Snarky remarks about ‘spandex’ are unfair to Legacy Trail bike riders
I have to reply to the April 8 guest column in which the author questioned the “veracity” of my Jan. 22 column on the use and abuse of the Legacy Trail by electric powered automobiles. It was a nice, four-syllable-term way of contacting me a liar.
It pains me to have to defend my integrity, but during a newspaper occupation of additional than 50 years – a single that saw me hold the position of senior editor at several day by day newspapers – my veracity was never questioned. And my veracity should not be questioned now.
The writer’s precise contention was that I could not have caught up to the two large-speed electrical devices I referenced mainly because I was heading 10 to 12 mph and they were claiming to be traveling 29 or 30 mph. As my column obviously mentioned, the riders of individuals electrical machines had stopped by the side of the path to examine notes on their speed. Naturally, it is really uncomplicated to catch up to riders who have stopped driving.
The author also ridiculed my observation that it was unfortunate to see a younger lady without the need of a helmet using an electric powered equipment that was tricked out to resemble a Harley-Davidson bike. He wrote that any decision to enable kids go without having helmets is “on the parents” and “really none of our business.”
Properly, donning a helmet occurs to be a point out law, and a person that moms and dads have no proper to decide out of next. It is a limited stage from that to allowing dad and mom make a decision if they want to use motor vehicle seats and seat belts, give their children the usual childhood vaccinations, protected their firearms or fence their swimming pools.
All “on the dad and mom,” I suppose.
The writer also sneered at the thought of any variety of enforcement on the Legacy Path, and he designed a snarky reference to using a “Karen-accredited radar gun.” Even so, we do appear to nearly agree on a person issue: pace is the main problem on the trail. The writer thinks the teams of highway-bike lovers are responsible for this problem I feel the worst speeders are individuals working with electric motorized vehicles. But, previously mentioned all else, this must be apparent: all people of the trail should be held to the 15 mph limit.
In my column, I proposed that Sarasota County fund a Sheriff’s Place of work deputy to “show the flag and make informational contacts.” But I said nothing at all about using radar guns. I believe the presence of someone in a Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office uniform would have the very same impact on all path riders as it does when motorists see a person of the department’s cars on the road – they strike the brakes. I doubt, for example, that a deputy would have to tell a mum or dad 2 times that point out regulation demands helmets for little ones.
On an additional issue, I have to giggle at the obsession some individuals seem to be to have with what other individuals are sporting whilst on the trail. The writer wrote that one path user’s shorts had been “way way too short” and his shoes “garish.” Like a gymnast or an NBA participant, for instance? He also pointed out “spandex” – a reference that was also manufactured by a current letter writer in an apparent attempt to deride real bicyclists on the Legacy Trail. (And, no, electric powered-equipment riders are not real bicyclists.)
In get to educate the uninformed, let me reveal about the “kit” shorts and jerseys that authentic bicyclists use. The kit is there for a cause, and it is not a fashion assertion. Initial, several kits are in fact designed of spandex, simply because spandex traps warmth and humidity, which could guide to rashes, blisters and saddle sores. Electric-machine riders do not get these because their actual physical initiatives are a lot much more restricted.
As much as bicycle shorts are worried, they are limited for the reason that the compression can help with circulation and simply because a good deal of added fabric bunched up in the crotch can cause rashes, blisters and saddles sores. If you doubt the benefit of authentic bicycle shorts, you have never biked 130 miles in a day – as I have.
In the meantime, the reason why bike jerseys are brightly colored is a quite very simple 1: to improve the riders’ visibility to any motorists who are driving nearby.
Last but not least, for individuals offended by bike shorts, their consternation won’t be able to probably top rated mine when I am passed on the Legacy Path by an electric equipment going 10 or 20 mph over the pace limit – while being operated by another person with a blaring growth box and a Texas-sized behind hanging over a Rhode Island-sized seat.
If something deserves the writer’s sarcastic “Oh, the horror!” line, that undoubtedly does.
Roger Morton is a semi-retired Sarasota journalist with much more than 50 decades of newspaper practical experience. In 2020, he done the Transamerica Trail, a 4,200-mile bicycle journey from Yorktown, Virginia, to Florence, Oregon.