MS150 - CAUTION - Waller Drama continues
Hate to continue to be the bearer of bad news, but I wanted to pass along this message that came across my social networks (print screen also copied below):
"Waller County officials in writing to the MS Society has confirmed that none of it officers will be assisting MS150 riders at intersections this year. They will allow law enforcement officers from other areas to direct traffic in these areas where Waller officers are normally positioned. They will not ticket riders following these officers instructions. They will have Waller officers out in full force along the routes writing tickets to riders who cross the middle stripe, not allowing vehicles to pass, not stopping at locations where no officer is present or anything else that they can find. Also they will ticket any SAG or MS Support vehicles that cross the solid center lines, do not move over to allow opposing traffic to pass, or stop where required. So we told to pass this along to our teams and other riders we know. Be very careful how you ride when in Waller county. All routes pass through this area, so it effects all MS 150 riders."
Obviously you should ALWAYS follow the rules of the road, but let's all be particularly cautious when passing through Waller.
My team will be riding from Rhodes; looking at the MS150 Day 1 route, we will be riding in Waller on 90, FM362, and FM529 until we cross the Brazos River around Burleigh ~8/9 miles before Bellville.
Looking at the other starts:
The Tully route will cross into Waller ~1 mile past the intersection with Katy Hockley Cutoff Rd on 529 (Freeman Rd) and will be in Waller until 529 crosses the Brazos (like the Rhodes Route).
Waller Stadium is actually slightly outside Waller County, but I think it's safest to assume that you're in Waller until 159 crosses the Brazos (~10 miles before Bellville).
Ride safe y'all...
Yeah, let's be extra cautious through Waller. If you go to jail, you don't always come out.
I guess the sheriff and this judge that is being vocal are about to start running for re-election soon and need something "good" to deliver to their constituents.
If you are starting at Rhodes or Tully, there really are not that many stop signs on the route and most should be directed by some type of LEO.
AFAIK, 159 has a full shoulder for the Waller start.
To be honest though, I am not worried about anything. For the most part, I follow the rules of the road and most riders I see do the same. I know that doesn't mean everyone does, but I can only control what I do.
Ya know...the cyclists only have themselves to blame for this. Now before you get upset, hear me out. Cyclists have been riding in that area for decades and each year sees more and more and more and more. On some of the busier weekend days on certain routes, a local may have to wait up to 20 to 30 minutes just to be able to get out of their own driveway. And of course, you cannot deny that many of them, not all, but many, disobey the laws, they litter, they stop and piss in people's front yards, they clog the roads and they yell at drivers. Face it, they've raped this area with impunity for years and finally the locals have had enough. It's not surprising at all and frankly, I'm surprised it took this long for this to happen. Yes, I've ridden out there many times and have seen the behaviors first hand.
Raped? Really? Thatís a pretty extreme word.
Originally Posted by Durt
The only time I have seen bike congestion so thick that it would prevent someone from leaving their driveway for 1-2 minutes was during the MS150. Not 20-30 minutes. I know there are other training rides that take place for the MS150, but I cannot imagine there were as many riders out there as there were for the MS150. I know that there are not as many for the Tour de Cure.
What do the residence do when the county is working on the road and a lane is shut down for several days? An organized ride will affect a section or road for what? Less than an hour on an early Saturday or Sunday morning?
I am not saying that people havenít done the things that you have said but I have never seen it personally and I have ridden out there many times as well. The only trash I remember seeing were burger wrappers and beer bottles. I donít think that is what cyclist are eating and drinking on rides.
I do think that all riders should know proper etiquette. They should stay as far right as possible and be aware of your surroundings, but shouldnít feel threatened by a car either. That is the only time I have raised my hand to say WTH at a driver. Yelling doesnít do anything if you get buzzed by a car.
To paint the broad brush that it is all the cyclist fault and they are raping the area is absurd.
Two cyclist killed by driver in Waller Co 3/25/2017:
When Craig Randall Tippit, 37, left his home Saturday to train in Waller County for an upcoming triathlon, his wife Stephanie said it felt like any other weekend when he'd leave for what's usually an uneventful bike ride.
Craig, a father of two young boys and native Houstonian, was preparing for an Ironman triathlon this April.
"He loved to ride," Stephanie said.
On Saturday, he and dozens of other bicyclists were in Waller County training for the PB MS150 and other competitions. The ride quickly turned tragic when Victor Kevin Tome, 25, allegedly plowed through the cyclists head on in a blue Dodge Stratus.
Tippit died at the scene along with 48-year-old Keri Blanchard Guillory, who was also training.
"He was the best father and husband," Stephanie said, as she tried fighting back tears. "He put his family first and would do anything for us, and now he's gone."
Craig and Stephanie were high school sweethearts, meeting when they were about 14.
Years later, Craig would asked Stephanie's father for her hand in marriage - which wasn't an easy task for Craig, who let his nerves briefly get the best of him.
He sat with his future bride's father, Rusty Satterlee, from 10 p.m. until 1 a.m., delaying mentioning his desire to pop the question to the man's daughter.
"We were sitting and watching the U.S. play the Russians in hockey, and it was getting late," Satterlee said. "I told him that he need to leave so I could go to bed, and he finally managed to (ask for her hand)."
Their marriage celebrated 12 years.
Julie Guillory said her son and daughter-in-law, Keri Guillory, loved to ride together. "It's just unbelievable," she said late Saturday. "She is just a wonderful spirit, good to everybody, kind to everybody, she didn't have one flaw, to me."
Keri had grown up in Houston, then attended Louisiana State University and worked at LV Shipping & Transport. She had two sons and a grandson.
A third rider who dove into a ditch to avoid the car was taken to Memorial-Hermann Katy Hospital.
After the fatal crash, Tome fled on foot, leaving his badly damaged blue Dodge Stratus, Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper Erik Burse said.
Tome later turned himself over to police.
Waller County District Attorney Elton Mathis said Tome now faces two counts of murder, as well as counts of burglary, aggravated assault and accident causing serious bodily injury.
Officials have not confirmed whether or not drugs or alcohol played a role in the accident.
Witnesses said the crash seemed to be deliberate because after he smashed into Guillory, he drove about 80 yards farther before hitting Tippit.
Paddy Shrimpton rode Saturday with the large group, but he was farther ahead and didn't witness the tragedy.
On Sunday, he returned to Waller County to ride in a "Red White & Bike" cycling event to raise money for bicycles for children.
"There are a lot of nervous riders. The mood was very somber, but there seemed to be extra care and vigilance by drivers today," he said.
"The tragic thing is it takes something tragic to resonate with people," Shrimpton said. "But how long will it resonate?"
Cycling is a particular "political hot potato" in Waller County, where law enforcement and much of the public don't like urban expansion to the suburbs and activities like cycling that follow, Shrimpton said.
The sheriff's office often targets cyclists for tickets and fines, cyclists said. Shrimpton said he was ticketed there not long ago for walking his bike across a red traffic light when there was no traffic nearby.
"I like to say you will be protected rather than you will be ticketed," he said.
John Long, executive director of BikeHouston, said he believes Waller County is welcoming overall.
The "irony" is cyclists are attracted to the area because the roads are less traveled and it has good training grounds for the MS 150.
"A lot of people feel with country roads the traffic is lighter and it's safer," Long said.
Then tragedy strikes.
"It's a tight cycling community and it affects everyone in it," Long said. "Everyone sees themselves in that situation. I know those roads very well. It's a tremendous loss."
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