Dear 30A Cycling Enthusiasts...........

Discussion in 'All About SoWal' started by tutic1971, Jul 11, 2013.

  1. tutic1971

    tutic1971 Beach Comber

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    I am glad you choose on a daily basis an activity like biking to stay healthy and active. I choose other activities, so I am not aware of or concerned about the laws or your rights when it comes to riding your bike on the narrow road that is 30A.

    I am, however, concerned about your safety and the safety of my family and everyone else who enjoys 30a. On a daily basis, I have to choose to put many lives at risk when I go around you on a narrow road with poor visibility because you have chosen to ride in the street instead of the beautiful bike path that is provided to you.

    I am a kind and gentle person and would be deeply affected if I hit you or cause a wreck that kills my children or someone else because you choose to ride in the narrow road that is 30a instead of the beautiful bike path that is provided to you. It is dangerous all the time, but especially dangerous during the high season.

    Could you please work with me and other drivers? I would really appreciate it. Sometimes I need to drive on 30a to get somewhere. I will do my part and use it only when necessary, though. Could you please do your part, make a good choice and use the beautiful bike path that is provided to you? Or find another road with a shoulder, or a nature bike path. If we both do our part, the lives of everyone traveling along the beautiful road that is 30a will be made much safer.

    Thanks So Much and Happy Riding!!!!
     
  2. tutic1971

    tutic1971 Beach Comber

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    I am glad you choose on a daily basis an activity like biking to stay healthy and active. I choose other activities, so I am not aware of or concerned about the laws or your rights when it comes to riding your bike on the narrow road that is 30A.

    I am, however, concerned about your safety and the safety of my family and everyone else who enjoys 30a. On a daily basis, I have to choose to put many lives at risk when I go around you on a narrow road with poor visibility because you have chosen to ride in the street instead of the beautiful bike path that is provided to you.

    I am a kind and gentle person and would be deeply affected if I hit you or cause a wreck that kills my children or someone else because you choose to ride in the narrow road that is 30a instead of the beautiful bike path that is provided to you. It is dangerous all the time, but especially dangerous during the high season.

    Could you please work with me and other drivers? I would really appreciate it. Sometimes I need to drive on 30a to get somewhere. I will do my part and use it only when necessary, though. Could you please do your part, make a good choice and use the beautiful bike path that is provided to you? Or find another road with a shoulder, or a nature bike path. If we both do our part, the lives of everyone traveling along the beautiful road that is 30a will be made much safer.

    Thanks So Much and Happy Riding!!!!
     
  3. pennstater

    pennstater Beach Comber

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    There is no reason you should be putting anyone's health and well being at risk for what might at most be a 30 second delay until you could safely pass. Do the math.

    I commute regularly by bicycle through New York City. Despite the lunatic motorists, clueless pedestrians, aggressive cyclists (now including electric bikes doing in excess of 30 MPH on bike paths) and off the wall skateboarders we all seem to co-exist.

    I mean this sincerely, if you believe you cannot safely negotiate passing a cyclist on 30A, I question whether you should be operating a motor vehicle period.
     
  4. seafun

    seafun Beach Comber

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    Interesting post. I am an avid walker (with my golden retriever) on the 30a path between the Tom Thumb and Watersound. We negotiate through the runners and casual bikers carefully and we all seem to peacefully coexist. This can be a challenge in the stretches where the path and road are joined; no grass separating the two. The cyclists you are referring to are not only using different equipment (high performance bikes) but also traveling at speeds not possible (or safe) on the paths. Many of them cycle in the early morning hours, which is great, but moving them to the paths is a bad option. They stay as far to the right as possible on 30a and seem to obey all moving vehicle laws.

    The only solution I can suggest is to slow the traffic down in the stretches where everyone routinely runs @ 45 mph +......good luck with that plan.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2013
  5. HealthyBeachGirl

    HealthyBeachGirl Beach Crab

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    And I'm sorry to say - but it is unsafe for us on the bike path as well. I don't think visitors would appreciate cyclists going 25+mph on the bike path buzzing by when they are getting in their morning walks or scooting along with their children to pick up breakfast for their family.

    We go very early in the morning and respect the drivers. We wear brightly colored kits and lights so we are seen. As stated above, just sit back, wait a few seconds until it's safe to go around us. 30 seconds is not a long time to wait to avoid hitting us. We are not out there to make the drivers mad, but to get our workouts in before we have to go to work (yes, I am a local). Plus we do have a right to be on the road and to follow the rules, just as the drivers do.
     
  6. cgrovetriguy

    cgrovetriguy Beach Crab

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    Being a native NW FL guy and a three decade user of 30-A -- back way before the multi-use path even existed -- I would guess I've been using this road longer than you have been SoWal Spouter. And I'd probably guess you are driving a larger SUV and NEVER exercise much which adds to your higher BMI.
    Since I've lived and used 30-A much longer than you -- I've got an idea? Move back to your hometown and let all the original SoWal folks who have used 30-A longer have their road back minus your "uneducated FL rules of the road attitude." Problem solved.
     
