Nothing says “Summer is finally here!!” then when people get out and go biking! It’s a simple way to enjoy those terrific pathways. Did you know that Calgary boasts over 500 km of bike lanes and pathways?? Bike blogger, Tom Babin, has some tips for us to make it safe and enjoyable. He was recently interviewed by David Gray from the CBC Eyeopener. The City of Calgary has some good advice to add, as well.
- Slow Down
Tom Babin admits that the speed limits on the pathways can seem a bit slow. However, he reminds the listeners that both pedestrians and bikers share the space equally. He also mentioned that pedestrians need to do their part as well. Walking four abreast isn’t appreciated nor is walking the dog with the leash stretched across the path. Keep the dog to the right of you on the path. Remember to walk on the right side of the yellow line.
We need to keep our wits about us so the headphones shouldn’t be worn. Pedestrians need to hear the bell or spoken warning of an approaching cyclist from behind.
- Ride on the Sidewalk
It’s not a good idea plus it’s illegal depending on your age. You’ll wind up with a ticket if caught. Pedestrians aren’t too pleased, either. Having said that, if a cyclist is under the age of 14, then he/she can ride on the sidewalk legally. Use the bike lanes which are safer, anyway.
- Pedestrian Crosswalks
Basically, don’t ride through them. Walk the bike across. Use the crosswalks especially if making a left-hand turn could be potentially dangerous on a busy road.
- Show Respect
Drivers need to slow down around cyclists sharing the road. Give them at least a metre of space when passing. Accidents happen when cyclists feel the frustration of drivers behind them. Conversely, bikers need to give pedestrians a chance to react when passing on the left side of the path. Before stopping or moving to pass a pedestrian, give a hand signal and check behind you in case another cyclist has the same idea.
- Wear Reflective Wear
At dusk and later in the evening, pedestrians (and drivers too, for that matter) can’t see a cyclist who isn’t wearing reflective clothing or who doesn’t have a light on their bike. So make sure you are totally visible by having a light both on the helmet and bike. Wear a reflective vest over the jacket, too.
- Twinned Paths
When the pathways are twinned, be sure you are traveling according to your activity. Walk/Run or bike where indicated. However, in the winter where one path has been cleared of snow, then everyone follows the same way.
- Yield to Heels
Bikes are big machines. They are fast, efficient and dangerous. Always yield to pedestrians. The adage “Wheels yield to Heels” will keep everyone safe around you. Plus, following proper bike etiquette will ensure a wonderful time to enjoy those terrific urban paths that were created for our enjoyment.
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