In light of the cyclist hit-and-run caught on video, the issue of safe cycling and sharing-the-road is on everyone’s mind.
But for members of the Harpeth Bicycle Club, which has more than 800 members in Williamson County, the road toward finding support for raising awareness and increasing safety has been long and bumpy.
The club routinely organizes rides around Williamson County, and like the cyclist Greg Goodman who caught the hit-and-run on GoPro, it has long encouraged members to document dangerous behavior by motorists.
The incident occurred on the Natchez Trace Parkway in Williamson County. Goodman was riding with his friend Tyler Noe, who was hit by a Volvo. The driver has since been charged.
WARNING: This video contains explicit language.
For months, club members have lobbied local leaders to pay attention to the serious dangers that cyclists face. The club’s motto is to encourage “safe, friendly and fun” riding.
“There are some people who just seem to be hostile at times as drivers to cyclists,” Stan Davey, HBC President, said. “It has been an ongoing effort by us to increase safety. Look, I am a driver, too, I drive to work. We have to share the road.”
Davey, who knows of both Goodman and Tyler Noe (the cyclist hit last weekend on Natchez Trace) from the cycling crowd in Williamson County, has led the pack with other HBC members in an organized effort to speak about better safety and sharing the road at county commission meetings and other county municipality meetings.
What they want, Davey said, are bike lanes on the most dangerous and well-ridden roads; but if that is cost prohibitive, at the very least better signage; and all-around better awareness, on both sides.
It is a two-way street, Davey said, figuratively and literally. Cyclists are just as responsible for knowing the rules of the road– and respecting them– as drivers. Drivers could be better informed of the three-foot rule, which is a Tennessee law that requires drivers to give cyclists three-feet as they pass. Cyclists, on the other hand, need to be sure they obey all the rules of the road– proper signaling, proper stopping and proper observation of the rules so that they can safely share the road.
“We have had some positive feedback, but for the most part not a lot of support from leaders,” Davey said. “A member of the sheriff’s department who was an avid runner recently began riding with us, and the Sheriff’s Department has been helpful.”
Goodman is far from the only cyclist riding with a GoPro these days. Davey said many of his members started riding with cameras to document just the kind of driver behavior shown in Goodman’s footage.
Sheriff Jeff Long told club members that, if caught on camera, his office would seek out, warn and educate those drivers who break the three-foot rule, according to Davey.