Hey McGregor, many of us like to ride our bikes

Cyclist takes on Jim McGregor's "tired and worn-out treatise."

Editor: I was disappointed to read the same old tired and worn-out treatise on cycling in Jim McGregor’s May 30 column. It was written from the stunted point of view of the car-centric.

Why could he have not been more supportive of those of us in the cycling community who love to ride our bikes, and who wish more of the general population could experience the benefits?

Can’t you remember how, as a kid, you lived on your bike? It was the quickest and easiest way to get where you were going. There used to be so many bikes in the school bike racks it was hard to remember where you had parked yours when you dashed out of class for a quick get-away home, then went off to your friend’s place for the latest adventure.

Oh the freedom — to venture halfway across town, and still make it home in time for supper. I pity today’s school children, stuffed away in cars. Injury, pain? Only if you are obtuse enough to restart your cycling career by doing too much too soon.

Clashes with traffic? Langley has many designated cycle routes to explore, following less-crowded byways, that could introduce you to new parks and neighbourhoods. Those much fought for cycle paths and lanes at least warranted a mention from McGregor.

Fire trucks, ambulances, and police cars are more likely to be idling at the side of the road attending a vehicle crash. Check the police statistics.

As to cost: the average cost of car insurance for one year is more than enough to pay for a fairly upscale and efficient bicycle, or two or three, depending on the family size. Getting rid of your second vehicle is at least worth considering.

What clothing to wear? Millions of Dutch and Danish commuters seem to have no problem with apparel. Don’t tell me that Canadians are not capable of also solving that non-issue.

Getting around on a bicycle is not the immense chore he portrays. I am continually amazed that people find it surprising that a bicycle can be used to go places. I can’t remember when I did not ride my bike.

In the 1950s and 1960s. I rode my bike to school, since it took too long to walk.

In the 1970s, I didn’t have a car so I walked to work and took transit, but my bike got me everywhere else.

In the 1980s when I lived in Vancouver, I rode my bike to work. First from South Granville to Pender Street, then later from Commercial Drive to the GiImore area. When we moved to Langley, I did own a car to commute to Burnaby.

In the 1990s I rode my bike with my child, first in a bike seat, then pulling him in a bicycle trailer to preschool, and Kindergarten. As soon as he mastered his 20-inch two-wheeler, halfway through Kindergarten, we rode to and from school together.

Currently, I ride my bicycle to the library, to my dentist, doctor and hair  appointments, and to the grocery store. I can only carry as much as fits in my saddle bags, and front basket, but it’s surprising how much that is.  In good weather we load the bikes on the bike rack, and explore the trails in Derby Reach, Steveston, and Delta.

Cycling is just a part of life — a simple, quiet, and efficient method of getting around. Shame on McGregor. He did us all a disservice by making up lazy, contrived excuses not to cycle.

Laurie Baldwin,




Langley Times