Ride Boldly!

Bikes, bicycling, and road safety.

Bicycle Debate in Rochester

There have been a number of letters to the editor at the Rochester Post-Bulletin on the subject of bicyclists using the roads versus staying on trails.

Various letter writers have rehashed all the usual issues: Tax dollars used to pay for trails, bikers who don’t follow rules, same road-same rights, build more bike lanes/separate facilities, etc.

Blessedly, one of the columnists actually wrote a fair piece on everyone trying to get along.

I do think he really low-balls training speeds, though:

And I agree with the hard-core distance bicyclists who say it isn’t practical for them to train on Rochester’s bike paths or the Douglas Trail. That’s just asking for trouble. These paths are wonderful community assets, but they’re not reserved exclusively for people on bikes. On any given day you might see plodding runners like me, families with toddlers just learning to walk, senior citizens exercising their dogs, in-line skaters, or people in suits out for a stroll during a break from work.

These paths are about as safe and practical for a serious bicyclist (who trains at a 10-12 mile per hour pace) as it would be for a NASCAR driver to practice with the horses at Canterbury Downs.

Serious bicyclists training at 10-12mph? Keep in mind that 10mph is the ‘speed limit’ on City of Minneapolis bike paths. I suppose 10-12 mph is a pretty good training pace going up some hills, but it’d be a near-certain death in even a Cat5 citizen crit. I think of 10-12 mph as a good speed for an ice cream run with an occasional cyclist.

However, at least the columnist is supportive. Seems like more than a lot of the letter-writers and commenters can manage.

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Author: julie

Julie Kosbab is an online marketing consultant and active transportation advocate living in Anoka County, Minnesota. She was one of Minnesota's only League of American Bicyclists Certified Instructors when certified in 2005. She is a past member of the National Bicycle Tour Directors Association. She has 2 children and 4 bicycles. Find her on Twitter as @betweenstations.

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