Scary, little yellow bike-thing

Scary, little yellow bike-thing

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To the Editor:

To the person who drives the little yellow, banana-shaped bike-thing, I almost hit you a couple of weeks ago, as I was driving on the Vineyard Haven/Edgartown Road just after dark. I was looking for a street where I was supposed to take a left, and just before I made the turn, your vehicle/bike/what is it? zipped across the street (on the bike path) in front of me. You are so low to the ground, that I almost did not see you. I had one of those life-flashing-before-you moments. It would have been so awful had I run you over with my mini-van.

So, my question to you and to Island police, I guess, is what exactly is your little yellow fast moving thing? Is it supposed to be on the bike path, or the road? (I have also been behind you on the road a few times this summer.). How can something so low be safe to be mixing in with other vehicles and bikes? It was really scary, and I am asking these questions out of concern.

Joanne Lambert

Oak Bluffs


  1. When making a left turn its the drivers responsibility to make sure the bike path is clear. Lately the yellow bike has been on the bike path where it belongs. Some of us have to brave the elements to get where we want to go, just watch out for us.

    1. I brave the elements -I walk a lot, I ride my bike a lot. The little yellow thing is a whole different vehicle.

      1. but still has just as much of a right to the roadways as a walker, car, bike, etc.

    2. I do ride the paths at times but there are some of these paths that fail state and federal safety and design guidelines and by the feds own statistics a cyclist is five and a half times more likely to be hit by a motor vehicle on these paths than if they were to stay out on the road. The towns know these facts.

      1. That’s because they don’t stop for the stop signs. The fact that bikes are five and one half times more likely to be hit by a motor vehicle makes me think it might be wise to play it safe. The stop signs are there for a reason.

      2. I tossed my touring bikes years ago. I only use mountain bikes on the bicycle paths. The condition isnt the greatest and is usually covered with branches but Im not complaining.

        1. Maybe if you had complained the paths would be in better shape and you would still have your other bike too. Squeaky wheel and all that.

          1. I’ve been on the Joint Transportation Committe for over 20 years. Change is very slow.

          2. What if cyclists banded together and went on “strike” and refused to use the bike paths June to November or until the paths are safer. Force the issue.

    3. One of the many things I dislike about ‘bike paths’ is that it encourages this incorrect opinion — that bikes belong on paths instead of roads. Let’s be clear here: Bikes were legal road users before cars were invented.

  2. The bike paths do present a challenge to drivers…my suggestion, slow down…check twice.
    A bike may ride on the bike paths or the roads. When it’s on the roads it is to be considered a vehicle and must obey the law like any other vehicle.

    1. But is there some height restriction to be considered a “bike”? And, if not, I jut can’t help but wonder – why push this? Why TRY to ride below the mirror level of most cars, inviting mishap?

      1. the submarine driver could certainly up his chances for survival by lighting it up more, and put flags etc on it. perhaps he will put his opinion in here as to why he doesn’t do that.

          1. nope.. I ride a normal bike.. have a cat eye headlight and flasher for the back.
            But, just for fun, I think I have the record for continuous loops around the roundabout on a bicycle — 12 .

          2. 12 just going around? Cool. I’ve ridden through it hundreds of times with no problems.

          3. yup. I ask anyone to post an honest higher number. Of course, you can ride around in it for hours. But I think it could be a great vineyard pastime, Quirky little island and all—-:)

            and I have met you– I love your sub.. very cool. keep on it, and don’t be dissuaded by ignorance.

          4. With 28,000 miles I have ridden just about every paved and dirt road on the island many times and a great portion of Cape Cod.

          5. I was not lost any more than a kid on the merry -go- round.
            You should only have so much fun sometime.

          6. it’s really great fun.. good luck.
            let me know when you do it– perhaps we should have a chalk board in there to keep track :)

          7. Twelve times around a rotary without exiting ?!
            Clearly you are dizzy, and breaking the law, riding to endanger, impeding the flow of traffic, creating a public nuisence.
            And please don don don’t throw in the grammar and spelling reply. It only serves to prove my point of your!!!!!!!!!!!

        1. My lights are far brghter than on a typical motor vehicle. Feel free to approach me if you see me parked somewhere. At night I am one of the brightest vehicles on the road. There are three more of these machines on Island and they do not run lights any where near as mine in light out put. One thousand lumens off the front and over a seven hundred lumen flasher mounted at three feet off the ground at the rear. Plus turn signals and brake and tail lights. The heads of the seven law enforcment agencies on Island have all complemented me on the lights I run night and day

          1. Your bicycle gizmo is well lit. I have a 4100 lumen flashlight that’s even brighter. ( It will toast marshmallows.)

          2. I have batteries that I use. One battey for the onboard electronics. I have over 10 hours run time if I don’t use the light built into the nose. When I go off island I will carry a second battery for that system. The two added lights on the front have seperate batteries with a 10+ hour run time. The 700 lumen flasher will run around 48 hours. I run these lights night and day. My longest ride off island was 142 miles in 8 1/2 hours from Woods Hole to Woods Hole. I turned 60 a few months back and went out 60 miles.

          3. My flashlight only lasts about 15 mins. at best but it toasts marshmallows nicely. Good luck, be safe.

        2. Flags are totally inefective. I had a police officer suggest a flag. I asked if he had a problem seeing me. He said that he was glad that he was wearing sun glasses. I said it before, the heads of all seven of our law enforcment agencies have had nothing but high praise for all the lights I run night and day.

          1. That’s why I ride out in the lane. The side of the is the most dangerous place a cyclist can ride. Most motorists haven’t a clue where the right side of their is in the travel lane.

          2. It weighs in at around 80 pounds and I carry a Camel Back hydration pack and a pretty good tool kit so basically it’s a 100 pound bike. I’m 6′ and 220 pounds. It goes down the road like it’s on rails. The big truck drivers have always given me plenty space when passing and I never really been buffeted around but then again I’ve hit 45 mph on the Vineyard Haven Rd just past the Alpaca Farm packed to the armpits with groceries.

