Where are the bicycle riders? Around Town, posted by Two Wheeling, a resident of the Birdland neighborhood, on Jul 8, 2008 at 11:46 pm
It's high time we parents set an example and start riding our bikes around town. When the time is right, get your kids out there riding to sports practices and games and school. Are you tired of busing your kids all over town, to piano practice, the tutor or a friend's home? How much fuel is wasted daily?
We finally put a stop to the madness of driving our 13 and 15 year olds everywhere. At first they hated it, but now they love the freedom bike riding gives them. Yes, we bought them (bribed?) new bikes. Bikes they like and want to ride.
Added bonuses: they'll learn the rules of the road before they start driving, there will be less auto traffic on the roads, less vehicle noise and less air pollution.
So go ahead, ride a bike and get the kids riding too!
Posted by James Donohue, a resident of another community, on Jul 10, 2008 at 12:14 pm
I'd like to start by pointing out that there are no bicycle "riders".
People on bicycles (bicyclists, cyclists, bikers, whatever you want to call them)either drive their bicycle like it's a car, or they race their bicycle, like they are headed for the Tour de France.
It's important to remember that the racers are practicing a sport which has been around since before the invention of the automobile. The cyclists are still on the same roads, trying to compete against someone who biked ten miles in nineteen minutes, who left a record time, based on the stopwatch back in 1879. Those who race against the clock in such a fasion will look left and right at an intersection, but unless there is a truck coming, they will not stop.
These cyclists have an interesting legal argument; they've been riding these roads since 1879, and the stop signs and traffic lights did not appear until 1917, at the earliest. The traffic lights were intended for automobiles.
Let's now discuss "driving" a bicycle. Suppose I want to drive my bicycle into town to get a quart of milk and a loaf of bread. I have no need to set a record time, this "milk run" will not go down in sports history. I will drive my bike to the end of the driveway and stop. I will look both ways, and let the cars go by. When there is a break in traffic, then I pull out. Likewise, I stop at the stop sign, and I stop again for any lights that are red. I can not cover the ten miles in nineteen minutes, like that bicycle racer did in 1879. It will take longer , chalk it up to "progress". I will even check my rear-view mirror and pull over to let truck-traffic go by.
Make sure you (and your kids) know the difference between racing and driving. Too many amature cyclists are learning by example, doing what the racers do. Stop your bike and yield for traffic, especially trucks. It's better to let the motor vehicle operator go first and live , that for you to go first on your bike and get killed. Don't argue about who has the right-of-way, that's for a Judge to decide after you're dead. Just be courteous. Courtesy is contagious.
Racers have a legitimate gripe too; there aren't enough velodromes (bicycle race tracks) to practice on to stay in shape. So their racing has to be done on public roads. The paths in the parks are only designed for eighteen miles per hour, and they are crowded with walkers.
Posted by Tom, a member of the Valley View Elementary School community, on Jul 10, 2008 at 6:55 pm
Take a look at the organization "Safe Routes to Schools" (Web Link) that has been encouraging kids to group together to walk or ride to school. They've implemented this program in Marin County (Web Link). It has facilitated a significant reduction of car traffic during peak commute hours. And, the kids are getting some exercise as well!
Posted by Bike Parent, a resident of the Heritage Valley neighborhood, on Jul 11, 2008 at 8:21 pm
Marcia, basically you're telling us your kids will not be riding around Pleasanton. I too worry about the poor driving habits of people in our town - still way too many people failing to stop or even come close to stopping at stop signs. More traffic enforcement, Pleasanton Police Department, please.
Posted by J. Henson, a resident of the Vintage Hills Elementary School neighborhood, on Jul 13, 2008 at 10:20 am
I agree that cycling is to be encouraged. (When I used a bicycle as my principal means of transport I was super-fit; not to mention more slim than ever before in my life!)
However, I'd like to make one plea. If you, or members of your family will ever cycle at dusk or after dark, please, please make sure that your cycles are equipped with lights.
As I drive, I am appalled by the number of cyclists I see riding after dark with no lights at all. Indeed, it is my experience that they are in the majority! It's an extremely dangerous practice. Even if cyclists try to stick to the sidewalks, at some points they will have to move onto the road, and they then become a danger to themselves and to car-drivers.
I don't know whether riding at night without lights is illegal, but since a cycle is a means of transport, it seems that me that it should be. In that case, it might be helpful if the local police were to issue citation to the many violators, in order to get the message across to everyone.
J. Henson (Vintage Hills)
PS I am not quite sure which community I officially belong to! I live in the Vintage Schools Elementary School ares, but have no children at that school.
Posted by Susan, a resident of the Canyon Oaks neighborhood, on Jul 13, 2008 at 1:26 pm
I agree. I see people riding in the street with no lights I see them at the last second. I come so close to hitting them that it makes me furious. I saw three adults riding in the street at night, side by side, no lights or reflectors. I almost hit them. Their intelligence level must be quite low.
Posted by Bouncing Betty, a resident of the Valley Trails neighborhood, on Jul 14, 2008 at 6:31 pm
I grew up in Pleasanton, but moved out nearly twenty years ago. I just want to let you know how refreshing this whole thread is. I live in the North Bay, and there are many residents who would like to make cycling illegal, and feel justified threating cyclists with their cars, because we are in "their" way. It just helps bring home the fact that Pleasanton is such a nice place to live.
Posted by Stay Out of my Business, a resident of the Pheasant Ridge neighborhood, on Jul 20, 2008 at 8:47 am
No one; not the Government or you will tell me how to transport my kids or where to spend my money. As long as i can afford the gas (and that is for a very long time) I will drive whenever and where ever I please. As for excercise, we are all members of Club Sport, so I will drive the Yukon there too.
If you want to ride your bikes, well thats great, but why should you tell me what kind of example I need to set for my kids?
Posted by PTown Resident, a resident of the Birdland neighborhood, on Jul 31, 2008 at 2:28 pm
Yeh, that's just what we need, more bikers getting in the way of traffic! If people want to ride their bikes on a bike trail that's a-ok with me but when they ride in the streets & sidewalks I think it's a recipe for disaster. I've nearly run over bikers so many times (and without even trying). If you put your bike in the way of my moving car on a street, you're taking your life into your own hands.