Sand Springs Drivers, Cyclists Meet To Hash Out Differences

Monday, August 26th 2013, 11:09 pm

Wednesday night is the night many Green Country bicyclists look forward to, and the night just as many Sand Springs motorists dread.

"Every Wednesday night, I come home that way a it's a whole group of them and they're all riding, not two abreast, four and five abreast," said Sand Springs resident Kay Henry.

The two groups collided Monday night over the best way to share the road.

Each Wednesday, about 250 riders cycle north on Highway 97, up into the rolling hills of Osage county and around Shell Creek Road. It's a more remote part of Sand Springs, but has many homes and residential communities.

Residents there say the cyclists ride in packs, making it dangerous for everyone on the road.

8/14/2013 Related Story: Feud Heating Up Between Cyclists, Drivers Over Sand Springs Roads

Some drivers say they've been cut off on the road and threatened by cyclists, who were on the Wednesday night ride.

"If you stop and they're behind you, they flip you off, they cuss at you, they go around you, because they don't want to stop," Henry said.

Another big complaint from the residents is that the cyclists don't come to a complete stop at stop signs.

Cyclist Sidney Flack said that does happen, but said it's a safety measure only used if the cyclists are in a large group.

"When everyone is stopping and unclipping and stopping and starting is when bikes pile up on each other, when we wreck amongst ourselves," Flack said.

The bicyclists said some drivers are judging the overall cycling group, when it's just a select few riders who are disobeying the law.

"What I would ask, please don't paint all cyclists by the ones you see," said one cyclist. "We do try to stay out of your way, we don't want to get hit, we're not trying to dare you or anything else, we're just trying to stay out of your way as best we can".

An Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper answered questions and said the motorists are also aggressive.

He said, last week, charges were filed against a man who admitted to intentionally running a cyclist off the highway in a fit of road rage.

Cyclists at the meeting said they're harassed on a regular basis.

The one thing both sides can agree on is that a change must take place.

"It's not that I want them to stop, I want them to treat our neighborhood with courtesy, I want them to treat us with courtesy," said Dean Mayor.

"Just listen to each other," cyclist Brian Potter said. "We're really both drivers. It's a cooperative activity and when traffic becomes competitive, nobody wins. It all grinds to a halt."

The motorists have asked the cyclists to ride in smaller groups or reverse their route. The cyclists said they're willing to make changes and will do what they can to relay those requests to the other cyclists who didn't make it to the meeting.