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State online survey shows many cyclists would like to do biking on trails without automobiles
By Rob Hedelt
Indeed, the online survey of BikeWalk Virginia indicated that nearly one in four of those responding didn't know that is is against the law for a bicyclist to ride in a travel lane facing traffic. (When bicyclists are operating in a travel lane, they are considered vehicles and must obey the same laws.)
But unfortunately, most cyclists here and elsewhere have their share of close calls or scary situations that have nothing to do with violating the rules of the road.
Again, I'm no perfect or super cyclist. But I've been run off roads once or twice, almost been clipped several times, and been scared more times than I can count by drivers who didn't have the patience to wait a few extra seconds for a clear chance to pass well away from me.
My answer is to do my cycling on trails where cars are prohibited, like the canal path in the city, or on park roads or subdivision streets with slower traffic, where motorists expect to see cyclists or pedestrians.
But my dream would be a linking of new and existing trails in our region, so you could get on at different locations and ride for 10 or 20 miles without mixing with vehicles.
Thankfully, there are folks working toward that goal, pushing for the creation of new trails in most of our localities.
Those of us who enjoy riding should speak out in their favor, especially when it comes time to fund them.
My hope is that one day we'll have a system of trails like that in the Virginia Beach area. There, starting years ago, a relative of mine was able to ride just a few hundred feet in his subdivision to a trail that ran through it, and then on to miles and miles of trail, safely separate from automobiles.
For me, that's the only way to get in a ride that's both healthful and relaxing.
Rob Hedelt: 540/374-5415