About 75 cyclists on the well-known "noon ride" voluntarily stopped their lunchtime workout on Jan. 23 in Portola Valley to hear a brief tutorial on "how to ride bicycles safely in the presence of horses, and of horse trailers."
The session was held at the Glenoaks Stables at 3639 Alpine Road and was coordinated by Rhonda Weiss, co-owner of Glenoaks; Dirk Himley, one of the noon-ride leaders; and John Novitsky, a Woodside resident, cyclist and horse owner.
Many cyclists who ride on roads west of Interstate 280 routinely spook horses, often resulting in dangerous and life-threatening situations for the horse, the bucked-off rider, the cyclists and motorists, Mr. Novitsky said.
The hope is that these cyclists will share what they learned with their teammates, and that safety will improve for all regional road users, he said.
Among tips during the tutorial:
● When approaching a horse, never surprise it. Speak to it in a calm and friendly voice to announce your presence.
● Slow down to under 25 mph so that the horse feels that it can escape/run away if necessary.
● Stay at least two "rear leg lengths" away from the horse. That's twice the length of the horse's rear leg.