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Letters to the Editor

Cycling season

September 9, 2011

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To the editor:

Tuesday was the unofficial start of fall, a really pleasant and beautiful bicycle commuting season in Kansas. The dramatic drop in temperature brought out scores, probably hundreds, of cyclists on the paths and highways over the long weekend.  Walkers and runners were out in profusion as well.

On my morning commute I could feel my legs working and the blood circulating just a bit faster. On the way home I smelled suppers cooking. I stopped to look at the amazingly long seedpods on a catalpa tree in Marvin Grove and listened to the carillon. I made it to and from work with a negligible effect on global warming and on the streets and used no oil from the Middle East (or the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge or the Everglades — thank you very much for the offer, Ms. Bachmann). Riding a bicycle or walking won’t save the world, but you will enjoy it.  Besides, making that small change in thinking about what is necessary for your life may lead to other changes.  It might lead to demanding some changes from national leaders.  

So, join the cycling community. Get out the bike, pump up your tires, put on a helmet. If you ride in the dark, you need a light in front and back and as much reflective stuff as you can get. Stay alert. Assume drivers often will not notice you. Stop where you are supposed to. Avoid the busiest streets but enjoy the ride. It’s easy and it’s fun.

Comments

Ron Holzwarth 3 years, 1 month ago

For everyone that drives a car or truck:

Please watch out for people riding bicycles.

I don't want to read about any more tragedies on the roads, I've already read about enough of them to last a lifetime.

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cato_the_elder 3 years, 1 month ago

For everyone who rides a bicycle:

Please obey the rules of the road.

I don't want to read about any more tragedies resulting from bicyclists who ride four and five abreast on county roads and refuse to ride single file, or tragedies resulting from bicyclists in town who refuse to obey stop signs.

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grimpeur 3 years, 1 month ago

Another perseverator.

What tragedies on our county roads are you referring to? The only ones in the last few years have been the texting kid who killed the deputy and the guy who tried to run over seven cyclists but only hit one. Then there's the drunk driver.

There have been no tragedies resulting from cyclists riding more than two abreast, because 1) you'd have to be blind, stupid, or a homicidal maniac to run over someone from behind on any of our roads, and 2) you shouldn't be passing even a single cyclist if there is oncoming traffic, so it doesn't really matter (from a safety standpoint) how many abreast cyclists ride, does it? There have been tragedies because of bad drivers. Period.

So stop with the consistently one-sided, abjectly anti-bike nonsense. Drivers kill, maim, harass, assault, and then they run away. And they break more laws, create more danger, and do so deliberately, as individuals than all the bikers in our county put together. And they get away with it. Cognitive dissonance are hard.

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Getaroom 3 years, 1 month ago

Cato: Cyclists have the same rights and laws as motorized vehicles and can ride abreast legally. Common sense is what is called for concerning all aspects of sharing the road, along with obeying the rules of the road. Most organized riders who go out in groups are quite sensible, polite and obey the rules and I know lots of them, hundreds of them. That is a fact!. Exceptions are always a possibility with drivers of all kinds. Let's keep a watchful eye out for each other, share the road, stay within the speed limits and play nice.

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cato_the_elder 3 years, 1 month ago

I agree. Please get that word out to the bicyclists who refuse to obey the rules of the road.

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Ron Holzwarth 3 years, 1 month ago

I was once on my bicycle and stopped at a stop sign while waiting for a car that had the right of way to get through the intersection. After a few moments, I looked at the driver of the car to see what was taking so long.

It was a woman driving the car, and she was waiting for me and waving me on. So, I waved back and hurried through the intersection.

Apparently she wasn't used to a bicyclist actually stopping and waiting at a stop sign.

But usually, I stay on the sidewalk. Where I live on far west 6th Street, the sidewalks are about six feet wide and obviously made for both bicycles and pedestrians. And since pedestrians are very rare here and I ride very slowly, there's never a problem.

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Tony Kisner 3 years, 1 month ago

I enjoy riding my bike but have never considered it political. Just fun.

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