Column: Cycling in the summer sun

Summertime is fantastic for riding a bike. Not only do we get some superb weather in Richmond, but during the summer, because of the brighter, longer days it’s ultimately a safer time to ride. You can see farther and more clearly, and this means vehicles have it much easier too when it comes to spotting cyclists.

Also, Richmond doesn’t have any hills, so it’s easier for people who maybe don’t exercise regularly to get out for a nice bike ride in the sun. Motorists as well don’t have to worry about hills, or sweeping corners and what if there are cyclists just ahead but they can’t see them? Nope, it’s all flat and straight and about as safe as a city can get in that regard. I have to admit, of everywhere I have ever cycled, Richmond is the easiest, and that’s not a bad thing. It encourages people to get out.

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In the summer, one of the many reasons people do get out on their bikes is for a treat. Hey, I’m no different! I love to go for a ride to a shop to get myself a cold drink, something tasty and the occasional ice cream. We’re exercising so we can afford the calories, right? There just happens to be a few great places in riding distance that everybody should check out. Leave the car and trying to find parking at home. Instead, enjoy the wind in your face and the sun on your skin.

Obviously Garry Point at the end of No. 1 road is an ideal choice. There’s ample room to ride your bike, wide pathways and you have your choice of ice cream, drinks or even some great food. Likewise, Steveston is full of ice cream, restaurants and coffee shops. Really, you just need to check it out for yourself. Multiple times.

The next best location is going to be down at the end of No. 2 road, just a short mile away. You can ride there from Garry Point or Steveston in 10 minutes. If coffee’s your thing, you’re set. Great pastries are abound, and there’s even a coffee shop dedicated to bikes where you can take your bike into the shop for safety while you eat and drink.

When you’re all done, then you can just enjoy a relaxing ride back to - and then a motorist runs a stop sign and hits you. Just like that, everything good that had been happening is gone. The driver didn’t even notice that you had the right of way. It didn’t matter that you were paying full attention, because the motorist wasn’t in this case. Getting home takes 200  per cent, and you can only contribute 100 per cent in this scenario. If the motorist contributes anything less then there can be trouble.

Please be careful out there this summer. Do everything you can to be seen, and let’s hope the motorists all do the same.

Geordie McGillivray is an avid Richmond cyclist. His column appears regularly on the Richmond News' website. 

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