With the New Year upon us, it's time for us cyclists to look in the rearview mirror and decide how we can improve our biking habits. As the most vulnerable commuters on the road, we don’t often think about our surroundings, and blindly fly into the thousands of 18-wheelers, dump trucks, buses, and drunken pedestrians that so kindly let us share their space. This must change. Below, we’ve listed some essential cycling resolutions to take up in 2014.
I will not selfishly ride into car doors.
There’s nothing more inconsiderate than ruining the interior of a freshly parked car. Highway commute is stressful and parking expensive—drivers need your sympathy. So, the next time a car door innocently opens in front you, make sure to either break hard and swan dive over the top, or have your cheque book and insurance information at the ready.
I will let pedestrians walk in front of me.
Pedestrians, not hearing or seeing any nearby motorized vehicles, often walk in front of cyclists to jaywalk to their destination. They do this because they think cyclists do not pose a threat. And relatively speaking, they’re right! Think about it:
an oncoming car could easily kill a pedestrian. We cyclists have nowhere near that destructive force; at worst, we’ll put you in a coma. Remember, you had to walk before you could bike. You got to respect that.
I will hug the curb to let traffic pass me.
Downtown elites will have you believe that as a cyclist, you are entitled to take up an entire lane of traffic. And while we can’t technically prove them wrong, they’re a bunch of grumpy Meany-heads that should know better. Cycling on wide, multi-lane, crosstown thruways isn’t efficient, it’s silly—the least you could do is move over. Besides, there are plenty of tiny, obscure, residential streets in a given city that only add a couple of hours to your weekly commute. If you’re in such a hurry, why don’t you buy a car?
But let’s be serious.
Jokes aside, it’s every commuter’s responsibility to promote road safety. And the more we promote cycling culture in general, the more drivers and pedestrians will empathize with the challenges of biking in urban environments. Please be mindful of yourself and your surroundings on the road in the coming year.