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Ride Tips and FAQ


Ride Tips and FAQ ( Frequently Asked Questions )

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Safe Riding Tips:

Cyclists find the steep hills on this route challenging and many need to walk. Please pull to the right side of the road and walk up the hills that you can’t ride up. Don’t “weave” back and forth across the road to climb the hills as this is very dangerous to other cyclists.

The Family Crisis Center does not allow riding with headphones or earbuds for participants in Pedal Thru The Pines. Cyclists should possess basic bike-handling skills and safety knowledge in order to keep themselves and others around them safe, especially while participating in group cycling activities, like a bike ride. The Family Crisis Center is trying to provide a high quality, safe and fun bicycling experience.


Group riding requires even more attention to predictability than riding alone. Other riders expect you to continue straight ahead at a constant speed unless you indicate differently.


Use hand and verbal signals to communicate with fellow cyclists and with other traffic. Hand signals for turning and stopping are as follows: left arm straight out to signal a left turn; left arm out and down with your palm to the rear to signal slowing or stopping; and for a right turn, put your right arm straight out or put your left arm out and up.


Warn cyclist behind you well in advance of changes in your direction or speed. To notify the group of a change in path, the lead rider should call out “left turn” or “right turn” in addition to giving a hand signal.


Generally, slower traffic stays right so you should pass other riders on their left. It is courteous to let other riders know when you are going to pass them especially if you are passing unexpectedly or on the right. Calling out “On your left” or “Left” if you need to pass someone on the right say “On your right” or even simply “Right” lets others know that you are there since this is an unusual maneuver. In a crowd one should always expect that there are riders around and ride predictably.


When riding in a group, most of the cyclists do not have a good view of the road surface ahead, so it is important to announce holes, glass, sand, grates and other hazards. The leader should indicate hazards by pointing down to the left or right and by shouting “hole,” “bump,” etc. where required for safety.


Because those in front cannot see traffic approaching from the rear, it is the responsibility of the riders in back to inform the others by saying “car Back.” Around curves, on narrow roads or when riding double, it is also helpful to warn of traffic approaching from the front with “car up.”


When approaching intersections that require vehicles to yield or stop, the lead rider will say “slowing” or “stopping” to alert those behind to change in speed. When passing through an intersection, some cyclists say “clear” if there is no cross traffic. Note that each cyclist is responsible for verifying that the way is indeed clear.


When riding up hills or on narrow roads where you are impeding faster traffic, leave a gap for cars between every three or four bicycles. That way a motorist can take advantage of shorter passing intervals and eventually move around the entire group.


Whether you are stopping to rest, because of mechanical problems or to regroup with your companions, move well off the road so you don’t interfere with traffic. When you start up again, each cyclist should look for, and yield to traffic.


Ride single file or double file as appropriate to the roadway and traffic conditions and where allowed by law. Most state vehicle codes permit narrow vehicles such as bicycles and motorcyclists to ride double file within the lane. Even where riding double is legal, courtesy dictates that you single up when cars are trying to pass you.


What time does the ride start?

The ride starts at 9:00 AM

Where is the start line?

The start line is at Vernon L. Richards Riverbend Park, 107 Hwy 71W, Smithville, TX 78957. You can see a map and directions to the start line here

Are all routes on paved roads?


Can I pick up my packet the morning of the ride?


Can I register the morning of the ride?

Yes, if the ride is not yet at capacity. Registration will be cut off at 1500 riders. You should check the website before you drive to Smithville to make sure that registration is still available.

What if there is bad weather the day of the ride?

The ride will go on unless safety officers decide it is too dangerous to ride. There will be no refund and the ride will not be rescheduled.

Where do I line up?

The Pedal Thru The Pines is asking riders to line up this year by expected riding speeds. Most of you are familiar with about how fast you normally average when riding and we are asking those that average above 18 MPH to line up towards the front even if they are riding a shorter distance. There will be divisions for 16 MPH average, 14 MPH average and 12 MPH and less average. Please line up in the group that makes the most sense as this will make it much less congested and safer during the ride. The difference for you lining up closer to the front will probably be less than 5 minutes overall and make our ride a much safer event.

Why are there no bib numbers this year?

We have decided to go with wristbands so that the rest stop volunteers and SAG drivers can identify those that have paid to participate. We ask that you display them prominently for easy identification. We would like to encourage you to carry identification with you and In Case of Emergency (ICE) numbers with you.

To submit a question for this FAQ,
please use our Feedback page

Your Feedback:

We encourage and value participant feedback. We appreciate any input that may help us improve our event. We also enjoy the stories and photos that cyclists have shared from the ride, and we are always happy to share the appreciation expressed by cyclists for the hard work and dedication of event volunteers.

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