Erin's Journals

Tue, 07/17/2018

Erin’s Journal

Erin Davis Journal Link to Podcast

Just a thought… Your kids will be a reflection of how you behave. Show them how to succeed, don’t just tell them. []

I love learning things – and hearing your opinions – both of which I got to do yesterday, thanks to social media reaction to my journal about cycling and just what rules of the road apply to those of us who like to ride on two wheels.
As I expected (and know) the same ones that apply to motorists should also be followed by cyclists. But just as we know drivers don’t always obey, neither do riders. @TorontoMike is a radio fan, podcaster and blogger – as well as avid cyclist on the sometimes mean streets of Toronto – and he taught me a term I’d never heard before. Here’s Mike’s tweet. 

Many of us cyclists practice the Idaho Stop. Basically, stop signs are treated as yield signs and red lights are treated as stop signs.
We pick our spots, of course…and safety (of us and others) always comes first. But if it’s safe and there are no cars you stop as you would at a yield sign. So if there are no cars, pedestrians or cyclists, you slow down and proceed. If there are, you stop.

Which is exactly what we did not see from the large group of cyclists who passed through a three-way stop when we had just cleared it. (There were other vehicles stopped at the intersection.) Mike’s honest perspective attracted some criticism that he was basically breaking the law. One wrote:

I still have a couple of scars from a cyclist who practiced the Idaho Stop and rolled right over me crossing legally at a stop sign in Mimico. I apprecate it but similarly to vehicles there aren’t enough people doing them properly and it can be dangerous.

Thanks, Mark. I thought about our recent adventure and realized that our little foursome had – single file – also participated in the Idaho Stop. We were along country roads; we slowed, all looked in both directions and then proceeded through the empty rural intersections. Am I in violation of the law? I believe so. But in spirit of the law? No. I can see both sides here.
As for the issue of being passed and whether I was being overly wussy by hoping someone might let me know that was about to occur (besides our fellow travellers) here’s what Barbara wrote. It gives you hope.

I still get a chuckle out of an incident that happened to my walking buddy and I a couple of months ago. We were on the walking path in Osoyoos. A young boy, thinking 7 or 8 years of age, came up behind us and as he approached, rang his bell and called out “on your left.” As he passed, I thanked him. He stopped his bike, turned to me and said, “it’s the law, you know.” Serious as could be.

I told her how he must have been the product of good parenting, and reflected on what we had taught Lauren, just as we would show Colin if given the opportunity. Stop always at stop signs and proceed with caution, walking your bike in crosswalks. But, of course, adults don’t always practise what they preach. Guilty (on a lesser count of a very rare Idaho Stop) as charged.
Thank you for your participation in yesterday’s discussion; I’m always eager to be enlightened. And tomorrow, I’m going to share with you just the most amazing thing we did today. I’m embracing the future and its offerings with both arms but, of course, sometimes the learning curve can leave a mark. Good thing I had an online doctor for that….
Talk to you here tomorrow.

Erin DavisTue, 07/17/2018