Peace of Mind

Intelligent Deterrence

Rider Safety

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Updated: Tuesday 25 June 2024

While bicycle safety relates primarily to theft of bicycles, rider safety is centred on the life and limb of the cyclist.

Passing Distance

Have you ever seen a Public Service Announcement (PSA) which shows how much space a passing car needs to provide to a cyclist?
Till yesterday, 24 June 2024, I had not. Apparently, there is a new law on passing-distance in British Columbia; but, more importantly, I saw a PSA for it on youtube. This is after decades of cycling, in several countries.
(Being an advert, I cannot find a link to the video; below is one I later found, from Ireland.)

An Irish PSA on Passing-Distance

Even in the above video, there is not emphasis on the distance from parked cars: 1 meter is needed on each side of the cyclist. Were this to be emphasized, let alone actively enforced by the police, there’d be an uprising by the voting masses, taking advantage of dysfunctional electoral systems, and a media hooked on car commercials and suburban housing.

Hit & Run

Easy, ain’t it! You’re in a tonne of material, moving at speed, and you can speed out of sight, leaving the dead or injured behind. The term Vulnerable Road Users does not quite convey it, does it!


Easy to get away with. You can follow your total disregard for the life and limb of a cyclist by assaulting him after he dares to confront you. He is tired from pedalling, and has not seen you behind the reflections of the wind shield, in the dark cab of your vehicle. In contrast, you can assess whether to step out, or to drive away with impunity.

Verbal Assault

Once you park your car, you can continue by shouting verbal jabs about the letter of the laws you routinely break yourself.


In a climate of cyclephobia, the killing of a cyclist can be followed by a lynching in the media and the public opinion of their making.

Threat of Assault

In a reality show, I watched police officers empty their guns into a car that had lunged at them; the voice-over said that a car is considered a weapon. Whether deliberately brushing past within inches, deliberately turning into my path, or lunging, I’ve had a weapon pointed at me many times.

Car Crashes

AKA ‘accidents’. That cars strike cyclists should hardly be called an accident, given that they have higher speed and mass, less maneuverability, poorer view of their surroundings (especially in rain and at night), deaf or quietened by design, if the driver is not distracted by gadgets or passengers.

And when it happens, even if you’re conscious, even if the driver remains to assist, the insurance company will expect a level of recollection of details no doctor could expect of someone who’s suffered the shock of being physically struck by a car. Just try to write down the licence plate with trembling hands, or to photograph it in the dark!


This can vary from smashing bottles. or throwing banana peels, on bike paths, to barbed wire across downhill trails. I know of the latter happening in the UK, at least. On the North Shore (in Vancouver), dangerous sabotage of the famed trails resulted in a court case. Casual sabotage such as throwing glass bottles becomes obvious when it routinely occurs on the same stretch, and nowhere else; or it seems to correspond with someone’s commute; or both.

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