Tuesday, October 25, 2011

A lofty but attainable goal for Pacific Marine Circle Route

One of the goals of the Juan de Fuca Cycling Coalition is to encourage the creation of a world class cycling destination in our region. We have the foundation of that already with the Galloping Goose Regional Trail and the Pacific Marine Circle Route. What is needed now,  is to build on that with a safe network of trails, bike lanes and suitable accommodation alongside the existing camping facilities that exist along the route.
Check out what has been done across the border in Washington State with the Olympic Discovery Trail

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Locally made bike rack

One of our local, highly talented, and generous citizens(Maywell Wickheim), along with Communities in Bloom have created a wonderful new bike rack. The first of these has been installed in front of the Stone Pipe Grill, wit a couple more to come. Watch for them!
The top trough will be used to plant flowers...or maybe as a watering trough for our local horses that sometime wander the downtown area!?

Friday, September 23, 2011

Sharrows come to Sooke!

Sooke now has Sharrows. These are located on Rhodenite St. It is a fairly quiet residential street, but it does see a fair bit of traffic around school start and finish times. Lots of kids are walking or biking on this route. There are no sidewalks here at this point in time. The road was slated to get bike lanes 2 years ago but the local residents were very vocal in opposing them. 
I believe this is a good solution for now until the road eventually gets sidewalks and parking pullouts.

The idea is that a cyclist should “take the lane”. In other words, ride the bike in the area of the markings. This is designed so that the cyclist is in full view of motorists, and far enough away from the curb and parked cars so that there is no chance of them running into an opening parked car door.
For motorists, this means sharing the road with bicycles, slowing down, and passing only when it is safe to do so. On a street like Rhodenite, the speed limit is 40k, so this really should not disrupt traffic flow in any significant way. Particularly in this area there can be many young children on bicycles, so please slow down (well below the speed limit in many cases) when you see children on their bikes and pedestrians)

Please feel free to leave your comments!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Sooke Bike Boxes Beautification

Here are photos of the newly painted Bike Storage Lockers that were provided by BC Transit for the Sooke Park N' Ride. Thank you to the students from Edward Milne Community School who did the painting!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Great ride up Harbourview; Sooke Mountain Park

This area I live in keeps amazing me with all the beautiful places! Today I finally got to ride all the way up Harbourview "Road" to Sheilds and Grassi Lake. What a gorgeous day with a relaxing swim in the lake and some great views.
I think this area is going to become a major Mountain Biking destination when more people discover it. It offers trails for all skill levels, and there are lots of them!
Check out my route on Bikemap

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Sooke Slow Food Cycle October 9, 2011

We are getting ready for the Sooke Slow Food Cycle on October 9th, 2011! Check out the Website and tell us what you think. It is still a work in progress but most of the info is up and running.
We are on Facebook as well!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Taking the Lane

Here is a good little animation about the dangers of riding too far to the right on a road. (Thanks for the link Colin)

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Transition Towns

The Juan De Fuca Cycling Coalition is looking at working closer with the Sooke Transition Town Initiative. We have very similar goals with overlap in many places and this creates the opportunity to share resources and like-minded membership! I think this is an exciting opportunity for all of us to broaden our sphere of influence.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Pedal Points; Riding the Sidewalk

Even though it is illegal in most municipalities, many people ride their bicycles on the sidewalk, either for convenience or fear of traffic on the road. However, by riding on the sidewalk, cyclists can make themselves more vulnerable to an accident than might be readily apparent. Many collisions between cyclists and motor vehicles occur at intersections of sidewalks and parking lots, driveways and cross streets.
Often people ride the sidewalk going opposite direction to the normal traffic flow, which presents a problem for vehicles pulling out of driveways or coming up to intersections. As car drivers, what direction do we first look when approaching a cross road? Usually to the left. That is where we expect vehicles to be coming from. We don’t expect a cyclist to be approaching from our right side, so we might not see them until it is too late, particularly if they are moving with any speed. Even with same direction traffic, a cyclist on the sidewalk is out of a motorist’s normal field of view and vulnerable to collision when the car turns onto a cross street and the cyclist enters that street. (no matter which direction they are riding) See diagrams
There have been studies done showing that it can be twice as dangerous riding on the sidewalk than riding on the road.
The other reason for not riding on a sidewalk is for pedestrian safety and comfort. Don’t underestimate the potential to harm a pedestrian with a bicycle. Even if you have complete control of your bicycle and don’t hit anyone, it makes some pedestrians (particularly the elderly) nervous having to share a sidewalk with a bike.
One of the challenges that many communities have  is that the roads are not safe for cyclists due to a lack of bike lanes or wide shoulders, debris, poor pavement and high speed motor traffic, so people elect to use the sidewalk.
Some municipalities have bylaws that allow cyclists with wheel diameters of 24” or less to use the sidewalk (i.e.; children’s bikes).  Even with good bike lanes or shoulders it might not be a good idea to let your child ride on the road due to traffic volume, speed etc.
There are also times when a cyclist wants to ride a very short distance down the road, but in order to follow traffic flow they would have cross the line of traffic, only to cross back again a very short distance later. This puts them in much more danger than simply staying on the sidewalk to go against the traffic flow and getting to their destination in a much more direct line. (I certainly do this at times) After all, it is a bicycle and should have some more flexibility and advantage over driving a car!
So, here we see some reasons that people riding bikes might want to use the sidewalk. In this case there are a few things we can do to make it as safe as possible, for everyone. First, and often the best option is to get off and walk your bike, particularly if there are pedestrians using the sidewalk! (Did you know it is also illegal to ride your bike across a pedestrian crosswalk?) If you feel the need to stay on your bike, move slowly and under control with due regard to intersections, driveways and other sidewalk users. Remember that pedestrians often stop or turn suddenly and can turn right into a cyclist. If somebody gets hurt you can count on the cyclists being the one held responsible in this case.
I have seen many instances where pedestrians and cyclists can use the same piece of pavement safely and efficiently, but that involves using common sense and courtesy. Nowadays we often see mobility scooters using the sidewalks, and in my mind they are vulnerable to the same dangers as a cyclist on the sidewalk, so these same procedures should apply to them. We also have to remember that even though we are riding in a safe and courteous manner we might upset some pedestrians by our presence on the sidewalk with a bicycle, because legally, we shouldn’t be there. Unfortunately there are also some people who believe people on bicycles shouldn’t be travelling on the road either! This is not true. A bicycle has the right to be on all roads except some highways posted as such.
To sum it all up; It is usually much safer to ride on the road than on the sidewalk, but don’t do anything your instincts tell you is not safe. Take a course on safe cycling, to help give you confidence riding on the road if you are uncomfortable with it.
If you feel you must ride on the sidewalk, use common sense, courtesy and beware of the traps that this can lead you into, and be prepared to defend your actions to law enforcement officials if need be.
Remember to;

