The trail is open, smashed windows and angry, abusive pedestrians!

As of today, the trail between Rittenhousetown and Forbidden Drive is now open! Construction looks complete, and the crew did a nice job of returning the trail to a better condition than before the construction. Hooray! I am so glad to have my regular commute back without the extra biking up Kitchen’s or walking along the shoulder of Lincoln Drive. The new creek wall is a bit of an eyesore–I was oddly fond of the crumbly old wall–but I’ll admit I wouldn’t have been so fond had the wall caved in and Lincoln Drive had been taken out so I’ll take it.

In other news, be careful parking in the lots along Kelly Drive. My husband and I occasionally park at the one just north of Falls Bridge when we’ve got tight work + kid pick-up days, but yesterday we were broken into between the hours of 9am – 5pm, and from the array of glass in the lot, I think this happens a lot. The thief completely smashed our back window and made out with a hospital-issued diaper bag, valued around $2, and a few diapers and half-eaten snacks (probably not what (s)he was after). We got a $470 repair. Sigh…

And lastly, a vent. The other day I was riding home along the precarious stretch of Chestnut St., from 34th to the river, when I came to a stop at the red light. Since they’ve obliterated the bike lane along the end of this stretch, I take this section of my ride pretty slowly and carefully. So, imagine my surprise when my front wheel comes to a stop a hair into the cross walk and a woman (who, by the way, had been waiting for the light to turn red while standing IN the street) starts yelling at me at the top of her lungs about how had I hit her, I could have killed her because she has a rod in her leg (and so on and so forth…I stopped listening at some point). It seemed unlikely, as she was a stout woman, and I was going about 2 miles per hour as I rolled to a stop, but I said nothing. I couldn’t help but notice several cars stopped a few FEET into the crosswalk (and I’m the one who could have killed her?). I know there are some extremely reckless cyclists out there, and yes, cyclists have killed pedestrians (it makes big news because it is rare, but it does happen), but I am not one of them, and since this type of thing has happened before (pedestrians yelling at me while I safely ride my bicycle), I wonder, do all cyclists get this abuse no matter how we ride? Do I possibly get MORE of it because I’m female and don’t look as threatening? Do somehow pedestrians who have been hit or nearly hit by some crazed, reckless rider see me the next day and decide to take their frustrations out on me because I look unlikely to respond in a violent way? Anyway, I feel sad that someone out there has given this woman a very bad perception of cyclists everywhere, but I sure wish she’d taken her frustration out elsewhere. As for me, I’ll take my frustration out here…Cycle safely out there. Don’t give us a bad rep!

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2 comments on “The trail is open, smashed windows and angry, abusive pedestrians!

  1. Robert Scavilla says:

    Hi Jane – I like this blog! I’ve only started bike commuting since March, and I admit I still drive in when the weather is cold. I do bike in most days now and my plan is to bike in everyday as long as the temperature is 45 or above. Maybe as I get better gear I can remove this limitation.

    My commute is only about 4 miles from Mt Airy into East Falls, but so far I have no abuse from pedestrians or cars – rather just the opposite. I would say that on a normal day there is a fair amount of social interaction on my ride in and it has all been positive.

    * I didn’t know that I should walk my bike on the sidewalk until I followed the link in this site to take the ‘I Bike PHL Pledge’ – but when I have I ride carefully and say excuse me and thank you 🙂

    looking forward to more,
    …bob

    • HI Bob!
      So glad you enjoyed the blog. Your commute definitely cuts out the more congested portion of the ride, which is nice on fair weather days like today when everyone decides to jump on the trail at once!

      Keep up the cycling! I hope to see you on the trail!

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