Cyclists on SE Manitoba highways – view of the regional director for Transportation

Good evening all

Just got back from LUD of Mitchell general meeting.  A discussion came about regarding people crossing PTH 52 from the south side to the north side.  Brent Wareham, the regional director of operations for Manitoba Infrastructure and Transportation was asked to speak to the issue.  To be fair, Brent was in there because he lives in Mitchell, not as a government representative.  I know Brent but could not help but be very disappointed about what came next.  He side stepped the issue of safely getting people across the 52 and then specifically pointed out that cyclists (not just kids on bicycles) on busy highways were a major issue.  He added that the provincial government’s movement towards active transportation was making it worse.  He strongly recommended that cyclists ride against traffic in order to be safe and stated clearly that the local RCMP would ignore this violation of the traffic act.  He stated that he had seen the accident report and went on to imply that the recent death of a cyclist on the 12 would might have been avoided if the cyclist had not been riding with traffic, on the pavement.

A couple of us at the meeting pointed out that bicycles riding on the road are vehicles and that riding in the opposite direction would be more likely to cause an accident.  I understand he is trying to make highways safe and I might even agree that if there is a wide paved shoulder (like between Mitchell and Steinbach) his recommendation might have merit.  Otherwise I was left with the sense that the “victims” were being blamed.  I for one am going to contact the local RCMP and see if they really are onside with this.  We have such a long way to go before cyclists can be safe on Manitoba roads……

Glen

Pembina Hills ride

Good day MITer’s

I haven’t had the chance to get out on many MIT rides this year, but have managed a few rides of my own. Looks like the season is hanging on with the good weather. If the weather stays nice, I am going to head over to Rathwell on Thanksgiving Monday to ride some of the rolling hills along the southern part of Manitoba escarpment.

The route goes south from Rathwell along Rt 244 to PTH 3, west on 3 to Rt 23, north on 23 to PTH 2 and east on the 2 back to Rathwell. Pass through Norte Dame, St Leon windfarm, Manitou, La Riviere Holland and Treherne – about 140 km. Earlier this year I rode route 244 and PTH 3 to La Riviere and back. While the wind was strong, the traffic was really light and PTH2 & 3 have paved shoulders. I have not been on the 23 but Manitoba Cycling Association had their last road race there this year, so I think it would be pretty decent road. I’d like to try the full loop this time but would also just enjoy Rathwell to La Riviere and back (111 km)

I am thinking about leaving around 7:30 am from Mitchell on Thanksgiving Monday (October 10th). About 1hr 40min drive to Rathwell. Anyone interested in coming along?

Cheers, Glen