August 24, 2014

Open Letter to a Motorist

Dear Motorist,

On a recent ride, I came closer to getting hit by a vehicle than I’ve ever come in my life… I felt the sideview mirror of your 1990s burgundy Dodge Caravan brush my left elbow as you sped by me!

In the seconds after, I struggled with what just happened. I questioned if I’d been out of line, maybe too far from the curb, but I wasn’t. I gave you lots of room, and the two cars that had passed me moments before you, confirmed that – you had room. I also questioned if you were really going that fast, but I could still hear the sound of your engine revving up in my ears… No, you sped up as you drove by, through that construction zone going north on 121 St near Fox Drive, coming needlessly close to me, and you put my life at risk when you did!

– Read More –

June 6, 2012

I don’t ring my bell

I have a confession… I don’t ring my bell.

Well – At least, I don’t ring it nearly as often as I used to.

Along with a transition to a new office in a different part of town came an adjustment to the route of my commute. Now, instead of cutting through the heart of downtown amongst the traffic, I spend most of my time on Calgary’s pathway system. 

Now on the surface, this may seem like a perfect scenario, but the pathway system deals with a rush hour all to itself… Cyclists of every experience level, dog-walkers, runners, Tai Chi-ers, geese, ducks, squirrels and everything in-between.

Prior to my new routing my time on the pathway was somewhat fleeting and through a much less populous area. During this time I rang my bell religiously, merrily ‘ting-tinging’ my way to work. But if I were to ring my bell with that level of frequency along my new route I’d end up ringing my bell faster than I’m turning the pedals.

So I stopped.

– Read More –

December 14, 2010

Bike Wars

Do yourself a favour and read this article. With the distance between social-economic classes growing and the rich dictating more and more cities policy and direction, this is a very thought provoking take on driving. The New Class Warfare over Bicycles Don Cherry and Rob Ford twist it backwards. The elitists are pro-car politicians, slowing – Read More –

June 3, 2010

I scolded my first rider today

Like many days prior, I was on my way to work, merrily spinning away… On this particular day the paths and roads were teaming with riders and pedestrians, it was the first nice day we’ve had in a while after all.

I’m lucky enough that there’s only one *major* thoroughfare that I need to bisect on my way to work, and for the most part the cyclists all behave in the same predictable manner – We all skirt across a few lanes on the red light and use the left turning lane to head off into the path system on the other side of the roadway.

When it comes to traffic and cyclists I think predictability and common sense are a pretty good combination. – Read More –

September 10, 2009

Changing a Driver’s Perspective

After looking at the interest generated by Shelon’s “Bicycles are traffic, not targets” article and being recently bombarded by the seemingly endless list of cycling-related ‘accidents’ (most publicly, the bike messenger allegedly killed by an Ontario AG) I was curious as to what (if any) sort of resolution can be come to between those behind the wheel, and those on top of two.

ConfrontationIt’s probably safe to say that in most drivers eyes, cyclists are generally considered the scourge of the road. All we do is get in the way, and generally cause trouble.

Having been in both scenarios (ie. behind the wheel, and on top of two wheels) I will admit that there are times cyclists are a little lenient with the ‘rules of the road,’ myself included. I’ve seen cyclist routinely blow through red lights, skim through traffic, and cruise through crosswalks full of pedestrians. But, as one of the commenters mentioned in our last article – that’s the beauty of being on a bike – you’re not firmly leashed to what a vehicle can and cannot do.

Cyclists live somewhere in-between.

With that said, I’m not certain the seemingly deep-rooted hatred drivers have for cyclists is founded. I might put forward that many of the problems stem mainly from one source: a drivers mentality.

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