Life is like riding a bicycle. In order to keep your balance, you must keep moving.” Albert Einstein
I have to follow the last post with a post on bike safety. Too often drivers are careless and impatient, disregarding the safe passage of a cyclist commuter. There are also the too many cyclists that ignore the rules of the road and put themselves at risk. Leaving the driver shaking their heads and heart pounding. The results from lack of care, by both driver and cyclists, can be severe.
Everyone, please show respect for all who share the roads.
So for all you drivers out there, please give heed to the many cyclists. We are at your mercy and we all have loved ones waiting for us. The following is from ICBC Cycling Safety.
Sharing the road with cyclists
On average, nearly four out of five crashes involving cyclists occur at intersections in B.C. When driving, you can help reduce the chances of a crash by sharing the road safely and following these tips:
Keep a safe distance. Maintain at least three seconds behind cyclists and at least one metre when passing a cyclist. Don’t risk side-swiping or running a cyclist off the road.
Dooring is dangerous. In B.C., one in 14 car crashes involving cyclists are the result of dooring (video, 30secs) . Both drivers and passengers must shoulder check for cyclists before opening doors. This will help you avoid a dooring violation and fine too.
Don’t get distracted. Watch for cyclists on the road and make eye contact if you can, so they can anticipate your next move.
Look out. Shoulder check for cyclists before turning right and watch for oncoming cyclists before turning left. Scan for cyclists before you enter the roadway from an alley or get in and out of a parking spot.
Yield the right-of-way. Yield to cyclists and signal well in advance if you need to cross a designated bike lane or pull over to the side of the road.
Open your door the Dutch Reach way.
All the cyclists out there, please play by the rules. Keep your speed in check, wear visible gear and a brain cap. The following is again from ICBC Cycling Safety .
Safety tips for cyclists
Be safe on the road when you’re cycling with these simple tips:
Reflect on safety. Be extra visible with reflective gear on your bicycle pedals and wheels.
Bike lanes are best. Use designated bike routes whenever possible – they’re safer and reduce conflicts with vehicle traffic. Check your local municipality’s website for designated bike routes or go to TransLink for Metro Vancouver cycling maps.
Don’t ride on the sidewalk. If there’s no bike lane, keep to the right-hand side of the road as much as it’s safe to do so. It’s illegal to ride on most sidewalks and crosswalks.
Follow the rules of the road. Make sure you obey all traffic signs and signals and adhere to the rules of the road.
Use caution around parked vehicles. Be aware of people in vehicles as well as taxis to avoid getting hit by an opening door. Try to keep at least once metre away from parked vehicles.
Shoulder check. Use hand signals and shoulder check in advance before taking any turns. Remember, drivers sometimes fail to yield right-of-way.
Protect yourself before cycling
Always wear an approved bicycle helmet that meets safety standards (CSA, ANSI, ASTM or SNELL B-95) and occasionally check for signs of wear. Wearing a helmet is the law in B.C. and you could be fined for not wearing one.
Remember to plan for poor weather or low light conditions. Your bicycle must be equipped with a white headlight visible at 150 metres and a rear red light/reflector visible at 100 metres. Be extra visible with reflective gear on your pedals and wheels.
This video will teach you the MVPC about safe commuting.
For more information on bike safety, watch Commute-Smart-videos, made in the UK. Wish I could edit helmets onto all those who are not wearing a brain cap in these videos.
Regardless of your mode of transport, we all must share the road.
Play by the rules, be patient, respectful and give space.
We all are on our way home to someone who loves us.
Lets all get there safely.
“Life is like a 10-speed bicycle. Most of us have gears we never use.”
Charles M. Schultz