JAY GASKINS, San Clemente
With regard to the several Letters to the Editor based on Jake Howard’s article on the nuisance of electric bikes being used at Trestles and the Beach Trail, I would like to inject another angle to this discussion.
I have an electric bike and ride it off and on the Beach Trail from the State Park to the Pier, and occasionally to North Beach. I am very respectful of the people walking on the trails and ensure that I obey the rules in the way they are designed to be observed.
I am a very considerate person, anyway, which is transferred to my behavior on the Beach Trail while on my electric bike. The biggest problem that I see on the trails has so much less to do with the people on the bicycles than the people who are walking on the trail.
People have a tendency to walk four or five wide and, when noticing someone on a bicycle, they will generally take their time in allowing room for someone on a bicycle to pass—with a clear contempt for them. That doesn’t include the trail bridges, as almost all of the riders that I see—in the course of any of my trips on the path—will stop and allow people to walk over the bridge before continuing on. A lot of these same people will melodramatize their “shock and dismay” for the bicyclists as they approach to further the publicity of the nuisance(s).
The biggest problem in San Clemente with respect to bicycles has to do with the leotard-wearing “sponsored” cyclists on the city streets who obey none of the laws at all and arrogantly slap people’s cars, curse at them and threaten violence consistently, which gets very little ink, if any.
The only infractions I’ve seen on the Beach Trail since electric bicycles became popular are (generally) committed by young surfers making their way to and from the Riviera District, Lost Winds and T-Street. These are kids being kids and, no matter what vehicle they’re in or on, will generally create a bit of havoc within a “normally calm” pedestrian scenario.
I think people need to pay less attention to a couple of small infractions on the Beach Trail, and spend more time trying to get law enforcement to put into effect the enforcement of the laws and regulations of the cyclists on the street—all of them!