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June Newsletters

The photos are all about crushed glass. We found this at the head of one part of the TVP, at the top of a steep hill. There was about twenty feet of crushed glass sprinkled over the path. It is hard to say that it was done on purpose. However, we have heard rumours that this is happening. It is beyond the pale that people think this is the answer to rude cyclists. (And I understand that this month's newsletter may be controversial.) Conversation is what should be happening. It is what prompted the following lesson in etiquette. It is entirely possible, too, that those living in the tent cities are salting the paths with glass to slow people down for nefarious reasons. What it all amounts to is this: be careful and be courteous. Summer is almost here! It certainly feels like the last week it so with temps in the 30s. Now, you may be wondering why I'm showing you a pair of photos of asphalt with red circles. I have a good reason, I promise, and those little red circles contain the inspiration for this month's article: Riding Etiquette What is etiquette? It is the societal rules by which we behave: things like opening doors, using a napkin, forks in your left hand, knife in the right: saying excuse me when we burp (and someone hears it, right?); and allowing the person on the right to go first at a 4-way stop. There are also "rules of the road" when we are on a bicycle. We have noticed some distressing things when we are out riding. The small things first. hmm... I'm not entirely sure there are small things, so let's go alphabetically. Courtesy: This should be so commonplace as to not require mention yet one must mention it. Courtesy on a bike means don't buzz pedestrians or other cyclists (buzzing is zooming by with barely enough room). It means making way for faster riders or joggers or rollerbladers. It means being kind. Treat others the way you want to be treated. Passing: It is specifically on the TVP where we see the most disrespect for one another. Passing should be done on the left, after calling out or using your bell, and only when the oncoming lane is free. We have seen people - on all kinds of bikes - weaving through slower cyclists and pedestrians with nary a care in the world but for their own goals. And without saying anything or ringing a bell. These are people that are risking injuring other people on the pathways. Children and dogs dart away from their adult humans and are very good at getting in the way. If one is doing 40km/h on the path and one hits another living being, that creature is going to suffer likely-fatal injuries and the perpetrator is going to be seriously injured. Even at 25km/h, you may kill someone. Riding with friends: We enjoy riding with friends, Mike & Zach love going out on the Gremlins' free-for-all ride on Thursday nights (which is entirely why we close at 5:30). But there are things to remember.

1. If it's busy, ride single file when passing others. Don't go 'hot dogging' it by weaving in and out of other people. 2. If you are a slower group, out enjoying yourselves, move to single file when being passed. 3. At the front of the line? Tell your friends of obstacles (especially potholes and, well, cobra chickens. They're a menace on the paths sometimes but hilarious to watch run.) 4. Have fun. Being mindful and mannerly doesn't mean you can't have fun. Speed limits: If you want to do more than 20 km/h, use the road. According to Bicycle Beat's newsletter, (a website that apparently no longer exists), the TVP is a 15 or 20 km/h speed limit, especially in busy places like Springbank and Harris Parks. The TVP is a wonderful place to ride and to commute, whether you're on two wheels, three, or walking. Our goal when we ride is to keep it that way. We don't like seeing what one older gentleman on Sunday called "f**king maniac[s]". They make it bad for all of us. We at Spoke & Sprocket are far from perfect but we try to be courteous and safe. Kindness goes a long way.

(The remainder of this post can be found here but is no longer relevant given the timing)

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