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Catherine M. Hancock: Pedal N’ Party no more dangerous than other forms of transportation

  • Pedal N’ Party of Easthampton. GAZETTE FILE PHOTO

Published: 7/1/2019 6:30:09 PM

Recent news that the startup Pedal N’ Party bike tour had been shut down in Easthampton was disappointing.

The reason apparently had to do with the fact that the vehicle is motorized and could possibly be dangerous due to the width of the pedal vehicle, which as I understand it is half the width of the trail.

Last weekend I spent a couple of hours along the bike path and observed many folks using and enjoying the trail in what could easily be described as equally or more precarious modes of transport.

First, if motorization is the issue, it seems that times are changing and bicycles with electric motors are becoming quite popular and are already prevalent on the bike trail. At least four or five of those buzzed by in short order.

Then along came the folks with trailers attached to the back of their bikes hauling everything from beach umbrellas, to coolers and kids. Then came the giant adult tricycles, which I had never seen before. Those were motorized as well and took up well over half the trail width.

Next, we had the dog walkers, sometimes walking two abreast with their leashed dogs darting every which way, blocking the trail at times. Then there were the scooters, rollerbladers, and skateboarders. One guy on a bike was towing two girls on skateboards behind him, one on each side with ropes. The list could go on.

The point is that the bike trail can and should be accommodating to all within some basic parameters of safety and reason. I see the pedal party business as a positive addition to the growing opportunity for fun and recreation in Easthampton and a nice option for pub-crawlers or anybody else for that matter.

It does not appear that this type of pedal transport would cause more trouble on the trails than anything else already out there. Personally, I think the most annoyance and danger comes from the very serious, often scowling cyclists who race along and expect the public rail trail to be wide open and available at all hours as their own personal speedway.

Catherine M. Hancock


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