In light of the cyclist hit-and-runĀ 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.

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8 COMMENTS

  1. It would be nice if bicycles had tags so we could video them and have them sought out when they break the law. I also think some county roads aren’t suitable for recreational cycling.

  2. There needs to be articles about how those coming out to the “rural” part of Williamson County continue to put themselves and cars in unsafe situations. I pass riders daily on roads that are totally unsafe for them to be riding on – winding, hilly county roads where there the sides of the lanes are at the edge of the road. Cars, traveling at the posted speed, come around turns or hop hills only to find 1-3 or more riders in the lane. I have come upon as many as 18 riders casually riding along with 3-4 riders in each “row” – they are not riding single style. Many of these riders do not live in the area, but instead ride in the “rural area” because the scenery is beautiful. Yes, it is; that’s why we bought property out here. The increasing number of riders is becoming a nuisance and increasingly dangerous situation. If the road cannot accommodate a bike lane, the bicycle does not need to be creating these dangerous conditions.

  3. Yes, they NEED identification on their bikes. Visible identification. I do not condone the behavior of anyone that hits and runs. But, again, yes, there are plenty of bicyclists out there that think they OWN the road. And they are not friendly with the space. I suspect there are plenty of great riders out there, but it only takes one to make a mess out of another person’s life. I have had a close one. And I do not need that! It simply does not seem logical to have slow moving vehicles mixed with high speed vehicles. The Amish know a lot about that. They die from that nonsense. My brother is somewhat alive still. Bicycles and cars do not mix just like horse drawn buggies and cars do not mix. I thought we had advanced a bit from the Amish. Perhaps not mentally? I would like to think I have.

  4. See that top photo you posted? That group of cyclists on that country road? The road with the double yellow meaning it’s UNSAFE to pass. A car can only go as fast as the slowest cyclist which means multiple vehicles will be backed up behind this group. This is a disaster waiting to happen.

  5. So… I’m one of those people that thinks too much. And maybe I see further than I should here… but in response to a couple of the Ten Things Every Cyclist Wants Drivers To Know:

    As for #1 on the list, cyclists make that decision before they get on the road in the first place. The simple fact that you say #1 is not your goal, means you are fully aware that you are doing #1 on the list all over the road. Pun intended? Yet you continue.

    For #2 on the list, like #1, bicyclists make the decision to put people at risk before they get on the road.

    #5. You decide who you are at the moment you decide to get on roads that you know block traffic/put people, including yourself, in danger because of your activity. That is, not while you’re on the road, it’s the moment you decide to put your bike on that road at the very beginning of the ride that you make this decision. Perhaps we need to get our thoughts in the correct order?

    #8. Is simply hilarious… golf in the middle of the road. Reminds me of what I see people do with phones… stop in the road to send texts. Our roads are perhaps becoming state parks/city parks?

    #9. The majority of people are like you? My conscious does not allow me to ride a bike in any road out of respect for others and my own well being.

    http://williamsonsource.com/hit-run-tip-of-the-iceberg-for-cycling-safety-concerns/

    The simple fact that these topics even exist means there are problems with road safety regarding these matters. This issue is about mixing fast moving vehicles with slow vehicles. The Amish know the danger, yet they continue at a high cost. I guess this advanced society is not as advanced as I had thought. I’m very surprised at this.

  6. I just took a 15 minute drive through Williamson County. I saw 10-15 speeding vehicles. A minivan took a right at a red light without stopping. A car changed lanes while going through an intersection. Three people were texting while driving. Three other people changed lanes without using their turn signals. A pickup truck took a right on a red light where there is a sign saying “no turn on red”.

    I saw zero cyclists.

    Please tell me again about how the cyclists are such a horrible danger.

  7. Perfect points (Jackie) adding bicycles to that mess of texting and driving etc is a disaster in progress. By the way, texting and driving is illegal. Among the other things. There is a reason those things are illegal. For example, people were/are careless with those activities, thus they became illegal. Bicyclists are at that stage. A law needs to be passed so that bicyclists are NOT allowed in fast moving traffic.

    Yesterday (7/15/17) my wife and I were driving. A bicyclist came from what had to have been a red light. It was certainly yellow. Our light was green. Furthermore, he was in the outside lane (fast lane) and wanted to immediately shift his way to the slow lane. He confused my wife as he made his way towards us and crossed in front of us. On top of running a yellow light, he should NOT have been in the lane he was in in the first place. And he certainly should not have been on that road in the first place.

    Some time ago I witnessed a very similar situation occur at a much busier intersection where two bicyclists ran stop lights and made their way through traffic. Cars stopped and no one was hurt, but they caused panic in traffic.

    In another situation, a man decided to leave the shoulder and ride in the traffic lane. The speed limit was 55mph. That’s the one I almost hit because he unexpectedly made his way out next to my car. Ride at your own risk, but I cannot be responsible for that kind of nonsense/unintelligent behavior. I pulled over a little ways past him and took video in case you don’t believe someone would ride in a 55mph lane.

    In all these situations the bicyclists were dressed in gear, and their bicycles were NOT likely from Walmart.

    We throw fits about texting and driving in the middle of the road, but golfing and driving in the road is perfectly fine. The only thing that doesn’t make me laugh about this is the idea that I personally could get entangled in this nonsense.

    And please note that I’m only speaking from a safety perspective here. Not taxpayer perspective. Texting and driving etc needs to stop just like cancer needs to stop.

    By the way, I have friends that ride bicycles. They know my stand on this: “… stay off roads that do not have bike lanes… do not compromise your level of intelligence with your bike… !” Even little children can follow the law, but even adults cannot prevent all accidents, mishaps, confusions, surprises etc.

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