Motorists urged to use caution near bicyclists

Published 12:00 am Thursday, April 3, 2014

Andalusia residents Pam and Guy Wyche are excited about this weekend’s tandem bike event in Andalusia, but they also want to remind motorists to be mindful of bicyclists on the roads.

“Most of the people we come across are really nice about it, but I think a lot of people just don’t know what to do when they run up on bicyclists,” Guy Wyche said.

Guy’s wife, Pam, said there are actually laws that govern how bicyclists and motorists should interact on the road.

“By law, you need to treat it like any other vehicle on the road,” she said. “You need to wait until it is safe to pass. You have to have at least three feet of passing distance around the bicycle.”

Pam also said, for motorists who wonder why the bicyclists don’t simply pull off the road for traffic, it is because that is not how the bikes were designed.

“These aren’t children’s toys,” she said. “In a lot of cases they are very expensive. Most of them were not made to go off road. Now, if it comes down to it, I’ll go in the ditch before I’ll face down a 2-ton car, but that’s how we wreck and get hurt.”

The Wyches said if motorists will just remember to treat bicyclists like any other slow-moving vehicle, the road will be a lot safer for both groups.

“We’re just like a big old tractor in the road,” she said. “Just wait until cars aren’t coming and give us enough room when you pass us.”

Bicyclists from near and far will be Covington County Friday through Sunday for the annual Alabama Tandem Weekend, being hosted this year by the City of Andalusia.