Holy! it’s not Raining, better get on the bike before it starts again… ..and I did; and so did the rain – but for just a bit…
Don’t get me wrong, I peddle all winter – and this constant rain hasn’t stopped me either. But today’s ride came with a bonus: a sun-tan, a spiritual lift – and some enlightenment…
Theme I …
Could you please come to a complete stop?
I’ve noticed than sometimes a bicycle trip will have a theme. For example, the last time I wrote a piece about my experience on the road was just after the Civic Elections (October 2010); I noted then that several drivers seemed to be taking great care to heed the new City of Toronto “Make Room for Cyclists” message – being annoyingly careful when they saw me coming; perhaps voting one final time for the ghost of Mayor Miller, expressing their support for the old regime with some too-careful driving, an homage to the new ad campaign – obviously approved by the former council - to ‘Share the Road, Make room for Cyclists” – see video (..or as it’s known now, “Let cyclists make you their bitch, loser!”).
One of two themes I noted on today’s ride was cars doing ‘rolling stops’ at side street intersections, when all that’s coming is a cyclist.
If a car is coming along with me – beside me, over-taking me – I never see these crawling stops, the divers almost always full stop. Why is it that in the much more dangerous situation – than two autos colliding at low speeds – in the situation where a 2 tonne vehicle my hit a naked human being — is less care is taken?
Perhaps it’s because the driver of the car is sacred — that if they roll too far out into the intersection, or that a car bumps them into traffic before they can apply their brakes — that the front of their car will get ripped off, they may lose thousands of dollars off from work, they’re get whip lash and might never walk straight again – or perhaps never sleep well again, become a victim of chronic pain (for which hey have to take pain medication, which they might become addicted to – which may destroy they’re career, they’re hopes for a happy life, and a happy future – a good education for their children – and a happy life for them). I know that this stuff could happen to them – I can empathize.
But when it’s a bike occupying the space on that vector which may intersect with their 2 tonne vehicle, none of those things are a problem – for THEM – it appears.
From the cyclists point of view I won’t just have to just replace a front quarter panel – I know that if I get the right side of my body impacted by chrome and steel it will hurt, it may even break bones, and I know – more importantly if you can believe it – that I may get thrown into traffic – and may get hit again – and killed probably.
That’s the perspective from this side of your windscreen.
I can see your point of view – you want to get to the red light ahead of me; because everything I do scares you. Scares you because you have blind spots, scares you because a tap of your accelerator can kill me or a pedestrian, or the little kid who doesn’t know the rules yet. A being can die from you moving your 2 tonnes a couple of feet at 2 kph!
It must be hell being a god of steel amongst so much human flesh.
But could you please try to see the world from my point of view? I’m not sure that you’re seeing me and not staring right through me to the car behind me moving at 30 kph, and because of that – and the dying part – your rolling stop forces me to err on the extreme side of caution and slow to the crawl that you’re doing or stop - until you STOP!
Could you please come to a complete stop at intersections – wheels straight – check your rear view? You know – like at the driving test when you got your licence?
Theme II …
The Train, the Buffalo and the Fly
..has been edited for ‘betterness’, and moved to it’s own page! Here.
Posted: May 20th, 2011
Author: michael holloway
Filed under: Uncategorized | 2 Comments »