Bob Harris - Outdoors and Free - May 02, 2012
Riding Bikes On the Goffstown Rail Trail
Living next to the Goffstown Rail Trail gives me the opportunity to use, as well as see, the growing number of people enjoying it. There are a number of bicycle riders who enjoy riding on the trail, but there is a safety concern to be addressed.
The Rail Trail is not a very wide area. People walking together, side-by-side, so they can talk to each other as they go along, take up most of the space on the trail. Bike riders need room in order to pass by, which means walkers need to be in single file until the biker/s have passed. The problem is that a majority of bikers do not adequately warn walkers that they are approaching from the rear and this can lead to an accident with someone getting hurt.
All bike riders need to have a bell or horn on their bikes or wear a whistle around their neck to use to alert walkers they are approaching. Otherwise, they should holler in a load voice, “Bike Approaching”. Unfortunately, few seem to use any of these safety options. I was walking the trail picking up litter last week, when a biker came up behind me at fast speed and narrowly missed running me over. Had he used a bell or whistle, or hollered out, “Bike Approaching”, I would have moved further to the side. This situation could have been bad.
Another thing that bicycle riders on the Rail Trail should do is to wear a protective helmet. Last year, I observed a youngster riding his bike on the rail trail. He was coming up near the county complex when his bike slid in the soft dirt and went down. The kid was not wearing a helmet and luckily only got minor scrapes on his leg and arm. Friends of the Goffstown Rail Trail encourage bike riders to wear safety helmets when riding on the trail or anywhere. No one needs a serious head injury. So bikers, please be safe and courteous. Wear a helmet, put a bell or horn on your bike or wear a whistle around your neck to use when needed. Safety is our primary concern so that everyone can fully enjoy the Goffstown Rail Trail.
Bob Harris can be reached via e-mail at: email@example.com