There are things all cyclists can do to cycle respectfully on Bowen Island and there are rules all cyclists must adhere to in BC. We’ll cover both in this post.
Cyclists do not have the right of way on multi-use trails. You must yield to horses and pedestrians. If you are on a class 2 or 3 eBike, you cannot use a multi-use trail. All of our Bowen eBikes are class 1, so you are good to cycle on multi-use trails, so long as you give way to others on the trail. This right of way is especially important around Killarney Lake, where there are many multi-use trails.
Cycling on the road
As my cycling coach used to say, CARS ALWAYS WIN. Even though you may have the right to a lane on a bike, a vehicle is a heavy object. It doesn’t matter if you are in the right, cars just always ‘win’. Please cycle single file on the right hand side of the road, especially on Grafton Road and Adams Road.
This is especially important on Grafton and Adams road as there is NO SHOULDER.
As a cyclist, you have the responsibility to obey all traffic laws; therefore, you are then provided the right to use a road lane. If you do not share the road, or provide necessary space for cars to pass you, you lose this right. Of course, as my cycling coach would say, “cars always win”.
Cycling on private property or Parking the bikes and hiking over private property
Hiking and cycling on private property, where you do not have permission to be there, is trespassing, even when it looks like a park. There are many clearly marked trails on Bowen Island. Please stick to them. We encourage legal exploration and adventure on Bowen Island. There is plenty of that to be had. The locals do not like you trespassing on their land at all: some don’t mind it, many loathe it. Please don’t do it, ever.
If you have an accident with a parked vehicle, firstly, make sure that you are OK and that you’ve checked in with the driver to make sure they are OK. You should make sure to take pictures of any damage that has occurred to either the car or the bike. Make sure to also exchange information with the driver or witness, especially getting their license plate number and insurance details.
As mentioned earlier in this post, cyclists and cars don’t tend to get along very well. Use extra caution around parked vehicles. Try to keep at least one metre away from parked vehicles and be aware of people in vehicles that are parked. They may reach for the door suddenly and, without keeping that metre of distance away, you may find yourself in a dangerous dooring situation.
All Cyclists Should
- Ride as near as practicable to the right side of the road and do not ride on sidewalks and crosswalks unless directed to do so by a sign.
- Wear bike helmets.
- Never ride two abreast.
- Never ride a bicycle without using hands.
- Use a white headlight, red reflector and red rear-facing light if riding during the period between a half-hour before sunset to a half-hour after sunrise.
- Use brakes that are “sharp enough to make the braked wheels skid.”
- Use their arms and hands to signal turns and stops or decreases in speed.
- Stop at all stop signs.
- Never ride under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
There are lots of great resources you should be familiar with when cycling in BC. Here are just a few of our favourites:
- The Metro Vancouver Cyclist’s Handbook
- ICBC’s Guide to Cycling Safety