• Wed September 14 2005
  • Posted Sep 14, 2005
Cyclists Say Cars Don't Move Over DES MOINES, Iowa -- It's been more than a day since police said a driver came forward in a deadly hit-and-run, but investigators still haven't talked to him. Brian Shaver, of Ankeny, died Sunday after his bicycle was hit by a car. Polk County investigators said they have talked with the driver's lawyer, but they have yet to talk with the driver himself. Shaver's funeral is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Thursday at the Ankeny Funeral Home. Shaver's death is frightening for many cyclists. At least three times in the last year, a central Iowa cyclist has been killed when a vehicle hit the biker. Cycling enthusiasts say the problem is with the edge of the road where they ride and the fact that a lot of cars don't move over. Justin Rumley's bike has traveled over several Iowa roads. "People are always happy to see you. They wave at you and I wave back at anybody," Rumley said. Rumley is an endurance rider who loves his sport, but sometimes he gets nervous. "After losing a friend recently, I shudder when cars come too close or I see an oncoming car," he said. The cycling community buried several biking enthusiasts in the last 12 months. The accidents happened on cross-country rides and county roads. "He specifically rode on those routes because there was a lot less traffic," said Brian Shaver's widow, Sheryl Shaver, of his riding. Sheryl Shaver said he was squeezing in a ride before a vacation. Two months ago, Justin was run off the road, too. "Up here by the brown mailbox is where the semi truck took me into the ditch. Right there," Rumley said. "He was on me so fast, all I could do is go into the ditch." Rumley said there is no shoulder in the area where he was run off the road. Cyclists who pedal hundreds of miles a day want to share the road. "Just move over. Most people pass us and don't even cross the enter line and that doesn't leave enough room," Rumley said. Cyclists are starting a campaign to line the busiest biking roads with signs warning drivers. "If we can't get the local authorities to help us and purchase the signs, maybe we can start a fundraiser and raise the money ourselves to get them," said Keith Wells, a cycling safety instructor. Cyclists who ride for long distances say most nature trails are so busy that it is even more dangerous to bike there because of strollers, dog leashes and inline skaters. So they usually use county roads when they're not very busy -- in the early morning. Riders already asked Ankeny officials to help install signs to warn drivers and they are planning to ask other cities to do the same.

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