Calgary bike mom upset by government’s discouraging cycle website
The Alberta government is looking to revise the website after an NDP MLA brought it to its attention
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Four-year-old Micah Jones was on a two-wheeler long before a tricycle. So his mom, Su-ying Lim, was grinding her gears Wednesday after a discouraging Alberta Health article surfaced on social media.
The article, posted on myhealth.alberta.ca, recommended tots under four shouldn’t be on a bike carrier or trailer when their parents are cycling. Micah’s was four-months old when he had his first bike ride. He had a stable neck and was wearing safety gear.
The website also suggests kids not ride bikes on the street until they are 10, warning parents of the many dangers, like busy streets, uneven roads and bad weather.
Lim said she felt the article was written by someone who had never biked.
“I find it was kind of ludicrous,” Lim said. “A lot of us bike with kids because it’s more convenient and we sometimes don’t have a choice.”
She said Micah was soothed by bike rides. Plus, if she needed to feed him, they could easily get off and sit on a bench for a few minutes — something you can’t really do when you drive.
“It was so convenient and easy. It was really fun,” she said. “I used to take him on the pathways all by myself, and now that the tracks are up, we can go downtown.”
But Lim had to stop reading the government article when it said, “Do not ride with your child on busy streets, even where there is a bike lane.”
She said bike lanes are the safest way for cyclists to travel, adding far more severe injuries could potentially happen in car crashes.
“It feels like a lot of people think cars are so much better, but they’re really not,” she said. “It’s stressful to drive and me and my family actually get to talk to each other when we cycle.”
NDP MLA David Shepherd has since shared his concerns over the website with Health Minister Sarah Hoffman who, according to her spokesman Timothy Wilson, will revise it.
Lim said she hopes future language on the website is more encouraging.
“Biking is really good for everyone’s health.”