You are here

VCB eNews, Volume 12, #42 - Why Not Cycle on the Sidewalk?

 

pastedGraphic.pdf

 

Volume 12, #42: Why Not Cycle on the Sidewalk?

Shelley Porter, Editor

 

IN THIS EDITION: 

Editorial: Why Not Cycle on the Sidewalk?

Rides Captain’s Report 

Women on Wheels Update

Big Interval - Ride & Lunch

A Trip to Amishland

VCB Progress Report - Advocacy

Letter to the Editor

Bike Culture Finds 

Loose Chain Links

Bike Buy and Sell

About That Funny

 

“If you don’t like the way I drive, stay off the sidewalk”

Unknown

 

 

EDITORIAL: WHY NOT CYCLE ON THE SIDEWALK?

 

When I was a child, pedestrian safety programs seemed to be everywhere. Maybe it was because more children walked or rode their bicycles to school, but it seemed every school year there were public education campaigns imploring people to walk on the roadside facing traffic, wear light-coloured or white clothing, and be aware of vehicle traffic – to see and be seen as pedestrians.

 

Of course, many towns and cities even then (in the “old days” – you know, before personal computers) had their own “pedestrian lane”. It was called the sidewalk. This piece of infrastructure separated pedestrian traffic from vehicle (including bicycles) traffic. Pedestrians on the sidewalk were cleaner, drier, and safer. Sidewalks go back to Roman times, and there is some evidence that the Greek city of Corinth had sidewalks as early as the 4th century. Sidewalks have been made of a variety of materials, mostly stone or some kind of pavement, over the centuries. My grandmother lived in a small logging town on the American west coast in the early part of the 20th century, a town where the sidewalks were made of the slabs of the sawn logs of giant rainforest trees. They simply laid the slabs smooth-surface-up on the ground at the sides of the streets. They were wide enough for several people to walk abreast.

 

It’s interesting to read the descriptions of early sidewalks, as they closely resemble in purpose and design what is now being suggested for bicycle lanes: separation from vehicle traffic, protective bollards or green verges, etc. When traffic volume was lower, and moved more slowly, cyclists and motorists and equestrians shared the same space. Now motor vehicles are larger and faster, and there is a perceived (and often real) high vulnerability for cyclists traveling on the same roads.

 

Some cyclists, and even some municipalities, have tried to cope with the perception of danger by sharing space, i.e. sidewalks, with pedestrians and other slower-moving traffic, like wheelchairs. However, in the majority of Canadian jurisdictions bicycles are not permitted (with some exceptions for very young riders on smaller bikes, as specified locally) on sidewalks. 

 

Many cyclists object to not being permitted to use the sidewalk. They feel safer away from motorized traffic. They may have a point, but sharing space with pedestrians, etc. is not the solution. Something sidewalk-cyclists may not consider is that by using the pedestrian lane, they have suddenly made every driveway an intersection. Pedestrians, especially those walking dogs or small children, will not appreciate being overtaken by cyclists. Sidewalks wide enough for two or three people to comfortably walk abreast do not have a passing lane for faster-moving bicycles. 

 

In most places in Canada, it is the law that bicycles stay off the sidewalk. This means in pedestrian-cyclist collisions on sidewalks, the law will rule in favour of the pedestrian. 

 

So, what is the nervous cyclist to do, if expelled from the “safety” of the sidewalk? For starters, take a CAN-BIKE course to learn how to operate your bicycle safely in traffic. Just knowing what your rights are and the rules of the road can greatly increase your confidence and skill. As you learn and grow as a cyclist, slowly move from low traffic to higher traffic areas. Know your limits and operate within them. And perhaps most importantly of all, add your voice to those demanding better cycling infrastructure everywhere. Write a letter, join a cycling organization, sign a petition, talk to a politician or municipal official. Roads are not just for motor vehicles. Space can be made for pedestrians, cyclists - and maybe even equestrians - to share the roads. Take a stand for the health of your community – ride your bicycle!

 

You can join Velo Cape Breton at www.velocapebreton.ca, or Bicycle Nova Scotia at www.bicycle.ns.ca

 

pastedGraphic_1.pdf

The local Cape Breton Post carrier’s bicycle, on the sidewalk in Wesmount. Although by law bicycles

are not permitted on sidewalks, exceptions may be made for newspaper carriers. (S. Porter, photo)

 

 

 

 

 

 

RIDES CAPTAIN’S REPORT – JP Martin 

 

 How easily we forget the long cold winter and the miserable summer that has plagued us this year. We have had a week of hot weather and been able to get out and do all those summer things we so look forward to. We are, indeed, simple creatures.

 

Life is interesting. It is also a B**** or a B****** depending on your point of view. I say that because we are born and start learning immediately. And for the first 20-30 years everything is new and our reaction to new stimulus is a first time event. By then, however, "new experiences" are becoming farther apart and we can assess new situations and with our "experience" plot a probable path through it.

