Bicycle-related letters in the Columbia Tribune

There have been a series of letters in the Columbia Daily Tribune in the past two or three months, dealing with bicycle related issues. Here is a sampling of them:

Bicycling for transportation:
My husband and I ride our bicycles on city streets for transportation. . . .

We are both healthy and in our 70s, although I have type 2 diabetes. Leon had a brain hemorrhage that kept him in the intensive-care unit for four weeks in 1999.

We follow the traffic rules and defer to pedestrians on the sidewalk. We vote and pay taxes and can't imagine why someone is enraged to see us on the streets. I hope they can understand why we are there.
Bike 'N' Bus:
As a regular cyclist, I didn't anticipate any problems when the rest of my family took our only vehicle with them on a 10-day vacation. That changed when I needed to go to a doctor's appointment on Keene Street - on the east side of town - and complete an errand at the mall - on the west side - on the same morning. In addition to the distance, I was concerned about the "bicycle-unfriendliness" of some of the roads I would travel.

I needn't have worried. With Columbia Transit's Bike 'N' Bus program, the whole exercise took less than three hours, and I got my exercise done! Bike 'N' Bus allows cyclists to transport their bikes free of charge on the bike rack fitted on every bus. . . .
Bicycling on the roads:
I am compelled to respond to the letter appearing in a recent edition of the Tribune stating that cyclists should ride the Katy trail and not on the roads. The writer suggests that because the state of Missouri built the Katy trail using tax dollars, cyclists should use only that trail and not traverse the roads of Missouri.

The writer's assertion reflects a profound misunderstanding of the many facets of cycling. The Katy trail meets one facet and is suited to one kind of bicycle - a trail bike. It is unsuitable for mountain cyclists, who cycle up and down mountains on specialized bicycles, and for road cyclists, whose bicycles are built for riding on smooth pavement. Cyclists break no laws when riding on the roads. See Missouri statute 307.190. . . .

[I]t should matter to the writer that cyclists have every legal right to those roads.

Jill Mackey, president, Columbia Bicycle Club