Being a pedestrian among bikers has it perils

This letter is add my own thoughts to Dr. Michael Pacin’s letter to the editor to share concerns relating to bikers (“Aspen rules of the road 101: announce yourself before passing,” July 26, The Aspen Times).

Thank you for voicing concern over the lack of responsibility some bikers have toward pedestrians. This fact makes me even more aware to be courteous when I am biking. I am not sure how long you have lived in the area, but you probably know this issue has been ongoing for a long time.

My opinion is that lack of communication by announcing as you pass is not as great of an issue if the speeding bikes were going at a slower pace. It has been relayed to me this issue has been brought up to Aspen City Council in the past by neighbors.

In particular, relating to their dogs almost being struck by bikers. If you (Dr. Pacin) happen to have a dog that you keep on a leash, I chime in my own personal experience as well as my neighbors’, about the safety of our precious pets. The other morning, as I was walking my blind dog on a leash, once again I say, because my dog has been close to being struck already once, experienced a biker whizzing by while simultaneously ringing a bike bell at a speed you would think is out of compliance with the “slow biking” sign he would have just passed. In any case, myself as well as others, I am sure, are resigned to this environment as pedestrians, but safety on the trails should not have to be a concern. Most people who encounter this ongoing scenario do not want to bother voicing their opinions because this takes energy, which feels negative as I do so, and they do not believe there is any benefit.

Thank you to all who may take this a little bit more to heart.

Natalie Blanchard