  7. deborsk

    deborsk Beach Lover

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    Bikers who are using 30 A on road bikes (the different equipment referred to in an earlier post) would be more of a safety hazard on the bike path--both to the path users and more importantly to themselves because of dirt, sand, etc on the path.
    I live in Seagrove and have a great respect for the bikers on 30 A and slow down for them. Why does everybody who comes to visit here have to be in such a big hurry? For pete's sake, it's the beach!!
     
  8. jodiFL

    jodiFL Beach Fanatic

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    Seems to me that alot of newcomers didnt read up on FL road rules when they arrived. Like the one about waiting until it is safe to get in the opposite lane to pass an obstacle or slower moving vehicle that is in YOUR lane. It DOES NOT read.. "jump in the other lane without even slowing down and force oncoming traffic to slam on their brakes and make a quick right turn while still avoiding everyone in the bike path".
     
  9. Will B

    Will B Moderator

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    Another cyclist thread right on schedule...

    :doh:

    The path is not condusive to road bikes travelling at 25mph on tires no wider than your thumb pumped up to 125psi. Per the law, bikes are entitled to the road just as cars.
    Just go around them...it ain't hard!

    And, yes...being a cyclist, I do have a problem with other Tour de France wannabes ignoring stop signs and signals. Being on a bike doesn't give you pass. Obey the traffic laws!
     
  10. tutic1971

    tutic1971 Beach Comber

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    I routinely have to navigate cyclists at times other than the early morning hours. And trust me, the delay is much longer than 30 seconds.

    It is dangerous for you and everyone else who enjoys 30a when you choose to bike at anytime in the road. It is especially dangerous in the high season when there are tons of people crossing at the crosswalks and drivers are charged with trying to go around the bikers and watch the crosswalks and watch the cars coming in the opposite direction.

    There is nothing in my post that is mean-spirited and the intention of this forum is for people to provide constructive feedback. If you are inclined to make personal attacks or be unkind, please keep your comments to yourself. Perhaps you should take a bike ride and cool off. Just do it on the beautiful bike path that is provided for you or find another road that is safer and allows you to bike at the pace you desire. It is not safe to bike on the narrow road that is 30a.
     
  11. Word6er

    Word6er Beach Lover

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    Traffic is going to increase every year from here on out. The local drivers might be cool. But the out of town drivers are crazy. It is going to get dangerous for any bike riders out there. The bike lane is about 3" in width along 30A. RIDE AT YOUR OWN RISK!

    I recommend trail running. Very peaceful out in the trails. No vehicles.

    The Conservation Park in Panama City Beach has a great bike trail.
     
  12. slow

    slow Beach Crab

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    As a Seagrove local who occasionally drives a car on 30a (but tries to bike or ride a scooter instead whenever possible), I can imagine how it can be frustrating to share the road with road cyclists when you're not a cyclist yourself. If you're in a hurry, any traffic hangup can be frustrating, and I agree sometimes you will have to slow down and wait to pass a cyclist, which sets you back a minute or so.

    This isn't a new problem for cyclists: empathy from car drivers is a constant challenge for those who are out on the road for exercise, or who choose not to drive a car wherever they happen to be headed (and good for them!). 30A is a scenic highway, ideal for cycling, and while its speed, crosswalks, and diverse traffic (bikes, runners, skateboards, golf carts, scooters) are unfortunately viewed as an inconvenience to some, there is thankfully an alternative for faster driving: highway 98. If I'm heading somewhere in a car on 30A and must be there at a specific time, I just leave a little early to account for the unexpected, and so I don't need to drive fast.

    The flip side to this discussion is that many locals here would prefer to see far fewer wide SUVs and trucks crowding the roads and parking areas - especially in high season, or as we call it, "SUV season." We should be celebrating the fact that our community is so active and that many are willing to occasionally ditch the car for other means, rather than trying to restrict those activities in favor of a faster road. It's a rare thing that we have here on 30a, and it only takes an increased speed limit, widened roads, a few traffic lights and a chain restaurant or two to make it a different place entirely... more like everywhere else in the state, frankly.

    We cyclists are fortunate and appreciative to be able to share the road with you, but there are definitely good reasons to choose the road over the excellent path depending on the type of riding you're doing. We'll continue to stick to the right lane and all we ask is you have a little patience for us. Thanks!
     
  13. seagrovegirl

    seagrovegirl Beach Fanatic

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    The flip side to this discussion is that many locals here would prefer to see far fewer wide SUVs and trucks crowding the roads and parking areas - especially in high season, or as we call it, "SUV season."

    The quote above from SLOW....seriously? An SUV takes up one parking spot, just like any other smaller vehicle. The congestion on our roads is from too many vehicles period, whether a smart car, scooter, bike or SUV. The bike path is congested as well, so I guess we need smaller bikes and a 2% BMI. Personally, I think the only alternative is to be patient, understanding and kind.
     
