Praising Bike Trail Disregards Dangers 

In "22 Reasons to Love Richmond" (Cover Story, Feb. 14), the reason "Because we can beat ourselves up off the beaten path" needs to be completed with the following: "... and beat up trail runners, hikers and walkers while doing it."

In the 20 years that I have been running trails, walking them with my girlfriend, or merely going for extended hikes, I have been run down dozens of times, sometimes from behind, by trail riders whose arrogance assures them of complete ownership of public trails.

This problem has recently included being run down on the Nickel Bridge by trail cyclists traveling at high rates across the span. For those who are not familiar with the Nickel Bridge, there are large signs at both ends of the bridge stating that by law, cyclists are required to dismount and walk their bikes across.

So far, because of my size and condition, I have only sustained bruises from these encounters, while the cyclists usually are far less lucky — including the one who was rear-ended by two fellow cyclists. I am highly concerned that my girlfriend, who is 9 inches shorter and 80 pounds lighter than I, would be seriously injured by these reckless and unthinking individuals.

It is not all riders who are ignorant but those who take blind corners full tilt, ride in violation of law and demand that everyone else scramble out of their way assuming no responsibility for their actions.

William McKenzie
Henrico County


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