RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – A group of bicyclists today wanted to show drivers they deserve respect, and equal rights on the road! But our cameras caught them breaking traffic laws not just once but several times.
About 150 bike riders participated Monday riding up Main Street and back down Cary Street. They're hoping that this ride will help raise awareness for bikers here in the city of Richmond.
It was supposed to be a celebration of equal rights between motorists and bicyclists. The group of bikers demonstrated through The Fan hoping to gain respect from motorists they claim don't always play fair.
"I get yelled at on a daily basis for 'Get out of the road kid! What are you doing?' Like, all kinds of obscenities for riding in the road," said bicyclist, Jason Aldrich. "Isn't that the law?"
The group wasn't looking for a fight, just a peaceful ride to show they can follow the rules and share the open road with drivers. Organizers passed out a pamphlet to all of the riders involved that warned them about Richmond Police and educating them about Richmond traffic laws.
"Do bicyclists have to obey the traffic laws?" asked NBC12's Evrod Cassimy.
"Yes. Yes," said ride organizer, Joe Bock. "You have to stop at the stop lights, you have to signal all your turns."
"Are you guys following the traffic rules?" asked Cassimy.
"Oh yeah!" added Aldrich.
But we caught these cyclists blatantly breaking the law several times throughout their ride. One rider rode his bike on the wrong side of the road. A few of them didn't stop at a light. Then, almost the entire group rolled through another red light holding up traffic.
"If someone breaks the law, then so be it," added Aldrich.
"We're going to stop at a stop light and look both ways but we're going to pedal through it," said cyclist Linwood Monk.
"That's blatantly breaking the law," said Cassimy.
"What, running a red light? Yeah?" said Monk.
"So you guys want to get respect even though you don't follow the laws by holding this type of silent protest today?" said Cassimy.
"Yeah, yes. That's the one," said Aldrich.
"You think that's going to work?" asked Cassimy.
"Yes," he added.
The riders hope that this bike ride will show the need and importance of bike lanes in the city of Richmond. As for now they plan to continue riding in the streets.
The group explained while many motorists have often seen them breaking traffic laws it's still important to share the road. They even added, they've been ticketed just like motorists when police catch them.