Editorial Rant: Speed, Mountain Biking, and Being Nice

I never thought you could get insurance to ride a bike but I guess if you can sell it then I guess you can get it somewhere. Click here to read the full article or an excerpt below.


Do we need riders to carry third-party insurance?   There are compelling arguments against that.  Some people could regard their insurance as permission to ride too fast because “Hey, it’s OK — I have insurance!”   That excuse might not hold up if one of the terms of the insurance is that the rider must always be in control.  And if riders are in control, well, the insurance is so unlikely to be needed that it would be an unnecessary expense.

Another argument against requiring cyclists to carry insurance is a public-policy argument:  cycling should be encouraged, not discouraged, and a requirement for third-party  liability insurance would be a barrier to participation.

Cyclists are already protected by insurance  in the case of collisions with motor vehicles, as long as the vehicle’s driver or owner are insured.   And cyclists who want to carry third-party insurance can get it — by joining Cycling BC first, or by belonging to a club that is a member of the International Mountain Biking Association, and applying for insurance.

What about the owners or “occupiers” of the land that our trails cross?  BC’s Occupiers Liability Act exempts land-owners from liability for injury to people who use their land for recreational purposes, unless they personally are paying the landowner directly for that privilege, or unless the landowner deliberately sets traps designed to hurt people.  So forget about suing the landowners, or the group that builds and maintains the trails.  If you go on those trails and hurt yourself or some other person, or if another person hurts you, the landowners and trail-builders are not responsible.  You have willingly assumed the risks of using the trail.


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