Bicycle riding is popular in the Washington area but it may have reached a peak for the time being.

"The bicycle boom has subsided," said manager Michael Tedding of the Alpha Bicycle Shop Inc. in Rockville. "Mainly because people are finding it's too bloody damn dangerous."

Tedding said drivers aren't really used to having bicyclists on the roads and "don't react well." Further, he said drivers resent the many bikers who don't obey traffic laws.

He said there was a peak in area bike sales and interest in 1974 after the intensification of the energy crisis, but that this has now "leveled out."

Tedding said bikers also have problems riding on area bike paths.

"Most bike paths are gravel or unpaved or not wide enough to allow two-way traffic safely," he said. "They don't start at places that are appropriate nor do they go anywhere that's worthwhile."

He said these things happen because rights-o-way for bike paths tend to be chosen in a political process in which the practical considerations important to bikers themselves are seldom voiced.

One biker who commutes to work said she does so even though she is afraid of the motor traffic.

"I live in fear," she said.