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Man's front yard display causes concern for some cyclists

Man's front yard display causes concern for some cyclists

Cycling is a popular sport in northern Michigan, but one man in Leelanau County says bikes don't belong on certain roads.

Rick Dean has had a sign up expressing his opinions for a couple of years, but only recently did someone take a picture of it and post it on Facebook.

The picture has gained a lot of traction as some cyclists say the sign has made them feel uneasy.

Dean says its from years of built up frustration, and he feels everything would be a lot safer if cyclists stuck to trails.

"Safety first," Dean said. "It's not safe. think about it."

That's the message Dean says he's trying to share with the controversial display.

He says he specifically has frustrations with cyclists on county roads.

"I have no problems with bicycles on Mackinac Island," Dean said. "Matter of fact, two weeks ago I just was up on Mackinac Island and spent two days right a bicycle."

Dean says he specifically has issues with cyclists who ride in multiples across the pavement and on busy stretches of road. He says he also doesn't think it's safe when some cyclists ignore certain traffic signs.

"There's no reason for bikers riding 2-3 deep on a road that is meant for cars at 55mph," Dean said. "If I were to hit a bicyclist and kill them, my life as I know it today would be changed forever."

He says the final straw was when his dog broke free from his electric fence, chased some cyclists down the road and almost got hit by a car.

"My frustration level was so high I didn't know what to do except take some frustration out on digging a hole and building that thing."

Some cyclists say the display is a little concerning.

"Made me have caution about being out that way," said Nathan St. Onge, who works at City Bike Shop and is an active cyclist.

While he does like to ride, St. Onge says he very rarely spends time on the roads.

"There's just very little shoulder most of the time so you're almost forced into traffic."

But he knows a lot of people who do, because they have a right to.

"For a lot of people that's their way to escape every day life," said St. Onge. It's really good therapy for anybody, mentally and physically."

He says he doesn't think a sign like this is the answer to improving relationships between drivers and cyclists.

"That kind of deters people from wanting to get on the road."

He does feel cyclists and drivers alike need to learn to share the road.

"The cyclists need to be very mindful when they are out there," St. Onge said. "Especially in a group. Adhering to their two wide. And it's also if you're a driver and there's cyclists, being very aware and being a little more patient."

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