I was surprised by the letter (“Bike lanes: Why waste the money?” Sierra Sun Aug. 17) suggesting that Tahoe Donner has created “wide, well-marked bike lanes” on Northwoods Boulevard. It is obvious that the letter writer is not a rider and has never attempted to negotiate the bike lane himself. Northwoods is striped every year and every year the town paints a white line on the right side of Northwoods and calls this a “bike lane.” This is not an adequate, safe bike lane.A good example of a safe bike lane is found between Squaw Valley and Tahoe City and beyond. It is a separate designated paved lane for bike riders, joggers, and pedestrians. What we have in Tahoe Donner is nothing more than a white line at the rough edge of the street pavement. Most times this “lane” is sandy, rocky, uneven and dangerous. If a bike rider were to lose control on any of this surface it would be treacherous, if not deadly, not only to the rider, but to anyone who is anxious to pass the rider in a vehicle.Anyone who ever gets on a bicycle in Tahoe Donner is taking a risk. Our neighborhood streets have speeding and reckless cars driving on them daily. Anyone who rides on Northwoods is taking an even bigger risk where vehicles are anxious to overtake anyone who seems to get in their way or slow them down. The narrow, ruddy, rough section of the side of the street that the writer suggests is our well-marked bike lane is probably the most dangerous to ride. Because of the hazards and poor conditions in this section of the road, the safest place to descend Northwoods on a bicycle unfortunately is in the vehicle lane. And imagine the nerve of that bike rider who “refuses to move over to allow” the writer’s vehicle to pass.I recommend that the writer get on a bike and try riding Northwoods firsthand. Better yet, let’s put his grandchildren on a bike and see if he still thinks our bike lane is wide, well-marked and adequate. C. KelleyTahoe Donner Keep shoulders cleanIn response to the recent letter (“Bike lanes: Why waste the money?” Sierra Sun Aug. 17) pointing out the practice by some bicyclists to ride in the road and block faster traffic: I too ride and drive, and I don’t think it is polite to block faster traffic when there is an alternative lane. However, I notice in many places I ride that, oftentimes, the bike lane/shoulder is littered with broken glass, and other tire-popping debris. If a local government puts in shoulders/lanes for bicyclists, they need to ensure consistence maintenance (sweeping). Kerry Wicker Clarksburg, Calif. Preventing horse slaughterI’ve recently rescued two young horses from a feedlot two days before they were due to be shipped to a slaughterhouse. They are currently living in Truckee. Every year, more than 50,000 horses are slaughtered in the U.S. People think it’s for dog food and glue, which is incorrect. The meat is exported to Europe and Japan for human consumption. There is currently a bill in Congress which, if passed, will make the transport of horses to slaughterhouses illegal. If Americans could vote today, they would outlaw horse slaughter, but many people do not know – it tends to be a secretive industry.I don’t know if you deal with stories like this, but if you have space, I’d love to share my new ponies with the community and get the word out regarding the truth of horse slaughter and how we can help to prevent it.Jessica AbramsTruckeeLaw enforcers, or law makers on the waterWake surfing is a growing water sport in which surfers “ride” boat wakes about 3-10 feet behind the boat, at speeds of about 10 miles per hour. Wake surfers on Lake Tahoe are in danger of wiping out due to a Placer County Sheriff’s deputy who has taken it upon himself to stop all surfing in his jurisdiction. I speak from experience; last week I was pulled over for wake surfing. The deputy lectured that any rider less than 25 feet behind the boat was considered to be in violation of the teak surfing law. He went on, amidst flashing lights and sirens, to tell us that this was a warning and not a ticket – this time. The law states that teak surfing is when someone holds onto the swim platform or bodysurfs on their back or stomach, on or outside of the wake. Our Washoe County Sheriff interprets the law to mean that as long as you’re not holding onto the swim platform, there is no minimum number of feet you must be behind the boat to be legal. Upon calling the Placer County Sheriff to verify the law, the same deputy told us that he had been getting several inquires about the “teak surfing law” and could no longer cite people for that reason. However, if he did see us any closer than five feet behind the boat he would cite us for negligent boating, redefining an existing law in order to stop wake surfing.As I can’t find a law banning wake surfing, nor any other law enforcement agency to cite wake surfing as illegal, I ask: Does the Placer County Sheriff’s deputy enforce the laws, or does he make them? Molly FrazerJason VestalCarnelian Bay
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