Published in News and Citizen 9-1-15

Feral Byquers

    In last week's paper I received a letter to the editor which discussed a need for us to familiarize ourselves with other cultures, in this case bears, to help us not be afraid and make it so we can all co-exist.
    I've noticed lately another invasive species that is appearing around the area and be it through fear, misunderstanding or pure hatred many people turn a scornful eye to these creatures.  Feral byquers should not be confused with the domesticated byquers we have always had around this area.  Those are easy to recognize, they often time appear in family unit packs on sidewalks, typically the young wear helmets and they are courteous and respectful.
    The feral byquers, though, are different; they appear in much larger packs, they often wear brightly colored clothes you thought were reserved for Tour de France riders, and they appear unable to understand the rules and etiquette of the road.
    Feral byquers come to the area in two forms. Large packs swoop down from Canada and prowl our roads, but then return north as quickly as they appeared. The other group migrate here from all three sides, but mostly Massachusetts and New York.  Sometimes they come for a brief time and go, like their Canadian counterparts, but they often find they enjoy the habitat in this area and return with plans to relocate here.
    The presence of two sub-species reminds me of the early years of the skee-doers. They two had both a domesticated and feral variety.  The tame subset seemed able to control their more wild counterparts and over time got through to enough of the wild variety to change them. The threat of losing migratory passages proved a strong deterrent and most acquiesced and began following the rules. Sure there are still rogue skee-doers out there, but there are also the house-broken variety policing the trails.
    It's just my 53 cents but, I would think this same approach could work with byquers. But unlike their skee-doer counterparts, the feral byquers seem capable of controlling the game - emboldening the local byquers to become more brazen and expand their territory, much to the consternation of the others on the road.
    Maybe the letter was right, like bears and people from other regions, we need to learn more about byquers so we can better understand why they act the way they do, but I'm not sure if even that will explain to us how with all of the lobbying and push to have more bike lanes for their safety one would still rather ride down the middle of the automobile lane than scoot over five feet into the designated lane.