Jorsh! wrote:In Canada, any unmarked road outside of municipal limits carries an assumed limit of 80 km/h. In a country this size, towns and cities are so far apart in many areas that 80 km/h roads and highway cycling are the only option for getting from point A to point B. The good news, of course, is that most of our highways have nice, wide shoulders.
The greatest barrier to bicycle safety is a lack of education. This was never more apparent to me than when I moved from Prince George, B.C. to southern Alberta. Suddenly, instead of intentionally running me off the road, shouting "get back on the sidewalk!", or—and I'm not making this up—throwing Burger King wrappers and beer bottles at me, people just treated me like I belonged on the road (which, legally, I do). I haven't had so much as a near miss since I came here two years ago, and I bike 15 km or more every day. People here realize that cyclists have the right to the road (not to mention the legal obligation to use it instead of the sidewalk), and simply deal with it. As long as you follow both national and local rules, there is no reason at all to butt heads with motorists.
Unfortunately, there are places where drivers and cyclists refuse to live together. These are the places things like Critical Mass happen, and where there is activism there is confrontation. And that's too bad.
Did you just say that you ride your bike on an 80km/h road?