seven miles an hour, traffic on the Harbor Bridge was zooming by at 55 miles an hour.
Department of Public Safety Trooper Charlie Ramirez took a look at a video of Sartin riding on the Harbor Bridge, and couldn't believe his eyes. While the cyclist didn't break any state laws while on our highways, he did violate a city ordinance by riding his bike across the Harbor Bridge.
"From the stand point of being safe, with all the distractions that people do while driving a car today, you know to me, it's a hazard," Ramirez said. "Eventually somebody is going to get hurt or make it cause a crash."
Jessy Deleon also knows the rules of the road, but on a Sunday six years ago, he nearly lost his life. He says taking to the streets on your bike is risky enough without heading onto the highway.
"In my case, it was the driver not paying attention, so it goes both ways, and I think that a lot of it is being aware of your surroundings," Deleon said. "That's what I tell people all the time. And if you're going to ride a bike, wear a helmet."
A word to the wise from someone who knows.
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