      2. There is no restriction. It fully complies on the states definition of a bicycle. It even travels on the ferry with. $4.00 bike ticket.

        1. It’s about nine feet long and motorcycles which are smaller pay 1/2 the car rate. The SSA is screwy. I’ve had to pay extra because my hitch got stuck making my truck “too long” by a wopping 9″.

          1. It’s all because it meets the definition of a bicycle. Massachusetts defines a bicycle as “one to three wheels and pedal powered.” My bicycle built for three is ten and a half feet long and only has two wheels and a 8′ wheel base.

          2. The SSA will be increasing the rates on a tandem bicycle as of January. So if I travel to the cape on my tandem (two seater) or triplet (three seater) the price will be a little higher. Since the news of the increase I enquired with the SSA about my velomobile and it was still $4.00 one way.

          3. I have to say that even before my Velo arrived I was enquiring with the SSA as to how it would be classified. Non of the middle level SSA staff would give me a straight answer. So I spoke with one of the heads of the SSA. They agreed that it fell under the legal classification of a bicycle. I’ve made at least a dozen day trips with it. The guys collecting tickets really didn’t care. I would hand them my tickets and roll on.

    2. But the bikes have to stop at the stop signs on the bike paths. I know not many stop at the one at iron hill road.

      1. do you ride a bike ? It’s absolutely ridiculous to stop and walk your bike every time you cross an intersection.

        1. I do ride a bike in cross training. I said nothing about walking across intersections. I pointed out that bike riders do not stop at the stop signs on the bike paths (I do though). The stop signs are there for a reason. Stop, look, listen then ride on. A bike rider is under no obligation to walk across an intersection but they are under an obligation to stop at a stop sign.

          1. I would think very few bike riders actually stop at every intersection they come to. The fact that operators of motor vehicles do, regardless of the circumstances, points to the herd mentality of doing what they are told and not questioning it.

          2. and everyone observes all laws ?
            you can’t tell me that every automobile driver stays under the speed limit all the time..
            and just to go off topic here, it’s against the law to leave your vehicle idling for more than 5 minutes if you are in it, and you can NEVER leave it running if you are not in it. No question about it.

          3. My understanding is that a bicycle on the road must obey all vehicular traffic signs, just like a car or other vehicle. If it’s on a bike path, it’s likely that the signs are just suggestions and not legally relevant.

          4. The law requires motor vehicles to stop before crossing the path whether there is a sign there are not.

          5. I think that you’ll find time and time again when people do not stop at stop signs they have a great chance of end up injured or dead. Thats just one of those laws you follow, you stop at a stop sign because the driver who has no stop sign has the right away and if he hits you its your fault.

          6. I hear what you are saying except motor vehicles crossing these paths are required by law to stop and yield to cyclists on these paths whether there is a stop sign or not

          7. I really hope you remember what you just wrote here the next time you are in a crosswalk. Herd mentality? Survival of the fittest my friend. Let’s hope the herd stops to let you cross, instead of taking you out like road kill.

          8. The stop signs are not legal but I would not shoot through one at speed. By law it is any and all motor vehicles that are required to stop before cossing theses paths whether there is a stop sign for motor vehicles or not.

      2. most of those stop signs on the bike path are not legal. Chances are, if the person on the bike path is maintaining their course (parallel to the traffic direction), and you are the one making the turn, the bike actually has right of way.

    3. And as strange as it sounds, a cyclist on a bike path is considered a pedestrian even though they are pedaling.

  3. let’s all remember that all bicycles are allowed on the road, and have the same right of way as an automobile. The little yellow thing is a bicycle. The bike paths are really nice, and it would be great if we put more in, but bicycles are not obligated to use them.
    Both cyclist and operators of cars and trucks do dumb things. We all just have to be careful.

    1. OK, but the little yellow thing: lights or not, careful driving or not, it’s below the level of the average car’s mirror adjustment. Why is that safe?

      1. I am certainly not saying that being in that vehicle is safe. I am only saying that we should all be careful. people put themselves at risk in all sorts of ways when they are on the road. Certainly, anyone that is not driving a Tesla is putting themselves at risk. and anyone driving an oversized suv pig is risking killing any other rationally thinking person in a minor traffic accident.
        where do we draw the line ? Do we tell the little yellow thing driver he can’t be on the road because he will get squashed by pigs, or do we ban the pigs ?

        1. Cars that drive on the road follow strict government guidelines for things like crash test ratings, bumpers, lights. You name it it has a regulation for it. Why do we allow this bike thing to ride on the roads under the laws without having to pass any of these rules and regulations. If its going to be on the road it should have to be inspected with a set of rules that it needs to fulfill. It should be registered and should have a plate. If I have to pay to have my vehicle registered and inspected so should everyone else that wants to drive on the road.

          1. My car always passes the safety inspection. But since i replaced the ECU it wont register on the computer. I also switch batteries on my vehicles, boat included which screws up the testing too. I have just given up on the EPA crap and if they want to throw my but in jail fine. Im too old to worry about it anymore. This is the main reason I ride my bike more.

          2. Yeah, resetting or replacing the ECU in the vehicle, which can result from replacing the battery will cause the ECU to loose the emissions data it needs to pass the emissions test at a testing station. Driving at a range of speeds for 100 miles will allow the computer to calibrate and it should have enough data to pass the test. If its older then 98 then you shouldn’t need to pass an OBDII emissions test.

          3. You could use a memory saver that uses a 9VDC battery while switching batteries. Most likely the OBDII connector is the problem with your car or you have either the wrong ECU, or a bad/cheap replacement. Also as Phillip noted below if the memory is cleared then you car needs to complete a drive cycle/s to run the required tests to pass the test. With out knowing the requirements of the drive cycle/s you might never get the tests completed driving on the Vineyard. A qualified mechanic with the right OBDII tools/scanners can force the tests in the ECM quicker than just driving can.

