In the recent newspaper ad from Yukon Highways and Public Works and the city of Whitehorse about sharing the road, cyclists were reminded to “always obey traffic rules Ã‰.”
I like the way my dad communicated this when I, around age eight, started riding around my neighbourhood.
“You are a car,” he said, by which he meant that I must ride on the right side of the road, stop for stop signs and traffic lights, signal for turns, and stay alert to other vehicles. This way of riding has stood me in good stead through decades of bike commuting, sometimes in big cities, and through several long-distance bike trips, one from Wisconsin to Maine.
As a car driver, I had to twice jam on my brakes this summer while making right turns out of parking lots, when a bike rider suddenly appeared, not only riding on the sidewalk but also approaching from my right, while I was looking left for an opening in traffic. Had the rider been on the road (there was even a bike lane in both instances) and riding the same direction as the cars, each of us would have been saved the scare of a close call.
So, cyclists, whether you remember the words of the ad or my dad’s way of putting it, please ride in a way that is safer for everyone Ã be a car.