In all these years of commuting from Manila by bicycle, I can count on my fingers how many times I have encountered another commuting cyclist ("The Reluctant Cyclist," Sept. 3). Perhaps it is too daunting a route for most, but those who complain about the danger, the only way to protest is to be out there, riding.
Also, I must point out Manila is underserved by public transportation, and that is why Ms. Savage encounters pedestrians on the bridge.
There currently is no commerce in Manila, therefore if one runs out of milk one needs to travel four to five miles in order to obtain more.
The Redwood Transit System recently decreased the already scanty service to Manila. Why would that be when there are no stops between Eureka and Arcata down the 101 and travelling over the Samoa bridge only adds seven minutes to the journey?
Also, I must point out that since reading Ms. Savage's column, I have taken keen notice of the width of the shoulder on the bridge, and it is more than generous to accommodate a cyclist. If the cars are passing Ms. Savage "close enough to touch," she's doing it wrong.
By the way, Ms. Savage, just roll up your right pant leg (so that your pants don't get caught in the "front version of the thing that shifts," also known as the front sprocket) and ride into town. As far as "sweat, ew," it will dry rather quickly, and if you haven't some sort of personal grooming issue, will not be discernible to the olfactory senses of your colleagues.
Susan Pahl, Arcata