Cycling with the 18-wheelers

Posted on September 20, 2005

Cycling in Windsor, I get a fair share of cycling among the giants - the 18-wheelers. Situated at the terminus of Canada’s busiest highway, the 401, trucks stream through the city in droves. 10,000 trucks bring goods made in Ontario and vicinity into the U.S. on a typical weekday.

The density of trucks in the area means it is difficult to avoid cycling close to the trucks. One time, lines of trucks dominated both lanes of Huron Church Road, which already had one its lanes partly closed for construction. The kerb was 12cm high, making it impossible to steer into the pedestrian walkway in case of emergencies. Trucks passed as close as 15cm.

To avoid accidents, I did the following:

Cycling on the Huron Church, the western terminus of Canada's busiest highway, the 401

Cycled right on the road markings and braced myself when going over gutters. The sudden jolts running over them can cause one to lose balance. Move between the line marker and the kerb to avoid any large debris, and make sure to not pedal when you do that - the right pedal can hit the kerb and throw you off the bike - towards the truck. Concentrate.

It’s all fun, and fun makes you happy. Reaching 35kph on a bicycle required no effort at all, while 50kph is a walk in the park.