Dangerous, deadly week for moto­rcyclists in San Antonio

At least 5 bikers dead since last Friday, 4 injured

At least five people riding motorcycles have died in crashes since last Friday, while another four have been injured.

The reasons for the crashes seem to run the gamut -- from motorcyclists racing on the road to other drivers who failed to see them coming.

A biker was hit by a pickup and killed last Friday morning on Southwest Military near New Laredo Highway.

The truck driver told San Antonio police officers he didn’t see the motorcycle when he pulled out of a nearby bank parking lot.

Adolph Zuehl, 61, and his wife, Katherine, 60, were killed on Sunday when their motorcycle went out of control on a curve on Interstate 37 near Loop 410.

Several bikers escaped death in accidents in between.

But by this Friday morning, the death toll had climbed again.

Two more motorcyclists were killed in separate crashes — one Thursday night at Huebner and Bitters roads, and one early Friday at Loop 410 and Highway 15.

Officers at both scenes said they may be related to racing.

Cathy Bochat, a lifelong biker who owns the Motorcycle School, has seen it all when it comes to this kind of road trouble.

She said, sadly, she expects to see more.

“This is what we call 'Rally Season,'" Bochat said. “So there's going to be a large increase in the number of motorcyclists on the road."

Bochat said more motorcycles and cars sharing the road could mean more chances for trouble.

She said it’s up to bikers and drivers alike to do their parts to be safe.

At her business, located in the 4900 block of Fredericksburg Road, Bochat aims to give motorcycle riders the skills they need to survive: "Mental strategies, how to stay out of people's blind spots, how to negotiate a curve that has gravel or wet leaves in it," she said.

Bochat also encourages bikers to wear head-to-toe gear at all times.

As for other drivers, she said she realizes it can be difficult to spot motorcycles, which are much more low profile than other vehicles.

“Especially if the rider is wearing dark colors, they tend to blend into the background and they're hard to be seen,” Bochat said.

Intersections, she said, can be the most dangerous places for bikers, the most likely spot where a car will hit them.

It helps, though, if motorcyclists are prepared, she said.

The Motorcycle School offers regular motorcycle training courses, including those required for licensing.

The business is also holding a free motorcycle safety and awareness event on Nov. 17 from 1-5 p.m.

For more information on motorcycle safety, visit the Texas Motorcycle Riders Association at TMRA.org.

For a list of recent stories Katrina Webber has done, click here.

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