Friday, June 8, 2012

Dear cyclists be ambassadors.

Since I have clearance to ride again - I asked for the parameters - rules and regulations from my Physio - how far, can I add tension, can I get out of the saddle and how often.

No still keep tension off - hmmph
No do not get out of the saddle - hmmph
How often - lets try  twice a week and if that is okay  then you may add a day - yeah
How far - lets look at time - okay - how long - NOT 4 hours - 2 hours should be good - okaaaay

So riding to work ok - yes but that is included in your twice a week - okay.

Very exciting!!!!

So yesterday I got my stuff together and me and Isis set off - since I leave around 6:15 am in the morning my ride in is pretty non-eventful.

The ride home - whole other story....

If you want to hit a hot button topic - talk about cycling in Vancouver - at least once a week a talk show host gets on line and bashes cyclists - it does not help that City Hall keeps shoving bike lanes and such down taxpayers throats without thoughtful discussion - but that is a whole other post to say the least.

I have ridden a bike since I was very young with the exception of the first 5 years I lived in Vancouver.  I have always used my bike for transportation - even before it became cool or I became a triathlete.  I would like to say I ride because I am altruistic and to be "GREEN" but that is not why I ride now or before, it just happens to be a pleasant side effect. I was taught the rules of the road and I was taught that I am a vehicle and as such need to act as such.

People wonder why there is so much anger towards cyclists - well here are a few reasons:



1. Blasting through a 4-way stop sign - especially when cars are stopped.  You must have a death wish. Don't get me wrong I do California stops but that means slowing down assessing and STOPPING if it is not your turn or there are cars there.

2. Blasting through a crosswalk when obviously people are walking in it right in front of you.  (I am reformed on this as I have seen the error of my ways). 

3. Riding at night with no lights or reflective gear - just plain stupid and dangerous - people can not see you, other riders can not see  you - you are obviously a candidate for a DARWIN award.

4. Riding on the wrong side of a dedicated bike path while you are listening to your tunes - it is just like a road way - please treat as such.

5. HELMETS - Ummmm just because you have a basket on the front and can carry groceries does not mean you don't need a helmet - oh I forgot that is why you HAVVVE the basked to carry the helmet .....

6. If there is a dedicated bike path beside you DON'T ride down the sidewalk beside it making pedestrians move - you are now officially a jerk.

7. I know you want to talk to your 3 friends as you ride down the dedicated bike path side by side but if you see a cyclist coming towards you move - would you drive down the wrong side of the road beside your friends?!?!

8. If there is a cyclist in front of you and they are passing a car on the left that has stopped AND there is a car coming towards them - probably not a good idea to pass the cyclist on the left and almost get hit head on.....seriously - I can't make this sh*t up.

9. When turning - it is customary to signal so everyone knows what you are doing - most of us do not have ESP like you.

10. Riding up the inside on the right side of cars that are stopped at lights with their right turn signal on - sadly I have to explain this - they will probably turn into you and they have the right of way, they were there first.

I could probably list a dozen other but I think my point has been made. 

Your actions put me and other riders in danger - people get angry and frustrated - both pedestrians, other good cyclists and drivers because of your bad habits.  You may have come out unscathed and not affected but now that person or driver is pissed off at "riders" and I or one of my friends may be the next rider they see that they decide to cut-off or do a brush by with their car to teach cyclists a lesson.  They may try to nudge me off the road or honk their horn just as they are passing by me, throw their door open or pull out in front of me. A pedestrian may refuse to share the joint pathway and walk right down the centre or worse yet grab my handle bar as I pass (this happened to someone I know) and cause me to crash  and it is all because you felt you did not have to follow the rules.

So I implore you to follow those rules.   You have the option to be an ambassador  for cycling and help change people's attitudes.  We all have to share the road ways and pathways.

Peace out
Shaun



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