Opinion

The first half of Bike to Work Week is over

Alistair Taylor - Staff photo
Alistair Taylor
— image credit: Staff photo

My Bike to Work Week actually started a few days early with bringing my bike along camping at Kitty Coleman Park.

My daughter and I explored some of the rural roads between Kitty Coleman and Seal Bay with our bikes and that allowed me to break in some long unused cycling muscles.

I was planning to participate in Bike to Work Week this week as a way to jumpstart a get-fit campaign (yes, another one). By cycling to work just about every day, I felt I could spring board into cycling regularly and whittle the ol’ bod back down to a decent form.

Cyclists keep trying to intrude into the public planning and transportation discussion, reminding everyone that they’re part of the transportation picture too. They are quite often forgotten and not taken seriously when municipal planners include bike lanes in neighbourhood and transportation corridor plans. Campbell River is definitely an automobile-oriented town but civic planners are including bikes in the equation, much to the dismay of the majority of the vehicular population, I suspect.

On my last trip to Vancouver, I learned just how much cyclists there have imposed themselves on the transportation agenda when I tried to drive around downtown Vancouver. Swarms of cyclists were pedalling down bike-only lanes in some of Vancouver’s densest corridors.

Now, this is much to the dismay of some media personalities who rail against what they imply is a minority of people who want to bike around town. It certainly seemed to me that cyclists were numerous and visible and, sometimes, inconvenient for automobile traffic. But they are there to stay.

Is this a vision of Campbell River’s future? Perhaps. There are many good reasons to encourage bicycle traffic. It’s healthy, it’s clean and it easier on the environment. And the distances aren’t that great in Campbell River. The rain, however, is considerable, particularly in winter and that as much as anything may limit cycling.

Not for everybody, though. There are people who cycle-commute throughout the year and many people bicycle in some form or another throughout the seasons. Mountain biking is definitely most popular with so many great trails available around Campbell River.

Most of the streets are navigable by bikes without too much trouble. Dogwood gets a little hairy once you come out of the Beaver Lodge Lands and pass Robron. As you go by Merecroft Village, you feel a little vulnerable so there is a need for a bike lane there. I tend to try to stay on the roads because I feel a cyclist has the same road rights as anyone. Dedicated off-street bike lanes (like in the Beaver Lodge Lands) tend to marginalize cycling and put it on the same footing (pun intend) as walkers. But then you put them in conflict with each other and out of drivers’ minds.

I’d like to hear your Bike to Work Week experiences and ruminations. E-mail editor@campbellrivermirror.com or post on our Facebook page using the hashtag #BTWWCampbell River.

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