          4. To travel on the public road ways is a right for all of us. To drive a motor vehicle on these same road ways is a privilege. A privilege that can be revoked. So stated by the United States Supreme Court and in a seperate case, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. As for bicycle registration, it was once the law in Massachusetts to be adminerstered by each local municipality. Every local it was tried it cost more money run than they would take in. In 2009 the state legislature abolished that law and the Govenor signed the bill into effect.

          5. Admittedly you are not. Your car insurance isn’t going to help you in a bike crash.

          6. perhaps pedestrians should be required to have proof of insurance also ? (lots of them get run over by cars )

            proof of citizenship ?
            proof of a particular political affiliation ?
            perhaps a few other papers ?

          7. Well in a few weeks everyone will have to have insurance thanks to our glorious president’s plan.
            The only pedestrians I’ve seen crash were drunk.

          8. Do you live in Massachusetts ? We have all had to have insurance here ever since our Governor imposed it on us.

            If you don’t have health insurance, you are in violation of the law that the other recent presidential candidate mandated for all citizens of our state. Need I find the quote from Gov. Romney at the time where he says it is a personal responsibility issue, and it should be imposed on the federal level. ? He after all, was rather adamant about that 47% of moochers not taking personal responsibility for their health care

          9. My official residence is in another state. I spend a bit less than 6 months on the island. I’m well aware of the mandate. I had a good plan that was cancelled because it didn’t cover maternity.

          10. And he is right! A moocher is a moocher. That’s why I go to work every day! So I can pay for the 47 percent who like to play and not pay ( must be out riding on their bike enjoying the fresh air and sunshine ).

          11. I carry an old driver’s license, one credit card, a AAA card (hopefully soon their road coverage will include bikes), and bus fare. Insurance is easily verified.

          12. There are plenty of reasons to test, inspect, and register cars and trucks.
            I started thinking about it, and could rattle off all sorts of things relating to speed, weight, the complexity of the systems involved, pollution, damage to the roads, and on and on. but really ? Your comment is pretty out know, and this is about all it deserves.

          13. The little yellow bike doesn’t weigh 4000 lbs and isn’t going to kill anyone in a 4000 lb vehicle. You tell me which regulations should apply. Maybe the first thing you should try and get passed would be an emissions test. I will be laughing the day drivers will be paying 10 dollars a gallon and are too fat and out of shape to ride a bike.

        2. I think its funny that anyone not driving a Tesla is driving a “Pig”. I prefer my cow. I get more “yeild”.

          1. I didn’t say anyone not driving a tesla was driving a “pig” just taking risk. No fatalities to date have occurred in a tesla, and not because it kills the occupants of the other cars. Please don’t misquote me.

          2. you have to admit, it’s a nice car– I drove one at the electric car day a while ago. Nicest vehicle I have ever been in.

          3. I agree they are sweet rides but I’ve driven many nicer vehicles, sort of an occupational hazard.

        3. We be the PIGS?!
          You be the SQUIRRELS!
          See you in the next curve trying to save your nuts!

      2. Can you see the lines on the road? The safest place to ride is right in front of you. I suggest you read the vehicle code. The laws that dictates how a motorist is suppose to conduct them selves when around cyclists.

      3. Lets put some common sence into this one.
        1 the little yellow thing is under the height of a common compact vehicles side mirror.
        2. A little four year old toddler is less than a common compact vehicles side mirror.
        Would you let your toddler run along the side of the road at night?
        Would you be foolish enough to blame the guy that hits the toddler and or the little yellow thing in the road in the dark of night?
        Well it seems to me that a parent would not let their toddler near the dark road at night. Unless the parent was foolish enough to be in a little yellow thing themselves, in the road, at night.
        Sounds like whoever is in that little yellow thing never listened to their own mother ” don’t play in the road”.
        Where has common sence and personal responsibility gone?!.
        Maybe it go run over in the road to!

        1. If you see a toddler running down the road , and you pass it, will you immediately forget it’s there, and then make a right hand turn without wondering where it was just because you can’t see it ?

          1. The child is not running 35mph and then deciding to pass on my right when I slow down to make a right hand turn WITH MY DIRECTIONAL ON!!!!!!!!

      4. Using the same rational anything under the height of the mirrors on tractor trailer should be kept off the road.

    2. That’s right don, you got to obey the rules! Just like the car folks,!
      And about the big SUVs ( tahoo ) isn’t your view a little selfish. Our kind drive what we like and your kind I drive what you like. Even if it puts you in clear danger. After all its your choice!

      1. The trouble is that by my observations from riding just under 28,000 miles in just over 4 years, it is the motorist for the most part who don’t stop at stop signs or obey the speed limits.

    3. Well said except for one thing. Our paths for the most part don’t meet state or federal safety and design guidlines.

      1. My little sister had a bad crash from bad pavement on a Vineyard bike path and was choppered to Mass General. The paths are poorly maintained.

        1. I’m sorry to hear about your sister. They did a $300, 000 hit and miss patch job on the state forest paths. They didn’t do a very good job. I came upon a woman this past Summer who crashed from a rough place in the state forest. The police were there first and the EMT’s showed up right after them. They were all fantastic in how they cared for that poor woman.

          1. I might have been her. She was helped by many including a doctor who happened by. Thankfully she was wearing a helmet and goggles. She broke both wrists, her face, and teeth. I think she’s getting an On-Star type device for her new helmet for X-mas.


          2. It was the stretch of path along the West Tisbury Rd by the airport property. One of the officers was calmly talking to in soothing voice as he held her head stablizing her neck. He was right down on his knees not worrying about getting his uniform dirty. They took excellent care of her. It was more of the same when the EMT’s arrived moments later. When the ambulance left and the officers were picking I thanked them for their service.

    4. There have been a number of bill put forward in the state legislature called mandatory side path laws. They have been shot down every time. The reason being that the local municipalities where these paths run would become responsable for the well being of those who use these paths. It would take quite a bit $$$ to bring our side paths up to a standard that would be considered safe.

      1. If they are not safe; which after what happened to my sister I believe they are not; then they should be closed.

  4. There are stop signs on the bike paths that bikes regularly fail to stop at. Bikes are required to follow the laws of the road which they rarely do. It boils down to common sense. When I ride my bike I stop or yield for cars and trucks because they are bigger than me.

  5. Technically the little yellow bike could be banned on all VH roads because of its height. A few years ago the selectmen in V.H banned the rental of these low to the ground motorized buggies being rented at the moped store by Xmart. They banned the rentals on the opinion of a selectman who said that the vehicles were to low to the ground and a hazard to other drivers. And yes, I know the yellow bike is a peddle bike.

    1. That little yellow thing is so low to the ground it’s difficult to see. It should be banned.

      1. Vehicles like the Chevy Tahoe and the Navigator are the ones that should be banned. In the interest of the drivers of such vehicles “safety” they are a serious hazard to anything they run over. if you care to talk about something that should be banned because it is “so low”, we should also talk about banning vehicles that are too tall. Take a look at a Navigator sometime. It is designed, as a “safety feature” to go over the average vehicles front end, thereby putting the driver of the Navigator in a position to effectively decapitate the drivers of most ‘normal” vehicles.

        1. Decapitate who?! Remember we don’t call you names so you should not call us pigs and that we should be banned!
          Seems your holier than now attitude is blurring your common sense. Remember you “believe” you have all rights to the road and flaunt them as most all the spandex clad Lance Armstrong wannabes do! Remember you need to share the road as well!
          Enjoy your ride !

          1. I am not calling any persons a pig.

            Just the vehicle.
            You should read the drivers manual sometime.

            Bicycles have just as much right as a car to use it.

            I do share the road. But I occasionally have people tell me to ride on the sidewalk – which is of course illegal , but they are too ignorant of the laws to know that.

            It seems they don’t want to share the road with bicycles.

            I think every cyclist shares the road. We have the right to the entire road, but 99 % of the time stay in that little area to the right of the line, if there is enough room to be on the side of the line. It’s a courtesy we bike riders give to the automobiles.

            Read the laws– unless there is a minimum speed posted, a bicycle can legally be in the middle of the road.

            Not that we would do that, because we share the road.

            And just in case you don’t know — That little bicycle painted on the road as you enter the roundabout means it is in effect a bike lane, and as such a bicycle should be in the middle of the road, and it would be illegal for an auto to pass it.

        1. No, but they are not moving in traffic. Going in the wrong direction, passing on the left and right. I’m amazed that you managed to go 28,000 miles without getting picked off.

          1. Going in the wrong direction? What are you talking about? I ride in the travel lane with traffic. I have been after the Edgartown police for years to crack down on cyclists who ride the wrong way on one way streets. They can by law ticket a cyclist.

          2. I was told that they need a special ticket for cyclists but actually all they have to do is write cyclist on the ticket.

          3. I told the officer that all he had to do was write bicycle on the ticket. He wasn’t interested.

      2. Considering that most cars are lower that the mirrors of a tractor trailer and the things I’ve read here perhaps we should ban cars from the road because people driving can’t see whats in front of them.

      1. Its only false if it’s not true. There is a precedent that has been set. I’m surprised the owner of the moped place hasn’t come before the selectmen to argue the legality of his vehicles seeing that you are allowed on the road. You are one. Remember the long wait you had for your friend on lobsterville rd this summer? That was dangerous

        1. My vehicle is not motoized and does not seat two. You have a complaint? Talk to the cops. What wait in Lobsterville? I don’t know what you are talking about? Back in June we had seven of these machines and did ride to the cliffs. It was a great event.

          1. It was a great event for you guys, but not for motorists. I had you guys clocked at a whopping 4 mph going up some hills and you were spaced so close together that it was very hard for motorists to pass. When I caught up to the line of cars it was about 10 min before it was my turn to pass. No your vehicle is not safe. It should be banned.

          2. We great ride that day. Traffic was just about non existant. We film the whole ride from six different cameras. 54 miles total that day.There are not any long hills up Island. The longest climb of the day was on Lamberts Cove Rd, 92′ in just over a quarter mile. Two short steep hills on Middle road. Traffic from Beetlebung was amazingly light. Lobsterville is pretty flat except for 150′ descent on Lobsterville Rd. I was riding the brakes to keep it at 40 mph. Lighthouse Rd was a 2 mile gradual climb. Perhaps it was the hit and miss showers through out the day that kept traffic so low. We had a huge crowd of the curious at the cliffs, folks off of tour busses along with two Aquinnah police officers.

          3. Why would you endanger yourselves and others by trying to pass on an uphill. Did you not see the do not pass sign?

          4. Why do you think its OK to go 4 mph when the speed limit is 35mph? Why would you want people who are working to wait for you to get going up a hill? When bicyclists see a line of cars behind them why can’t they pull over and let faster vehicles by? It would be courteous of bicyclists to do that and ease tensions between them and motorists. We must share the road and when bicyclists don’t it puts them in an unsafe position.

          5. I have pulled over before if there is a line behind me if there is a place to pull over. The day of the ride up Island we also had a huge SUV as a film vehicle filming us. There no long lines behind us and this vehicle was continuosly passing us the whole time. Traffic was just about non existant. We got it all down on film.

          6. What is the posted minimum speed for that road? You have a curious definition of “share the road,” if you think bikes only have a right to be there if they don’t inconvenience you.

  6. All bikes, especially low-riding banana bikes or recumbent bikes, should be equipped with lights when ridden after dusk. This enhances the safety of both the cyclists and the motor vehicle drivers. In the worst-case scenario, a car or truck could swerve to avoid a bicycle and then hit another car or a tree, a potentially fatal situation.

    1. I’m the fellow with the yellow vehicle. I am most likely the brightest lit vehicle out on the road. Up to a thousand lumens of light of the front and seven hundred lumen flasher mounted at three foot off the ground. On top of that a tail light and brake light and turn signals. The 6 police chiefs, our county sheriff and the head of the state police barracks have complimented me on my lights wishing all cyclists ran such lights. As for flags, they have proven to be totally ineffective. As for the stop signs on the bike paths. They are not legal. Not enforceable and give motorists the false sense that they have the right of way when crossing such paths. Just ask the police officials mentioned above. These are their words. In just over four years of using this as my transportation, I will hit 28,000 miles in the next few weeks.

      1. WOW 28K in 4 years! The law of averages is starting to run against you. May your good luck continue.

        1. I was riding before I had this machine. I’ve raised two kids riding bikes via a tandem an a bicycle built for three.

      2. I do not doubt anything you say. I am just telling you that as a driver of an automobile, and a very careful driver, and a bike rider myself, I gently suggest that you ride too low in that bicycle for it to be safe. When you rose your bike with your daughters, you were visible. In your low yellow bike-thing, you cannot be seen from the mirrors of a car. Are you aware of that? I am curious if it is legal for you to mix with automobile traffic – I have been behind you on a few roads, you were not riding to the side like a bike, you were riding in the middle of the lane, like a car. You ride very fast. Maybe if you really have a need to ride your yellow bike, maybe – slow down and be a little more careful yourself, just in courtesy to the other drivers on the road, who really don’t want to have a tragic accident with you.

        1. I’ve been stopped by the police 6 times on island and twice on the mainland. Pleasent interactions and I was soon allowed on my way. The first summer i had this machine (2010) I stopped by the OBPD to get some advice on non bicycle related issue. When the officer realized I was the one with the Velombile we went outside so he could check it out. He went to tell me that they knew when ever I was on the road. I laughed and asked how he knew.
          He said that the phone would start ringing reporting a high speed motorized small yellow vehicle. He said at times it was like he could pick up the phone and say, “its a bicycle” and be correct.

        2. Maybe you need to slow down when driving in some areas if you cannot keep track of what is around you; after all, other than controlled access roads there are no minimum speed limits.

          Complaining about not being able to see a velomobile when driving (which is overall taller than a small child) is like complaining about not being able to shoot a high-powered rifle in populated areas – you are the one operating a potentially deadly vehicle* and not the “velonaut”; so you need to treat driving with the same level of care as shooting a gun when hunting.

          *How many pedestrians, cyclists, or motor vehicles users/passengers have been killed by velomobiles, and how many by motor vehicles?

    2. Why swerve? I have lost count of the times I have been passed by a motor vehicle even when I am exceeding the speed limit. Passing me going around curves, over the crest of a hill and even on a strait away into on coming traffic. Anyone here know how to pass a bicycle as stated in Massachusetts General Law?

  7. After respectfully listening and learning here, I continue to think that driving/pedaling something that is clearly too low to be in eye-site of cars is a hazard on or along-side roads – so why? Just to create an accident? I am a bicycle rider, and an experienced driver.. I am aware of all the turns across the bike path on MV, and, really, I try as hard as a human can to watch for all the wheels (including skateboarders) – I still feel like this low bike is pushing the envelope of safety.

    1. When you pull up to a stop sign, how close are you to the line painted on the road when you can no longer see it?

    2. Respectfully, your argument is just wrong. People driving cars are required to observe things in the road and all around them. Not just the things that happen to be in their ‘sight lines’. There are many, many things in the road that are below the height of you car’s bumper – dogs and cats, small children on tricycles, fallen tree branches, etc.

      Are you claiming that you are incapable of doing this? That it is just not possible for you to notice the 6 foot long brightly illuminated yellow vehicle next to you? If you really beleive you cannot see it, then you should turn in your license to the DMV and cease operating a motor vehicle, since you feel you cannot see adequately.

      Are you suggesting that you are unwilling to move you eyes and turn your head slightly in order to observe what you are about to run over or cut off? If so, you are being criminally negligant, and should have your license revoked.

      I appreciate that you failed to notice the velomobile and that you were startled/frightened by how very nearly you apparantly came to causing a horrible accident. But I don’t believe the best way to avoid this situation in the future is to ban him from riding. That will just result in you hitting something else instead of him.

      Instead, take a deep breath and admit that you could be more careful when driving a 2 ton vehicle capable of causing significant destruction and harm.

        1. that is your opinion, and you are welcome to it.
          But it has nothing to do with the laws, or the safety of cyclist.
          The laws clearly state that bicycles have full right to use any road (except where posted, like on interstates)
          And, being an experienced bike rider, I know the safest place to be is in the road.
          It is actually illegal to ride a bicycle on a side walk.
          I take the bike paths when they are there, but unfortunately, they are not everywhere.
          They should be.

    3. Joanne. It’s funny but it has dawned on me that I have only been out after dark three times this Fall- Winter season and I have to say that I have not ridden on the Edgartown Vineyard Haven Rd bike path at night since last winter. You were driving towards Vineyard Haven. Which way was the Velomobile going and what road were you turning into? Very few people can tell one velombile from another.

      1. I was going to say something about the time of the year, and how the sun sets at 4:30 PM. I’d like to take this opportunity to remind everyone that the sun sets very early this time of year. I’ve been saying that everyone should get a set of headlights and tail lights for their bicycles…But I’m afraid the kind of lights that Velomobile1 has would cost more than most people spent on their entire bicycle!

        1. Yes. These lights are very expensive. I did quite a bit of research on lights and after these lights for close to five years I have yet to see anything on the market to compare or that I would spend money on.

        2. I do have to say that the numbers of people on bikes at night in the summer with out any lights or reflective gear is astounding. Especially wearing dark clothing also.I wish that the police would pull them over.

      2. I did not know there was more than one Velomobile. I can say with certainty that the one I wrote about was NOT lit up. I don’t want to get specific about roads & such – I have already been attacked enough here. Maybe this thread has at least been informative and will help everyone pay more attention. Why people have to get so vicious is beyond me.

        1. There is one like mine in body style except it is white with a black roof. Mine is yellow with a black roof. The owner of the white one lives near the Edgartown National Bank on rhe Vineyard Haven Rd at the end of the bike path. There is a yellow and black Vellomobile near Edgartown on the Vineyard Haven Rd and another located in West Tisbury. These other three have lights and turn signals, brake lights and the such but no where near what I have for light out put. I bought the extra lights I run as I wanted lights that give me a clear view at 50 mph. They are EXTREMELY bright.

  8. Be advised not all STOP signs on the bike paths are mandatory, check this out; there are several that are known as “advisory” such as the ones near Al’s in Edg. I was involved in an accident there when a rider T-boned me at a speed higher than posted and the EPD refused to cite the rider on either as the signs are “Only Advisory and therefore not enforceable”. I was in litigation for years over this ~ a NIGHTMARE and a HUGE expense, the Lawyers Loved it though!

    1. Problem is most drivers think a stop sign means you’re supposed to stop. Big surprise when bikes goes breezing thru…

        1. I beg to differ. Most cyclists fail to heed stop/oneway or even acknowledge road signage.

          1. I dissagree. I see far more motoists out there who scoff laws. I’m out there just about everyday. I do have to say things have been improving but last Summer, the motorists were nuts.

          2. I’m sure it depends on your perspective whether you are in a car or on/in a bike.

    2. In the snow I usually dont stop for anything. Otherwise my feet end up getting a big slushy. I do slow down at stop signs, I think we all do.

    3. If some bicycle stop signs are only advisory they should be yellow instead of red. How can we change this?
      One of my biggest peeves is watching the police ignore blatant infractions by bicyclists ignoring the most basic rules of the road.

      1. We have been trying to get these signs replaced or removed for decades. The police say they are not legal but the town and highway department put them up anyway.

        1. They (bicycles) should stop… at stop signs. Absolutely insane to not stop…unbelievable to see them do this… almost a disconnect with reality..

          1. I agree that bikes should stop at stop signs but the stop signs for bikes on the bike paths will be removed. They will be reconfigured and directed to the motorists crossing these paths. There appropriate places for stop signs for the path users but most you see out there are not appropriate or legal.

  9. My rules when riding after dark:
    1) Use proper lights,
    2) Wear high-visibility clothing,
    3) Assume drivers do not see me.

    And I follow Rule 3 during the daytime.

    1. Good rules, because as my father once told me. “Yes, you had the right of way…your estate would probably win the lawsuit.”

    2. You all realize the reason Rule #3 is necessary is because the DRIVERS are not paying attention?

  10. Pushing the envelope of safety is the crux of this discussion.
    While I acknowledge your right by law to drive this machine on the island roads, why the hell would you want to add another piece of chaos to the already overloaded and frenzied roadways of the Vineyard? We all know that the conditions are not favorable for car or bikes, and that no one really adheres to all the safety laws of the road during the summer months. We have listened to you for years about your riding and your rights as a cyclist, and we have listened to all of your moaning. Here you go again. You say: It is my right; look at me; I am brighter than any other vehicle on the road; brighter even than any other velomobile. Again, safety is the crux of the issue. You are pushing your rights. For years you have been harassing drivers, accusing them of bad driving and now you are relying on those same drivers to be aware of you on the roads while you drive far below the sight line of most drivers. My conclusion? You are an accident waiting to happen.

      1. Plain and simple its the one you choose to ride. Its not the codes. Or your rights. We here it over and over again from you. We don not need to speak to police or read the codes. We are the car drivers on the road. It doesn’t fit here. Thats what the people are saying. If I am venting isn’t what these forums are for? You revel in this no?

        1. In a sense I do enjoy these forums. Folks espouse there opinions as law when they have no basis in fact. Some will civilly discuse their differences and others make irational comments. All of the future T.I.P., Transportation Improvement Program for decade to come is all bicycle related. Improvement of existing bicycle paths to bring them up to a level standards that will make them far better and also build more paths to these standards.

          1. So please stay on the bike paths thank you… the taxpayers built them for you …

          2. When you bring them up to a realistic level of safety I’ll considerate it. In the mean time lets keep all motor vehicles off the paths. They are not meant for cars trucks and buses to drive down or park.

          3. I stated before maybe the paths should be closed until they are safer. Maybe cyclists should force the issue by not using them.

      1. Asking people to learn the law on operating a potentially deadly vehicle is asking too much – they have more important things to do such as yak on their mobile phone and watch “reality TV”.

        Nb. For the slow witted, that was sarcasm.

    1. We have beautiful roads or as the town of West Tisbury has officially stated, they have a full compliment of multi user facilities for every one called the public road. Ways.

      1. We taxpayers have funded bikepaths for Bikes…please stay on the bikepath. You are unable to ride your bike 45 mph on the main roads … I go the speed limit but you cannot. Please stay on the tax funded bike paths.

        1. Bicycles are allowed on the road ways. Get over it. And yes I can hit 45 mph on many of the island roads but most of the time I cruise at 30 to 35 mph.

