Saturday, February 12, 2011

Poor Bike Trail Detour, GW Parkway

I took some pictures of this yesterday and Washcycle has a blog entry using them.

New Detour, south end 14th St bridge
New "cut through" detour near south end of 14th St Bridge

The photo doesn't convey the difficulty of riding this particularly well - the construction people followed the natural contour of the hill so the lower section is shallow and then it quickly gets pretty steep for most cyclists. When riding up this, about one in four cyclists gave up part way through and dismounted. Even though it is quite wide, many riders have difficulty focusing on both the difficult surface straight down and other riders and pedestrians.

In the photo above, the old-timer recumbent rider was able to pedal straight up the incline; the other fellow ahead of him slowed down and stood up to make his way to the top. Of course, when he stood up to pedal he immediately slowed down and the recumbent is practically running into him.

New Detour, south end 14th St bridge
Loose gravel at bottom - similar ruts are at top

In addition to being steep, there are these ruts to navigate successfully.

My thought is that if they do nothing else, there should be "walk your bike" signs (much as I don't like those). I contacted the Park Service management for the GW Parkway here to suggest there was a problem at this location that needs correction or people may well get hurt. No reply so far.

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