SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The number of people using the Sioux Falls bike trail has increased by 200 percent since the start of the pandemic. While that means mean people are enjoying the trails, there’s also a bit of frustration for veteran users, especially cyclists.
Jim Gray has had several close calls on the bike path and has crashed his bike three times. All because of obstacles and people not paying attention or following bike path etiquette.
“This shoulder was way forward and the collar bone was displaced and I was bleeding in the head,” Gray said.
After one crash he spent weeks in the hospital and rehab with a head injury, broken bones and internal bleeding.
“Days in the ICU, Neural ICU about 35 days later I saddled backup and got on a bike, much to my wife’s dissatisfaction.”
He was back on the bike trial because he loves riding. Recently retired, he says riding gives him a feeling of accomplishment and relaxation. but recently that relaxation has turned to frustration.
“When serious bikers get together we all talk about the same stuff, people walking three abreast, dog leashes, retractable dog leashes oh my lord,” said Gray.
He says riding on the trail with so many people who don’t know the rules of the road has diminished the experience.
“I think most important is to be situationally aware, be aware that this is a multi-use trail, the city will quickly tell you, its not a bike trail it is multi use, even though colloquially we refer to it as the bike trail its not. It’s a multi-use trail and we all have the same right to enjoy it and we all should have the same right to be cautious of one another as we interact out here on the trail.”
His third crash left him with a concussion, when he had a head on collision with one of 3 bikers taking up the whole trail.
Jim and his fellow riders are expecting the city to do more to educate people on the do’s and don’ts of using the bike trail. In the meantime he’ll keep riding and keep hoping.
Here are some things to keep in mind to keep everyone safe:
- The speed limit is actually 15 miles per hour.
- Remember to keep to the right.
- You should yield to pedestrians and slower moving traffic, except when passing.
- Groups should never occupy the full width of the trail.
- And if you are riding a bike or roller blading you should let people know when you’re passing them, most commonly by saying “on your left.”
In tonight’s Eye on KELOLAND at 10 p.m. we will find out if the Sioux Falls Parks Department has plans to help Jim and others stay safe on the bike trail.