Here’s what happens when you ride a bike without worrying about being run over

What I’ve noticed about bicycle riding in the city is the city. This is especially true and vivid in parts of the city that have protected cycle tracks. I notice more of my city on my bike. The open architecture of the bicycle makes this possible. The safe infrastructure of a bike lane can make it quite real.

My friend Chris has an engineering mind. He says it’s an equation: Fewer perceived vehicle threats from fewer directions equals more time to feel happy and have the city strike you. In a good way. This formula is why I love pedalling my bike on the Oliverbahn in Edmonton. The Oliverbahn is a stretch of protected, treed, life-lined bicycle lane that runs along the north side of 102 Ave in Edmonton’s Oliver neighbourhood. There’s a lot of city to notice and consider on the way to and from Edmonton’s downtown core.

Here’s what I noticed today.

A neighbourhood that provides space for pedestrians, bicycle riders, bus passengers, motorists, and, with all the stately elm trees, birds.

Families awheel.

Homes for fans of Hobbiton.


Two built for a bicycle built for two.

The cool Lord Simcoe apartment font on brick.

Trees with bark and bite.

Walkers who wave hello.

Automobile drivers who wave hello.

A boy who says “cool bike” to his mom about me and hears me say “cool bike” right back to him.

People on bikes.

The 1913 telephone exchange building by Alan Jeffers.

Signed but self-regulated intersections that reveal where we’re at with each other:

People on bikes:

A tipi above the hedgeline in the Christ Church yard:

At the end of the story, a wedding:

With a bicycle in the picture ?
A version of this post originally appeared on Glenn’s blog. Check it out here.


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1 Comment

  1. Sarey Canary

    I bike wherever I want, so I use the infrastructure that’s already there: roads. I explore all over Charlotte (not just where bike lanes exist) and lead my weekly bike ride down roads/paths/cut throughs they didn’t know about! I’m not afraid of riding in the road because I took bike training, something I’d suggest more cyclists do, no matter how long you’ve been riding and now matter whether you’re scared or not – there’s a lot you’re not aware of, trust me. There are many, MANY reasons why protected lanes are more dangerous than roads… Numerous uno being you THINK you’re safe therefore take fewer precautions, and feeling safe means you’re less likely to be paying attention. That said, I am vigilant while biking and enjoy teaching my riders how to be competent, confident riders too! Enjoy your ride. Take Cycling Savvy training and get back with us on how you feel about protected lanes, Glenn!

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