Bikes Only?

Up and down the coast line there are miles and miles of paved bike path. It’s there to give cyclists a safe place to ride along the beach without getting in the way of the pedestrians and other beach goers. I know this because of two things – on this path every 50 feet or so the words “BIKES ONLY” are printed in giant 4 ft block letters, sometimes accompanied by a “no walking people” icon; and because on every other pathway along the beach “No Bicycles” in posted clearly. You might think this would create a clear segregation that would be safer and more enjoyable for everyone. Yeah… not so much. Here are a few things I’ve seen on the “bikes only” bike path in the last week or so:

Bikes only

  • People walking 4 abreast taking up the entire path.
  • People pushing strollers and stopping every 5 feet to make sure the wind isn’t blowing sand on their kid.
  • Roller bladers skating down the middle and weaving back and forth making passing unsafe.
  • People walking their dogs, and letting their dogs take giant poos on the path.
  • A family of 5 with rented 3 wheelers taking up both lanes and stopping constantly to chat with each other.
  • People standing still in the middle of the path looking at the beach.
  • People sitting down on the path, possibly to enjoy a picnic lunch.
  • Surfers standing and talking in the middle of the path, holding surfboards in such a way as to block the entire path.

Of course suggesting to any of these people that they are not supposed to be on the “bikes only” bike path unleashes so much hell you’d think I was just imagining the signs posted everywhere.

As you might imagine all of this makes the bike path near impossible to use safely and creates some very dangerous situations. Of course the ample beach patrol and officers in the area do nothing discourage the use of the bike path by non-bikers. And to add insult to injury, even thinking of riding a bike on the pedestrian area will get the immediate attention of said authorities who will instruct you to get the hell off that bike right away.

The problem here really is mixed enforcement, why have the bike path if its a bike path in name alone? I mean, I guess it’s bragging rights for the city but in that case shouldn’t they be doing something to keep it somewhat bike friendly?

13 Replies to “Bikes Only?”

  1. These are the same self-absorbed dipshits that get to the end of the escalator and stop, blocking the path of all of those moving toward them at a steady pace. (Sorry. Can you tell I’ve recently been on an escalator?)

    Mixed enforcement is a problem, and those same authorities that are moving bikes off the ped paths should do the same for the bike paths. The thing that really pisses me off are the indignant pricks that make you out to be the asshole for suggesting they shouldn’t be able to do whatever they like on clearly marked BIKE paths.

  2. The beach “bike only” path is a bad joke. I rarely ride there, but finally just gave up saying anything. One of my favorite sights was the guy walking his dog on a leash – he was on the right, his dog was on the left. Think about it.

  3. OMG!!! This is sooo one of my pet peeves. Last year I lived at the beach and everyday rode the bike path. Everyday, I had to swerve to avoid some idiot variation of the above to avoid a major collision. When I said something invariably people got agitated and huffy. I constantly wondered why it wasn’t policed more carefully having witnessed several nasty falls.

  4. I’ve taken a couple of spills because of the people stopping every 5 feet, standing, etc. on the Long Beach bike path. Lesson learned – I only use the bike paths early early early in the morning, before most large groups of people have had time to pack their herds into their SUV and head to the beach.

  5. I believe there’s a gravitational power that attracts morons doing totally ridiculous and dangerous things to bike paths. Avoid them at all costs.

  6. Welcome to the beach. Down in Newport we get the same thing on the boardwalk. The 4 abreast dragging boogie boards is my biggest peeve. That and the shift from current bearing for no apparent reason.

  7. I’m the “asshole” that buzzes the tower and rides as close as I can to those people. If they shift and I end up grazing or hitting them….not my problem.

  8. I’m occasionally one of those “assholes” that is on the bike path. I’m a runner, and running on the boardwalk is literally impossible with the crowds. (when there *IS* a boardwalk; there are some areas of the beach where there are no paved alternatives, period.) That said, I always stay to the side of the path and keep alert to cyclists approaching.

  9. I can usually spot a jackass that’s going to walk across the bike path without looking from about 50 feet away. “Bike path dipshit!” seems to get the most entertaining responses.

  10. I always hated that. Several times, I started to make up a handout — in 10 languages — that said “Get the F$^K off the BIKES ONLY path!!!”

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