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What are the rules?

Years ago when I lived in North Vancouver, I would sneak in some great road rides in between my many mountain bike adventures, and often end up in Stanley Park

Years ago when I lived in North Vancouver, I would sneak in some great road rides in between my many mountain bike adventures, and often end up in Stanley Park

If you’re familiar with the park at all, you know there is a fantastic Seawall. You can ride all the way around on a paved path enjoying the ocean, the beaches, and the mountain views.

When I would ride in the park, I completely avoided the Seawall and stuck to the road with the cars. I wanted to ride fast and not worry about joggers, pedestrians, baby carriages, dogs, tourists, and roller bladers.

One summer day, I grabbed our cruiser bikes and Chenoa and I headed for Stanley Park. We chose the Seawall, no rush, no race, and no schedule. We rode around as casually as possible, stopped when we felt like, and enjoyed the atmosphere around us, people and all. A couple of times on that day, some road riders ripped past us at full speed yelling “on your right”.

There were a few near misses with other Seawall users and I wondered to myself, “Why aren’t these racer types on the road if they’re in such a hurry?”

And that brings me to this week’s point. I ride in the Beaver Lodge lands, I ride on the Sea Walk along the ocean, and I ride on the highway. I often encounter other riders, dog walkers, and runners, and never once have I had an issue.

There are rules I am sure, even though I can’t quote them. I sometimes hear complaints from all user types about other user types (part of being a cycling retailer I guess).

Some people wondering why a cyclist scared their off-leash dog. Some users wondering why an off-leash dog was in their way. Some users who were scared when a bike passed them. Some users complaining when a walker is wearing ear buds and can’t hear an approaching cyclist, despite the many warnings.

I imagine the complaints can go on forever if we try hard enough, but there may be a simpler solution than coming to see me, hoping I can influence the community.

Understand the rules. Whether you’re a walker, a rider, a runner, or a pet owner, find out who has which right of way. Stick to pet rules when it comes to leashed areas and free roam areas, no matter what mode of transport you prefer, give ample and polite warnings if you’re going to pass, travel at appropriate speeds for the area you’re in, share the road/trail if you’re pushing a carriage or in a large group, and try to be aware of your surroundings, it is a public area after all, so don’t be shocked to see other users.

OK, if all that fails and you have no idea which rules apply to you, here is a rule of thumb I try to live by … just use some common sense and be polite, you know, like how we teach little kids to act.

It’s easy to share the space we all love and if we take a second to consider others, I’m pretty sure 99 per cent of the complaints will disappear. And please remember, just because one runner, walker, rider, pet owner, is an A-hole, it doesn’t mean they all are.

I’m James Durand and I’m Goin’ Ridin” … ON YOUR RIGHT!!!…