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Bike Tour honors lives lost and focuses on safety - KOAM TV 7

Bike Tour honors lives lost and focuses on safety

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Cyclists from across the four states travel along Route 66, and remember two cyclists that lost their lives less than a month ago.

Beth Bass has been a part of the mother road bike tour for 4 years. 

Beth Bass, cyclist: "I'm a big advocate of the trails and I love to bike ride."

Bikers could choose from five different routes ranging from 15 to 100 miles.. many spanning from Carthage all the way to Oklahoma.

Dee Wyrick, with the Joplin Trails Coalition, says the tour brings bikers from all over the four states who want to see the mother road and all her glory. 

Wyrick:"Just the nostalgia with Route 66. It draws people in. It's the mother road."

Safety is always a big part of the tour, as riders are required to wear a helmet, and multiple rest stops were set up so they could stop and check their gear and get things like food and water.

Bass:"It would be really awesome if we could have some nice trails to go on to 66 and see all the countryside.

Kansas and Missouri want their sections of Route 66 to be a designated U.S. bicycle route.. that would allow each state to map and post signs..adding another level of safety and visual cue that those on bicycles are on the road. 

Maggie Allen, cyclist:"Definitely keep an eye out because like I said, we're the vulnerable ones. We have to make sure we look everywhere we go, use signals for turning, and just keep an eye out."

This years event had a profound meaning as well.. as many cyclists passed by the ghost bike in Galena, Kansas.. placed to honor the lives of two German men who died on Route 66 in early may. 

Wyrick:"We had a map that people could pick up, they could look at, and it pin points the ghost bike. There have been flowers left from even non riders, so... It's something to ponder on."

One rider thinks it shows how big an issue safety can be.

Allen:"I mean, it's certainly sad. People definitely need to be aware of cyclists. You know, we're still on the road just like everyone else, and we have a whole lot less protection, so watch out, slow down, and keep an eye out for us."

Bass:"It's just really sad that that had to happen here...or anywhere."

All funds raised during the tour go to the Joplin Trails Coalition, and are used to maintain walking and bike trails.

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