Local bike enthusiasts promote cycling safety

Cassidy McNea
By Cassidy McNea March 23, 2018 13:48

Local bike enthusiasts promote cycling safety

Adam McClounie at Cycle Culture in Tecumseh, ON, on March 23. Photo by: Cassidy McNea

By Cassidy McNea

 

With warmer weather around the corner there will be an increase of cyclists and Windsorites are encouraged to be aware of bike safety and hazards.

According to Statistics Canada, the amount of cyclists and commuters is increasing, and in Windsor and Essex County, bike safety is a top concern.

According to the City of Windsor’s Active Transportation Plan, zero per cent of Windsorites surveyed found Windsor was good for bike safety with 80 per cent suggesting bike lanes.

Adam McClounie, co-owner of Cycle Culture in Tecumseh said in order for cycling to be safe, both cyclists and drivers should be aware of the road. Cyclists should also ride in a predictable path.

In addition, McClounie said drivers should follow the one-metre rule, allowing a 10 second space between drivers and cyclists.

“We are huge advocates of helmet use here. I have been involved in numerous crashes where it has been just me out on the open road, not high speed, but things happen and accidents happen,” said McClounie.

Additionally, he said that Windsor drivers are quite good and the city is mostly safe and accessible with only a few rough spots.

“Windsor is a motor city and that is kind of a good thing,” said McClounie. “We actually have really good drivers in this city. As much as people complain about Windsor drivers we are a city built around the vehicle so people get lots of practice.”

Olivia Holt, a student and previous employee at City Cyclery in Windsor, said she has been in close-call bike accidents multiple times.  According to the active transportation plan, 50 per cent of cyclists in Windsor who have been hit by a car have minor injuries that were not reported to the police with close to 20 per cent having been with more major injuries and not reported it to the police.

“Unfortunately, when on the roads, cyclists need to be ultra-aware of their surroundings since some motorists are not as aware,” said Holt. 

“Some cyclists give the rest a bad name. You’ll see some riding on the sidewalks, cutting across lights in an unsafe manner, not stopping at red lights and not signaling their intentions when turning. Cyclists can protect themselves by being proactive and quick to act.”

Bike Windsor-Essex is a local organization looking to get bike lanes painted on the road. They host classes for bike confidence, teaching children bike safety and providing a path for community rides.

With bike lanes being a long-term option, some common and immediate safety precautions riders should consider include: wearing helmets, signalling for turns, reflectors and wearing appropriate clothing according to McClounie.

Ontario’s Highway Traffic Act states that adult bikes are required to share the road and follow traffic laws.

CAN-BIKE, a program under Cycling Canada, teaches courses on cycling which include riding safety and sharing the road with traffic. They focus on handling skills and fundamental movements as well as theory. Their website includes free guides on road safety and safe cycling.

Andy Wilson, the National CAN-BIKE program manager, said that both cyclists and motorists are guilty of making mistakes on the road.

“There is always a need for more information and education whether it be through our program or through websites, brochures, pamphlets or road signs,” said Wilson.

“If motor vehicles see a sign that says share the road, they see the cyclist is entitled to that area.”

Cassidy McNea
By Cassidy McNea March 23, 2018 13:48

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