  14. slow

    slow Beach Crab

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    "Personally, I think the only alternative is to be patient, understanding and kind."

    Agreed.
     
  15. 30a Saluki

    30a Saluki Beach Lover

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    So bike riders cannot use the bike path because they ride their bikes too fast? Why now ride slower? There are speed limits for cars on roads, eh? Where is it written that the rights of bicyclists should take precedence over the rights of all others? If it is strictly an exercise thing why not choose a less traveled route? I would not expect to be cut any slack if I elected to run on 30a as part of my exercise routine.
     
  16. Braidsy

    Braidsy Beach Crab

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    Because of the other traffic (runners, walkers, strollers, beach cruisers, dogs, families with children) the "beautiful bike path that is provided" is not suitable for cyclists on road bikes traveling in excess of 20 miles per hour. The cyclist, clipped in and down in the aero position" poses a threat to self and the other people on the "beautiful bike path that is provided" because the speed that cyclist is traveling at is incompatible with the speed of the other traffic. It is kind of like telling a motor cycle to ride on the "beautiful bike path that is provided". May be safer for the motor cycle but not the other people on the "beautiful bike path that is provided". So that "solution" for the "dear 30A cyclist" however well intentioned is a fail. And that is ok. You don't ride, so understandably you didn't realize your suggestion to stay on the "beautiful bike path that is provided" will not work or be adhered to. Do you have a plan "B"?
     
  17. Word6er

    Word6er Beach Lover

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    If you can't reach and maintain the speed limit of Scenic 30A, you don't belong on it. Most scooters, golf carts and bikes can't reach the average 35 mph on 30A. That makes you a sitting duck.

    Riding a bike on any highway is dangerous! What would your mom have told you? Stay off the highway!
     
  18. rdelong43065

    rdelong43065 Beach Fanatic

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    Excuse me? Respect the drivers? OK, maybe you do but the majority of bikers on 30A DO NOT RESPECT the traffic laws and DO NOT like to share the road. Most DO NOT stop at the intersection with stop signs or at red lights. Most DO NOT yield to pedestrians in the crosswalks. Riding through Water sound 3 and 4 abreast. I'm sorry you may feel slighted but it's the other bikers that are giving all the bikers the bad reputation. I have no problem sharing the road with these people but PLEASE OBEY THE TRAFFIC LAWS!!! If I plowed through a red light, I'd get a ticket. Do they? nope and they no they don't and the arrogance at times is stupid. You want to share the road? Fine. But SHARE THE ROAD! I have seen bikers that do respect the traffic laws and I have had the opportunity to thank them personally. They appreciated that and so do I.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2013
  19. Zebraspots

    Zebraspots Beach Fanatic

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    I think that if we had a 4' shoulder on 30a and did a better job of maintaining the bike path, this would be a non issue.

    There are very few places on 30a where a car can safely pass a biker without going into the other lane. There are also a limited number of places where a serious biker has the visibility and space to avoid vehicles and humans. The lance Armstrongs ride on 30a because that is the safest place for them. When they are on 395 or 283 they ride on the paths.

    Drivers:
    Hang up your damn phone, and quit causing near head on collisions impatiently passing bikes.

    Bikes:
    Be considerate, don't ride abreast, and be honest about how you look in spandex.
     
  20. prajna

    prajna Beach Crab

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    I think Zebraspots just beat me to the punch, but I'll go ahead and chime in anyway.

    I can sympathize with most of the arguments made here on both sides. I concede that
    for truly "high speed" bikers on road bikes (though I have yet to see any going 20+ mph),
    perhaps the bike path isn't the best option as it could potentially endanger pedestrians
    and themselves. On the other hand, I have seen significant back up of traffic due to the
    inability of motorists to safely pass bikers for long time intervals. I have also seen
    quite a few cyclists riding beach cruisers and mountain bikes on 30A and who I was very
    nervous passing due to my lack of confidence in their ability to hold a steady course.

    Another related problem, which seems to be of equal concern are the golf carts
    which ride down 30A, go no more than 15 mph, and are more difficult to pass. They are also
    not permitted to use the bike path (though unfortunately, I do see them there at times).

    There are quite a few people who live here and do need to get to work and get kids to
    school in a timely fashion for whom the slow down and enjoy your vacation advice isn't
    really applicable. And although 98 is a good option for getting places quickly, there
    is no access to 98 between Watersound Pkwy and 395, so getting to 98 can be a bit of a
    hassle if you are somewhere between these roads.

    It seems to me that if there was about a 2 foot shoulder on each side of 30A, it would
    allow a space for the bikers which would permit motorists to get by and also give the carts
    a place to pull over and let traffic pass. These wouldn't necessarily have to extend the full
    length of 30A, but could be strategically placed in areas where the problems arise (the stretch
    near Watersound for example). Don't know how easy it would be to accomplish the addition
    of shoulders on 30A, but it seems like the best overall solution.
     

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