Sunday, May 10, 2015

Reconsidering My Path....

Top of the evening to all... is not what you think, but it at least worked to get you to read.

The Provincial ordinance states clearly that bicycles are not allowed on the sidewalks.  That is reasonable.  Collisions between cyclists and pedestrians are not healthy for anyone.  The Provincial laws state further that bicycles are entitled to a full lane of traffic.

Taking a full lane is not a good way for a cyclist to make friends and influence people.  Drivers really do not appreciate such use of the roads by the slowpokes on the bicycles.  Many drivers are also not aware that cyclists are legally entitled to the full lane.  It takes a cyclist with nerves of steel to withstand the pile-up of vehicles in the rear while maintaining a spot in traffic.  Most of us do not like to do that.  We thus stick to the sides of the road as much as possible.  Staying in the centre of the lane is uncomfortable and dangerous.  As well, most serious riders try to avoid irking the drivers.

I often have the need to head south along Bathurst St on my trusty steed of steel.  I wear a helmet and reflective gear.  After all, I take time to reflect when I ride.  Here is the challenge.  The side of Bathurst St is rough more often than not.  There are holes.  There are patched potholes.  Sometimes, in order to have a smooth (safe) ride that does not jar my shoulders and back, I have to make the choice of swerving way out into traffic, often as much as a metre and a half, or hitting some of the rough pavement and flipping the bicycle.

It is an unreasonable choice.

So here are the options for a cyclist on Bathurst St.

1.  Ride in the middle of the lane, where it is more or less safe and smooth, but where drivers will really be annoyed.
2.  Ride along the side of the road, and risk life, limb, and bicycle due to the horrendous condition of the road.
3.  Ride on the sidewalk, and risk a ticket in the amount of $110.

I am getting awfully close to choice #3.  The city is obligated to provide a safe means of getting around town for all commuters, including those on only two wheels.  My taxes pay for that concern.  If the city is unable to do its job, I have to consider my own safety.

This is a tough decision.  This cyclist takes the rules of the road very seriously.

Have a good evening everyone.