Call and ask.Originally Posted by Billy Ray
Of course it is NOT trespassing! People are allowed into cemeteries ... to mourn ... to hunt for ancestors ... to research the history of the area ...Originally Posted by jbonus
They are PUBLIC, not PRIVATE places.
One of my cycling partners worked (probably still does) in a cemetery in England. He cycled to work every day, and of course part of his route went through that cemetery.
As a result of his job, he had an interest in cemeteries -- how people were buried, who the people were, the history of the cemetery, and the history of the community which the cemetery told. So ... when we rode, he and I visited a lot of cemeteries.
When I visited England, he showed me several of the cemeteries there, and of course we cycled to them ... and into them ... and through them. No one ever expressed any sort of displeasure with our being there.
He came to see me in Winnipeg ... and cycled out to all the cemeteries in the area. He cycled right onto the cemetery lot, sought out the caretakers, and had some great conversations with them. None were offended that he had dared to come onto the cemetery property with the bicycle.
We cycled in Australia together for three months, and we visited a lot of cemeteries ... on our bicycles!
Most cemeteries are connected with churches, and therefore are public places. Often the ministers or priests of the church, or caretakers of the cemeteries, are more than willing to welcome people into them, and to talk about them.
I don't have any of my cemetery photos online, but I do have a few of me, my bicycle, old churches, and headstones.
As the others have mentioned ... if you do ride through a cemetery, do so respectfully. Check to make sure that you are allowed to ride there. Chat with the caretakers. Take some time to take a look around the place. And enjoy the ride.
I understand a cemetary is a public place but just how wise is it to go bombing through in full team kit at 30mph..
Well, for me personally ... the only time I "bomb" anywhere at 30 mph is if I'm going downhill with a stiff tailwind ... don't know any cemeteries built on that sort of grade!Originally Posted by slvoid
Mount Royal Cemetary in Montreal encourages walking, running and bikes. They have 12km. of roads and hand out maps at the main gates.
"The grave's a fine and private place
But none I fear do there embrace."
These lines were quoted in a wonderful little novel by Peter S. Beagle. Extra credit to anybody who remembers the title of the novel or the name of the poet quoted.
I learned from my mother that cemeteries are fine and public places, and one should feel welcome there as a temporary guest, even if one is not yet quite ready to use all the services provided. Ironically, my mother was buried in a churchyard, not a cemetery.
As Machka said, you can learn a lot in a cemetery. In a lovely old cemetery in the Sleeping Bear dunes, several settlers died in the same year. It must have been a bad year in that lonely little northern community, to lose such a large contingent, some of them babies and (even worse) young children. I have eaten lunch in that cemetery and nobody complained. In Jackson, MI there was a beautiful large cemetery across from the best deli in town. Needless to say, I ate lunch there often. A couple miles away, almost under a bridge by the Grand River, there was a tiny Jewish cemetery, with the gravestones almost touching one another. Many of the stones had hands engraved on them. I don't know what that means, but they were lovely. How interesting that a small city in Michigan had a Jewish population large enough to support a cemetery, even though I don't believe they ever supported a synagogue. There is a large and ornate cemetery near where I live in Lansing. R.E. Olds is buried, or entombed, in a little cement house there. I ride my bike there frequently, just as one leg of a little jaunt. Again, nobody seems to mind. There is a sign posted with the hours and the rules, and I do observe them. I'm not necessarily quiet or sedate in a cemetery, but I do treat mourners with respect and dignity. I think the dead themselves deserve respect, but not necessarily dignity. As someone on this forum said memorably of fallen cyclists, "I salute 'em and I ride on." (More extra credit to the one who remembers who that forum member was. I'm sorry that I forgot it.) I don't think there's anything wrong with being close to dead people and enjoying the little parks we have made for them. It's good to recall that we will be permanent residents there someday, if we don't end up in a churchyard like mother. "You are from dust and to dust you will return."
Excellent post Roody!
I find cemeteries, especially the old ones, to be very interesting places. There was one I visited in a small town in Australia where a mother died just hours before her baby. That happened a lot in the old days when sanitary conditions weren't what they are today. In another place, I noticed that all in the period of a few months several people died, mostly women and children. I would guess that some sort of disease probably struck the town. Some cemeteries contained a lot of soldiers who died in various wars. Many cemeteries, had one grave in a prominant place in the corner which was usually raised and often fenced. That grave usually contained the first minister of the church. I forget the exact words on one I saw, but I could tell by what was written that he had been there a very long time, and that he had been well loved.
One of the things I enjoyed in England was finding the oldest headstones in the cemetery. Here in Canada, our cemeteries aren't really all that old, but in England you can find some ancient headstones - usually the words have mostly worn away, but if you are lucky, you might be able to find a date. It is interesting to think back that 500 years ago, that person was living in that community ... and that gets me to wondering what that community was like back then ... in some cases the church just over there would have been there, but would have been almost new ... and maybe a building or two in the town down the hill would date back that far .....
I don't see any problem, where I grew up there was a large cemetary that was a kind of traditional place for ppl to practice their driving (which means you're like 14 and dad or step dad or mom's boy friend lets you take the driver's seat).
One more cemetery story ....
I was on my first 600K brevet in 2001. It had been a good first day. A group of 5 of us stuck together, and the time passed quickly. Then night fell, and as we rode, people started shooting off fireworks from the farms on either side of the road ... our route took us down into Minnesota, and it was the US July long weekend! I'd forgotten about that! That was really cool, cycling along with fireworks overhead. Later the fireworks died off, and the night was clear and beautiful. Stars above, and a plethora of fireflies in the ditches.
