There’s room for all users on the dikes and trails in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows. Everyone just has to be aware and courteous of one and other. (HUB’s Janet Dwillies/Special to The News)

There’s room for all users on the dikes and trails in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows. Everyone just has to be aware and courteous of one and other. (HUB’s Janet Dwillies/Special to The News)

CYCLING: Increasing use of dikes and trails sparks quick review of trail etiquette

Long-time cycling advocate speaks of new bike maps, HUB website, and resources available this spring

By Jackie Chow/Special to The News

The nicer, warmer, and hopefully drier weather will increasingly be drawing more people out on their bikes, both on the dike trails and throughout Pitt Meadows and Maple Ridge.

TransLink has recently published a great new bike map of the region.

All the local HUB committees, including ours, have provided lots of feedback to help put this map together.

It indicates whether routes are comfortable for most, for some, or for few people, so that you can head out with more confidence, knowing that you can get from point A to B on a route that works for you.

Get your map at one of the local bike shops or at the local libraries. Or, you can find the map online, as well.

RELATED – Our View: Cycling needs big boost to reach its potential

The City of Maple Ridge published a tourism map last year which has a map with bike routes and hiking trails on the back. This map is available at City hall, or again online.

Both maps are free.

We have some more exciting news. Our HUB Cycling committee has just launched a new website at rmcyclist.info.

We hope it’ll inspire more people to start pedaling more. We added a page with downloadable maps of suggested bike routes in our area. We welcome any feedback and suggestions. More rides will be added over time, so check back once in a while.

Since it’s a perfect way to exercise while keeping a proper distance from others outside our bubbles, many people are already cycling more, but many are also spending more time running, walking, or using any other form of human (or horse-) powered transportation or recreation.

We don’t have any problems yet with congestion on the dike trails, but it does get busy at times. So perhaps this is a good time to remind everyone about proper trail etiquette to encourage peaceful co-existence.

RELATED – LETTER: Deadline to voice opinion on highway upgrades looming

When passing pedestrians, dogs, and horses on the dikes, people on bikes should ride single file, and keep a respectable distance from slower users. Slow down, so that everyone has more time to react if a dog or child runs in front of your bike, or a skittish horse bolts.

When passing, use your bell to warn people. If you don’t have one, use your voice: “on your left.”

Of course, it’s the responsibility of pedestrians to make sure they can hear you. Best to leave the music at home.

We’ve heard that some e-bike riders are causing trouble on the dikes. If you ride an e-bike, slow down when passing. People go to the dikes for peaceful enjoyment of nature, away from fast moving vehicles, so don’t be selfish and spoil it for others.

Pedestrians and dog owners need to do their part.

Be predictable, and move over when people on bikes are approaching.

Keep an eye on your kids and teach them good trail-sharing practices. Make sure your dog is under control so it can’t jump in front of a bike, or chase and perhaps try to take a bite out of a cyclist riding by.

With a bit of consideration and a friendly smile, we’ll all get along just fine!

RELATED – Maple Ridge cycling enthusiast giving the gift of riding to others

– Jackie Chow is a member of the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows chapter of HUB:

Your Cycling Connection

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