Etiquette, safe skills lacking among e-bikers
I write this plea as someone who has just had a bike collision with electric cyclists riding three abreast on the ABC bike trail, chatting away — and who rode into me to avoid a pedestrian in their path.
Electric cyclists — please note! Our bike paths are wonderful, but they are not able to accommodate cyclists riding three — or even two — abreast. There are many blind corners, and you can be pretty sure that there will be a cyclist coming the other way. These paths are very heavily used — not just by cyclists but by pedestrians, dog walkers and families with young children on strider bikes or push chairs. Easy availability of electric bike rentals means there are more and more people using the trails who have minimal or nonexistent bike handling skills, no awareness of their excessive speed, and a lack of understanding that riding a bike is no different from driving a car — you need to be alert, to anticipate the unexpected — and to pay attention — and not be gabbling away.
I survived the collision with only minor injuries, although my bike is now unridable — but not so for a friend who was hit by an electric bicyclist coming fast downhill on a blind corner and had her teeth knocked out, and her collarbone broken — only to have the cyclist skedaddle. So please, please, please, all you electric bicyclists out there — slow down — do not try to ride two and three abreast — treat our bicycle paths as you would a busy road — and pay attention! Otherwise it’s not long before we start having fatalities on our bike paths.