Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The people we share with

These are some of the responses I got from a driver who passed me less than a foot away while I was going down hill at the speed limit.

“Don’t worry. I knew exactly where you were,” he says smiling.

“You were too far out into the lane anyways.”

-- Me: That lane belongs to me! You have to wait til it’s safe to pass me.

“Oh really? I don’t remember seeing a bike lane.”

-- Me: No, it’s a vehicle lane, and this (pointing at bike) is a vehicle.

There were a few more comments, and the vigorous debate quickly became heated. I called him an asshole and he told me to fuck off. I’m not proud of how it ended. There’s a good argument for avoiding these discussions altogether, but I can’t imagine this guy driving away with the idea that it’s alright to keep passing cyclists less than a foot away, especially if they’re doing 50 km/h.

The kicker: The driver not only had a roof rack with bicycle mounts, he had a bicycle in the back of his station wagon and was wearing his MEC cycling jacket.

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Darren J 9/18/2007 08:28:00 AM

4 Comments:

Amazing, and from a fellow cyclist, no less. People are so defensive about their driving and always think that no can is a better driver than they are. And they really can't stand it when they're proven wrong.
I don't know if you can refer to a fellow who dresses up like a cyclist to drive their bike around the city in the back of their car a cyclist. Pretender? Maybe.
I've been 18 kph over eastbound on Cummer to have motorists pull similar on me. I swear motorists see bicycle and immediately register pass it regardless. Radar trap cops: this is a free clue. A honey pot with a strong cyclist leading a group downhill into the speedtrap should get you cramp from writing citations.
For those American readers not so benefitted: Section 128 of the Ontario HTA grants bicyclists immunity to speeding infractions.
I get the same everyday as I barrel down Kingston Road towards Woodbine. There's always close calls, and my personal favourite is the guy who yelled at me on Monday for 'scaring him' as i passed him at the previous light. The thing is, the light had turned green, and he was too busy reading hias paper to notice it. The guy tried to cut me off at the next intersection. I gave his car a nice big boot in the side and took off. Jerk!
There is so much ignorance out there regarding where cyclists should and should not be on the road. I wish there was an education campaign. I'd settle for just some "Cyclist allowed full lane" signs like I see in other jurisdictions. I had a similar incident tonight with someone taking offense to me taking the lane but I was not doing the speed limit (but fwiw nobody was...)

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