Biking to work is healthy and fun.

Safety on the Roads – Bike to Work Week is May 26 – June 1

Safety on the Roads - Bike to Work Week is May 26 - June 1

I’ve been commuting to work on my bike for 20 years. I have braved the city roads in Vancouver and now enjoy the less traveled route on Hwy 20. There are a handful or more of us who bike to and fro regularly and I would like to encourage more people to ride to work.

Biking in this beautiful valley is fairly easy. The ups and downs are small and few. There are only a few really windy days that make it challenging…at least one way. It’s great to get a tailwind on the ride home.

Biking to work takes some planning. You may need to pack an extra set of clothes if you work up a sweat. You will have to leave a bit earlier. And you may want to consider driving your bike to a launching off point if you feel you live a bit too far away.

When sharing the road, knowing where to ride and where to drive is extremely important. Cyclists have all the rights and responsibilities as the other drivers on the road. A helmet is a necessity, as is riding with the traffic. Riding facing traffic is illegal and can increase the risk of collision. Being visible and being predictable are paramount.

A cyclist is required to ride as close to the edge of the road as ‘practicable.’ Practicable means to be able to be done or put into practice successfully; it doesn’t mean hugging the edge of the road or riding in the gravel. Riding on the gravel shoulder isn’t an option for those of us who don’t have mountain bike tires.

There are laws in Ontario that state when going over 50 km/hr, motorists must leave 5 feet of clearance between their vehicle and a cyclist. This means that almost vehicles will have to cross the yellow line to pass safely. While most drivers here do just that, I have seen many drivers cross the yellow line even when there is a vehicle coming in the other direction, making the other car or truck take evasive action and drive on the shoulder.

On the other hand, there are drivers that don’t move over at all when passing. This is a dangerous practice that can lead to injury or death. The edge of the road can be strewn with gravel and debris, be pot-holed or poorly crack-sealed. Sometimes dogs appear out of nowhere at high speed. A cyclist needs some room for maneuvering around and past these hazards.

The key is to pass safely. If there isn’t a car in the other lane, pull over and pass. If you know you will end up forcing the oncoming vehicle off the road then slow down and pass the cyclist when it is safe.

Cyclists and drivers can share the road without accidents when we all know where we are suppose to be. I hope to see more people on two wheels for Bike to Work Week, and beyond.

Just Posted

Conservation officers relocate two grizzlies away from Bella Coola

Officers worried the bears would become reliant on human food sources

Explosives, firearms recovered from weekend standoff in Hagensborg

A high stakes standoff ended peacefully last Friday when single male was arrested without incident

‘Daddy bonus’ common in B.C. workplaces, study finds

UBC researchers say dads don’t have to be number one in the office to get a raise

30 degrees and warmer forecasted with heat wave in B.C.

The weather could stay well into next week, according to Environment Canada

B.C. Place will miss out on World Cup soccer celebration

Premier John Horgan doesn’t ‘regret for a minute’ pulling out

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

B.C. NHL prospect expected to make ‘full recovery’ after an incident in Calgary

Jordy Bellerive was injured in a reported house fire Saturday night

BC Lions defensive back Marcell Young levels streaker in home opener

Young hit the fan near one of the 45-yard lines

Police: Taxi driver who hit 8 Moscow pedestrians fell asleep

Two Mexican World Cup fans were among those hit

B.C. VIEWS: Orphans of our urban drug culture neglected again

Child advocate Bernard Richard leaves B.C. with harsh message

From marijuana beer to pot cookies, Canadian companies creating cannabis edibles

Manufacturers think that edibles will do well with users who don’t want to smoke or vape

Privacy lawyer warns against victim blaming in recent sextortion scams

Perpetrators get sexual photos of the victim and threaten to share them with friends and families

QB Jennings leads Lions to 22-10 win over Alouettes

B.C. wins CFL home opener over Montreal

Most Read