Saturday, April 15, 2017

On the Bike Path

  As the weather has gotten nicer, I've been able to go for a bicycle ride almost every day. Most rides include a portion of a bicycle path that stretches about six miles from Bethpage State Park to Sunrise Highway. The point I get on it is just about the middle, so I can go north to the park or south to Sunrise.
  Not surprisingly, plenty of other people have the same idea. And on weekday afternoons, most of those other people are "men of a certain age." Retired guys, like me, who have their afternoons free. Some take leisurely rides -- the woods are pleasant and there are a stream and some small lakes along the way -- while others seem to be trying to regain their lost youth by proving they can race along at top speeds. (Some of those I later find along the way, sitting on a bench, taking what I perceive to be a much-needed rest. It's like the tortoise and the hare; you go racing past me but eventually I catch up and pass you.)
  We share the bike path with walkers, joggers, people with baby strollers, folks walking dogs, and parents with small children just learning to ride. Common courtesy necessitates that, when you are about to overtake any of these people (or even other bikers moving at a slower pace), you give a warning of your approach. Some bikers have bells or horns, but a simple "On your left!" is enough to safely prevent potential accidents.
  Unfortunately, common courtesy does not appear to be so common any more. More often than not, bikers speed past without any warning, as if they own the path and everyone else should stay out of their way.  On a few occasions, when I have warned and then passed people, they have thanked me for letting them know, seemingly surprised that anyone still does it.
  Just one more casualty of the current social climate...

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