[Nicely expressed letter in today's Winnipeg Free Press. -cheers, Beth]
Letters to the Editor Have your say:Make room for cyclists
I work downtown and commute by bicycle along Pembina Highway. I do my best to be respectful of motor vehicle drivers and allow enough room for small vehicles to share the lane with me most of the time. However, due to potholes, gravel/sand build-up, and certain areas where lanes are narrow, I need to take the full lane along small stretches of my commute. For safe riding, this is recommended by the Canadian Cycling Association, and permissible under the Highway Traffic Act.
I applaud most drivers, because they are respectful of my safety, and change lanes, or give me ample room within my lane as they pass by me. Unfortunately, I also face daily assaults on my safety by an angry few. Drivers speed by within inches of me, cut me off, honk, and even yell profanities. In fact, the other day I was flipped the bird twice on my way home.
This message is aimed at those angry few.
If I am taking the full lane, I am doing it for safety reasons. It is not intended to upset you, so please don't show your frustration by putting my life at risk.
If you are a large truck or SUV driver, we almost certainly can never share a lane, even if I am far to the right. The width of your vehicle does not allow for a reasonably safety cushion of space between us. You need to change lanes to pass me.
Again, I'm not trying to upset you by riding my bike, so please do not show your frustration by putting my life at risk. If you still feel frustrated and angry over having to share the road with me, rest assured, we are on the same side! I don't want to be on the road with you either, but I do not have any other options along Pembina Highway.
So instead of aiming your anger at me, and thereby putting my life at risk, I suggest you funnel your anger into a letter to your city councillor demanding the city fast track cycling infrastructure. Then, I can be out of your hair and your lane once and for all.