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GREG LEWIS, San Clemente
Mr. Gaskin proposes that pedestrians walk on only one side of the Beach Trail to accommodate his powered bicycle. He accuses pedestrians of being contemptuous of powered cyclists. He then shifts to blaming road cyclists as the real problem, accusing them of being arrogant and foul and of constantly threatening violence. His remarks defy common sense.
It would be more reasonable for Mr. Gaskin to invest in a bell for his motorbike and learn to say “excuse me” when approaching pedestrians from behind, most of whom do not have eyes in the back of their heads.
Keeping to the 10-mph speed limit would also help. This is how it works with non-electric bicycles; I know, because I have ridden my beach cruiser on that trail for years without incident. This is a better solution than trying to blame pedestrians and project your own malice onto them.
As for road cyclists, I have lived in San Clemente all of my 57 years, and I have been a road cyclist for 40. There are some who will blow through stop signs without the right of way. This gives cyclists a bad reputation.
Instead, I suggest cyclists slow down to a pace that allows one to stop and yield the right of way if necessary. I will admit to rolling through stop signs when no one is around—just as many motorists do. But cyclists have to be ready to stop and yield the right of way. If you do not want to stop, enter a race.
Mr. Gaskin complains about cyclists tapping his vehicle as he drives by. Cyclists can only do this if the motorist is breaking the law, passed in 2014, that requires drivers maintain a three-foot distance from cyclists.
Tapping on the car alerts the lawbreaking driver to the cyclist’s presence. Remember, as a motorist, you will always come out on top in a collision with a cyclist, who only has a “leotard” (Mr. Gaskin’s contemptuous term) for protection. Disrespectful people are the real danger—
motorists who intimidate cyclists out of impatience or just plain hate.