The warm sun has brought throngs of people out to our popular multi-use paths. Riverfront paths like the Eastbank Esplanade and bridges are especially crowded.
Thanks to great weather and publicity – like this article in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer extolling the virtues of our waterfront – increased numbers of tourists and newbie, fair-weather cyclists are using these paths. Like a new racer in a peloton, many of these folks may not be used to riding or walking in crowded conditions.
Making matters worse, I’ve heard from many people that some cycists have complete disregard for others while riding. Fellow blogger David Rowe describes an all too common scenario:
“Many cyclists are hammering too hard out there, passing slower riders, weaving in and out of pedestrians, and flying down the wrong side of the path a 20mph or more. Lately, I have become very concerned that someone is going to get hurt very badly. Last night, I had to shout out a warning to a roadie who entered the section near OMSI from the street, doing at least 20 mph; what he couldn’t see as he entered the path was the high school prom that had overtaken the entire pathway between OMSI and the TV station.”
A few quick tips (maybe you’ve got others):
- Use a bell, but don’t ring it obnoxiously, just because you’re on a bike doesn’t mean you have special rights to the path.
- Say, “passing on your right (or left)”
- Slow down and make sure people know you’re coming before you pass.
- Just be courteous…smile and wave as you go by!
I know it can be frustrating when you’re trying to ride through these areas, but if you’re in a hurry please consider taking an alternate route during peak times or better yet, just slow down and enjoy the view (remembering to watch where you’re going of course).
Just imagine the PR fallout against cyclists if one of us collided with a lady pushing a stroller.