Chilliwack cyclists urged to learn the rules of the road

I am writing out of absolute frustration at the people who ride bicycles and do not obey the laws.

This is an open letter to all bicycle riders, especially adults:

I am writing out of absolute frustration at the people who ride bicycles and do not obey the laws.

Yes, I know you are in a hurry, saving money, thinking green, and getting exercise by riding your bikes but by breaking the rules of the road, you are not only risking your life and health, but you are not even considering the  devastation of the motor vehicle operator who must deal with maiming or killing someone as careless as you are being.  Not only that, what a fine example you set for the children just starting out riding bikes.

As a former cyclist, I was taught the rules of the road apply to not only vehicle drivers of insured vehicles but to those using bicycles, mopeds, scooters, etc.  I am extremely concerned with the lack of regard for these rules that many cyclists choose to simply ignore.

In the past few years, I have seen a family riding with the children wearing helmets and the supervising adult not wearing a helmet.  That example really speaks out to me.  Did you consider the possibility that your children might have to witness your death because you were not wearing a helmet?

To a male rider crossing at Knight and Vedder on Wednesday morning, October 2, this part is addressed to you.

Why do you insist at not stopping at red lights?  Simply slowing down and coasting, then inching across a red light which may or may not be about to turn green is simply put illegal and stupid on the cyclists part.  You were almost half way across Vedder before the lights turned green.  Even a car doing this is equally stupid.

I can also remember many cyclists and many vehicles as well coasting through stop signs.  Shame on all of you for doing that!

Why at intersections with or without crosswalks do you insist, when the motor vehicle traffic is busy, on riding with the traffic when negotiating a left turn?  I was taught, that a cyclist is to walk their bikes across busy intersections using the pedestrian cross walks when negotiating a left hand turn.  Yes, this takes more time, but it is a great deal safer.

Now to those who enjoy riding in groups of two or more.  Thank you to those who single ride when there is traffic on the road, but shame on those cyclists who insist on riding two abreast and forcing the driver to either slow down or negotiate a pass on the road.  I refuse to pass those riding abreast going up the mountain side where I live.  The road is just too dangerous.

I have also witnessed cyclists riding against the traffic on the wrong side of the road and people out riding at dusk and a night without lights or reflective clothing.  I have even had a cyclist cut in front of me after dark.  You think that is safe and smart!  It scared me to death!

Last but least take those ear plugs out as you cannot possibly hear the vehicle approaching you from behind to avoid unexpected surprises.

To all bad cyclists, my advice is to learn the rules of the road before you ride a bike.  The traffic is way too busy not to do this simple thing.

To all good cyclists, of which I have seen many, Thank You for your concern of your own safety and the vehicle operator’s sanity.


Laurie Hirschman