Cycling in Wash Park is a great way to log needed miles but needs to be undertaken with different rules and considerations than riding on the streets.
I’d say that I’m in Wash Park at least 4 days a week primarily on my road or cyclo-cross bike (in winter) logging those necessary miles. I usually cycle in the park during the week and have found the best (safest/ least congested) times to ride are between 8:30am – 3:30pm. In the summertime these times are particularly heeded as many late afternoons will quickly draw the crowds and make travel around the park much more hazardous. I personally would never ride in the summertime during the weekend unless I was on a cruiser and had no temptation to get into a “competitive” tempo. The hours past 4:30pm tend to get much more congested in the road around the park with dogs (sometimes off leash) strollers, casual cyclists, rollerbladers, and walkers and should, in my opinion, be avoided by the more “competitive” cyclist. We know who we are.
We as cyclists need to keep in mind too that this is a park and is there for everyone’s enjoyment. I’ve seen some cyclists get very annoyed with and swear at pedestrians that did not know the proper etiquette of the different sides of the road in the park. This only gives us cyclists, as a whole, bad names and reputations. We simply need to educate those not in the know on how things work most smoothly for all that use the road in the park. I too have been frustrated with the pedestrians that will just walk across the road without even a glance to see what might be coming. Or the dog that is dashing across the road, off leash, haphazardly. These situations can be very dangerous not only to the “perpetrator’ but to the cyclist who may need to react very quickly to avoid a potential disastrous situation.
For those that do not have the luxury of riding mid-day when the park is least inhabited and safest, just be prepared for a more than occasional “on your left” to those who congest the road ahead.
Kirk Hartshorn- 720-244-5454
Perry & Co. www.perryandco.com