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Another cyclist who makes us all look bad

A bicyclist ran over Malini as we were walking to school on the Shoal Creek hike and bike trail this morning. He came up behind us too fast, didn't alert us that he was coming, and assumed he knew which way we would dodge when we finally heard him. He guessed wrong and ran right into my daughter.

We're very lucky that she suffered only scrapes, bruises and a lot of tears. I'm trying not to imagine the worse injuries that a nine-year-old could receive being squashed on the pavement by two hundred pounds of bicycle and rider. Malini was terrified, of course, as were little sister Uma and I. When it was all over, Uma told me, "That made me want to say bad words!" Me, too, sweetie.

We walked Malini on to school where the nurse cleaned her up and gave her an ice pack. Thank heaven for school nurses. On top of everything else poor Malini was worried about being tardy!

As I was telling the story at Pacha afterward, another customer came over to introduce himself and suggested that I write a letter to the editor. I did, in the hope that maybe one knuckleheaded cyclist will read it and think, or maybe one non-knuckleheaded cyclist will talk to a knuckleheaded friend. Here's part of what I said: Please remind people that walkers have the right of way on the hike and bike trails, followed by runners, followed by cyclists. It's always the cyclist's responsibility to pass pedestrians slowly enough to avoid an accident. Yes, out of courtesy and self-defense it's nice for pedestrians to move right when a bike is coming, but we can't even do that if cyclists don't give us any warning.

After running my daughter down, the guy had the gall to shout at me, "Teach your kids how to walk on the trail!" If only his daddy had taught him how to ride. May his tires forever be flat.

kids 2004.09.29 link