 

Now this is where things really start to get interesting and the reason for my comment on what life is. The older we get the more jaded we tend to become -the phrase "been there, done that" is our stock reply to suggestions of what to do when presented with a new situation. Our "experience" in dealing with previous problems allows us to plot out the outcomes both good and bad and we make our decisions based on what we think is most suitable. This has always been one of my problems when asked a question or trying to sort out a situation. I "see" lots of diverging solutions /answers depending on how I or the other person responds. It can make decision making very difficult. And this is why I am feeling so flummoxed. I came across a new situation for which I felt I had anticipated all the outcomes. Well, ain't life a Bi***. I got dumped into a totally new reality. What happened isn't anything I had prepared for and so I am left trying to navigate through a situation which has all sorts of land mines although my core beliefs remain intact (at least for now).

 

But enough about me. What point does this raving lunatic want to make or is there one? The answer is simple. No matter what you have experienced or how long you have lived there are still new things that will snatch your breath away, make you see with new eyes what you have always seen but taken for granted (a poorly paraphrased quote from Proust -thanks Cathy). You may have ridden your bike down the same path for 50 years but there are times when the light, or sound, or smell, or company is different and suddenly you will look and SEE. And that is what makes life interesting (and a real B****). Good riding everyone.

 

-JP Martin, Rides Captain

 

 

 

REMINDER of MEC Century Ride:

 

MEC Century Ride – Joe Howe with Velo Halifax Bicycle Club

September 20th - Leaving from Grahams Grove, Dartmouth

Three supported distances available 50K/100K - $25 and 160k for $35

For more info, maps and to register, visit http://events.mec.ca/event/39631/mec-century-ride

 

 

 

WOMEN ON WHEELS UPDATE

 

THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO SHOWED UP FOR THE “WHEELING AROUND MIRA” WOW RIDE.  IT WAS A PLEASANT RIDE AND IT WAS NICE TO SEE THIS EVENT WELL ATTENDED.  BUT ... WE ARE NOT DONE YET.
pastedGraphic_2.pdf

Women on Wheels out for “Wheeling Around The Mira”.  A great ride!

 

OUR TUESDAY NIGHT RIDES HAVE RESUMED.  COME ON OUT ON TUESDAY NIGHTS AT 6:00 PM FOR A RIDE AROUND THE PT. EDWARD AREA.  WE ARE STILL MEETING AT NOELLE’S COUNTRY MARKET.  

 

UP AND COMING THIS SATURDAY, AUGUST 22ND IS “RIDE THE PINK WAVE AROUND BOULARDERIE”.  THIS IS A GREAT RIDE YOU WON’T WANT TO MISS.  TRAVEL OUT THE SCENIC GROVES PT. ROAD TO THE FIREHALL IN BOULARDERIE AND BACK.  THIS IS A RELATIVELY LOW TRAFFIC ROAD.  DISTANCE IS APPROXIMATELY 25K to 30K. SOCIAL TO FOLLOW. 

 

MEET AT THE CABOOSE/OLD GENERAL STORE IN BRAS D’OR AT 9:30 am FOR A 10:00 am START.  SEE YOU THERE!  IF BY CHANCE IT SHOULD RAIN, PLEASE NOTE THAT THE RIDE WILL BE CANCELLED.  CHECK ON WOW FACEBOOK SITE FOR UPDATES.    

  • SHELLEY JOHNSON, WOW CO-ORDINATOR.

 

 

BIG INTERVAL RIDE AND LUNCH - Sunday August 23

Big Interval is situated in a vallée about halfway across the mountains between Grand Etang and the Cabot Trail at the intersection of Margaree Vallee Road. It is one of the most picturest places in Cape Breton. Herman and Ruth Schreeberger always greet us with a warm welcome and fabulous food.

Choice of 3 routes :

  • Leaving from the Big Interval dirt road in Margaree Valley at 11 am (easy 30 km return ride, mountain or hybrid bike)
  • Leaving from Margaree Valley Road at Cabot Trail intersection (across from the Dancing Goat at 10 :30am (easy 40 km return ride, mountain or hybrid)
  • Leaving Université Ste-Anne Campus in Lemoine, 12521 Cabot Trail, at 9 am, and over the mountains via Pembrooke Lake Road (challenging 48 km return ride, mountain bike only)

All 3 groups meet around noon at the Big Interval Fishing Lodge to share Herman’s wonderful cuisine.

Weather permitting, there will be an evening get together at Réné and Shelley’s scenic Beach to enjoy a BBQ (bring your own food) and bonfire..We welcome all interested cyclists to join us, and we extend a special invitation to VCB members.

