Cyclist ‘grabs a brain’

In Friday's Yukon News, you printed a letter from Rita Smith (Bikers Should 'Grab a Brain,) regarding cyclists. After reading it, I felt many things, anger being first and foremost.

In Friday’s Yukon News, you printed a letter from Rita Smith (Bikers Should ‘Grab a Brain,) regarding cyclists.

After reading it, I felt many things, anger being first and foremost. As an avid cyclist for many years, I felt cyclists in general were being labeled as stupid scofflaws, recklessly endangering everyone operating a vehicle on the highways.

I felt so strongly about this letter and how I perceived it that I called her to talk to about it.

At first, it was obvious that we were both very fired up about the issues she raised in her letter, but as we talked and indeed argued about the issues of cyclists on the highways, it became very obvious to me that she had some very good points. While her letter may have raised the hackles of this cyclist, they are nonetheless very important issues affecting how cyclists are perceived.

In the end, we had a very amicable discussion about many issues in the Yukon and we both agreed that sometimes the best way to effect change is to tackle it from within.

As cyclists, we can be our own worst enemies. The very freedom that riding a bike brings can encourage us to take liberties with the law, as in, it doesn’t apply to us.

With the nicer weather upon us, and an increasing numbers of cyclists taking to the highways, there are a number of things to keep in mind.

As per the Yukon Motor Vehicle Act:

213(2) A person who is operating a cycle on a highway shall ride as practicable to the right hand curb or edge of the roadway.

215 A person operating a cycle on a highway shall not ride to the side of another cycle travelling in the same direction, but shall ride directly in line to the rear or the front of the other cycle, except when overtaking and passing the other cycle.

Cyclists have many rights on the highways, as do motorists, however, with these rights come responsibilities.

Cyclists have all the rights that motorists do under sections 11 and 12 of the Motor Vehicle Act and they also have the same duties.

Under the act, cyclists are treated essentially as slow-moving vehicles and must act accordingly. These rules are not just for cyclists’ protection, but for the protection of all highway users – cyclists and motor vehicles alike.

I’ll be the first to admit that I have broken these rules on occasion when riding with other cyclists. It’s easy to ignore them when on a long road ride and chatting with your buddy. But it doesn’t make it right, and bottom line is, it’s dangerous, not to mention that it angers law-abiding motorists.

So I ask all fellow cyclists to please be aware of your actions and how your riding style can affect others and how it affects how we, as a group, are perceived.

With some courtesy, common sense and respect, there is room for all to safely use our highways.

Paul Christensen

Whitehorse

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

asdf
WYATT’S WORLD

Wyatt’s World for Nov. 27, 2020

Premier Sandy Silver during a live update on the COVID-19 situation at a press conference in Whitehorse on March 27. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Total Yukon COVID case count increased to 42 cases

Premier urges patience after national meeting on vaccine roll-out

Benjamin Poudou, Mount MacIntyre’s ski club manager, poses for a photo in the club’s ski rental area on Nov. 16. The club has sold around 1,850 passes already this year, compared to 1067 passes on Oct. 31 last year. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Early season ski pass sales up as Yukoners prepare for pandemic winter

Season passe sales at Mount McIntyre for cross-country skiing are up by around 60 per cent this year

The City of Whitehorse will be spending $655,000 to upgrade the waste heat recovery system at the Canada Games Centre. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
New waste heat recovery system coming to the CGC

Council approves $655,000 project

Cody Pederson of the CA Storm walks around LJ’s Sabres player Clay Plume during the ‘A’ division final of the 2019 Yukon Native Hockey Tournament. The 2021 Yukon Native Hockey Tournament, scheduled for March 25 to 28 in Whitehorse next year, was officially cancelled on Nov. 24 in a press release from organizers. (John Hopkins-Hill/Yukon News file)
2021 Yukon Native Hockey Tournament cancelled

The 2021 Yukon Native Hockey Tournament, scheduled for March 25 to 28… Continue reading

Lev Dolgachov/123rf
The Yukon’s Information and Privacy Commissioner stressed the need to safeguard personal information while shopping this holiday season in a press release on Nov. 24.
Information and Privacy Commissioner issues reminder about shopping

The Yukon’s Information and Privacy Commissioner Diane McLeod-McKay stressed the need to… Continue reading

Keith Lay speaks at a city council meeting on Dec. 4, 2017. Lay provided the lone submission to council on the city’s proposed $33 million capital spending plan for 2021 on Nov. 23, taking issue with a number of projects outlined. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Resident raises issues with city’s capital budget

Council to vote on budget in December

Beatrice Lorne was always remembered by gold rush veterans as the ‘Klondike Nightingale’. (Yukon Archives/Maggies Museum Collection)
History Hunter: Beatrice Lorne — The ‘Klondike Nightingale’

In June of 1929, 11 years after the end of the First… Continue reading

Samson Hartland is the executive director of the Yukon Chamber of Mines. The Yukon Chamber of Mines elected a new board of directors during its annual general meeting held virtually on Nov. 17. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Yukon Chamber of Mines elects new board

The Yukon Chamber of Mines elected a new board of directors during… Continue reading

The Yukon Hospital Corporation has released its annual report for 2019-20, and — unsurprisingly — hospital visitations were down. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Annual report says COVID-19 had a large impact visitation numbers at Whitehorse General

The Yukon Hospital Corporation has released its annual report for 2019-20, and… Continue reading

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week

Most Read