Progress in this journey we call life

After missing so many weeks of writing blog posts, it’s time to make it happen. Perhaps looking at what’s been happening recently will help me to get motivated/inspired or simply able to take action!

Life has gotten really busy, and there is a lot of progress worth noting:

  • we continue the quest to sell our house in order to move into a bigger house with capacity for an in-law suite, on lakefront. This has kept us the busiest, making improvements to the house to make it more sell-able. All are projects that were on our list that we were continuously slogging through. Since listing in May we’ve completed most, taking years off the timeline. There have been many viewings, but so far no bites.
  • My sister is settling in with us and our family is reshaping a little. It’s all good, but it sure would be nice to be done with the viewings and to have more space (and that lake to jump in every morning!)
  • I am officially closing a chapter in my life that brought a lot of heavy emotions and stress, the official documents arrived today, and court issued certificate will come in a few weeks. This is a huge weight lifted that will hopefully allow our family to move forward more.
  • Finally another sega is being closed with a settlement hopefully forthcoming in the near future from my car accident.
  • Working with my RMT, chiropractor/ART, and family physician I am getting back to a more active life, with less pain and feeling (bit by bit) more like myself again
  • I bought a new bike (upright city cruiser), and sold my mountain bike to pay for it. I can now ride without neck or shoulder pain, and have started cycle-commuting again!
  • I am becoming more involved with advocacy efforts once more
  • Contemplating my future and hopefully moving into the career I will grow with
  • with things feeling more settled I am ready for a bigger challenge, full-time work, etc.

Project 365 – June 30

From 365

Project 365 – (June 29)

From 365

Project 365 – (Jun 28)

From 365

The unlimited ways drivers force cyclists off the roads

I am a driver, a transit user and a cycle-commuter. I drive out of necessity (i.e. when I must travel across town to pick up my children). I use transit when I am not required to drive and choose not to cycle. I cycle when I can and feel safe enough to do so. My safety is effected by a large number of factors, including weather, but almost entirely involving drivers. I would have cycle-commuted WITH my children in tow in our bike trailer (and nearly eliminated my need to commute by car), however after limited attempts to do so determined it was far too risky in almost all parts of Halifax.

There are particular parts of the city where it is simply not safe for cyclists because drivers are ignorant to how they effect a cyclist’s safety (and some appear ignorant to the fact that cyclists even exist). For this reason, I “choose” to illegally ride on the sidewalk in short stretches where I feel my life would otherwise be significantly placed at risk. Occasionally, I simply have no choice but to hop onto the sidewalk, rather than be plowed down by a car. Roads are built for transportation, not just for cars, drivers would be a lot less likely to take the lives of other users of transportation if they would remain aware of this fact.

After reading a local journalist’s comment about how cyclists must to choose if they are traffic or pedestrians, I was inspired to come up with a list of some of the (most common) of the unlimited ways drivers force cyclists off the road:

  • hugging the curb (NOT “Sharing the road”)
  • passing stopped/slowed vehicles on the right (including pulling into marked bike lanes) – and I will note MOST drivers do not shoulder check for cyclists prior to doing so
  • driving in bike lanes as if it is an additional lane
  • pulling out of streets/driveways in front of cyclists – drivers often under-estimate (or simply do not care?) how quickly cyclists are approaching
  • turning right alongside of cyclists – again, was there a shoulder check? Did the driver not note the cyclists they passed upon their approach to the turn?
  • making left turns across traffic in front of cyclists – drivers often under-estimate (or simply do not care?) how quickly cyclists are approaching
  • drivers opening doors of parked cars into approaching cyclists

(I welcome additions from other cyclists to this list.)