Roland Johnson: Bicycles, cars have equal rights to road

  • Published in Letters

To the editor:

This is in response to a letter by John Slack in the Wednesday, June 28, issue.

As a cyclist and someone who is very passionate about bicycles, I find his comments about how certain types of bicycles shouldn’t be allowed on certain roads — and only certain widths of tires should be allowed on certain road as well — bizarre.

Also, I’m not sure what was meant by “racing bikes.” I think the bikes he saw were touring bikes, and they are everywhere.

How about if VW Bugs were no longer allowed on Passaconaway Road, and only four-wheel drive trucks are allowed? Same difference.

Bicycles are not toys; they are vehicles.

The rules of the road for bicycles are not wrong; bicycles, by law, are to follow the same laws as motor vehicles, and that should not be changed.

Some cyclists do bike on the left, as bicycle laws are rarely enforced. If a cyclist is riding on a road that has no shoulder, then the rider is cycling at his or her own risk and can just hope that the vehicle coming from behind gives the cyclist the required three feet by law.

I never ride a bike without a mirror so I can keep an eye on cars that may be too close.

Keep in mind, bicycles were here first. Pedestrians and bicycles always have the right of way. Remember that.

It is not us cyclists who are “arrogant” and “getting in the way.” We have every right to use the roads, even more so than motorists.

If you want to see arrogance, take a ride across West Side Road any time of day or night and watch as motorists drive at speeds of 60 mph and pass on double yellow lines, as people are out there walking and cycling, then tell me who the arrogant ones are.

By the way, to all the local cyclists: West Side Road is a good road to stay away from.

Also scary is the strip (Route 16) at night as far as speeding when lots of foreign kids are riding their bikes home after work and some with no lights (New Hampshire does not require lights, only reflectors on the pedals, with which they usually come from the factory).

So, keep in mind, it’s summer. Watch out for cyclists.

Roland Johnson

North Conway