After our 2 am stop, the group broke up a bit. Three dropped back, and two of us rode on ahead. At about 4 am, the two of us pulled into a small town in the middle of nowhere, and decided to sit down and wait for the three behind. The route out of the town was a little bit confusing, and one of the other riders had done the route before. We didn't think they were too far back, and so should be along any minute. We waited ... and waited ... and waited ...
Finally we decided that we might as well get going, and try to figure it out ourselves. I was following Tom, about 100 ft back, while he picked out the route. He made a right turn, and I hesitantly followed. I wasn't at all sure that was the right direction, but he seemed to know where he was going.
As we rode, I noticed that there were fewer and fewer street lights ... soon it was quite dark. Then I noticed something else ... the road was getting rougher. Just then, Tom's taillights disappeared ... and I was riding on an unfamiliar surface. I was on grass ... the road had vanished! I stopped and tried to peer around.
In the light of the moon and a distant street light, I realized where I was .......... I was in the middle of a cemetery! Mist wrapped itself around the headstones, moving and swaying and drifting around in the pale moonlight. I was rooted to the spot!! I had been riding for 22 straight hours at that moment, and the sleep deprivation was an aid to my imagination. Add to that the fact that Tom was nowhere to be seen!!! But I couldn't couldn't call his name, scream, or anything. I felt frozen.
Suddenly he came out from around from behind some trees and said, "I don't think this is the right way.". I nearly fell over in a dead faint.
I live in a small town. Approxamately 80% of my riding is in the cemetery. The roads are all paved, and it is a popular place for joggers, people walking, and I see a lot of other cyclist riding there. Of course we don't cycle there if there's a funeral going on.Originally Posted by Billy Ray
The local police have no problem with it. Some of us even ride out there after dark. The cemetery is partially surrounded by houses, and is pretty well lit up at night. People enjoy running, walking, and cycling there because everyone feels safer. It keeps us out of traffic, and all the idiot drivers out there.
I've even saw the local mayor out there walking his dog in the afternoon. Everyone just stays on the pavement. There's like 6 roads running in various directions all over the cemetery. It's like one mile around the cemetery. So if you make 10 rounds. you've did 10 miles. None of us ever get on the grass. Laws are different in different towns and cities. A small town just west of here has a law against biking in the cemetery. However people can walk or jog there.
Be sure to check with your local law enforcement to make sure riding your bike in the cemetary is legal in your town. I don't think it's disrespectful at all to ride there. However, everyone is entitled to their own opinion.
I ride in a cemetary regularly and in fact we are encouraged to do so by the owners and staff. Not only are we another pair of eyes to watch for vandalism. They want to make the cemetary a place for the living. They feel if people think the cemetary is well visited and picturesque then people will be drawn to it and want to be buried there. It's good for business on all fronts. Someday the cemetaries may be the only green space left in urban areas.
Why not as long as you stay on the paved part. Some cemetary roads in horrible condition. Good Luck.
No idea on the novel but as I recall the poem is To His Coy Mistress, by Andrew Marvel.Originally Posted by Roody
Haven't googled to check that so give me a break if wrong.
Thanks X 2 cooker!Originally Posted by cooker
oopsOriginally Posted by Roody
Did anyone mention to look for a "No Tresspassing" sign?
In my neighborhood, I do ride at three cemetaries on ocassion. My friend's mother is buried at one, and I pay my respects. At the other two, they are of historical significance in that many of the founding townspeople are buried there, and I do pay my respects as I ride through on a quite afternoon weekday. Quitely. Slowly.
The world has a lot of starters but very few finishers.
Awesome story.Originally Posted by Machka
I ride through a cemetary every day. It lets me stay on the ridge and avoid a large hill. I ring my bell wave at one of the grounds crew nearly every day as he walks from the bus. It doesn't bother me a bit it's just another road to me.
Heck, I would be honored.Originally Posted by madman91
I know just enough to make some serious mistakes =)
When I lived in the DC area I used to ride through Arlington Cemetary
quite often. The only thing I did was avoid funeral processions as I felt
that was quite disrespectful. It was quite common to see cyclists
Was this a while ago? I thought Arlington National had no bike signs up. I use the path on the Iwo Jima side, since I'm usually headed that way anyway.Originally Posted by lotek
Last edited by cc_rider; 08-18-05 at 06:50 PM.
The cementary around my way has a NO Bicycling sign but I ignore it because walking to the grave would take a half an hour! No one ever said anything to me yet but they do it to keep the kids out. In addition, the cementary has some steep drops and blind corners making cycling a little dangerous when you mix in cars. I go slowly.
Back grammer school, my teacher took us to the cementary and our job was to look for interesting names and old stones, write them down on paper, then research the names in the library on microfilm. It was interesting what we found out about some of the folks who were burried at that cementary.
There's a little island in the Bahamas that has one main road. It goes all the way through town, twists a little bit, and ends in the most beautiful, old cemetery. It has graves from the 1800's, and it's on a bluff overlooking the ocean. It's the most peaceful, beautiful dead end I've ever seen! Literally!
On to the original question, the Silver Comet Trail in Atlanta is a 40-mile converted rail bike path. At one point, it joins up with a road on the back side of a cemetery. The only warning is that vehicles might be on the path for that short section. I've wondered what I would do if I came over the hill and saw a funeral, and I would probably walk past out of respect. But, the path is there, with the intention that all the people will be riding through that cemetary. edit: that being said, it is towards the end of the path that isn't used as frequently as other sections.
During a tour of duty at the Pentagon (1988-1991), I rode through Arlington National Cemetary on my daily commute. Even if the route had been out of my way, I still would have taken it to just show respect to all of our countries fallen heros. At some point in the cemetary I would quitely say "Thank you for your service and your sacrifice."Originally Posted by lotek
If they have in fact prohibited cyclist, that would be very sad.
At lunch, I would jog by the Vietnam Wall and give my respects there, as well.