Letter: Cars and bikes — let’s take care of each other

As a dedicated long-time cyclist who has plied the Alaska Highway route on 2-wheels for many years, I would like to express a sincere thanks to the vast majority of drivers who are so considerate of the cyclists they encounter on their travels.

On a ride to Carcross last Friday with two friends, if a 100 cars overtook us 98 of them moved toward the centre line and gave us lots of space. If there was another vehicle approaching in the oncoming lane, most folks driving up from behind even slowed to let the oncoming car pass before they moved over to overtake us. I hope many of you who passed us on Friday glanced at your rear view and saw me waving a hand in appreciation, “We noticed! Thanks for watching out for us.”

To the one or two drivers who made a conscious decision to pass us at full speed and as close as possible, all I can do is appeal to you to please reconsider your approach to passing cyclists — especially the RV driver who passed us just six inches off my left elbow. As per the Motor Vehicles Act we were riding single-file “as near as practicable to the edge of the roadway.” We also had flashing lights on the front and back bike of our bikes that are visible from at least 500 m away, and we were on a straight stretch with no cars approaching in the oncoming lane. It’s hard to imagine any good reason to put us at-risk like that. Six inches to the left — a small pothole, a patch of loose gravel, a tiny swerve — and six kids would be growing up without a dad and your life would be changed forever.

It’s true that, as with drivers, there are some inconsiderate cyclists out there who show little regard for others and seem to think they “own the road.” But in my experience, the vast majority of us Yukoners are considerate most of the time and want to do right by each other. Let’s continue to carry this ethos with us out on the roads, too.

Ian Parker

Whitehorse

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