To the editor:
I would like to respond to the Speak Out comment complaining about bicyclists on two-lane roads.
I would like to apologize to all drivers for any bicyclist who rides in an unsafe manner. We promote and encourage safe and courteous riding at all times.
However, if the caller was suggesting that the bicyclist should have left the roadway to allow the car to pass, I feel the caller's expectations are beyond what is safe and legal. The shoulders of most roads do not allow for safe passage for bicycles.
The caller suggested that bicyclists confine their riding to the recreational trail. While we are very happy Cape Girardeau has such a fine facility and encourage its use (we volunteer to pick up trash along the trail several times a year), the trail is not the appropriate place for higher-speed riding. I would like to remind all bicyclists that they are sharing the trail with walkers, roller bladers, skateboarders and pets. So slow down and be ready for anything.
I would also like to thank the thousands of courteous drivers who do a great job of sharing the roads with bicyclists. If you are tempted to pass a bicyclist in a situation where there is not a clear view, have patience and help prevent a tragic accident. If it looks like we are enjoying ourselves on those bicycles, it is because we are, and we would love to have you join the fun and exercise of bicycling.