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Saturday, February 4, 2023
Home Current Affairs Bikers, Pedestrians and the Starship Honda Odyssey

Bikers, Pedestrians and the Starship Honda Odyssey

Can't we all just get along?

One of the great privileges living in Rye is to bike around our great city. On a recent weekend, I was doing just that, sailing down Oakland Beach Avenue on my way out to Milton Point.

A woman drove past me, and from the Captain's Chair in her Starship Honda Odyssey yelled: "Get on the sidewalk!" (along with an implied and very tonal "you idiot"). Phazers ready. Probably on the cell phone, the kids watching separate DVD systems in the back and late to baseball, soccer and ice hockey practices.

Bad day? We are all over work, over scheduled, over played and over stressed.

Maybe I should have been riding on the brand spanking new sidewalk that winds down Oakland Beach. But I'm pretty sure I would have cleared out a few pedestrians along the way.

If each of us (this writer included) started a few minutes earlier, went a little (just a little) slower, there will be plenty of room for all of us.

What do you think? Leave a comment below.

7 COMMENTS

  1. In regard to the “abused” biker. It sounds like in this particular situation the Honda driver was stressed and late, hence the venting on you. What concerns me is the behavior of these Tour de France bikers that ride in our city. For the most part they ride in the middle of the car lanes and expect to be treated as a member of traffic, but when it comes to obeying the stop signals or signs they never do. Countless times I have had close calls with bikers who don’t obey the intersection rules. Its just a matter of time before someone is seriously injured. If these bikers want to ride where the cars are suppose to be they need to obey the rules of the road. Can’t have it both ways

  2. Maybe I’m out of date on the biking rules but I thought bikers were REQUIRED to use the road, not the sidewalk. Isn’t the sidewalk for pedestrians? It’s nerve wracking to be faced with an oncoming cyclist.
    I had a similar incident on Forest when I was walking against traffic (same words–maybe it was the husband of your driver?). Granted there was a sidewalk on the opposite side of that particular stretch of Forest, though it stopped in 100 feet. I would have had to weave back and forth across Forest like a drunken sailor if I was going to attempt to stay on sidewalk–and then it would have run out in a few feet anyway. We are all familiar with the much discussed issue of Forest Avenue sidewalks and lack thereof. But was shouting out the window of the vehicle necessary at 9 am on a Sunday morning? Could the guy have been in that much of a hurry that the slight pause to get around me was worth the shout?

  3. I think you’re correct Ryemart – bikes are required by law to use the roadway not the sidewalk. But some here now believe the law isn’t really a law – it’s as a certain Hollywood pirate captain said – “more of a guideline.” That’s neither true nor how this town was built despite the wishful thinking of a self chosen handful.

  4. The correct approach is that bicycles share the road with cars moving the same direction of traffic, while runners and walkers should walk against traffic – preferably on sidewalks if available. Try to ride single file on the right side of the road.

    The statistics show that traveling 5 mph faster (than the speed limit) on city roads doesn’t save you any time at all – perhaps 20 seconds at best.

    Bikes and cars have to share the road – and to be honest, I’ve encountered packs of Lance Armstrong wannabees on Boston Post Road who take up a who lane of traffic – which is not productive or responsible.

    So…let’s just all try to slow down and enjoy the ride – whether you are pedaling or driving. 30 mph in a car in Rye is a very Zen-like experience…try it!

  5. In June, I was knocked off my bike by a car door thrown open by a careless driver because I was following the rules and riding on the street. A few trips to WestMed later, I’m not sure what we can do to further peaceful relations between cars and cyclists. I do know if I ever get back on my bike, I won’t ride it on Purchase Street.

  6. I own a bike and a car and like to drive both. Bicycles are vehicles and required to observe the rules of the road, including driving on the same side of the road as cars, and signaling so that others are aware of their intentions. They are frequently banned from sidewalks, which are meant for pedestirans. Cyclists have a right to the road, but should be mindful of sharing it with others, including those in much larger vehicles. Assuming there are no sidewalks, walkers should walk on the opposite side of the street, facing traffic, so that they can see oncoming vehicles. With a little patience and understanding, we can all enjoy the streets, ensure public safety and set a good example for other (typically smaller) members of the human race who my be riding with us in minivans.)

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