Written by Joel Zanatta
Spring has officially sprung, and cyclists throughout the city rejoice as they return in droves to the bike lanes. In their 2016 report, the City of Vancouver stated that 10% of locals ride their bikes to work. As we continue to become an increasingly bikeable and walkable city, safety is more important than ever.
According to a recent article by CBC, “Vancouver has the lowest number of crashes involving cyclists by far, with less than one crash per 100,000 cycling trips.” Thanks in large part to the city’s introduction of expansive bike lanes, 4% of all commuters are choosing cycling as their main mode of transportation each day.
The cycling infrastructure from Vancouver to Whistler is considered one of the safest parts of the world to ride. Vancouver, in particular, has been playing a large part in educating drivers on how they can contribute to keep cyclists safe.
In order to keep you safe on the road, and in celebration of our sponsorship with RBC GranFondo Whistler, helpforme™ wants to offer you some great tips on how to stay safe on the roads with the arrival of warmer weather.
It goes without saying, safe cyclists are the strongest cyclists.
Styled for Visibility
While competitive riders are often seen in body-hugging lycra, allowing for optimum speed and minimal air resistance, it’s equally important for them to be aware of the environment in which they’re riding. Visibility is a key factor in staying safe on the roadways and ensuring that motorists can easily spot you.
The clothing riders wear can reduce the likelihood of cycling accidents by up to 50% according to a study by ScienceDirect. With such a bold statistic highlighting the benefits, investing in high contrast and reflective clothing is an essential investment for riders – competitive or otherwise. The RBC GranFondo Whistler’s own cycling kits for the event are available for purchase. The dark version of the kit can be accessorised with additional reflective items for riders to be as safe as possible.
However, the same advice easily applies to leisure riders who cycle through the city for fun or for their commute to work. A bright kit is far more visible on a lonely stretch of road, but bright colours are not as eye-catching in the bustle of busy urban streets. When cycling through the city, high contrast and reflective elements are more crucial in ensuring you are easily seen from a distance.
Wherever it is you choose to ride, consider your environment first and foremost when deciding on what would be best to wear so that you will stand out among the elements. In the case of cycling, it’s more important to be seen than heard.
Riding in Packs
There has been a cycling boom over the last few years with more riders taking to the roads for training and racing. While personal fitness is an important aspect of cycling at the competitive level, in order to stay safe it’s equally important to understand the requisite skills required to avoid crashes.
It’s good to note that during the RBC GranFondo Whistler, cyclists won’t be sharing the road with motor vehicles. Instead, the highway will be completely dedicated to the GranFondo and lined with over 10,000 pylons with a dedicated lane leading to the finish line.
For casual bike riders in Vancouver, it’s important to think like a motor vehiclist. The rules of the road apply to you as well as cars, and they are in place to keep you safe. Be prepared to stop unexpectedly by keeping your eyes on the traffic. Stopping at red lights and stop signs seems like a given, but it can often be overlooked by more experienced bikers in a rush. Since a majority of bike accidents involve cars rear-ending bikes, you have to rely on your judgment and being well aware of your surroundings.
At the upcoming RBC GranFondo Whistler with close to 4,500 cyclists all pedalling towards the finish line, it’s vital for cyclists to feel confident when riding in a big bunch. When surrounded by others with overlapping wheels – with competitors both ahead, beside and behind you – a rider must hold their line even under pressure. This is why many riders attend the training clinics hosted by RBC GranFondo Whistler in order to prepare for the ride.
Much of riding in a bunch depends on the cyclist keeping their head up in order to gaze ahead and to anticipate what is happening. A major help here is ensuring you’ve invested in a kit with optimal fit as well as the correct helmet to make sure your line of sight isn’t obstructed. Most experienced racers will be able to gauge their competition’s next move – but it’s a learned skill that comes with practice.
Be Stronger with helpforme™
With nearly two decades of experience behind us, Hammerberg Lawyers created helpforme™ as a way to make our team’s expertise in personal legal services more accessible and to help clients and others be stronger and feel supported. We are experts at understanding how to help people with personal legal needs. With helpforme™ we have been able to build something of our own. Something different, meaningful and valuable. It is an honest and simple service tailored to our clients’ needs. Making impacts in people’s lives is what drives our people forward.
As we approach the big event this fall, helpforme™ wants to be your partner in being stronger and rising to the challenge. Stay tuned as we continue to offer insights on how to stay safe as you carve through the roadways on your bicycle.
This year, helpforme™ is an official sponsor of RBC’s GranFondo Whistler. The 122km ride along the scenic Sea-to-Sky corridor takes place this September and will attract over 4,500 challenge seeking riders from 45 countries. We are proud to be part of North America’s largest GranFondo to promote road safety and the drive to be stronger.
We’ll see you at the finish line!
Helpforme Personal Legal Services