The sum total of my cycling in France was an hour long jaunt around Aniane, so I can’t claim to have real personal experience with French cycling. However I did make a couple of observations:
- Cyclists are treated with much more respect by motorists than they are here in Canada. That means always giving cyclists a wide berth when passing (a few metres wasn’t unusual), always signalling the intention to pass, and not trying to pass if conditions weren’t safe.
- If you wear cycling shorts, shoes, etc. and are “pro” or “semi-pro” then you also wear a helmet. We never saw an amateur “around town” cyclist wearing a helmet.
- Cycling seems much more popular as casual recreation; it was not unusual to be sitting at a remote café and have a gaggle of 10 or 15 cyclists show up, dismount, and grab a coffee before continuing on their way.
- Everyone, pro and amateur, uses hand signals.
I just brought my bike up from the basement this afternoon and I rode it in to the office for the first time after filling up the tires at the Ultramar gas station on the corner.
Read more about cycling on PEI from new cyclist Rob Paterson.