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Thread: WTOP does bike stories...

  1. #1
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    Default WTOP does bike stories...

    No, really, we do. I've got one coming up, scheduled for Sunday, a nice profile of a long-haul commuter you all may know. I'll flag it here if the story gets bumped (it happens). Although bikes aren't my beat, the integration of bikes on area roadways is more than just a passing story..and WTOP gets that. I also blog about the issue (and my experiences) at http://kateryanreports.blogspot.com/

    It's by no means comprehensive, but my attempt at covering something that's a growing concern (and I don't mean that in a negative way) but that we all are finding as riders, pedestrians and drivers, that there's a critical need to cooperate out there. I spoke to a police official about these things just the other day, and she said "It used to be a fatal was rare...we are seeing too many of them". I don't think it's controversial for a reporter to tell you: I agree. Again, I'm all for every one of us doing what we can to keep ourselves--and the other guy--safe.

    'Cause it should also be FUN.

    You can catch our web stories at wtop.com and me at my newsroom email at kryan@wtopnews.com. Not a promo, just an invitation. Best,

    Kate Ryan
    WTOP

  2. #2
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    Welcome to the bike forum, Kate!
    And thanks for your continued coverage of bike issues and stories.
    We look forward to reading the profile of our forum buddy, and hope that you can check in once in a while on this forum and offer your insight.
    Have a good weekend and enjoy the balmy weather.

  3. #3
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    Oooh, how exciting! Can we get any more details, or do we have to wait until Sunday?

  4. #4
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    Thanks for covering this critical area, one which will only continue to get worse as oil prices continue their erratic climb.

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    I was a little amazed that some righteous cyclist thought that pedestrians should be wearing reflective vests because they have almost hit people on the W&OD trail. Cyclists do not have the right of way on the path, often I see riders think they are the king of the trail, probably this caller was some delusional king of cycling. But per Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority who runs the W&OD, "Unless otherwise posted, pedestrians have the right of way. Travel at speeds that are safe and appropriate to trail conditions and usage." AND "The trail is open only during daylight hours." So the cyclist who called in really should think about those facts. The trail is technically closed after dark and that they must yield to pedestrians.

    The W&OD really is a great resource but it amazes me how cyclists in particular abuse it. I use it as a great way to get from point A to point B riding fairly slow and respect walkers/runners. When I want to ride hard I wait until the path is vacant or I'm off on the roads. My biggest annoyance is the shear number of riders who blow thru all the stop signs, I think I'm one of the only riders who actually stops at all of them. And from what I've seen drivers are extremely polite about stopping to let you cross when you stop.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by MackMudPig View Post
    I was a little amazed that some righteous cyclist thought that pedestrians should be wearing reflective vests because they have almost hit people on the W&OD trail.
    I wasn't saying it to be self-righteous, I'm saying it out of concern for the safety of the pedestrians. The ones who wear all-black are genuinely invisible. The friends that I ride with all say the same thing, and just about anyone who hits the trail at those hours has seen it before as well.

    Honestly I just want everybody to be safe, no matter who they are or how they're getting around. Even if I was going 10mph instead of 15mph, invisible is invisible and the risk is still there. Even a simple $5 blinking light is sufficient, or a white shirt, or something.

    Go ride at night sometime and you'll see what I mean. The "ninjas" really can sneak up on you even with good headlights and while paying full attention.

    ---
    Brett Hack - W&OD Trail Patrol

  7. #7
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    Okay, I seemed to have missed this -- I listened to WTOP as much as I could today. I thought it was going to be a feature that would be interspersed with the news items today (and repeated a few times), but it sounds like it was a call in show? Is this available on the website? Thanks.

    Liz

    P.S. I would also strongly urge ninja pedestrians and joggers to wear something, anything, reflective. I acknowledge that signs posted on the trail state, "Closed After Dark", and if so, I assume that means for pedestrians as well as bicyclists. So if we are all going to be scofflaws busting curfew, best we do it as safely as possible.

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    Quote Originally Posted by eminva View Post
    I acknowledge that signs posted on the trail state, "Closed After Dark", and if so, I assume that means for pedestrians as well as bicyclists. So if we are all going to be scofflaws busting curfew, best we do it as safely as possible.
    Having be a cyclist now for 30 years I can quickly acknowledge that cyclist tend to ride way to fast on the W&OD trail. The reality is that pedestrians and cyclists are on the trail after dark, perhaps that's a sign for cyclists to just slow down. I saw one of Brett's post from last week, "Sorry if I ran anyone over on the W&OD this week... :-) [a story]" Sounds like a common tale on the W&OD trail by people like Brett, too fast and probably little regard for others. I can't take someone serious about telling pedestrians to be more careful when they aren't careful.

  10. #10
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    Brett, great article! Congrats and I hope you keep the streak alive even through parenthood (hopefully you won't fall asleep on the bike).

    I can't speak for Brett, but I am a near daily commuter and I do think that bicyclists are cognizant of pedestrians, for the most part. When I am on the trail during the week the pedestrians are usually limited to joggers, dog walkers and commuters on foot (especially near Dunn Loring and EFC, and Ballston on the Custis). My average speed for the Vienna to L Street round trip is 12 or 13 miles per hour, however, even going that slowly I am sometimes startled by ninja joggers or walkers. You can't see them no matter how fast or slowly you are going.

    On the weekend when the trail is full of families, my personal opinion is that it would be best for speedy cyclists testing out their new time trail bikes to go elsewhere -- the back roads of Loudon County, or what have you. So I would agree that the W&OD cannot be all things to all people. However, I think we can and do coexist fairly well.

    Liz

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