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Cyclist routes and safety measures for Tour de Palm Springs this weekend

The Tour de Palm Springs in Coachella Valley charity event is returning this weekend after missing last year due to the pandemic.

Founder Tim Esser expects thousands of cyclists to fill streets across the valley as police call for safety and for bikes and cars to share the road.

CLICK HERE to see routes that will close streets and intersections across the valley.

"We are excited and just waiting to get out of the house and get some good exercise," Esser said. "We want our riders to be very careful. We know as cyclists we cannot compete with a car."

Esser said new safety measures are in place including a fleet of cars riding alongside bikers in case they need help. "There's going to be 10 of them just roaming around the course making sure that cyclists are safe," he said.

Most intersections will remain open to traffic but will be temporarily closed as riders pass through.

"You'll see a lot of police officers at intersections that will get all the drivers and cyclists conscious that we are there," Esser said.

California Highway Patrol said valley roadways will be filled with bicyclists starting at 6:30 a.m. Saturday.

"Motorists are encouraged to reduce their speed when passing a bicyclist. Air currents, produced by a motor vehicle when passing by an object, can possibly push a bicyclist over and off the roadway. We encourage motorists to be patient and to remain vigilant when entering a roadway or conducting a turn. California law requires a minimum distance of three feet, when passing a bicyclist," CHP officials said in a press release.

In 2018, a man from Washington riding in the Tour de Palm Springs was killed after being hit by a driver police said was going 100 miles an hour on Dillon Road.

And in December, a French athlete competing in the Indian Wells - La Quinta Ironman race was hit by a car and injured after being mistakenly led off the closed course.

Esser said with the safety measures and abundance of law enforcement in place, this year will be a safe and successful Tour de Palm Springs in the valley.

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Jake Ingrassia

Joining News Channel 3 and CBS Local 2 as a reporter, Jake is excited to be launching his broadcasting career here in the desert. Learn more about Jake here.

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