Bike Commuting in Downtown Calgary

20 Apr

I cycle to work every day through downtown Calgary.  My commute takes me under 10 minutes, as I live close to my office – less than 3 km – so this is clearly the best way to get to work.  If I were to drive a car, it would take at least twice as long, or longer, and cost me up $6000/year in parking.  Taking the bus would be cheaper, but again, much slower.   And neither of those two options are as much fun as riding my bike! 

Here’s a video clip showing my daily commute.  Now, when riding a bike I’m definitely paying attention to my surroundings, unlike some of the motorists I encounter. In the video I comment on some of what’s going through my head while I’m riding, and text captions indicate some of what I’m doing on the road. Your thoughts?

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One Response to “Bike Commuting in Downtown Calgary”

  1. Stewart Midwinter April 21, 2011 at 05:12 #

    Actually most drivers are fairly considerate. I find what helps a lot are a few things: 1) I wear and USE a glasses-mounted rear-view mirror. This lets me see situations developing in the traffic approaching from behind, so I can anticipate rather than just react;2) I communicate and negotiate with drivers by always hand-signalling all my lane-changes and turns. I find if I behave like a driver, I tend to get treated like a driver. 3) I look for opportunities to thank drivers. For example, if a driver doesn’t pull out on me at a stop sign while I’m riding past, I’ll wave thanks. If a driver slows to allow me into an intersection, I’ll wave thanks. And so on. 4) I take control of the entire lane any time I feel I need it (signalling ahead of time, of course), thus not allowing a situation to develop where I (or the driver) might end up feeling threatened, and reacting poorly. For example, if it looks like an overtaking driver wants to pass me on a narrow residential street, I’ll stay in the middle of the road to prevent it (while riding quickly). That way, we don’t end up with the passing driver on the left side of the road as we reach the next intersection, where he suddenly has to veer into my path because another vehicle turns onto our street unexpectedly.Hope this helps!

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