I marvel at the courage of cyclists. Against all odds, these health and environment-conscious warriors forge out daily into the minefield that is ‘sharing the road with automobiles’.
Knowing the risk that these champions take, at the mercy of distracted drivers, obnoxious drivers, inconsiderate drivers, inattentive drivers, elderly drivers, drivers in a rush, inexperienced drivers, and just plain stupid drivers – one can’t help but wonder what inspires cyclists to take such risks?
The cyclist has no real protection in a scuffle with an automobile. The cyclist risks his life.
Even in municipalities that have more cycle-friendly environments, the number of crashes and fatalities is alarming. This Google My Maps page marks the location and provides details of Toronto cyclist fatalities each year.
Respecting cyclists and their right to share our roadways (and indeed, granting them preferred status since they’re slogging it out and doing good in the world, while we’re busy slurping our Starbucks and increasing carbon emissions from the comfort of our gas & oil-guzzling automobiles) is a start. Sharing the road carefully and with consideration for all users is an ideal we can aspire to. We should also be lobbying our municipal governments for more cycle-friendly options, including dedicated bike lanes, bike paths that are constructed and properly maintained, and better enforcement of the rules of the road for the benefit of cyclists.