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Why I bicycle on sidewalks

Today I was riding my bike along Gordon Street, and I was riding – get ready for it – on the sidewalk!! Yes, it’s true, sometimes I take my bike and I ride it on the sidewalk. I know this news is difficult for some pedestrians and rule-bound cyclists to hear, but I have  to confess.
I’ve seen the steady stream of complaints coming in from said rule-bound cyclists and startled pedestrians. I have yet to see one explanation why some of us often choose to ride on the sidewalk. Well, riding on the road is scary. I am riding on two wheels with no protection other than a flimsy helmet about five inches away from speeding cars, giant buses and massive transport trucks – all going up to 50 or 60 km/h or more.
One  wrong move on a driver’s part and I could be dead. The only thing between me and that city bus is a line of paint.
I also have to ride with my back to the vehicles that could potentially kill me. Sometimes it doesn’t feel right to trust random drivers with my life, particularly when it’s raining. I will continue to ride on the sidewalk and risk startling a few pedestrians, and when my kids become teenagers I’m going to advise them to do the same.
When I’m the one risking serious injury or death, then I can be the only one to decide when I am willing to take that risk.
Rosanne Vandermeer   Guelph

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