Tis the season, please light em up
Thursday, Dec 01, 2016 06:00 am
Let there be light …
Could it actually happen? Could many of the cyclists who seemingly embrace the Ninja style of stealthily riding in the dark – with no lights and while wearing dark clothes – actually give some thought to personal safety and add lights to their steely steeds?
We hope so.
Being that in this same space in the past we’ve commented on the ridiculousness of cyclists riding in the dark – fully content to put their lives in the hands of drivers who may or may not see them – we can only applaud Canmore Community Cruisers’ campaign (page 9) to encourage the commonsense concept of being seen while riding
When the difference between being seen and being a car bumper ornament can be less than a $20 add-on (seriously, we’ve seen minimalistic light kits that cheap), we wonder why all bikes aren’t appropriately lit.
Does the lack of lights relate to the racing world, where shaving grams of weight is all-important? Are cyclists unaware of where to look for said lights? Is there an unstated un-coolness about relying on a light to be seen?
Further, as many more cyclists turn to year-round pedaling and embrace fat bikes for winter transportation, it makes even more sense to get lights installed for rides during short fall and winter days that feature much longer dark spells.
We’ll also give a shout out to Rebound Cycle in Canmore for getting on board with encouraging their clientele, and others, to light up.
Being that cyclists themselves are often their own worst enemy when it comes to public conception (ie. many adults cyclists who insist of riding on sidewalks and ignoring rules of the road).
Being that both Banff and Canmore municipal governments are embracing increased bicycle usage as a means of thwarting parking, traffic and congestion issues, it’s likely more and more riders will be on our streets as time rolls on.
It would, therefore, be nice if more and more of them installed lights and embraced the fact that bicycles, like the vehicles they can replace in some circumstances, must follow the rules of the road.
Also, as time goes, it would be nice to see that young cyclists receive a good grounding in these same rules of the road. Every day at area schools, for example, you see youngsters who, like the adults, won’t recognize, or don’t know, about following the rules of the road.
Riding through crosswalks, rather than walking bikes, is common, as is riding on the wrong side of the road, or in the wrong direction in bike lanes, or, like many adults, they ride on and off the sidewalks onto roads as convenience allows.
Our municipal governments will continue to view cyclists as a means of alleviating traffic/parking/congestion issues, so it would be nice to see cyclists embracing their status as solutions to a problem, rather than being the problem.
Still on the topic of finding workarounds for traffic/parking/congestion issues, we’re thinking Banff moving its Canada Day parade to coincide with Canmore’s is a bit shortsighted.
While the above issues need to be taken into account, so does the fact that for years now there were no doubt big savings to be seen by having marching bands, Shriners, etc. to take part in both parades in one trip to the valley.
No doubt costs for both towns will increase when participants will have to choose one or the other – or there is the possibility that Bow Valley parades will lose some of their lustre because only a single event can be attended.