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Winter bicycling 'stupid'

Winnipeg Free Press: Winter bicycling ’stupid’

By: Staff Writer
30/01/2010 1:00 AM | 

Most of us realize that it can be hazardous to drive a car during a Winnipeg winter. When it’s snowing, blowing, icy and -20 C with poor road conditions, you take your life in your hands just getting into the car. Sometimes, no matter what you do, no matter what speed you travel, you feel like you’re just barely in control. We must be nuts!

Now, take away two wheels, the engine, airbags, seatbelts and all the other safety features that we typically find in a modern car and ride it among all the hurtling four-wheeled vehicles during the same winter conditions. It’s not only incredibly stupid, it’s completely inconsiderate and, if it isn’t already, it should be illegal.

It’s bad enough that a large number of cyclists on Winnipeg roads don’t heed traffic laws in the summer (if you take issue with this, drive along with me to work every day and watch for yourself), but this disregard for the law takes on a whole new meaning during winter driving conditions. It’s even more dangerous because drivers don’t expect a bicycle to be on the road in the winter. These hard-core cyclists appear to be too busy fighting to keep the bike upright in the snow and ice to really watch for traffic.

My point is that if a car loses control during icy conditions and hits another car, there is an insurance claim. If a car loses control and hits a cyclist, there is a funeral. The driver of the bike has lost his life and the driver of the car will carry that knowledge forever. Is it really worth it?

I’m sure there are several reasons that would make a person choose to risk his or her life on a bicycle in January. I can’t think of any, but I’m sure there are some. Do everyone a favour, get your bicycle off the road during the winter and buy a bus pass.

Greg Keller
Winnipeg

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 30, 2010 A19