In Your Opinion: Be Careful Out There

By Bill Connell.

Now that I am a silver haired empty nester I am able resume my hobby of bike riding. My pretentious friend says I am actually a “cyclist” Whhaaat ever!!. I am just trying to make a healthy choice, relieve stress and defer my chance of expiring any time soon.  Ironically cycling is inherently dangerous, especially in NJ. 

I have had very few problems mostly because I am careful with one major exception.  Someone used the left-hand turn lane at Landing lane as a high speed passing lane to make a right hand turn. As I was crossing Easton avenue I found myself staring at the grill of this nitwits car (not my normal speaking voice) .  You can’t plan for this level of negligence. 

If you ride enough or even walk, you become a bit of a sociologist.  You notice things you don’t in a car.  I could write a whole series of commentary, I won’t but I could. (relax Gary)  The thing on my mind is head phones and ear buds . 

I fully appreciate how music or books can be part of the exercise experience, but it makes you spatially unaware.  I spend a lot of time on the canal path. I can get up to 15-20 miles an hour .  I have an old school bike bell. I literally made this person scream when I passed them.

I stopped and apologized but they were wearing ear buds. They never heard my bell. This is just the worst example. It happens multiple times a ride.  Last year there was a pervert making visitations on Canal (he was caught). Signs were all over the place but you still had woman walking with head phones. 

Part of riding on the road is the acoustics of car tires coming up from behind.  Amazingly I see people with head phones walking on or crossing the road with out a care in the world.. No need to expand on that observation.

The increasing prevalence of Ebikes makes it more fun.  The pecking order is, cyclist sneak up on walkers and Ebikes sneak up on cyclists. 

I have adjusted my strategy when approaching people from behind who don’t acknowledge my bell but I still worry about people’s safety, 

 Be careful out there.

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