LETTER: Cycling can be a challenge

In Holland children at the age of 12 are required to take a bicycle road test.

For three reasons, riding bicycles is very challenging. Bikes are tempting and will sit there or hang in their garage splendor waiting for spring, the tire pump, a bit of polish and the ready cyclist.

Some riders resist and are tempted to use studded tires and warm clothing.

The second challenge is the cyclist’s understanding of how to ride alongside and share the road with other road users.

The third challenge is a driver’s need to review her or his knowledge of safe driving and to be a part of the transformation of commuting. Not forgetting, as North Americans, we commonly look to other countries for inspiration: frequently, Holland and Denmark.

I learned how to navigate quite early, and, as an 11-year-old in England, took national cycling proficiency tests, and learned about courtesy, where to be on the road, and how to move over in plenty of time for any other road user.

In Holland children at the age of 12 are required to take a bicycle road test.

I would encourage us to ask our politicians and city councillors to initiate healthy policies around shared road use.

A cycling proficiency program could be a great start for spring. It is hard to expect tolerance when so many cyclists dodge about, disregarding rules and then demand a place on the road. Others are in jeopardy because of these antics (children as well).

Unfortunately a dangerous few vehicle drivers are simply not willing to share the road.

However, beyond all the stories I have avoided sharing, there is a strong health component to cycling.

I can’t think when I have seen a cyclist who isn’t happy, breathing well and quietly being part of a special event — commuting, racing, trail riding or walking a few blocks with bike in hand.

The cyclist, so studies show, is extending her or his life. I have met so many special people locally, in England and in other Canadian cities. Cycling is a fabulous chance to meet people.

So, in the interim, my best advice is to be well seen and to have lights, a bell and a good mirror.  Finally, do obey the rules of the road, be courteous, and bike often.

Adrian Rollins

Nelson

Just Posted

Finding support at Community Connect

The 10th annual event offered free services, clothing and food on Saturday

RDCK calls for reversal of Sinixt extinction

The board opposed a land transfer to the Westbank First Nation this week

Nelson city council to update banner policy

Council will revisit the wording of the policy at its December meeting

Forecasters promote avalanche safety awareness

Avalanche Canada advising backcountry enthusiasts to get proper training and equipment.

Meteorite fragments found near Crawford Bay

The pieces came from the fireball that exploded over Kootenay Lake in September

VIDEO: Rare comic showing Superman’s 1st appearance to be auctioned

The 1938 comic features Superman hoisting a car over his head

Man pleads guilty to Leafs recycling depot theft

Dezmond Waggoner had been charged with theft over $5,000

Nelson Leafs stretch winning streak to six

Jack Karran scored twice in the Leafs 6-3 win over Fernie

Nelson city hall selling bear-proof garbage bins

The city has purchased 100 bins and is charging residents $205

COLUMN: Will West Kootenay forests survive?

As with most things around ecology, the answer is not simple, says columnist Greg Utzig

Julien Locke races to NST World Cup berth

Black Jack cross-country skier Julien Locke races to first place at World Cup qualifier

B.C. reporter reflects on covering Charles Manson

Charles Manson, leader of a murderous cult, died on Sunday at 83

Most Read