Danny Cross’ article on cycling in Cincinnati (“No One Rides for Free,” issue of Sept. 3) was passed to me today by a co-worker, and I read it with great interest. I took up cycling about eight years ago, and it’s become a real passion. My wife would call it an obsession!
I don’t commute on the bike for all the reasons mentioned in this article, but I do see more and more of my coworkers accepting the inherent risks and starting to commute several days a week. Most of my riding is out of Nisbett Park in Loveland with a cycling group called Gears for Beers. Probably an unfortunate name, but simply a reflection of the fact that we started cycling on Wednesday nights and gathering after the ride to enjoy a beer together.
We have about 300 riders on the ride line, and the number of riders can vary from a handful in mid-Winter to up to 80-90 on a good Summer evening.
We break up into smaller groups for the rides and generally ride specific routes in the eastern parts of Hamilton County and into Clermont and Warren counties. The group also does many of the charity rides in the area, such as Ride de Montgomery and Sunflower Revolution Ride. We sometimes use the Little Miami Trail for a portion of the ride, but as our speeds average around 20 mph it’s just not safe on the trail with dogs, walkers, skaters, children on bikes, etc. While the trail is really nice for the casual rider, I believe that its existence does cause some motorists to believe that all cyclists should stay off the road and use only the trail. We hear the expletives and “Get off the road and onto the trail” screamed at us often.
I’ve found it appalling that when cyclists are hit or involved in accidents with autos, it seldom even makes the newspaper. In many cases the police won’t even file a report. The feeling, even on the part of the police, is that we aren’t really meant to be on the road and that we ride at our own risk. —