The terrible torture of riding a bicycle
For Father's Day, my cruel and unusual wife gave me a bicycle. To be accurate, she bought herself a new, costly bicycle and gave me her old 18-speed. She had it fixed up to fit my slightly taller size, gave it a wipe over, and she and our boys presented it to me with great love.
"Aren't you happy?" she asked. "Now you can get fit."
We went for a ride, a brutal 20 kilometres in gruelling 20C heat. Halfway through, while lying on a patch of barely shaded grass and gasping for breath, I reached to adjust myself within my shorts and realized that everything was completely numb.
But now that I'm no longer so completely preoccupied with the sheer, unfaireffort of cycling, I've started to notice the sheer, unfair danger of it, thanks to the slobs who pass in their cars without realizing their stupidity.
It's got so that I'm worried to watch the traffic passing my wife as she pounds the pedals ahead of me, taking up just an arm's length of the side of the road but being granted even less space by the two-tonne metal boxes.
It's a very real danger. Three years ago, an off-duty OPP officer was killed while cycling on one of these same roads near Milton; he was clipped by the mirror of a passing dump truck.
Just last month, five Ottawa-area cyclists were seriously injured when a minivan slammed into the back of them as they rode single file in a dedicated bicycle lane. One of them is still in a coma.
There's no need for it – none at all.
For God's sake, next time you see a cyclist up ahead, please share the road and give him or her plenty of space when you pass.