Along the scenic trails around Lake Hefner, one would think an atmosphere of harmony and politeness prevails. However, lately there have been a number of negative experiences between the avid bicyclists and everyone else. I have recently witnessed an increase in rude cyclists taking over roads and riding aggressively on trails.
I'll admit I have a slight aversion to cyclists decked out in spandex, swerving all over the trails and the roads proclaiming ownership. I do understand the love of ownership of a fine bicycle. I own a sweet pink Electra Townie 3.
I also use the trails for biking, although I'm way less serious about the sport, choosing to stop off at Louie's On the Lake for a beer break halfway across. But some "serious" cyclists are acting just plain rude, going so far as to claim our area's major roadways as their own personal trails.
My own personal distaste began to simmer after an incident involving a gaggle of cyclists, me pushing a stroller, followed by my son. After a whir of skinny wheels, we were forced off the path. Rude! I probably shouldn't have, but I yelled after them, "You're not so tough without your helmets and spandex!"
Another occurrence involved a long line of rush-hour traffic and six cyclists on Lake Hefner Drive. For those of us living around Lake Hefner, this road is a secondary thoroughfare, allowing us to avoid Northwest Expressway.
The cyclists decided they were going to avoid those pesky bike trails all together, and take to the middle of the road. This was extremely irritating to the traffic and also dangerous as they chose to weave in and out, like the cars were their own personal obstacle course.
After a close call with a cyclist and my fender, I yelled at the bikers to use the designated trail and pointed to my left at the empty paths. As a response, the man yelled, "I pay taxes to use this road! Expletive, blankety blank!"
I also pay taxes, for the use of the road and even for the bike paths that he refused to use.
Prompted by these and several other less than positive occurrences of late, I am inspired to question the motives of rude cyclists and ask if it is possible for us all to learn to live together; if not happily " then maybe just safer and more polite.