• July 22, 2014

Cycling in Cove: Pluses and minuses

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Posted: Friday, March 22, 2013 4:30 am | Updated: 11:53 am, Wed Jul 16, 2014.

Each year, hundreds of cyclists ride through Copperas Cove and the surrounding area, which is well known for cycling.

“Essentially, it is just location,” said David Landmann, a Copperas Cove cyclist. “We are on the northeastern edge of the Hill Country so the western portion is pretty much the Hill Country and the area surrounding Fort Hood.”

The rolling hills make excellent cycling courses, said Landmann, who has helped bring several cycling events to the city and organized several rides. Another plus is the roadways.

“Copperas Cove is in the center of a network of well-maintained farm-to-market roads and county roads,” Landmann said.

Most of those roadways are not well traveled by vehicles, Landmann said.

“There are more empty roads, and that is a big plus,” said Larry Brooks, owner of Larry’s Bike Shop.

Not perfect

But the city’s streets are not the best places to ride, Landmann and Brooks said.

Landmann said city streets lack bike lanes and shoulders. He also said several city streets are fairly narrow and make it difficult for vehicles and bikes to share the road.

“As far as city streets go, we have a long way to go, because there are not many bike lanes here,” Brooks said.

Landmann said cyclists should avoid riding on U.S. Highway 190 because it is not safe for them. If they have to cross the thoroughfare, they should do so at a traffic light. He prefers Robertson Road.

Another road that is not safe is FM 2657.

“The road is narrow and people drive 90 miles on it,” Landmann said.

Cyclists can be their own worst enemy, Landmann said. By law, they are required to obey traffic laws. When they don’t, it can be dangerous to motorists and cyclists.

Where to ride

The Copperas Cove Chamber of Commerce lists all city-sponsored races and ride routes on its website and posts them in their offices, chamber president Betty Price said.

Landmann, who rides regularly during the weekend with a group called Team Road Kill, said one of his favorite routes is South FM 116 to State Highway 201 and FM 1113 through Topsey.

“I like just getting out on the road and watching the scenery and talking to other people who are cycling,” Landmann said. “I think there is the feeling of freedom when cycling.”

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