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Nice jacket Mr. Cherry

Don Cherry, the bulldog speaks; it must be true! Like Rob Ford, he speaks forcefully and with great certainty, so he must surely be imparting wise truths on us. Funny thing about the truth, is that someone in a flashy jacket with a few well-placed strong words, can appeal massively to the masses, even while saying nothing.

So what is a pinko anyway? Does anybody born after 1960 even relate to that? Interestingly, a lot of the “pinkos out there that ride bicycles and everything,” work in the downtown core, which is rife with such capitalist industries as finance and banking, which doesn’t immediately sound like a band of internationale-singing commies, does it? But, you saw it and heard it folks; Don Cherry wore pink – it must be so!

That’s alright though, Mr. Cherry probably didn’t think through his pinko comment. It just makes a good sound byte. Besides, being an old-timer, he isn’t as invested as some of us are in keeping our air clean. What does he care if we are all wearing masks outside as they do in China, ten or twenty years from now?

Interestingly this week, while Rob Ford and the Pink Panther were playing games at Toronto’s city hall, Mississauga’s Hazel MacCallion was shrewdly trying to move in on funding ear-marked for our city. If there ever was a mayor running her city hall lean on gravy, it’s mayor Hazel and now that our new mayor has opted to scrap Toronto’s LRT, Hazel is trying to convince the Provincial Government that her own city’s transit plans are shovel-ready, while ours are stamped with the anti-gravy-train-seal of Rob Ford’s boot print. Have we noticed yet that Rob Ford’s subway costs three times as much as the previously approved LRT, or do we still believe that because Ford speaks forcefully, he must be right?

Personally, while I may be disappointed with a porky-pig look alike sitting at city hall, I’m not really so worried about our city in the long run. Sure Mr. Ford may feel that he has both named and ended the so-called “war on cars.” But, here’s the thing. If the cycling citizens have failed to unite and promote a single, feasible message to convince the rest of the city that safe cycling leads to healthier cities and healthier citizens, I remain convinced that rising rates of respiratory disease, and the very finite space we have for cars will eventually wage a very different war on cars. And this one won’t be waged by pinkos. The front lines for this war will be in the lungs of children and the elderly. (Hopefully by that time, more of the city’s cyclists will have learned how to obey traffic signals and I won’t have to take the flak for some idiot who cut in front of a right turning car at the last minute, only to give the driver a near heart attack. But I digress.)

It isn’t that I feel that Rob Ford in city hall is the end of all that is good and wonderful in the city of Toronto. It is that I used to have higher esteem for the citizens of Toronto. I used to think we were forward-looking people who would prefer to meet challenges before they explode in our faces. I used to think we preferred working together to pinko-name-calling. I used to think we preferred to listen to scientists, (or my word, city planners!) and examine facts over passively believing the loud message of an entertainer.

Don’t get me wrong, Don Cherry and his pink jacket look great on hockey night in Canada. But what kind of expertise does he bring to a ceremony at city hall? Why does anyone especially care what he has to say about how to run a city? If the best he can do during his address is call people who ride bikes, pinkos, maybe he is wasting our time. He gets the microphone plenty during hockey games. Let’s keep him, his snappy jacket and bulldog mouth to verbally abusing NHL players and Ron MacLean, in between periods.

But one more thing, while we are talking about the jacket, Mr. Cherry, where did you find that stunning thing? My hope is to get one by springtime, when it will go just great with a pair of hot pink pedal pushers.

Posted: December 8th, 2010
Filed under: Uncategorized | 10 Comments »

10 Comments on “Nice jacket Mr. Cherry”

  1. 1 Dave Krentz said at 9:40 am on December 8th, 2010:

    I’m sure the jacket is a leftover from his brief and regrettable career as a geisha.

  2. 2 Cat B said at 6:34 pm on December 10th, 2010:

    I thought it was that he was one of the original Von Trapp kids and he was used to making jackets from the drapes… ;-)

  3. 3 Dave Krentz said at 7:18 pm on December 10th, 2010:

    Growing up in a home with such drapes would, er … colour your outlook on life!

  4. 4 michael holloway said at 9:25 pm on December 11th, 2010:

    Nice post. I especially liked the Dunning–Kruger Effect thing.


