Thursday, January 12, 2006

Driving my bike

I've heard a few cyclists refering to themselves as "driving" lately, as in "I was driving my bike to work". The first time I heard this was at the Winter Bike Clinic I went to a couple months ago. At first this sounded very awkward to me, almost like an attempt to make a bike sound more like a car. After some reflection (I like reflecting), I've decided it is the most appropriate term for travelling by bicycle, and, on top of that, far more appropriate than for car travellers.

When I'm travelling on my bike, I am actually powering the bike. I make it go. I am the driving force that makes it move forward. I drive my bike.

In contrast, when I travel by car, the engine drives the car forward or backwards. I merely steer it and choose when the engine should drive the car in some direction. I ride my car.

So, to use a real life example: this morning while I was driving my bike up Leslie Street, a major arterial, a guy riding in his car behind me honked as he passed. There's a small chance he was honking at the guy riding in the van next to him, but it looked like he was honking at me for driving my bike on the road. I'm all in favour of a major advertizing campaign to inform everyone about cycling and how to safely pass a cyclist when you're operating a motor vehicle, and the provincial government is one that should do it (I'm looking at you, Dalton).

Darren J 1/12/2006 10:51:00 AM

4 Comments:

This reminded me of Bill Murray in What About Bob? - I sail, I'm sailing... I'm a SAILOR!!!

I've submitted a few article ideas to Spacing Magazine (which I highly recommend if you haven't read it yet...), and one sort of has to do with making (car) drivers more aware of bike powerers, and how that can effect social change.
Oh, and the other article proposal is about MAP of course, since it's a transit issue of Spacing.
I first read "driving a bicycle" on the League of Illinois Bicyclist's safety handout PDF ( http://www.bikelib.org/education/parentletter.pdf )
... and decided I liked it. Sorta trying tow work it into my language.
safet sheet (hopefully a live link this time :-))

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