Critical Manners Bike Ride Vancouver

Mark Your Calendars, The Ride is On!
August 28, 2009, 4:03 pm
Filed under: Safe Cycling, The Ride

Update: September 9, 2009 – Spoke too soon. Unfortunately, this ride has been postponed until further notice.

It’s appropriate to announce, on the day of the next local Critical Mass ride (which the VPD have issued another notification about), we confirm that yes! There will be another Critical Manners ride!

Friday, September 11th, 6:00pm.

Meeting location and route TBD.

There was lots of great feedback on the last ride, the most notable type of content being one of riders feeling pretty comfortable while riding on the straight-aways, and things falling apart a bit while turning.

That ties in quite well with another problem of Critical Mass, noted in a recent comment in Momentum Magazine:

We were safer riding as a group, but we still weren’t as safe as Critical Mass. One rider said, “Although I took my son on Critical Mass at quite a young age–I would NOT have taken him on Critical Manners as it would not have been safe enough for him. The Critical Manners ride is only for confident cyclists.” It was fortunate for the less confident cyclists that others jumped in to offer guidance and model safe riding behaviour.

Critical Mass, as a bike parade, is certainly a safer place for inexperienced cyclists, because they are riding on a road that’s been blocked off for the sole use of bikes.

But it only exacerbates the problems cyclists see the other 27-30 days of the year: it gives sporadic and new cyclists a false sense of security by encouraging riding under irregular and illegal circumstances, and actively antagonizes other road users, making them likely to be more aggressive to cyclists riding without the protection of a mass.

So the next Critical Manners ride will focus on safe rider education, specifically lane changes and left turns. Obviously the practice session won’t take place in and around traffic, but we will also incorporate a street ride similar to the last Manners event. More details will be posted here as they come up.

In the meantime, please check out the Vancouver Area Cycling Coalition (the great folks behind Bike to Work Week and other local cycling initiatives) and their schedule of safe-riding and bike maintenance classes.

You may also be interested in another local group that started around the same time as the Vancouver Critical Manners ride, Pedal Etiquette. Ryan’s vision for his group focuses on riding well and safely every day, which we should all be in support of!

In the meantime, please leave comments or email criticalmanners.vancouver at gmail dot com if you are able to help with the instructional portion of the ride, or have suggestions for a meeting/finishing point and route.


Layin’ down the Law
August 1, 2009, 1:41 am
Filed under: Safe Cycling

A big part of Critical Manners is cycling within the parameters of the law.

But what exactly is that?

According to section 183 (1) of the Motor Vehicles Act, In addition to the duties imposed by this section, a person operating a cycle on a highway has the same rights and duties as a driver of a vehicle.

The rest of the section goes to explain the specifics of placement on the road (as far to the right as is practical, without being required to ride on unpaved areas), riding on sidewalks (illegal!) and how to turn left at an intersection where there is more than one lane from which left turns are permitted (tongue-twister!).

The Greater Victoria Cycling Coalition has posted a summary of the sections of the act that specifically deal with cyclists, and you can view the entire text of the MVA here.

I highly recommend at least reading the GVCC’s page, if you aren’t up for devouring the entire act, before the ride!

Safe Cycling
July 30, 2009, 10:27 pm
Filed under: Safe Cycling

A couple of resources to review as everyone gears up for the ride in a couple weeks: (how to not get hit by cars)

ICBC’s Bike Smarts program handbook.

The Vancouver Area Cycling Coalition’s resources page.

Any other resources we should all know about? Post links in the comments.