Friday, April 17, 2015

Trouble in [Greenbelt] Paradise, Part I

As the weather gets nicer, Greenbelt traffic increases exponentially.  (Until it gets "too hot" - then it drops off again, except near the watery places.  Lots of people can't walk or run or ride a bike when it's too hot or too cold - that's below 65 or above 75 - haha!)  And with that increase in traffic, comes the inevitable increase in distracted and/or irresponsible users of the facility.

I probably only do 20% of my riding on the Greenbelt, but just this week I've seen two yahoos on motorcycles!  Well... pretend motorcycles.  One was a punk on a tiny miniature replica of a lay-on-the-gas-tank sport bike.  (Is that what they refer to as a "pit bike"?  I ride motorcycles - but not on the Greenbelt, and I don't keep up with the lingo and trends very well.)  And another was a young gal - early 20s (punkette?) on a little minibike-looking thing.  NOT a "moped" - this thing didn't have any pedals; it didn't pretend to be a bicycle in any way.  In both cases, I hollered, "You can't ride that on the Greenbelt!"  And in both cases they seemed happy to ignore me.  Hopefully they met with higher authority on up the line.

And yesterday, I happened across two babies in a double-up stroller.  Probably 9-10 months old.  (I'm pretty current on my babies, since I have grandbabies!)  Both were crying bitterly.  A fella - I assume their dad - was standing there leaning over, but I couldn't tell if he was trying to comfort them, or taunting them, or admonishing them to "suck it up."  When babies are sad it makes me sad... especially on a beautiful day in a beautiful outdoor place, which usually makes babies happy and wide-eyed with wonder.

And of course, the usual assortment of people who just stop on the Greenbelt, blocking the way of everybody else.  I always want to ask them, "Do you have a driver's license?  And, do you just stop your car in the traffic lane, when you want to chit-chat or drink some Gatorade?"  My suggestion for a Greenbelt Courtesy Tip from a previous post:

"Keep in mind that the Greenbelt is a transportation corridor, and is often crowded with users.  Please respect other users by not blocking the pathway to chit-chat, repair your bicycle, adjust your load, yap on the phone, send a text, conduct pet or baby admiration sessions, snap a photo, etc. Step to the side, so other people can go by."