Taking the Lane

The highway safety codes, generally everywhere, seem to stipulate that cyclist ride on the extreme right of the lane to allow cars to pass, but his often leads to unsafe passes, as shown in this video.

In an effort to prevent these situations, the common sense solution is to ride in the middle of the lane in order to prevent any passing at all.  However, for every common sense solution there is a driver without common sense to undermine your efforts.  In this case, taking the lane can have consequences that put you in just as much danger as riding to the extreme right.

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Grand Prix Montreal

Grand Prix weekend comes with its challenges for those who use the de Maisonneuve bike path from the West of Montreal.  As you can see in the following video, closing the bike path and moving cycle traffic to the other side of the road is a bit tedious and instigates a bit of bubbling rage at the idea that rich folks can adulate themselves in the glorification of excess while people who make decisions to create less impact are literally forced to step aside.

But there’s more this story than just that. Continue reading

Socialists and Libertarians Bicycling

The bicycle should be an unproblematic choice no matter what you political leanings are, but it seems most popular with people who are more to the left than the right.  This probably has to do with the perception of cycling, which has been co-opted by the left, but it has little to do with reality. People who decide to commute by bike can have both left and right wing motivations, or have strictly left or right wing motivations, but neither camp needs to claim exclusivity over the activity.  For example, my initial conversion to the bicycle was a financial decision (right-wing brain), but the more I rode, the more my motivations shifted to environmental considerations (left-wing brain).  So let’s take a look at why the bike is a unifying piece of technology for people of all political stripes.

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Filtering Through Traffic

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Found at the The Virtuous Bicycle

In Montreal, the popularity of the bike, during summer on nice days, can make bike paths a frustrating place for anyone that’s used to going faster than a snail’s pace.  Now, I’m not saying that I want to race down the bike path, but my speed is somewhat faster than average based the fact that I have horse thighs and I bike constantly through the year (yes folks, even if it’s minus 40).  So, to avoid the pain of being caught in bike traffic, I prefer to filter through car traffic. Continue reading

Salmoning on Your Bike

images (1)Normally, I hate salmon in the bike-paths.  They normally look like young men in flip-flops, texting while riding barely aware of their surroundings.  But even when they don’t fit that description, they are generally unaware because it’s plainly obvious that they’re going the wrong way, putting themselves, and everyone else in danger.

Sometimes, however, the city forces this behavior through poor maintenance of roads or just ill-conceived cycling infrastructure.  Cyclist break the rules because it is safer, not only because they don’t respect the rules. Continue reading