Multitasking on your bicycle is dangerous—please stop
By C J Sommerfeld, Contributor
The other day I passed a cyclist who was holding their phone adjacent to their face, speaking to it in full boisterous conversation. The visual of the FaceTiming cyclist was hilarious and absurd but I had to stop myself from laughing—what this person was doing was quite dangerous.
Yeah, yeah, face-to-face conversation trumps texting. It eliminates the fear of misusing an emoji or—gasp—not using an emoji at all… but FaceTiming while cycling, really!?
Taking part in ridiculous activities while cycling is not limited to FaceTiming but also extends to drinking hot coffee and other beverages, texting, chatting on the phone, and smoking cigarettes or other substances. The notion of this may be comical and it may provide an Instagram-worthy photo, but really you are putting yourselves and others at risk for a bike accident.
In a city where bike lanes lead more places than streets allow cars to go, there are a plethora of things that can interrupt a smooth ride. Let me outline some of these possible accident-causing perpetrators: Canadian geese crossings, potholes, rain, vegans, yogis, and pigeons who will run in circles but not actually fly away until your front bicycle tire is nearly plucking feathers out of their wing. There is a lot that can interrupt your ride, so it is important to keep your eye on the road!
Many of us are juggling multiple jobs, school, hobbies, social lives, and the list goes on. We try to jam-pack as many accomplishments into a day and in turn have mastered the art of multitasking. We are pros at taking out the garbage while brushing our teeth or shoving our face with food while scanning the required reading for a class that starts in 10 minutes. With this being the nature of our lives, it seems right to check something off the to-do list while cycling from point A to point B—but let’s try to un-condition ourselves from doing so.
To all of you cycling-FaceTimers out there, you scare me. All other pedestrians and cyclists who do this, please stop. I do not want you to run over my cat, nor do I want you to ride your bike off the Seawall into False Creek’s murky waters. Enjoy your cycle whether it is a means of transport, to partake in physical activity, or just for leisure. Enjoy the skyline of mountains and stop biking with a screen in front of your face!