Having just come home from another harrowing experience on my bike, I feel the need to weigh in on the cycling issue.
I can’t answer Jack Minard’s question about who Comox Valley cyclists think they are, but I can say that I am becoming more and more frightened of riding on the road.
I’ll begin by saying that the majority of motorists are very considerate of cyclists. Perhaps they realize that riding on the sidewalk is illegal and dangerous, or maybe they understand that being a vehicle without the protection of three tons of metal is a very vulnerable position to be in.
Nonetheless, here are some behaviours I and others have experienced while cycling:
• Cars trying to force you off the road by driving very, very close;
• Motorcycles without mufflers racing by as closely as they can (apparently for the sheer sport of it);
• Drivers racing up behind and then racing past and screaming, “Use the sidewalk,” and trucks speeding up behind and leaning on the horn.
I love riding my bike and I hope I have the courage to continue to do so. Also, with atmospheric carbon passing the 400 parts per million mark, I feel strongly about using my car as little as possible.
I went to the NASA website (http://climate.nasa.gov/400ppmquotes/) to find something to say about that number and found this from Charles Miller, “These increases in atmospheric CO2 are causing real, significant changes in the Earth system now, not in some distant future climate, and will continue to be felt for centuries to come.
“We can study these impacts to better understand the way the Earth will respond to future changes, but unless serious actions are taken immediately, we risk the next threshold being a point of no return in mankind’s unintended global-scale geoengineering experiment.”
This is science — not a belief — the same science that brought us space travel, miracle drugs, and joint replacements.
With that information, shouldn’t we be consigning cars to the sidewalks and putting pedestrians, bicycles, and public transit on the roads?