Aggressive acts towards cyclists discredits drivers

Someone wants cyclists to stay off the road leading to D’arcy.

Local cyclists have reported that in recent weeks someone (or a group of people) have taken it upon themselves to spray paint “No Cycling” five times on the road. Presumably, the same person or people have blacked out signs posted along the road that encourage sharing the stretch of highway.

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At least one cyclist has also reported an aggressive driver spraying them with gravel and running them off the road this summer. These are particularly disturbing stories considering that two Whistler cyclists were hit and killed by a vehicle not far from that road just a few months ago.

There is merit to the argument that some cyclists shirk the rules of the road and ride too aggressively in places without shoulders. But by deliberately endangering the lives of cyclists — like these drivers on this stretch of road have done — the drivers no longer deserve any credit or sympathy from the community.

To a lesser degree, they are also in the wrong for vandalizing both signs that were installed to curb this type of behaviour and arrogantly taking spray can to pavement in an attempt to implement their own rules.  

The fact is cyclists have just as much right to be on that road as drivers. What these acts of aggression fail to articulate is the root of the problem. Are these drivers acting out of fear? Do they worry about accidentally harming a cyclist on the narrow road? That seems unlikely given the blatant acts of aggression.

Are they angry that cyclists force them to slow down for a moment? Where are they rushing to that is more important than someone’s life?

As cyclist Christine Cogger said in our front page story, a face-to-face forum with all stakeholders seems like the only way to find a solution.

With cycling becoming more popular in the Pemberton Valley — just look at the Slow Food Cycle taking place in Pemberton Meadows this weekend — something needs to be done to help cyclists and drivers share the valley in harmony. The sad truth is that in this battle cyclists always stand to lose.

While drivers might disagree with them travelling on narrow, shoulderless roads, they should not be allowed to deliberately put riders’ lives at risk. These people need to consider the possible tragic outcomes their actions could have instead of letting their outrage get the best of them in the moment.

Two cyclists have already lost their lives in the corridor this year. Let’s take steps to ensure no one else is injured or killed.

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