Wednesday, August 06, 2008

From such roots

...does cyclist militancy grow.

Yesterday, riding down High Park Boulevard, I stopped at the four-way stop at Sunnyside Avenue. I stopped, the vehicle to my left went through the intersection, then I started across in turn. The vehicle on my left, second in line, pulled into the intersection. At first I thought he intended to turn left, but he made straight for me. I rang my bell, and he slowed, shouting something that sounded like "you're not a motorcycle". I replied sharply telling him to pay attention. He passed through the intersection behind me, yelling an obscenity at me, to which I replied by giving him the one-fingered international salute.

Every cyclist who uses public roads has to worry about encounters like this, and we can only hope we get out of it with nothing more than a minor feeling of irritation. Most of us have experienced much worse things than this. The whole experience left me feeling three things:

  1. Cyclists have a right to use the road. If motorists don't feel like waiting for us, as the law requires, tough. I don't always feel like sharing the road with cars.
  2. No motorist has any business taking the behaviour of some other cyclist out on me. I try to keep the rules as a cyclist and a driver. I expect others to do the same.
  3. I have no patience left with anyone who tells me I can solve the problem by giving up my right to mobility, or by driving and adding to the pollution problem like a "normal" person.

No comments: