Give cyclists a break and share the road

Editor,

As the weather warms, cyclists take their bicycle spins from indoor stationary trainers to the open road. As a board member of a local triathlon club, Tri-Avengers, we often discuss the serious issue of outdoor riding and our concern for cycling safety.

Our nonprofit triathlon club has almost 100 members, and almost half of these members will be competing in Ironman triathlons this year, including over 60 half Ironman registrations and 20 full Ironman registrations. That’s pretty cool for our local club! Many athletes will be competing in multiple Ironman events.

The bike portion of a full Ironman is 112 miles, so training for these races is critical to ensure an athlete is fully prepared. Therefore, these and other athletes will be cycling on roads throughout Southwest Michigan.

As we share the roads with motor vehicles, cyclists are vulnerable. A ride rarely goes by without car horns, yelled profanities or vehicles diving too close for comfort. Every year The Herald-Palladium publishes stories about cycling fatalities caused by motorists, and these stories are chilling reminders of the dangers of outdoor cycling.

Laws have been enacted to protect cyclists. Michigan drivers are required to give cyclists at least three feet of space when passing, and cyclists are legally allowed to ride two abreast. Failing to respect these laws could result in an infraction, but more importantly, could cause an injury or fatality.

Every cyclist is a mother, father, friend or colleague. We cycle not only for fitness, but for camaraderie and the love of the sport. We kindly ask, the next time you see a cyclist, please show care and caution, allowing cycling enthusiasts to enjoy the beauty and freedom of the open road. We thank you for helping to provide us a safe path to enjoy a sport we truly love. Let’s share the road.

Lisa Altman

St. Joseph 

Trump ignores Russian election attacks 

Editor, 

Recent reports, one from a Mueller investigation indictment and one following a meeting between the governor of Florida, the FBI, and the Department of Homeland Security, provide startling evidence that Russian military intelligence successfully hacked into the voting records of two Florida counties.

The Russian attacks were “spear fishing” intrusions that contained malware, which could potentially allow the hackers to change election data.

Since Florida is often an important “swing state,” these revelations are a stark warning about possible attacks on the upcoming election in 2020.

This information, and other evidence of election tampering, has apparently been ignored by President Trump, Attorney General Barr and all their GOP enablers relative to protecting our election system.

President Trump has demonstrated unabashed fondness for Vladimir Putin and the authoritarian methods he uses to govern Russia. A free election process is not one of those methods.

Our election system is the last bulwark against the slippery slope that will allow our democracy to becoming a full-blown oligarchy, ruled by an authoritarian executive who is supported and enabled by a handful of our wealthiest citizens.

Trump and his supporting regime must be voted out of office!

Ed Shaffer

Galien