Letters to the Editor

Bicyclists must be brave in Modesto

Views of a long-term bike enthusiast: Sunday morning, a donut run down quiet streets, enjoying the climate, good facilities, considerate motorists -- in all, a satisfying experience. In Modesto? Nope.

This town is full of rude, braying motorists, ranging from indifferent to downright homicidal, that augment the crummy bike lanes (ruts, potholes, broken glass, piles of limbs, traffic lights that don't stay green long enough for safe crossing, to name a few) to enrich the lives of those of us that choose to get around without subsidizing the gas robber barons.

Thrown objects, swerving into the bike lanes at high speed, horns blown to startle the unsuspecting cyclist, even passenger doors opened to see if we can knock the poor slob off his two-wheeler -- these are daily occurrences. And, should the unspeakable occur, some goon cutting the security cable and stealing the bike, official attitudes are indifferent at best.

Why, then, do we continue? Economics, convenience, health and the challenge. Accept the dog-eat-dog situation, practice extreme vigilance and we will survive; not always in one piece and not always on the machine we started out on, but in the long haul it is worthwhile.