3 Confessions of a Cyclist

Sometimes I am a bad cyclist. I do things I shouldn’t. It just seems so easy to break the rules.

Here are my three confessions:

  • I go the wrong way up the one way street where I live
  • On quiet streets I blow through stop signs
  • I don’t stop for streetcars for the entire time the door is open

I know I shouldn’t do them. But sometimes I think – my bike isn’t a car so why should it follow the exact same rules as a car?

For example, on my ride to work I go through Trinity Bellwoods. And I have to turn into the park via the sidewalk. Should I be get off my bike when I go on the sidewalk then get back on my bike once I’m on the path?

I would be a fan of bike licensing. But I just can’t imagine what the process is for something like this.  

According to the City Of Toronto’s Bicycle Licensing History, here are three major reasons licensing has been rejected:

* The difficulty in keeping a database complete and current
* The difficulty in licensing children, given that they ride bikes too
* Licensing in and of itself does not change the behaviour of cyclists who are disobeying traffic laws.

What are your thoughts on bike licensing? And am I a bad cyclist?



6 thoughts on “3 Confessions of a Cyclist

  1. I don’t think you’re a bad cyclist! As long as you’re not putting anyone’s safety at risk I think you’re ok.

  2. I’m not a cyclist, but can see both sides. You’re not a car, so seems silly to abide by all rules of the road. But, I’ve also almost been knocked down by a cyclist who didn’t bother stopping for a streetcar. I think it all comes down to common sense and respect. I’m sure you’re a good cyclist!

    • Thanks Christine. I used to blow through streetcar stops all the time. But after I almost did hit someone, I pay much more attention to this now.

  3. I understand the temptation to break the rules on really quiet streets. I still think you’re a good cyclist, but remember that the more predictable you are to cars and pedestrians (but following the rules), the safer everyone will be!

    • Completely agree with you Stephanie. I will think about this statement every time I have a temptation to do illegal bike things.

  4. I have some of the same confessions to make! I will also go the wrong way on a one-way street for short distances and don’t make complete stops at stop signs when I’m the only one around. I have noticed motorists giving me the right of way at intersections, even though they’ve got it. I think motorists are becoming accustomed to cyclists going out of turn so they assume we’re all going to do that. Then it just gets confusing as to who is going to go first! My philosophy is “do no harm”, which means bending the rules when it won’t affect anyone else.

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