I’ve read several articles about bike riding recently, including “Maine bike sales are riding high,” on the front page of your June 11 edition. The articles all call for safety rules for car drivers to ensure safety for riders. Rightfully so.

I read the articles with alarm. Nothing is said or done about keeping runners and walkers safe from bicyclists. I live and walk on Back Cove daily. I live in fear of being hit by a bike that I cannot hear, have no warning that it’s behind me and about to pass.

I suspect the rider would say, “I’m watching and know where I’m going.” I’m sure that’s true, but he/she does not know where I am going. Walkers drift, move to look at something or, like me, pick up trash and head for the trash. I try to remember.

I moved to Maine 10 years ago, from a large city where the culture of bike riders is, almost without exception, to say “On your left” before passing. It almost never happens here. Why? People are hit. One of my running friends in Dallas was hit and unable to run for weeks because of his injuries. A young woman was killed on a city trail by a biker – who must live the rest of his life knowing he took someone’s life.

What will it take to change the culture in the riding community in Maine? It needs to happen. Now. I worry about it every time I walk.

Eileen Purdy


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