by Max Brantley
Bicycle Advocacy of Central Arkansas (BACA) and the Arkansas Bicycle Club are sponsoring the annual National Ride of Silence to remember those who have been killed or injured while bicycling and to recognize that bicyclists have a right to be on the roads.
It's at 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 15. The ride starts at the new Children's Library at 4800 W. 10th and will go east on 12th Street, two abreast at 12 mph, using new bicycle lanes. The group will go through the Arkansas Children's Hospital grounds and end at the Capitol steps for a brief program. Helmets required and bicycle lights needed.
Though a lapsed bike rider myself, I remain an advocate of providing safe lanes for bicyclists on city streets, bike trails and bridges and welcome and encourage the rise in cycling in these parts. For a period, I commuted from Hillcrest to downtown on a bike. Markham Street near the Deaf School was always an iffy proposition.
But .... I have some sympathy for those who say there are bike riders who, though thoroughly entitled to space on the road, don't think they must obey the rules of the road in return. I'm thinking particularly of those bikers who zip by lines of stopped cars on the right to whip through red stop lights that the cars have obeyed. I'm also thinking of a handful of bicyclists who've claimed sidewalks and expect pedestrians to yield.