N.B. If interested, send email or phone: Michel Aucoin 224-0069, aucoinmichel1@gmail.com

 

AMISHLAND,  A RIDE BACK IN TIME

by:  Shelley Johnson

 

The drive from La Grange, Kentucky took five hours to Shipshewana Indiana.  The tandem and the single bike were hitched to the back of the car as we motored our way along Interstate 69.  I looked out the back seat window at endless corn and soya bean fields, dotted with rustic barns and farm houses.  It was a beautiful warm and sunny day.  I had received an invite from friends Larry ( fellow B52er ) and Margaret Preble to come and enjoy a step back in time by visiting the Amish and Mennonite communities of Howe, Indiana as part of the Amishland and the Lakes Tour sponsored by Michiana Bicycle Association.

 

We arrived early afternoon in time to change into our bike clothes and head out on a 32 mile bike ride through Amish Country.  Immediately one becomes aware that life is a bit simpler here.  Heard are frequent clip clop sounds of horses’ hooves trotting on pavement.  Horse drawn black buggies maneuver

pastedGraphic_3.pdf

the streets of the local towns, along wide-shouldered roadways, as well as, narrow country roads.  The Amish folks are friendly to the “English” (Anyone who is not Amish). Dressed in traditional Amish attire, these folks would wave a friendly greeting while going about their business. It was welcoming.

pastedGraphic_4.pdf

 

The next day we rode a 50 miler through the countryside alongside fields of tall corn and meadows where horses grazed. The Amish and the Mennonite farms are immaculate, with every home displaying beautiful, colourful gardens and perfectly trimmed lawns. Although there were plenty of SAG stops, the ones that I enjoyed were the ones that the Amish had prepared for us on their properties.  Who could resist a root beer float or a cinnamon bun slathered in maple icing?  It was a great opportunity to ask questions directly about their way of life and they obliged with answers. I had a chance to speak with a young woman who was selling wares at a local market. With pride she pointed out her horse and buggy to me. She said that she was a little late getting to the market. She mentioned that her horse had been a little moody that morning.  Usually that horse stood waiting by the gate on Saturday mornings, but for whatever reason the horse decided that the far end of the field suited him just fine.  As a result she ended up chasing it around the back field before it relented. Life can be rough when your main source of transportation decides to get obstinate.

 

Our final day of the tour involved a ride to Sturges, Michigan, where we were treated to our final SAG and a medley of ‘80s tunes performed by a live band.  Spirits were high and food was abundant.  On the last leg, riders rolled in from Indiana, Kentucky, Illinois, and Michigan. I wondered if I was the only Canadian to participate.  Perhaps so.  But if not, for sure I was the only one from little old Cape Breton Island. Meeting other fellow cyclists on this tour was very easy as everyone was so friendly.  Three days flew quickly by and I hated to leave the charm and serenity of Amishland behind.  There is something very innocent and wholesome about the place and the culture.  Something that perhaps in our busy lives we overlook.  Perhaps though, something we recapture when we ride our bikes.  Simplicity: something that comes alive in us when we turn those pedals, moving toward our next adventure.

 

Additional information can be obtained at: info@amishlandlakes.com

 

Photos by Shelley Johnson 2015.

 

 

 

VCB PROGRESS REPORT - ADVOCACY

 

Thank you for being a subscriber of Velo Cape Breton eNewsletter.  See what we've been up to over the past year.  Please have a look at the Report on Advocacy below and let us know if you have any questions.

 

Again, thank you for your support of Velo Cape Breton Bicycle Association.  Together we can accomplish so many great things to make our communities better places to live.  Join Velo Cape Breton here.

 

Happy Cycling!


 

LETTER TO THE EDITOR (in response to Loose Chain Link article on cycling injury rates in children)

 

I read the recent research article on trauma injuries in NS children with some dismay.  The message was that hockey is much safer than we think, and cycling is a lot more dangerous.

The methodology of the study was somewhat questionable.  With any study on injury rates, one needs not just a numerator (how many injuries) but a denominator (how many people actually do the sport).  If I say that showering is much more dangerous than mountain biking because I have seen far more serious injuries from falls in the shower than I have from mountain biking, is this sensible?  Or is it just because more people shower than mountain bike on any given day.

Most kids in NS own a bicycle, and lots of them cycle regularly.  The frequency of playing hockey is much less, except for the small proportion of the population who plays seriously.

I have seen one serious injury ever from a kid on a bike - a broken leg.  Otherwise just cuts and scrapes, and one broken wrist now that I think of it.  And every serious bicycle injury I have ever heard about in working around ER's involved a car.  So IMHO it's not the bike that's dangerous, it's the cars.

Compare that to quite a few broken bones, torn ligaments, separated shoulders, etc. from hockey, and many serious injuries and deaths from ATV's and snowmobiles (which very few kids do), and cars!  Part of the difficulty with this study is that it didn't include deaths in the stats as far as I can tell.

