With the summer months approaching, there has been an increase in cyclists on the roads. The majority of cyclists use the roads safely and follow the rules, communicate, wear reflective gear with lights and reflectors, use bicycle lanes and practice good defensive riding.
Unfortunately, there are a small minority that do not use the roads safely and are becoming a real and dangerous hazard.
We will discuss the following and suggest some tips to try to avoid a potentially bad situation.
Just like cars in rush hour, cyclists will also experience congestion during peak travel hours. There are a range of cyclists in terms of experience, speed, stamina, and road sense.
In peak hours, I have observed cyclists that are in a rush and get impatient with slower traffic on bike lanes and trails. Just like cars in rush hour, these cyclists will weave in and out of the bike lane or trail, take risks by cutting other road users and will go on and off sidewalks and pedestrian crosswalks as they see fit. also, it is difficult to determine their intention as most fail to appropriately communicate their clear intention.
In my lesson yesterday, my student was turning right on a red light in an intersection. We were on a dedicated right turn lane and the bike lane to go straight was on our left. Cyclist going straight on the road would be using the bike lane and normally, they would be on our left. As we prepared to turn, my student made a full stop before the white line, scanned, right mirror and shoulder checked. As he started moving, a lady was riding on the right sidewalk and rode past us on the right. She did not stop for the red light and continued through riding on the crosswalk straight without even looking at us turning right.
It was fortunate that we both saw the cyclist in our last shoulder check and my student did not continue his turn. I only cringe to think what might have happened if a driver in a similar situation turned without a right mirror check and shoulder check? The cyclist would most definitely have been struck and could have been fatal.
Some tips that we suggest are;
- never assume
- be patient
- do all safety checks(scan, mirror, shoulder check)
- see the big picture
Enjoy the sunshine and be safe on the roads!!!