July 12, 2013

Allen Afield: We bicyclists needn't be driven crazy or off the road

By Ken Allen

(Continued from page 1)

I cannot leave this bicycling topic without mentioning an incident that occurred to me on Route 2 in July 2011, but I am not suggesting a correlation between the Trek Across Maine fatality and the following anecdote from two years ago. My story just involved a threatening comment aimed at me while I was bicycling Route 2.

I was pedaling east from Farmington Falls a mile or so west of downtown New Sharon, and a large trailer truck blocked the breakdown lane. There were no approaching vehicles, so I pedaled into the travel lane and started by the parked truck just as the driver crawled from beneath the trailer in front of the eight back wheels. He looked hard into my eyes and said, "You shouldn't bicycle on this road. People will run right over you."

The tone of his voice did not suggest a friendly warning; however, I have bicycled this road for 12 years with no memorable events marring my day, so the comment shocked me into silence for several seconds, quite a feat because I'm normally a quick-mouthed smart aleck. Finally, out of morbid curiosity I blurted out, "Why would anyone do that?"

The man had no satisfactory answer.

I continued toward New Sharon and to Route 27 and home, but his comment has stuck with me, a memory that crosses my mind each time I pedal this rural highway.

Ken Allen, of Belgrade Lakes, a writer, editor and photographer, may be reached at:

KAllyn800@yahoo.com

 

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