How To Walk On The Bike Path

These signs are not about The Man trying to run your life — they are about The Doctor trying to keep you out of the emergency room.

Silent but deadly! Two facts of modern bicycle technology will become immediately apparent to anyone walking on the path not wearing headphones: Good bikes are utterly silent and they are fast as hell; I think these facts are not unrelated.

At any rate, you will see an approaching bicyclist waaay before you hear him or her, and when you are facing each other, not only will you see him, but he will know that you see him. And you will know that he knows that you see him.

To a certain extent I think people don’t even notice the signs; they’re just out for a relaxing walk. Relaxing, that is, until a blurry phantom swooshes past at warp speed. A collision could be catastrophic but is easily avoided. (And by the way, if I had a bike this is exactly what I would be doing. It looks hella fun and it is a bike path after all.)

Compare and contrast this to the etiquette of the walking path on Blackstone Boulevard, where we are all supposed to walk (jog, run) over to the right, and where bicycles are specifically verboten. (There are designated bike lanes in the boulevard proper.) These conventions free us up for thinking great thoughts and enjoying the view.

(This new section of the East Bay Bike Path can be accessed on Gano Street (seen here), Power Street, Pitman Street, and behind Eastside Marketplace.)

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