As a lifelong Absecon Island resident who has spent decades jogging and biking on our Boardwalk, I have conducted a study of our summer bike riders and have found that we can classify them into three basic categories:
Category I takes leisurely rides, often renting their bikes for a few hours. They frequently have small children in tow. I don't know what they're up to, but they seem to enjoy our clean salt air and beautiful beaches and relax while on vacation. They do not appear to mind sharing our Boardwalk with strollers, joggers and other bikers.
Category II is a relatively new category of people riding a bike with one hand while talking on a cellphone or reading text messages with the other. Anyone who has ever had to make a hard stop with one hand brake knows that this method never ends well. Of course, I understand that these are communications that cannot wait for the end of the ride - there are pedicure appointments and dinner reservations to be confirmed.
But Category III is by far the most fascinating group studied.
These riders have found a mind-altering substance that causes them to hallucinate and imagine themselves in the Tour de France. They accelerate rapidly when foot and bike traffic gets most congested, while shouting "On your left" or "On your right."
These people should be forced to go onto our highways and streets, where the playing field is leveled. Buses, large SUVs and trucks will of course show them great deference when they shout "On your left."
RICHARD J. COHEN