Tuesday, December 02, 2003

Someone Commented!!! - Cycling Revisited

I received my 2nd ever comment yesterday (if you don't count the idiot that defaced my site last month. I don't). Xoe had some great points concerning my biking rant. Here is the text:

I don't know how much bike riding you do nor which parts of Lafayette you are riding/observing in, but there are many places where riding on the road is straight up scary. For example: Creasy Lane. If you're riding your bike down the side of that street, you're begging to be hit. The same is true of Greenbush, despite the fact that sidewalk isn't available the entire length of the street. The sidewalks are there for bicycles and for pedestrians alike. Besides, there are so depressingly few walkers in Lafayette that using the sidewalk for a bike doesn't inconvenience anyone. (West Lafayette is a different story)
Please forgive those of us who aren't confedent enough in their cycleing prowess to risk getting hit.
Also, the girl in your picture is not wearing a helmet.

Xoe is right. Lafayette has done a horrible job making its streets available to bikers. There is no attempt to put biking lanes on new streets, and Creasy and Greenbush are obvious examples of their short-sitedness. The new jogging paths are OK, but they don't lead where a commuter on a bike wants to go. On North 9th street they added a bike path, but it is only on one side of the street, and actually crosses the busy road at one point. West Lafayette has added many new bike lanes (see Lindburg Road) and has even worked with the State to add lanes to South River Road.

However, I disagree with the assertion that sidewalks are for bikers. There are many safety problems involved with riding on the sidewalk, but a person riding in the right lane with a helmet (unlike the poor girl pictured in the earlier post), reflectors, and lights at night that follows the rules of the road is very safe. I cycle often from April though November (1250 miles this year), and I have never had a problem with an automobile coming up from behind. I have had troubles with drivers who are upset and try to scare me or force me off the road, but those stories are for another post.

Thanks for commenting, thanks for reading, and happy cycling!

Check out Xoe's blog at http://filyatova.diary-x.com

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