        2. helenbeck, you are missing the main point. The purpose of the streamlined shell on the velomobile is to reduce wind resistance, so the cyclist can go much faster than the bicycles you are used to. Velomobiles can reach more than 45 miles per hour. My own personal best time riding a velomobile was 47 mph. But that was years ago, and Velomobile1 also mentioned that he is 60 yrs old. A younger, trained rider on a velomobile would likely be able to break the 55 mph speed limit. The current worlds record for the streamlined recumbent bicycle (two wheels) is 83 mph, and the women’s record is 75 mph.
          Anyway , the streamlining is necessary for a bicycle to reach the higher speed limits, above 45mph. That is the whole point.

  11. Legally, the roads belong to everyone, regardless of how individuals choose to use them. I would like to ask those who are railing against supposed “scofflaw” cyclists if they can remember the last time they drove a car without exceeding the speed limit or rolling thru a stop sign?

    And yes, it’s everyone’s job to see and avoid other traffic on the road. If you cannot do that, please get help.

    1. If I exceed the speed limit or roll through a stop sign I would expect to get a ticket when caught. Why don’t the police ticket cyclists ignoring road signage?

        1. No you don’t see.I said if. I didn’t say I did. I didn’t say it was OK to break the law. I also expect I would be caught. That’s why I don’t speed or roll through stop signs. I don’t need the hassle.

      1. I was pulled over in Pensylvania in 1993 for speeding on a bicycle. The State Police wrote me a warning. In PA, bicycles enjoy all the privileges of road use, no different than any other vehicle, including horse and buggy.

  12. Shanghai has air pollution so bad men are becoming infertile. We need leaders like the yellow velomobile. He is being the change we want to see in reducing obesity, noise pollution and global warming. He is the leader in the arena. So what are we?

  13. Velomobile1 knows his rights and the heck with everyone else. Anyone with half a brain knows that these banana things are a hazard. Now there are four of them. Wait until there are a few dozen buzzing around. They are low to the ground and difficult to see and should not be allowed on the roadways.

    1. There will be more so perhaps you should learn to pay attention better and study up on your rights and responsabilities.

    2. Maybe of greater concern should be drivers (and pedestrians and cyclists) who listen to music using ear buds, oblivious to others on the road, path, or sidewalk.

      1. I can see not wearing ear buds in a car when there is a radio but pedestrians and cylists dont have one. I have no problem riding a bike with ear buds.

        1. I’ve overtaken enough oblivious walkers, runners, in-line skaters, bicyclists, and parents pushing prams all with ear buds that I no longer care about their listening pleasure. That may sound harsh but they’re sharing a public thoroughfare.

          1. Im rarely on the street. I dont even like driving my car on the Vineyard. Alot of older drivers with sight problems. Either they are too far over left or right and cant seem to stay in their lane of traffic. The velomobile should stick to the bike paths if possible.

  14. For those who claim the velomobile is too low to the ground and difficult to see, you should not be allowed to drive. The velo is bright yellow, lit up like a Christmas tree, and NINE FEET LONG. That’s only 2 feet shorter than a Mazda Miata. It’s also as high as a Miata, other than the windshield. If you can’t see it, you shouldn’t be driving.

  15. The vehicle is a Velomobile. It is an enclosed three wheel “Human Powered Vehicle” (that’s the correct term to use instead of “bicycle”). It is a Recumbent , hence it is low to the ground. The body shell is made of carbon fiber, and is a protective device in it’s own right , being compared to a “Full Body Helmet”.

    The lowness is part of what makes the bike so streamlined, that it can go 10 or 15 MPH faster than a typical ten speed bicycle. The velomobiler has gone to great lengths to keep his bicycle moving with the speed of traffic. I hope people learn to appreciate the effort that cyclists put into making their bikes go the speed of traffic.

    I’d like to point out that the velomobile is a bicycle. Bicycles do not require plates, and , if it required plates, the aerodynamic shape would be ruined.The velomobile has a pointy nose, and a tail-fin at the rear. There’s no place to put plates. Placarding a name or number on the side of the shell would be no problem. I have my email address on the sides of my velomobile. Hopefully, in the future , all vehicles will be tracked by GPS, and plates will be obsolete.

    As for proof of insurance, I carry proof of insurance when I ride my velomobile (Allstate). As for inspection, bicycles do not require inspection, but I have seen photos of the velomobile in question, and the owner does post close-up shots of the tie-rods and suspension on Facebook.

    1. People and vehicles should not be tracked by GPS or any other means. This may become a moot point as more GPS satellites fail due to age and not being replaced.

      1. How do you get a stolen bike or car back, before the thieves have a chance to repaint it, or strip it for parts? No, I think the time has come, on account the speeders blast by too quickly to read their plate numbers. And I’m not doing anything illegal, so I wouldn’t mind my bike being tracked by GPS. Speed limits need to be strictly enforced, thousands of scofflaws not withstanding.

        1. I’m guessing you haven’t seen the cameras on the police cars and light poles that can read plates regardless of speed and the computers that spit out info in the blink of an eye. Warrants, unpaid tickets, lots of info.
          If you don’t want your bike stolen buy a decent lock.
          Lo-Jack/OnStar systems can track stolen cars (usually too late) but have to be turned on and activated by request. A huge difference between being actively tracked.
          From my experience as an auto tech after a car is stolen most people don’t want them back anyways.
          The only time someone tried to steal my truck and it’s contents was in Newark NJ. My .38 SPC convinced him to rapidly exit the vehicle with a respectful apology.
          It boils down to your personal liberties/ privacy and what you are willing to give up. I for one would like to keep mine as long as possible.
          As far as plates go they will never be obsolete. How would a citizen be able to report a vehicle used in a crime? Well officer it was a darkish car with windows and wheels on it.

          1. Exactly the point I’m trying to make, I am NOT going to give up my right to ride a Bicycle. If anyone says bike riding puts me in danger, (like the OP of this article), I’m going to suggest a lower speed limit. If they still say “You’re in danger, don’t do it”, I will propose a new, even lower speed limit… and so on , until the speed limit is twelve kilometers per hour.
            I think the OP simply got startled over this new type of bicycle. My own velomobile is higher up, and looks more like a motorcycle. The important thing is a bright set of LED lights. I ride with lights on even in the daytime.
            I second the notion that the OP’s driver license should be revoked.

