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SHARE THE ROAD: Learning to share Cariboo roads year round

Snow and ice provide more hazards for cyclists, so giving them even more space is critical
Bert Groenenberg is an avid cyclist who enjoys riding his bike for freedom and fitness. Groenenberg appreciated the bicycle-themed sculpture in downtown Rossland on a road trip. (Photo submitted)

This column is an imaginary correspondence between Maddie the Motorist, Byron the Bicyclist and Patty the Pedestrian. It is meant to educate as well as entertain the reader.

Dear Byron the Bicyclist;

Now that the snow is flying and it is getting cold, will you still be riding your bicycle? It can get icy, and I suppose the wind can make it feel even colder.

Signed; Maddie the Motorist

Dear Maddie the Motorist;

The wind in my face wakes me up! But, yes, it can get dangerous out there. Being on two wheels then hitting an icy patch can cause us to fall. If this happens on the road with passing vehicles, we as cyclists could get run over. The BC law calling for vehicles to pass at least one metre from a cyclist might be okay in Victoria, but in winter conditions, we need at least two metres space.

We also have less daylight. In my case, riding home from work will be in the dark. So fewer drivers see me, even with my florescent vest and good bicycle lights.

As we already know from motorcyclists and pedestrians, many motorists do not “see” anything that isn’t on four wheels. So, I am parking my bike for the winter and joining Patty the Pedestrian.

You will still see some bicyclists on the road. A few cyclists have fat bikes. But most cyclists have ordinary bikes. The reasons they ride are as varied as the riders. Remember, all bicyclists still have a legal right to the road.

Please, Maddie, watch carefully for the bicyclists that will still be riding, and for both Patty and I too!

Sincerely; Byron the Bicyclist

Bert Groenenberg is a cyclist and pedestrian who has mainly biked or walked to work on Oliver Street for 30 years. Articles are based on his actual experience and observation.

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