Sidewalks meant for walking

Some cyclists need a nudge when it comes to sharing our roads and sidewalks with cars and pedestrians. Cyclists need to be clear as to where and when cyclists can breeze by.

I was eating at an outside table at Clark’s Oyster Bar the other evening when a 30ish-year-old young man came breezing by on his road bike on the sidewalk toward the center of town, gliding by at a fast pace, at least as fast as I can sprint, heading to pass me a foot or so from my table.

Twenty yards or so before he reached my table I held up my hand respectfully to ask him to stop. He stopped, and I gently let the rider know that if he wants to take his bike on the sidewalk he needs first to stop, dismount and walk his bike.

“Not everyone wants to hear your opinion, dude!” he declared. “I’m only letting you know what the law is,” I responded. The rest of our brief conversation dropped quickly into my explaining the meaning of the word “scofflaw,” a word which this rider seemingly had never heard before.

The signage at the pedestrian malls informing bike riders that we expect riders to dismount and walk their bikes is great. I suggest we add more signage around town so cyclists like the one I encountered will continue to feel free to enjoy the road as if they were riding a motorcycle, but to learn to stop and walk their bike whenever they’re on a sidewalk.

John Hornblower

Snowmass Village