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This week's letters


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Just imagine a parade featuring no purring Hummers, throbbing rescue vehicles or belching busses. They could become static displays gathered in one square for public viewing on the day and their members could march, walk, roll or pedal with some ingenuity or penage. "Look, here come the walking bus drivers."

Organizers, make next year's Whistler's Canada Day parade a model sustainable parade. Take a walk in the Mounties’ boots – they could have driven but they rode and marched, a shining example of sustainable parading. Well done.

Start thinking now how your organization or business can match the Mounties’ model of responsible sustainable parading – just a thought, as I enjoyed everyone's efforts on a fine day.

Tom Thomson


From one motorcycle rider to all drivers:

Summer is once again upon us and we are besieged by all sorts of traffic, from motorhomes to motorcycles. These vehicles challenge the impatient driver who only wants to make his commute to work, or to home, as brief as possible. So we are left with roadways that can be dangerous at best, deadly at worst.

As a rider of one of these, perhaps, sometimes-unpredictable motorcycles, I wanted to educate the drivers out there who have never ridden a motorcycle and are unaware of some of the practices I employ.

Firstly, my motorcycle is capable of very rapid deceleration, without using its brakes, either by the sheer wind resistance, or merely by gearing down. An impatient driver, tailgating a vehicle, would have the brake lights of the car ahead to warn him of deceleration. Missing that flash of those brake lights may mean a fender bender for either car. Missing my motorcycle’s deceleration may mean an instant death for me.

I, as most riders, will commonly ride on the left side of a lane so that the driver ahead of me can see me in either his side or rear view mirror. Riding in this position also dissuades drivers from using part of my lane to pass me, or an oncoming driver. You may also see me move to the right side the lane when a large oncoming vehicle passes, so that I may avoid the strong buffeting winds.

Buffeting and turbulence are something I would never think of when in a car, but are more of a concern to me on my motorcycle. This is why I may drop back quite a ways when I am following a larger vehicle on the highway. Unfortunately this seems to invite many drivers to pass me so that they may occupy that space ahead. This turbulence is also why I may chose to pass you, the driver, to get in front, even if I only wish to travel the speed limit. This is not a challenge to the driver I have just passed to go faster, or an attempt to aggravate the driver by staying to speed limit once I am in front of him.

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