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COLUMN: Together again - on our roads

Bikes are better for roads
An intrepid cyclist rolls up to a business along First Avenue in Williams Lake, with some snow still on the hills in the background. (Ruth Lloyd photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

We are emerging from the darkness of winter and provincial health guidelines are easing up. We can finally stretch our limbs and our social circles once again.

It is time to spend more hours outside and some of us will be pulling the bikes out of storage, checking tires and lubricating chains to enjoy the freedom of two-wheeled travel.

After a very divisive couple of years, it might be time to remember why we can all benefit from sharing our roads as other road users come out of hiding.

Some were out year-round, wheelchairs pushing through snowy sidewalks, and cyclists struggling in snow banks were winter scenes I witnessed. But few cyclists want to share roads in those conditions and when I rode a bike in Calgary winters, I took pathways and side streets with low traffic.

While some drivers might see a bike and become frustrated, try and take a breath and remember the person on the bike is also benefiting you in many ways.

More bikes on the road translates into less traffic.

Sure, you might have to lift your foot for a few seconds, maybe even tap a brake to slow down and be able to pass safely giving the cyclist room - but those few seconds also mean you have less traffic to contend with in general and less competition for parking when you arrive at your destination.

Cyclists can help keep the price of fuel down.

While in this town, the infrastructure may not be safe enough to attract a large number of cyclists, less drivers does mean less demand for fuel, and therefore less pressure on rising fuel prices.

Bikes are better for roads.

Heavy traffic is hard on roads, so conversely, more people moving on bicycles, which take up less space and are far lighter, are much easier on the infrastructure. Moving one person in a large vehicle takes up far more space than two cyclists riding side-by-side, so try not to get your knickers in a knot about it.

Remember, cyclists are also people, we also drive, we pay taxes and we are helping keep the air a little cleaner while we burn fat, not fuel.

-Ruth Lloyd

Williams Lake Tribune

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Ruth Lloyd

About the Author: Ruth Lloyd

I moved back to my hometown of Williams Lake after living away and joined the amazing team at the Williams Lake Tribune in 2021.
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