10.16.2006

bike path peleton

the bike path is organized chaos
or maybe chaos at its breaking point

there are so many variables
so many bodies doing different things
so many minds thinking in different ways
a few too many people not thinking

it seems people fail to realize the fragility of the human body
the number of unnessary close calls freaks me out

there are issues from all directions
dogs off leash
dogs zipping back and forth on leash
kids moving unpredictably on bikes with training wheels
kids walking exploring curiously at their parents side then not at their parents side
the runners and thier random button hooks
the runner turn around when they feel it is time to turn around
the runner always turns to the inside and never looks
the happy couples
the roller bladers and their wide strides
the headphones on all varieties
the lightless in the dark
the lights pointed right into oncoming traffic eyes... my eyes
the lights are better than no lights

the bicycle can be a menace on the bike path
the bicycle can be a meance to themselves and to others

yes... it is the bike path but that does not mean that others do not have a right to be there as well
just as these others have a right to be there
these othes have a right to their safety and a right to their placid good time
much that the cyclist does enfringes on those rights

I admit that I may go fast on the bike path
there was a time when I tried to keep it to the single speed on the bike path
but somehow gears got on the trail
tried to keep it to the smaller ring in the front
but sometimes the chain pops up to the big ring

but... I try to be safe as well as courteous
there is a balance

anticipate the worst
respect others
treat others as you wish to be treated

I have a dog and I have children
I know my distance I know my limits
but I also know that I do not like seeing my kids or my dog get buzzed by a bike
nor do my kids or dogs like being buzzed
so I give an audible, I bring down my speed, and I pass wide and clear

but not everyone is looking that far ahead
the behavior that is perhaps the most dangerous of all has to be the bike path peleton
drafting on the multi-use bike path is not a good idea
especially with strangers
especially when riding in an aggressive quasi race mode

the pace line and drafting is a concept in a race
this drafting of cars exists in car racing
but when drafting cars on the highway happens it is called tailgating
much of the logic of the road needs to be transfered to the bike path

the tailgating has it dangers for all the obvious reasons
the greatest reason being the pass
when the leader of this commuter pace line makes a pass on a runner, a walker, a dog, a child, or another cyclist
the line of jokers does not concern themselves with oncoming traffic
no car driver with a lick of sense would pull such a move on the streets
yet full grown adults caught up in the moment do this move every day on the bike path
having near collisions several times each day
each day bringing fear and anger to other trail users
bring a bad name to cyclist

sure I may go fast... sometimes too fast
but... I am riding alone not as an ameboid mass
blind to traffic infront of them
blind to the consequences of their actions

it is the same guys doing the same thing every day

it is just inappropriate behavior

tonight I did an hour and a half mostly on some of the bike paths around the city
the use of headphones may contribute to the danger
but the most dangersous contribution on the trail has to be the fight to be King of the Crescent Trail

there is an old motorcycle bumpersticker...

RACE ON THE TRACK... NOT ON THE STREET

4 comments:

gewilli said...

sounds like the same shizz up here...

fortunately its getting darker, and people are becoming sparser and sparser

but now, yeah the lights...

no... i do not appreciate a $500 HID system pointed right in my FUCKGIN eyes...

its a freaking bike path - ya ride it all the freaking time - point the shit down just to see the crap that the kids kick out on the tarmack for shits and giggles... it ain't a night time single track ride for crissake....

woops - this is your blog...

perfect capture man... i don't have a dog to walk but the family does go for strolls on the "bike path" and we do ride training wheels and what not...

glad to know at least there's a few others than me kicking around feeling the same...

great writing brotha

gwadzilla said...

it is like the pool...
the rules need to be posted

and the blue haired ladies need to remind the kids about the rules
number by number
line by line

butch said...

Excellent post. I couldn't agree more. I ride the 4mile/Mt Vernon path everyday to work and what pisses me off most are the cyclists who feel they own the path. They just need to relax and save the rage for the road in the car.

BTW. Gwad - I saw you riding down the path one day and I commented on your hi-flange hubs. rideon, peace, b

gwadzilla said...

butch....

next time slow and let me take some pictures

I tried to take some pics on the move that day

but low end digital cameras are not good at motion shots

see ya on the trail

-zilla