Back to school Bike Spotting at Robarts Library

Back to school Bike Spotting at Robarts Library

The temperature is dropping faster than the leaves, and the U of T campus is filled with throngs of students and their bikes. The earth has come full circle around the sun, and we’re back to the start of the school season.

The dandy team went to Robarts Library at the corner of Harbord and St. George streets to give student cyclists a pop quiz about passing etiquette.

We asked: What are proper techniques for passing cars and other cyclists? And What advice would you give to students who are just starting to commute by bike?

Here’s what they had to say.

Patrick Shorter

I just got back from China where cycling is a lot different. I would regularly wear a face mask to filter out the pollution which at times can be very bad in Beijing.

Here in Toronto, I’m surprised about how vocal people are in terms of making sure cyclists strictly follow the rules. The city trains new cyclists.

As for safe passing, I am always extremely aware about the possibility of car doors opening. When passing, I always make sure to pass on the left.

I’ve been back for three months and I am taking Chinese lessons at U of T to keep my language skills sharp. It’s awesome to be back in Toronto!

Darren Kerin

I am a research analyst at Rotman School of Business. When biking on St. George behind a slow cyclist, sometimes the car traffic doesn’t allow enough room to pass and so you just need to be patient. You need to shoulder check first to ensure there is enough room to pass slower cyclists on the left, and then you can overtake them.

What bothers me about cyclists passing is, when many cyclists are lined up at a red light, and a cyclist from the back will overtake the line without really announcing themselves. They sort of creep up on you, which can be dangerous.

Tian Yu

I Have been cycling here for three years. When passing I always pass on the left. I have never really experienced problems with cyclists overtaking on the right.

My main advice to new cyclists would be to be very careful about bike theft. Always lock up securely, and be careful about leaving your bike out overnight. My wheels are secured well, but once someone stole my handlebar, brake levers and all!

Related on the dandyBLOG:

Anne Harris: Studying the Effects of Bike Infrastructure on Safety in Toronto and Vancouver. 

Bike Spotting: Bi-Directional Lanes Proposed on Harbord Part 1

Bike Spotting with safety in focus

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