- Kasian Russell
Biking on Thetis
Although I’m only thirteen years old, I’ve been bike riding in towns and cities across Canada for the last eight years. In most of the places I’ve been I’ve experienced unfortunate interactions with drivers, from people illegally passing when I’m trying to turn, to honking as I cross the street. Thetis Island is different.
I’ve been bike riding on Thetis Island for the past three weeks now and at first glance it appeared to be a hard place to ride because there are no shoulders or bike lanes, and it is also very hilly. Despite these facts, it is very enjoyable due mainly to the fact that the drivers I’ve encountered so far are very considerate and willing to share the road. They also greet us with a wave.
Drivers are an important part of the equation when it comes to cycling on the road. By driving respectfully you can help make the roads a safe place to ride. Giving a wide berth and slowing down when passing, thinking of cyclists as fellow road users, and acknowledging their presence are just some of the ways to help make cyclists feel welcome and safe on the road.
I’m sure there are many people on Thetis Island who think of cycling as a recreational endeavour. I encourage the residents of Thetis Island to look at cycling as an everyday mode of transportation. For example, you could take your bike across to Chemainus and pick up groceries or take the Trans Canada Trail to Ladysmith.
If this sounds daunting because you aren’t very active or because you have had bad experiences with cycling in the past, I encourage you to look at this with a fresh perspective and research other options. Perhaps an electric bike is a good fit for you. Possibly you need a bike that’s more comfortable, or one that is better for climbing hills. Or maybe like many people, you just need to get out on your bike.