Cyclists take precautions as they bike to work

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Before the sun fully rises, cyclists Julia Coussens and Craig Waldron, along with their cycling friends, head to work in the Energy Corridor on two wheels.

May is National Bike to Work Month, but these cycling enthusiasts have been doing it for years.

"It's amazing. We get two rides a day," said Coussens. "You're out with the nature, you get fresh air, your attitude when you go into work is awesome."

They ride trails through Terry Hershey Park to avoid street traffic, but collisions like those we've covered recently on Eyewitness News -- a cyclist hit by a dump truck and another hit by the light rail last year -- combined with their own experiences make street safety their number one concern.

RELATED: Bicyclist killed in crash with dump truck in Houston's Museum District
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ABC13's Pooja Lodhia reports from the Museum District where a female bicyclist died in a crash with a dump truck.

The cyclists ride together to make themselves more visible.

"On average, automobiles don't understand how close they are to us," says Waldron. "I experience aggressive drivers, but I think the bulk of it is simply drivers who have no ill intent, but don't have a perspective of space, and how close they are to us."

The City of Houston requires drivers to stay three feet from cyclists while passing them, but Waldron is hoping drivers will consider a little more space for everyone's safety.

"I have the choice to ride into work or not, but there are those people in our community, who are usually in the lower income areas, they don't have that choice, right? They're riding to work to feed their family," Waldron said.

The group is instantly nervous when even one of them strays into traffic alone, Coussens says, with good reason.
"Everybody's in a hurry to get where they're going obviously, and I just think we're similar to motorcyclists because we're a little bit invisible to them," Coussens said.

Here's more information about cycling in the Energy Corridor and throughout Houston:
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