I’m a long-time Savannah cyclist. I pretty much ride everywhere between Ardsley and downtown. For a couple years my sons and I even went completely car-less, getting to school, work, the grocery store, etc. entirely on bikes, in all kinds of weather.
While I do take some liberties on occasion, I consider myself a safe and conscientious rider. I never ride on sidewalks, through squares, or against traffic. I signal for turns and stay visible. I don’t ride particularly fast, knowing the unpredictability of pedestrians and drivers downtown can be a challenge to even the best reflexes.
This last one, it turns out, may be my downfall. Had I been careening at breakneck speed through Forsyth Park one day last fall, the officer who stopped me just past those little “dismount” signs near the fountain might not have been able to catch me.
Clearly, I and my vintage Vista Duchess were a menace that day. He was very friendly, and I of course was very friendly, but even my winning smile wasn’t enough to get him to hold off on the citation.
I’ve been riding through the park for going on 18 years. This relatively new change where you have to dismount between the fountain and the monument gets me sometimes. Not to put too fine a point on it, but I think it’s ridiculous.
I get that laws are laws and yes, I’ve been witness to the odd young whippersnapper on a fixie going waaaay too fast through crowds of toddlers running from one side of the playground to the other. There are good reasons why no one should be allowed to be that kind of idiot.
I’m more the kind of idiot that completely forgets (loses?) the citation, doesn’t show up in court and then gets a letter announcing a bench warrant has been issued for my arrest. The only way out is to pay $160.25.
And no-- I apparently don’t get any points for the hundreds of gallons of gasoline I’m saving for the city to use for sending patrol cars through the park to round up menaces like me.
I love you Savannah, but sometimes I just want to slap you silly. Please tell me you have better things to do than to nab a generally harmless 40-something woman on a bicycle in Forsyth Park on a lovely November day. And please tell me you have better ways of raising funds for our fair city than fining said cyclist nearly a week’s worth of groceries.