          2. I could care about the danger you might put yourself in but I don’t. That’s your choice. To suggest the state should decrease the speed limits to suit your comfort zone is as ridiculous as trying to ban these bicycle contraptions. Good luck, stay safe and follow the rules of the road when on the road and ignore the bike path “cautionary” signs at your own risk.

  16. To the original writer of the letter. Your goal was to make the roads safer and hopefully that will be accomplished.

    To the local law enforcement: please confiscate her drivers license. If she can’t see a velomobile, then she is not competent enough to drive a multi-ton vehicle. Not to mention that her lack of understanding of the law governing both cars and bicycle on the road means that people won’t be safe while she is driving.

  17. I saw the velomobile parked at a weird angle at the Reliable Market parking lot last week… it was blocking the exit.

    1. I have never blocked the entrance to Reliable. I will pull up then climb out and then back it into the bike rack by the door as I have been doing for years. The last four years with the Velomobile and decades before that with a multitude of bicycles.

        1. I have never parked my vehicle in a manner as to block the entrance to Reliable Market. I shop there all the time and park in the bike rack by the door. The first few times I parked there with it over four years most of the staff of Reliable came out to see it at one time or another. Do you really think Reliable would allow me to block access to the entrance?

          1. Where do you put your grocery bags in your Velomobile? Does it have a trunk? Just curious.

          2. It has quite a bit of floor space. I can fit two, one gallon jugs of milk under the seat. I have a photo of me from last winter parked at the bike rack outside of Reliable. There is a full cart of groceries that fit inside for the ride home. It got up to 8 degrees that day.

          3. The body of this machine is designed to carry stuff within the body. It has fender wells, two in the front and one in the back. You cannot see the tires and wheel from inside. There is a lit control panel on the left wheel well. The handle bar is about 10″ across and has shifters, brake lever, turn signal switch and horn button. All three wheels are suspended with a one sided cantalever axels so there is no need to pull a wheel off to change a flat.

  18. I would like to thank all the posters and Doug for keeping this discussion open. Of many things I learned the most important thing here is that bike path signs are totally meaningless and that is why they are ignored so often. In the future I will presume all signage is meaningless to bicycles (which I think subconsciously I’ve been doing for a while) just to add a bit more caution.

  19. I am not enjoying being attacked here, for my driving, etc… Many people have stopped me in town and thanked me for writing the letter, because they also feel that the Velomobile is not safe. I did not attack anyone, I wrote out of concern for safety. If you Velomobile drivers feel perfectly legal & safe, then so be it. By the way, I answered my own question: info about the Velomobile states that the highest measurement on the outside is 36″.

  20. I’m sorry if I offended the OP, but I’m glad the topic came up. There seem to be many people who have never seen a velomobile before. I don’t know why newspapers and magazines don’t run articles on these vehicles. The conspiracy theorists assert that the print media gets most of it’s money by running automobile ads, and therefore; anything that would lead people to believe that there is an alternative to the automobile is censored.
    So I’m just glad that everyone knows what kind of vehicle it is now.

    1. James. I and my Velomobile have been written up three times with photos in the MV Times and been interviewed on MVTV on the show “G’s Place”. Plus I have been invited to ride in the Edgartown Parade. This will mark my 6th parade, including both Christmas and July 4th.

  21. When Jo Jo writes, everybody listens!
    She does address a serious problem that is only a moment away from tragedy.
    Thank you Jo Jo!

  22. as a decades long avid cyclist who has ridden world round and owner of 6 bikes that i ride daily (one at a time) it is common sense that both bicycles and cars should always judge the conditions in which they are traveling and moderate their speed accordingly. in my car the posted speed limit may be 45mph and it is my “right” to drive at that speed. but i must be cognizant of my surroundings. i cannot just barrel along at the posted speed asserting my “drivers rights”, for the safety of others and myself. i ride my bikes in the same way, always at a speed and in a manner that allows me to manuver or brake for the unforseen. i NEVER take it for granted that a car driver can/should/will see me. we’re not talking about my rights but about my health/life. which is more important? bike/road safety, “sharing the road”, and road courtesy go together… and go both ways!
    and of course in common with all intelligent and competent bike riders, i ALWAYS wear a helmet.

  23. of course.

    But who wins when someone with an assault weapon walks into a school full of children. Just because you can kill people and they can’t kill you, doesn’t mean that you are doing something right.

  24. the truth of the matter is that if they banned passenger vehicles over 3,000 pounds, the death rate on the highways would drop dramatically. The navigator in particular has caused an excessive number of deaths, because on of it’s “safety features” is that it rides over the hood of other vehicles in front end collisions. To me, given there will be accidents, this is nothing short of pre meditated murder on the part of the manufacturer, and nothing less than manslaughter in the event of a fatal accident for the drivers of these things.

  25. Ego. I deal in fact. This vehicle is my transportation. I do all my grocery shopping with it. Check the mail. Go from point A to point B. It’s called a Velomobile which means Bicycle Car. It is my car. I have a driver’s license but got rid of my cars.

  26. Do you think there is something wrong with my logic ?

    a vehicle that is designed to kill the occupants of any vehicle it hits should not be on the road.

  27. Me going grocery shopping or checking my mail at the post office infuriats you?

  28. Big vehicles are one thing— to design a “safety feature” into it to have it ride over the passenger compartment of other vehicles is unconscionable.

  29. NOW, NOW,, play nice..If your plan doesn’t include maternity, it wasn’t all that good by definition..

  30. When men start getting pregnant only then should it be included on their policy.

  31. people often refer to couples as being pregnant. Perhaps you were on a family policy. And this is the internet– you could be a woman, how would I know?