2017-08-17 / Letters to the Editor

Cyclists have right to ride on road, too

To the editor:

Last week, I undertook a 75-mile training ride around Jamestown as part of my preparation for a half-Ironman later this month.

Circling the island for 75 miles, I thought I might keel off my bike from boredom. Little did I know how close I would come to keeling off my bike from the scariest behavior I’ve seen in 20 years of cycling around this island.

Pedaling through the North End, about 50 miles into the effort, I heard a car slam on the horn behind me. Then the driver, in a green SUV, pulled alongside me, screamed at me in profanities to get off the road. Shocked, I tried to recover my composure as he pulled in front of me, weaved back and forth, and slammed on his brakes.

Smack! I had no time to brake myself, and ran into his rear windshield. He took off again, and finally turned left after 200 yards.

An isolated incident of road rage? Perhaps. It illustrates, however, the mentality of a few Jamestowners and puts fellow islanders’ lives at risk.

Some of the roads are already dangerous because of potholes and disrepair, and the negative attitudes only exacerbate these hazards. Rhode Island law determines a cyclist is a vehicle and has equal rights under the law. We need to end the hostile attitudes of those few aggressive cycle-haters, slow down, and appreciate the easygoing and safe island we have. I also implore the police to be more aggressive in ticketing those drivers who are putting lives at danger.

Ben Tuff
Wolcott Avenue

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