Tuesday, July 8, 2008

The Tour de France is in France, Not Bethesda

Last weekend my dog Tramp and I took a ride on the Capital Crescent Trail to check out what we’ve been hearing about intrusive speed limits and rumble strips in the Bethesda area. (You can validate my biking credentials by checking out this link to my husband and son’s blog on their amazing bike trip.)

We went at prime time (Sunday morning), a period when I ordinarily avoid this part of the trail because of the confluence of strolling families, dog walkers, joggers and bikers, but this time we joined right in. I must say that I was quite blown away by the behavior of some of the bikers I saw on the trail. Folks were drafting in crowded areas, expecting other bicyclists and pedestrians to move away. Only about a quarter of the folks who passed me (burdened with a small poodle/schnauzer mix in a dog carrier, I was not going that fast) had the courtesy to give me advance warning with a word or a ring that they were at my side. A number of bikers completely failed to slow down when confronted with a group of slower movers on the trail. I know that the Washington Area Bikers Association (WABA) is upset with the new park rules, so I encourage them to help encourage biker courtesy. Does anyone have any similar experiences or suggestions about how to make the trail a safe place for everyone?

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