In my experience, the NUMBER ONE most dangerous activity for broken bones and significant joint injuries in kids is skiing and snowboarding.  One busy day at Ben Eoin often means multiple patients coming to ER to see us.  But all in all, it's still a very safe sport if done responsibly, and I would highly encourage kids (and parents) to do it rather than sit on the couch.

A stat to keep in mind when deciding what's "risky".

  • Odds of dying in a bicycle crash in Canada: somewhere from 1 in a million to one in 1.5 million Km travelled by bike
  • Odds of dying early of heart disease or stroke in Canada:  one in 2 for males and one in 3 for females
  • Amount you can decrease your odds of dying early of heart attack or stroke by cycling regularly: -up to 35% risk reduction, depending on the "dose"

So do some math, get off the couch and get on your bike.  And stop worrying about your kids.  They'll live longer by biking regularly than by sitting on the couch.

Chris Milburn

15 Howe Court  Sydney NS

B1P 0B2  902-539-6852

milburn.chris@gmail.com

 

 

BIKE CULTURE FINDS – 

This section features bike-friendly places and spaces, as submitted by our members. You can write in and tell us about a retail or service outlet that encourages cycling, whether it be by offering cyclist-friendly food, safe pathways, or just being there when you need it (like a public washroom).

 

Something a little different, a study of cycling:

 

Take part in a mountain biking survey athttps://l.facebook.com/l/HAQEEdQT3AQHXuqEULWjM_XqVvP_jFTRgXe7xRYFd5J6URQ/https%3A%2F%2Fwheatoncollege.qualtrics.com%2FSE%2F%3FSID%3DSV_9ELxEooiHGLvl6l

This research is designed to discover the contours of the mountain biking community, especially how it differs by region and discipline. The survey will take 10-15 minutes and is anonymous unless you choose to share contact info. 

Questions? Email Dr. Karen McCormack at mccormack_karen@wheatoncollege.edu.

Please repost liberally; I’d like to reach as many mountain bikers as possible. Participants must be 18 or older. Many thanks!

 

 

 

LOOSE CHAIN LINKS

 

May be too late in the season for this, but next June: http://www.liv-cycling.com/campaigns/things-we-carry/mini-essay/bike.love.diy.bicycle.themed.wedding.invitations/18871/

 

Model law for vulnerable road users: http://bikeleague.org/content/model-vulnerable-road-user-law

 

Not all folds are fat, but this one is: http://www.gizmag.com/bicycles/?utm_source=Gizmag+Subscribers&utm_campaign=9fcee4bdda-UA-2235360-4&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_65b67362bd-9fcee4bdda-90198709

 

Live through this: http://www.bicycling.com/culture/news/man-climbs-over-95000-feet-break-world-record?cid=NL_BIK_-_08172015_95k_feet_one_ride

 

So many apps, so little time: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-debate/toronto-learns-the-cost-of-free-parking/article25974511/

 

 

 

 

BIKE BUY AND SELL

 (Ads will run for 3 weeks; if your item has not sold in that time, please resend the ad to the editor. Thanks!)

 

FOR SALE: Giant Cypress comfort bicycle. Excellent condition. “Men’s” frame, 17in. Tuned up by professionals and stored since May 2015. $175.00 Contact blomidonrose@yahoo.ca

 

Cycling Shoes For Sale. $50.00 .... SHIMANO Model M075 Size 9.7US 44Wide (I wear a size 10 street shoe). Excellent condition. Please call 902-561-1965 if interested.

 

pastedGraphic_5.pdf

 

 

 

ABOUT THAT FUNNY

 

Have you heard the joke about the sidewalk?

It’s all over town . . .  .

 

And a big shout-out to sidewalks – thanks for keeping me off the streets!

 

 

_____________

 

Shelley Porter,

Editor, Velo Cape Breton eNewsletter

VCB Cycling Ambassador.

August 13th, 2015

 

Velo Cape Breton is the island-wide voice of cyclists, working for better cycling in our great island. Visit our website that will introduce you to some of our activities.   If you have any question(s) or suggestion(s), please contact us info@velocapebreton.ca

VCB eNews is e-mailed without cost or obligation to bicycle advocates around the world.  We hope you enjoy receiving these periodic emails from us. Opinions expressed in the VCB eNewsletter are those of the editor and contributor(s) and are not necessarily shared by the 

Velo Cape Breton Bicycle Association.  Everyone is invited to submit content for the VCB eNews, forward to editor@velocapebreton.ca  Please forward this eNewsletter to cyclists who may not know about Velo Cape Breton. They too can sign up and receive the VCB eNewsletter.  

Joining VCB is a proof of support to the community development and advocacy work done by the hard working volunteers of this club. Your $10 will go a long way.   It's your legacy to the rising generation. Check our Facebook page.

 

Theme by Danetsoft and Danang Probo Sayekti inspired by Maksimer