Ride bikes single file

Letter to the editor

Posted: Wednesday, June 23, 2004

I am completely in support of bicyclists' right to use the roadway even if their need for safety may cause drivers inconvenience, but I am concerned for the safety of bicyclists who ride side-by-side on area roadways. Shannon Seifert's letter to the editor of June 4 states that "Alaska state vehicle codes say that bicyclists should operate as far to the right as is 'practical.'" This seems to dissuade if not prohibit side-by-side riding. From first grade we were taught to ride single file; this is how all the children I see ride, and adults should understand even better and be setting an example.

Side-by-side riding seems more common lately among adults on North Douglas Highway. Cyclists may not understand that drivers are facing glare in the sunny evenings, and this reduced visibility and the presence of deer, porcupines, trailers, blind driveways, and other surprises all add up to a high degree of danger for cyclists. Riding side-by-side puts one rider directly in harm's way, and removes the option of last-second veering from danger for both riders. Please ride single file for your own sake.

Mark Vinsel

North Douglas

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