Increased cyclist presence in the Gas City

By Taylor Chartrand
April 12, 2019 - 4:50pm Updated: April 12, 2019 - 7:36pm


MEDICINE HAT, AB - After being locked in the shed, storage room or basement all winter, bikes are now back on the streets of our City.

Dean Watkins at Gravity Sports says cycling is a fairly popular mode of transportation in Medicine Hat and that will increase heading into the summer.

He believes people should pay a little more attention on the roads and has a message for both cyclists and motorists.

"Share the roads," said Watkins. "We're all trying to get somewhere and we have a goal to get there. Just respect one another. Cyclists, be predictable. Drivers, allow us some space."

Watkins says he rides his bike year round and his biggest tip for cyclists is to pay attention.

"Be aware of your surroundings, be predictable. Don't be swerving across traffic, use hand signals, that sort of thing.  Position yourself in visible areas of the road. Try not to be in drivers blind-spots. The main thing is be aware of what's around you."

In addition, Watkins says cyclists should know where they can and cannot ride bikes.

"Technically, unless you are riding a bike with wheels under 20" or are under the age of 18, you're not to be on the sidewalks. That's why we have some of the bike lanes that help connect the paved paths, so we don't really need to be on the streets. There are some shared sidewalks that are part of bike routes and they are available on the City's website." 

Watkins then added that here in Alberta, anyone under the age of 18 is required to wear a helmet when riding a bike.

"If you're over 18, you are not required to wear a helmet, but I don't understand why you wouldn't. Your brain is just too valuable to have an injury. Just doesn't make sense to me."

Next to helmets, Watkins said there are a few other things a cyclist could do.

"There's things like daylight visible taillights, extremely visible high-reflective clothing and of course, if you're riding at night, you should have lights both front and rear."

Medicine Hat Public Library loaning tool kit to track energy use in users homes