    “(Hopefully by that time, more of the city’s cyclists will have learned how to obey traffic signals and I won’t have to take the flak for some idiot who cut in front of a right turning car at the last minute, only to give the driver a near heart attack. But I digress.)”

    You likely didn’t notice that you cut the cyclist off as you approached the corner (due to the relative speed deferential between the bicycle and the car that creates different universal constants for the two individuals) and he was, in return trying to give you a heart attack so you’d remember the next time.

    Yeah, that was me. ;]

  5. 5 Cat B said at 12:42 am on December 12th, 2010:

    Actually I was not a driver in that particular incident. I was another cyclist, shaking my head at a young lady, who darted on the right side of a car that had it’s right blinker on and was poised and committed to and partially engaged in a right turn. She just darted past the car like it didn’t matter that the driver was already half-way turned and still moving. It really made me ashamed to be a cyclist.
    And that’s all I hear from my driver-friends: “I hate cyclists because they are so reckless!” :-(
    Much as Rob Ford’s nonsense is very low-brow and Tea-party-esque, we have more work to do on the public image of cyclists in this city too… and much more to do to make sure our fellow two-wheeler-friends are doing their part to be courteous and share the road nicely…

  6. 6 michael holloway said at 11:32 am on December 12th, 2010:

    @Cat B
    Thanks for the clarification.

    I digressed. In trying to appear smarter than I actually am, I failed to address some of the good ideas you raise. That was stupid.

    Good points. I agree, it is important to have the ears of thoughtful people right now; a united, effective message coming out of the cycling community is needed.

    Towards a better understanding here’s something I been thinking about recently:

    Unfortunately for cycling infrastructure planning there are two Torontos, as far as the transportation grid goes.

    The “Graph Paper” grid: 427 below Burnhanthorpe across Eglington to Brimley) – and the “Squiggly Grid” – which is everything else.

    (See a quick map I made and wrote more on this —> City of Toronto Transportation Grid: “Graph Paper” layout vs “Squiggly Grid”.)

    In the core of the city the road grid is not unlike a page of graph paper; as such it’s easy to find off-arterial streets that work as direct, convenient, safe Bikeways.

    Then there’s the newer developments that are characterized by a grid of wide highway type roads about 2 kilometres apart lined with separated neighbourhoods – whose roads are full of curly-cues and circles and culdesacs – and that exit onto the arterial roads only at a few places. Here Bikeways need to be different. Ofgf the top of my head I would purpose two-way separated bike-only roads *beside* the sidewalk and separated from arterial traffic by a physical barrier. People who live in these areas might have different solutions…


  7. 7 michael holloway said at 1:22 pm on December 13th, 2010:

    Cat B,
    Could you please check your spam filter, I left a response here yesterday (the impetus for my ‘graph paper, squiggly grid’ post). It had a link in it, which may have resulted in it getting misdirected by the spam filter.


  8. 8 Cat B said at 1:34 pm on December 13th, 2010:

    Thanks for letting me know about your post. It was in the spam filter. I’ve managed to un-spam it now and I edited it just so the link you included was embedded and live. I will check out your link. I agree with your characterization – I like those bike-highway type lanes on Eglinton West. Just needs more signs to keep the pedestrians on the sidewalks and off the bike lanes (especially when they are wearing iPods…) :-)

  9. 9 michael holloway said at 2:40 pm on December 13th, 2010:

    Thanks Cat,

    BikingToronto is so popular it attracts lots of spammers – if there’s a link in a post it can get filtered by mistake.

    I haven’t been up to Eglinton in about 7 years! Good to hear they’ve put in lanes. The best idea I think I’ve seen is; parking beside the traffic lane, then the Bikeway next to the sidewalk.

    I know! Those pedestrians can come out of no-where! But I’d rather have to look out for ipods than be squeezed between side-swipers and door prizers.

  10. 10 @Blog_FreeWheel » Blog Archive » “Graph Paper” vs the “Squiggly Grid” – A popular post here, worth revisiting… said at 8:17 pm on February 27th, 2012:

    [...] at Cat B’s VeloT.O. Blog, Cat put up an interesting article, “Nice jacket Mr. Cherry“, about the ranting Mayor and a hockey [...]

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