Mark Beauchamp is the traffic superintendent and bicycle coordinator for Wichita Falls and he has some tips on how to stay safe during Hotter’N Hell.
One of the first safety tips you need to know as a beginner cyclist is: obey all traffic laws while out on the roadway.
“It’s important to be in the right place on the roadway so drivers can expect to see you,” Beauchamp said.
And to treat your bike like you would a car, but you also need to be seen.
Add a rear flashing red light — as well as a white headlight for early morning and evening rides.
Do not forget those bright, vibrant colors.
“Avoid those blacks, dark blues and things that fit in with the scenery. Makes it harder to be seen,” Beauchamp said.
Hand signals and certain verbal cues also come in handy. When you pass, communicate where you are coming from to pedestrians.
For a right turn while out and about, stick out your right hand or put the left hand straight up. For a left turn, stick your left hand out. To stop, point your hand down.
And specifically for Hotter’N Hell — do not forget to prep in numbers.
“Hotter’N Hell morning is not the time to be introduced to pack riding,” Beauchamp said. “When you’re with 12,000 other cyclist riding wheel to wheel, that’s not the time to learn it.”
Because you need to learn how to ride close and learn to pay attention to other riders.
Cyclists in the city host several daily rides to learn this skill.
“The good thing about riding in groups around here is cyclists in this city are so wonderful to bring everybody along and get them up to speed,” Beauchamp said.
On Thursdays, at around 6:30 p.m., several meet in the parking lot of the MPEC for Thermal Thursdays.
As a driver, it is important to know that cyclists have an equal right to the road way and always give them at least three feet if you pass them.