Priorities are a bit skewed

Published 12:00 am Friday, November 3, 2006

I wonder how large a segment of Suffolk’s population will benefit from the millions to be spent on a bike trail, compared to the folks who could use those millions to repair the Kings Highway Bridge?

One writer mentioned the possible danger for bikers as they ride through the wooded stretches, a sort of no man’s land. I imagine bikers will have to check in and out of the trail at &uot;safety zones&uot; to be placed miles apart. Who knows what could happen in those 12-foot-wide stretches between those safety zone portable johns and concession stands. What prevents a lone biker from becoming a &uot;bad guy&uot; and hiding along the trial waiting to pounce on the vulnerable?

Any biker I’ve seen on highways is riding head down as though carefully watching their front wheel; seldom do I see their faces, mostly just the top of the required helmet. It can’t be that they are out to enjoy the scenery; they must constantly watch the tail end of the bike and biker in front or they might be part of a pile-up. I’ve seen as many as a dozen or so zipping along single file, oblivious of their surroundings, synchronized pumping to maintain an exact speed. They could just as well be going around the block.

Email newsletter signup

I don’t imagine too many bikers would be on that proposed trail to actually get somewhere. Mostly they would take it to avoid being hit by a truck. They would enjoy riding around any high school track … like the one at Nansemond Suffolk Academy, where the Relay For Life is held. That could be turned into a weekly event where bikers meet bikers, biker stories could be swapped, and boy-girl relationships begun.

Why not have bike dealers there selling parts and new gadgets, bike decorations, high-tech helmets, gloves, knee and shoulder pads, seats that don’t punish your buttocks after the first mile?

You see, not enough thought has gone into this very expensive entertainment project. All you people out there who are bikers raise your hands. You see, not very many compared to those who need the bridge.

But if bikers must have a trail, let’s make it easy on them. Forget blacktopping those railroad tracks all the way to Norfolk or wherever. Just cut a large circle trail through the woods, say half a mile in circumference, and let ’em ride. Trees look pretty much alike, and as they pedal by, they probably wouldn’t notice they weren’t going anywhere. Then we’d be down to needing only one toilet facility, one concession stand, and only one cop to keep the rowdies under control. The cop should ride a motorcycle, because he would look silly on a bicycle with all that subduing stuff hanging on his belt.

There you go; we just saved millions of dollars, the bikers have a safe place to work their legs to give their rear ends a ride, a rest stop, food concessions, and an opportunity to meet compatriots and fall in love. If their bike breaks down, they don’t have miles to walk for help, as they are never more than half a mile from &uot;proper&uot; bladder relief and security.


We did the Roundtable TV show at the Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts, but fast-talking and enthusiastic SCCA Director Michael Bollinger did most of the talking. Even Andy, who usually finishes my sentences, was pushed aside by information that flowed from the director. Little by little, the SCCA is coming together … various art classes planned to begin in October. If you have the time and money, you can improve your ability to create what you may call art. Classes are limited.

It will be a busy place; they tell me it takes nine full-time employees. The Suffolk Department of Recreation is moving in and the Senior Center will not be far behind. Still plenty of room there for the &uot;tourist&uot; bureau.

Contact Pocklington at