It doesn't take much to fire up the Bike Fanatics.

If you make the entirely reasonable assertion that thousands of Akron-area residents are not suddenly going to start riding bicycles to work if the city adds dedicated bike lanes, you will be bombarded by a small but zealous group of people who believe the world should revolve around bicycles.

Although I certainly wouldn't put them in the same category, in terms of networking they remind me of the “chemtrails” loons. Any time you question the absurd belief that vapor trails from airplanes are actually harmful chemicals being sprayed on unsuspecting Americans for any number of nefarious reasons, you'll get angry retorts from true believers living in all corners of the country and beyond.

When I criticized the city of Akron's decision to narrow many streets — adding bike lanes and parking to slow down the flow of traffic — the feedback from local readers via email, phone and Facebook was at least 90 percent in agreement. But on Twitter I was almost universally derided — mainly by people who live thousands of miles from Akron.

Here's a Tweet from a man named Peter Flax:

"Hi Bob, thousands of American cyclists and pedestrians are being killed every year, so maybe you could have a more open mind to ideas that have been proven to save lives? Minor inconveniences and delays might be involved."

Mr. Flax lives in Los Angeles. His tweet drew 10 "likes." Nine of those likes came from people who live in other states or overseas: Four from California. One from Massachusetts. One from Houston. One from Portland, Ore. One from Huntsville, Ala. One from the United Kingdom.

The 10th tweeter's location did not appear in his profile.

Clearly, these people have encyclopedic knowledge of the city of Akron, especially its streets, its weather and the mindset of its residents. Riiiiight.

In some situations, the concept does makes sense. One of those is in the heart of downtown Akron, an area where significant traffic jams usually occur only during special events. The reworking and narrowing of the intersection of Main and Mill streets, which will include a roundabout, will mellow out and beautify an area that has the potential to turn into the centerpiece of downtown, drawing more pedestrians, shops and downtown residents.

But try this stuff in the wrong locations and you'll get results like this, pointed out by Cliff Musgrave, a firefighter at Station 10 in Kenmore.

“I have something to add in regards to choking down Kenmore Boulevard,” he wrote.

“The planners (who argue that one of the reasons is safety) somehow overlooked the flow of emergency traffic.

“Kenmore Boulevard is a main thoroughfare and the best route to certain parts of the neighborhood. However, during any traffic period at all, it has become impassable for emergency traffic.

“If there are vehicles traveling in both directions of the boulevard, they have no way of moving out of the way of emergency vehicles when cars are parked on the side. There is nowhere they can go! Nor can we get around them.

“One metro bus picking up riders turns what was two lanes into impassable.

“So not only is this frustrating to the daily drivers, inevitably it is going to affect response times for police, fire and EMS.”

Clearly, there are valid reasons to argue that bikes lanes create more problems than they solve. But you wouldn't know that by reading Twitter.

A tweet from Race Radio, somebody devoted to professional cycling with 33,800 followers, read, “Good of Bob Dyer to admit many drivers are irrationally angry people that want to blame their poor choice of transportation on bikes.”

Exactly.

Thanks, pal. Have a nice ride. Wherever you may be.