Drivers encouraged to share road during large bike ride - NBC12 - Richmond, VA News

Drivers encouraged to share road during large bike ride

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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -

The Martin's Tour of Richmond is aimed at making the area more safe and inviting to cyclists. The event is not a race. It's just a ride.

Streets, for the most part, will be open to traffic but drivers may have to share the road occasionally.

No matter the weather, Fred Gerson is out on his bike. Saturday morning he'll clip in for a 102 miler with hundreds of other riders.

"I think it's great," said Gerson.

He also thinks Richmond's first Gran Fondo, which means "big ride" in Italian, is a great lead up to Richmond's International Cycling race in 2015

There are three separate rides for Saturday's event- one for every skill level.

- The 102 mile ride begins at 7:00 a.m. at the Richmond Raceway.

- The 59-miler starts at 10:00 a.m. at the J. Sargeant Reynolds Goochland campus.

- The 29 mile ride starts at 12:30 p.m. at Patrick Henry High School in Ashland.

This is a ride and not a race. With the exception of a few short closures, the roads will remain open to traffic-just one more reason event director Megan Schultz encourages both drivers and cyclists to be careful.

Sports Backers will be putting out about 150 signs along the route to warn drivers that cyclists will be going through.

Safety for us is our main priority with any event we do," said Shultz. "We want our participants to be safe and vehicles traveling the course to be safe. That is absolutely our main priority.

It's a good message for Gerson who just had a close call today.

"Yes I just had one this morning crossing Huguenot Bridge," Gerson added.

Police from seven counties and Richmond will be out at certain intersections making sure Gerson and all the other cyclists make it through the ride safely. Again this is not a race -just a ride.

Some of the money raised will go towards a sports backers program that is committed to making the Richmond area more bike and pedestrian friendly.

For more information on the ride, click here.

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