Cycling for recreation and fitness has seen tremendous growth over the past few years.
People everywhere are discovering the fun, health and fitness benefits of cycling and now with the eco/green movement taking a hold and the desire to do something to help the environmental cause, commuting to and from work and school on bikes has become even more popular. One only has to look at cities all over the world, including Campbell River who now plan bike paths as a part of the infrastructure on road construction.
With this increase in cycling popularity, there is also a steady increase in conflicts with other road users. Many of these conflicts arise from confusion about how cyclists and pedestrians should behave in traffic and how drivers should regard cyclists.
British Columbia’s Motor Vehicle Act states “A person operating a cycle on a highway has the same rights and duties as the driver of a vehicle.”
Not many drivers realize this very basic fact and for that matter, not many cyclists realize it either! This means the same rules apply for EVERYONE on the road, so as an example: Cyclists should NOT ride on the sidewalk but on the road going with the traffic.
Over my years of road cycling I have seen many infractions by drivers and as a driver I see many infractions by cyclists and the reason for writing this column is to help to educate and inform ALL road users of their responsibilities to one another so that disputes, arguments and road rage can be reduced. Sharing the road is the ultimate goal.
In the following weeks we will discuss many topics and issues from the basic rules of the road, cyclists and drivers responsibilities, pedestrian interaction, equipment, clothing, health and fitness to bike safety and maintenance.
Steve Nagle is a cyclist, runner and driver. He can be found at Campbell River’s outdoor store, Outdoor Addictions. See outdooraddictions.ca