Friday, 30 January 2015

Demonstration Family Ride - We Are Safe

Most of the time, I get smiles and jovial conversations when strangers see me and my kids on our bike. Riding with them has become so normal to me, that I don't even think twice about strapping their helmets on and unlocking my bike for a quick ride around the block or a for a school pick-up.


Unfortunately, some people don't know it's safe. Yesterday, while biking her kids across town to karate class, my friend, Amanda, had an encounter with such a person. Mrs. Wrong* thought that Amanda was putting her three kids in danger by having them on her Edgerunner, a bicycle built for carrying kids and other cargo. She even called the police to let them know. I'm not sure what the cops told her, nor do I know what actions they will take to follow up. What I do know is that Amanda is a researched parent who has looked into cycling for transportation and recreation extensively. She has weighed her options and has chosen to bicycle whenever she wants to with her kids.




In support of this choice, I would like to invite you to come ride with us. It is clear to me that there aren't enough parents riding with children in Victoria for it to be considered normal. We need to show our neighbours and strangers that this is safe, normal and usually a lot of fun. On Thursday, February 5, 2015 we will ride with Amanda's kids to karate class. We will meet at Sir James Douglas Elementary School at 4:00 and leave at 4:15 to  head over to James Bay Community School.

Here are some quick stats regarding road safety from the Insurance Corporation of BC:
  • On what's involved in a crash
  • Road safety report for Vancouver Island. I like the blurb on the side of the page "... safer drivers and roads makes for fewer crashes, injuries and deaths." So let's contact our regional road safety coordinator to get safer roads for all users!
P.S.: Are any of you magicians with digital pictures? I need a license plate picture decoded. Cheers!


*Her name has been changed to protect her identity. But now we all know what car she drives...

13 comments:

  1. Yikes! Hope you can get lots of people to ride and show how great it is.

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    1. Several family cyclists have mentioned that they will be at work or the kids in after-school care. And the forecast calls for rain. I'm not expecting masses, but this will probably be the first of many demonstration rides. Many people on bikes have had similar encounters, it's mind-boggling!

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    2. Drivers tend to be the most uneducated and opinionated people on roads. Governments need to take responsibilty for giving out licenses to drivers who have no clue whatsoever.

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    3. I would LOVE for every driver to spend a month commuting by bicycle before getting a driver's license: bike a mile in my shoes! Or we can empower our kids to not stop biking and in turn, the majority of road users will be on two wheels.

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  2. I love your plan of the Demonstration Ride and that it's to be the first of many! It always feels like a parade when we ride with another family...or like a happy demonstration :)

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    1. I love using quiet, flat back streets to navigate my city. I guess I need to up the ante and get visibly loud! Here we gooooo

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  3. Calling the police? I hope they gave her an earful about wasting their time.

    Oddly, I just blogged about the issue of cycling being perceived as dangerous today. Cycling is less than half as risky as walking in BC, but who gets yelled at for walking with their children?

    If I were in Victoria I'd totally be there! Solidarity from a fellow cargo biking family!

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    1. Thanks Lisa! I know many parents (and others) ride every day and that helps set the bar for normalcy. Here's hoping it happens sooner than later.

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  4. That's so ridiculous, especially considering how dangerous cars are.

    Thanks for organizing the ride, I hope you get a great turnout. I wish more people would take action on things like this.

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    1. Thanks for the encouragement. I think a demo ride is one of many things we can do to normalize alternatives transportation choices to driving cars. Riding often and loudly visibly is another. Of course we can blog and/or shout it from rooftops too!

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  5. Please post your next demonstration ride as we cannot make this one. Our family has received many comments and questions from people about our kid cargo bike, mostly positive, but there are many who are not. I would live for families on bikes to be a frequent and " normal sight in Victoria!

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    1. Hi Dandelion,
      We are doing a second demo ride on Monday, march 16. More details here http://www.growingupbike.com/p/group-rides.html Hope you can make it!

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