Riders heading for Mount Diablo State Park cause problems, say locals

A town in the USA is proposing to ban all cyclists who are just passing through, with residents saying they are a nuisance and a danger.

Riders trying to get to Mount Diablo State Park regularly ride through Diablo, a sleepy town of 1000 residents because it avoids a steeper, busier road to the park.

Bust residents say cyclists ride on private roads, ignore stop signs and regularly ride two or three abreast.

"The most promising solution presented is to establish roads in Diablo as available only to local traffic," Richard Breitwieser of the Diablo Community Services District, wrote in a letter to Danville town officials earlier this month.

"Bicyclists who can't establish a Diablo residence or business purpose will be turned around."

A resident, Maryanne Cella, told the Contra Costa Times: "I don't think it's elitist; I think it's a case of a government agency responding to the people and protecting public safety."

But a local bike shop owner, John Knowles, said the alternative route was unsafe for cyclists. "We are talking about a road with high-speed traffic, no shoulders and limited sight views. It's horrible," he said.

"Danville and the county need to address the problem that Diablo Road is a wagon wheel road that hasn't changed since the days of the buggy," said Clelen Tanner, a cyclist. "I fear cyclists will be killed on it."

A couple of years ago a town in Colorado enacted a cyclist ban. Black Hawk, population 18, according to the 2000 U.S.census – which connects the Peak to Peak Highway, popular with local cyclists, with Central City Parkway, barred riders from most of its streets.

Local cycling campaign group Bicycle Colorado reported that police are now issuing fines to anyone found riding through the town, which in recent years was revived through the introduction of relaxed gambling laws in the state.

The cyclists’ organisation made a formal request that the ban be lifted, but said that the “council made it clear that they had no intention of changing their ordinance.

After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.