·      Think ahead
·      Use common sense
·      Be aware of your surroundings
·      Make yourself visible and act like you are invisible
·      Make your intentions known, be predictable and make eye contact with drivers
·      Be courteous, smile and have fun!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Where have the Bike Boxes gone?

Some of you might have noticed that the bike storage lockers at the Sooke Park N' Ride have disappeared. They are now at the Edward Milne Community Schools's Art department. A group of students are going to be painting the boxes, thanks to support from the Sooke Program for the Arts. Watch for the brightly painted boxes coming back in the next couple of months!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

New signs on Sooke River Bridge/ HWY 14; SHARE THE ROAD

Part of the work we are doing with MOTI is trying to get some signage on the highway. This is one of the first steps at the Sooke River Bridge and Ayum Creek Bridge. I believe this will help with awareness and hopefully help legitimize the presence of bicycles on the highway. (Some people still think that they aren't allowed or shouldn't be there)

And here is a photo that helps remind us why we need to be vigilant...and sometimes downright scared riding on the shoulder of highways!
Yikes! Glad I wasn't riding there!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

An Excellent Article on Cyclist Responsibility

This article by Tony Webster presents a well balanced view on some very important cycling safety tips. The article was originally published in the s Cycle Therapy Fall 2010 edition. published by the Greater Victoria Cycling Coalition
Well worth reading, particularly for anyone riding in the urban environment!
Here is a link to the article.

Anyone interested in the Book "The Art of Cycling" by Robert Hurst, that Tony mentions, here is a link to some excerpts. Also for local people, I have a spare copy to lend out! Email or call me.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Sooke Bike Box Survey Results

Bike Box Survey Results
Administered by Juan De Fuca Cycling Coalition

Total of 19 people responded to survey that was advertised in Sooke News Mirror, JDF Cycle Coalition Blog and email list.
Link to report here.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Urban Planning...by Kids

It might be worth listening to our children about how to design our towns....and maybe not just kids, but the seniors as well! Check out this article

Pedal Points; Helmets; Using your Head

The use of helmets for cycling can become the subject of heated debate, partly because of the desire of some people to not have a decision legislated upon them, and for some people the overall benefits are not clear. The argument often used is that in countries where cycling is much more accepted and commonplace, most people do not wear helmets and the injury rate seems to be lower than places where helmets are law and less people ride. Part of the reason for this is that the more people cycle, the safer it becomes for the road users (cyclists and motorists alike). Also in countries like Danemark and Holland, cycling is part of the culture. Here in North America, we are slowly getting there, though we still have a long way to go. Google the subject and you will find lots of information.
Here in BC it is the law to wear a helmet, and I think it is a good idea to wear a helmet. Even if it was not legally required, I would be wearing my helmet. I am amazed at the number of people I see biking with a helmet hanging from the handlebars. What is that all about? It wont protect your head, or prevent you from getting a ticket. (A $29 fine by the way) Face it, all it takes is a simple little fall, even at low speed, with your noggin hitting the concrete or a rock....with potentially devastating results. That is why it is so important for young children learning to ride to wear a proper cycling helmet
Having said that, don't expect that a helmet will make you invincible, particularly in a high speed crash with another object. Wear one, but ride like you are not wearing one!
Proper helmet fitting and care is crucial. Did you know that most modern helmets are only good for one impact. That even means dropping it from a few feet off the ground! This is a good reason why you shouldn't buy a used helmet, particularly if it is showing any sign of wear and tear. The foam also breaks down after several years of exposure to the elements. The best thing is to go to your local bike shop to get help in fitting your helmet properly and to see if you need to replace it. (There are good illustrations on the internet as well for helmet fitting)
Look out for, and research some of the new technologies coming out soon for helmet design. One design coming out this year is a helmet with it's own synthetic scalp that helps prevent rotational injuries. This type of injury often results in a much more serious harm than a straight concussion. You want to have a helmet with a smooth surface that will slide instead of getting caught on the ground and thus twisting your neck.
Statistically, those countries with no helmet laws have a higher ridership and thus safer roads, but are you willing to take a personal risk just to prove a point? New helmets are lightweight, relatively inexpensive, and here in BC, it is the law for everyone on a road to wear a helmet, for both children and adults.
Remember the days when hardly anyone wore a seat belt in a car? Now most of us don't even give it a second thought. So put your lid on, get out there, and have fun!