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Plea for better bike path etiquette

By Staff | Apr 21, 2020

To the editor:

Please warn to pass at least 10-12 feet behind a person going the same direction, not when you are at their rear tire. Use a bell and ring it in addition to a vocal warning.

I cannot count the numerous times bikers (particularly the ones wearing the biking togs, you know who you are) either do not warn at all when passing or wait to warn until any small startled reaction from the rider being passed puts everyone in danger. And if you are coming toward someone on the path, move over to your side fully and quickly; do not stay in the center of the path. It’s not your right. It’s dangerous. Enough!

Often when riding on the SanCap portion of the path you’re fighting a very strong headwind and focusing on addressing that wind, the path cracks, bumps and debris. To be startled is a recipe for a crash, even for an experienced rider, let alone a bike renter.

I am a full-time Sanibel resident and bike path rider. I am quite sensitive to the stupidity and rudeness shown by path users, since in October 2018 a tourist on a bike, who was riding in the center coming toward me failed to move over in response to repeated verbal warnings, and then turned her bike abruptly and hit mine while passing. My front tire was only maybe 6 inches from the grass. This caused a crash for which I have experienced major medical expenses, including knee surgery. My right knee will never be the same. It just did not need to happen.

So please pay attention to the path traffic when riding, warn to pass, and move over to your side when someone is coming toward you on the other side. We’ll all be better off for it.

Betsy Goldman