Weatherford Democrat

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July 5, 2013

Though longer, Peach Pedal organizers hope routes safer

The Peach Pedal Bike Ride that annually attracts more than 2,000 cyclists will roll on as usual during the Peach Festival on July 13, but on somewhat different routes.

Organizers have made changes to this year’s ride to improve safety.

“The biggest change is the beginning and the end of all routes will move off Bethel Road,” said Brent Baker, ride director. “Now they will go down BB Fielder Road and then to Tin Top Road.”

All routes – now 70 miles, 47 miles, 34 miles and 11 miles – will travel through the Harmony Community off Tin Top Road before connecting with last year’s routes on Old Dennis Road.

Another minor change: a short jaunt on Cox Road changed north of I-20 on the 70-mile route.

Beyond that, the rest of the routes are unchanged, traveling through Dennis, Bennett, Millsap, Cool, Brock and Southwest Weatherford. The start and finish remains at Weatherford High School.

“With road work on Bethel Road, we felt like we needed to make this change to improve the safety of our riders,” said Baker. “Even though we have staggered starts over a 30-minute time frame, 2,000 riders is a lot of traffic essentially at once. BB Fielder is in much better shape to handle the first part of the ride, and there are fewer cars and trucks on Tin Top. Even though this is adding about seven miles to most of our routes, I think this will be a welcome change for the riders.”

Baker said about half of the riders typically follow the longest route, this year 70 miles.

“No matter what we do with the route, we couldn’t do this without the Weatherford Police Department and the Parker County Sheriff’s Reserves. They keep our riders safe, and that’s our biggest priority.”

The 25th annual Peach Pedal is a project of the Weatherford Chamber of Commerce and the Weatherford College Foundation.

Online registration runs through July 11 and costs $30 per rider. Registration the day of the ride is $35. To register, see the route map or for other information, go to www.peachpedal.com.

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