Trying to ride your bicycle on the street with traffic is taking your life into your own hands – but it’s the law!

Okay, you say – but tell that to the drivers! Traffic in the further West end of this city isn’t so bad for abusing cyclists. I mean that in a relative context, as compared to say… Carling Avenue, a road I refer to as Cyclist Suicide.

So, when I’m going to and from work or any little errand around the city I generally ride my bike. Depending on the length of the trip and my mood, I don’t always take the road however. Sometimes I don’t feel like wearing my helmet for a short trip, so I take the sidewalk. Riding in traffic without a helmet is just plain stupid.

There’s a difference to my sidewalk riding and most others that ride their bicycle on our sidewalks : I know it’s against the city bylaws to ride on the sidewalk, so I always yield to pedestrians. It’s their road, not mine. I’m just borrowing it because my vehicle is light enough and small enough to do so.

Too many times have I seen cyclists who ride on the sidewalks that would rather narrowly miss or actually run-down a pedestrian rather than leave the sidewalk. What gives? I’ve got a racing/road tuned bike, it doesn’t like bumpy grass. I’ll still steer way around pedestrians every time. It’s way more dangerous to try to scoot around an unpredictable pedestrian anyways.

I walk a lot too, and I know how annoying it is to have cyclists hogging the sidewalk. It’d be worse if cycling groups started this behavior as well. Think about it, twenty cyclists all on the sidewalk. SPLAT! goes all those on foot. It’d be insane.

So, much to the chagrin of our city’s drivers, I urge all of you cyclists to either use the road (and please, wear a helmet) or yield right of way to pedestrians if you feel you must ride on the sidewalk.

Sure, the drivers might complain we’re on their roads, but we’ve got a vehicle too! It’s just not petrol powered, that’s all. It’s not their roads at all, it’s our roads.

If more people cycle responsibly, I’m sure there will be less driver aggression towards us.