Telling our story (part 2)

Motorists who harass cyclists, by honking, yelling at us, or buzzing us have no excuse. They don't even have the lousy excuse that we hold them up, because we don't. Motorists who harass cyclists do it because they can. They have a steel cage to protect them from the consequences of their behaviour, and an engine to run away. Other people suffer the consequences; often the most vulnerable of road users. To see an example of this, take a look at the accompanying video.

Let me put this plainly. If motorists, editorial writers, and others want to condemn cyclists who break the rules, they have a reciprocal obligation to come down on motorists to harass law-abiding cyclists. That means you, Globe writers who wrote that cyclists should "know our place". It means you, Star editors who devoted three stories to a cyclist who hit an elderly pedestrian in a fatal accident. It means you don't condone motorists who harass cyclist trying to follow the laws and cycle safely. It means you don't stay silent, either in person when they brag about how clever honking and yelling something unintelligible from inside a two-tonne steel cage makes them. It means you don't stay silent in print when you have an opportunity to promote safer roads.

Comments

If you drive a pick-up truck or service van - you might be an asshole.

I take the filter and jump in near the front option at mis-aligned intersections and intersections where the lane significantly narrows. I only do so at a few intersections where I would be standing still behind more than a few cars after the light has been green for 5 seconds+. Perhaps you can understand why that is necessary.

You won't catch me apologizing either - despite this guilt you want to hang on me. You won't catch me being hit just to say I was right. Write the ticket, i can pay it.

At certain intersections. This option really is the only way to avoid constant life-threatening passes on the other side. It has nothing todo with me trying to get ahead of motorists.

Yet..

What is sad is some people will still retaliate by running you into the curb with their car.

Can't win.

If a motorist gives you shit for running a red light. Ask them how fast they drive on the 403.

Unless there are flashing lights and sirens on top of the other motorist you *really *should just ignore them.

However, I don't run reds, rarely find a reason for that.

I was going to a 24hr Shoppers Drug Mart in East York, It was late/dark but I was wearing my flashing lights and riding safely. It wasn't busy either so when it came time to pull into the parking lot looked behind me noticing almost no traffic so I extended my left arm to make a left hand turn signal. I waited for the oncoming traffic to pass and before I could make my turn some ass clipped me with his driver side mirror leaving me with a sprained left ankle and a bruised right calf. I limp to the side of the road and yell at what must of been a 65+ year old Greek/Italian man who spoke broken English. He asked"are you okay" I wasn't and I said we needed to call the police to report the accident. He said he would be right back, I assumed he was going to get his cell phone, he picked up his mirror which had broken of on my body, got in his car and drove off as I cursed at the top of my lungs.
I will brake any/ever law in order to make sure that I am safe. Until the law and the City starts to make this a safe place for us I will do what I have to and so should you. Of course I always look out for everyone's safety when I ride, not just my own (ie. Pedestrians). Ridding safe and smart dosen't always mean obeying the Law

If that man wasn't before - He is now a disgusting low-life person to have left you there.

However, don't feel too justified about it all... breaking whichever laws in some act of revenge will just get you into further trouble and make your even more angry.

John, I love your velo-verité vids.

If I could make two suggestions: a) please indicate the stretch of roadway traversed (perhaps in the credits); and b) would you reconsider including music in the final edit? The music makes for more pleasant viewing but in masking ambient sounds diminishes the reality of the experience.

Expanding on your narration, one doesn't have to be blatantly imperilled by motorists' disregard before resorting to extra legal cycling. Different folks have different thresholds of tolerance and for some the experience only need be sufficiently unpleasant, as opposed to unsafe, to dictate a change in behaviour.

Accordingly, everything from noise levels, the intensity of traffic, potholed streets, thoughtless drivers a la your video or something as subjective as 'comfort level' is enough to drive(!) cyclists onto sidewalks or away from lawful practices.

The roadway need not be too dangerous for some sidewalk or prospective cyclists, it merely need be too disagreeable.

This is how motorists treat each other as well as pedestrians and cyclists.
Heads up riding will keep you alive.

If you're on the road, ride like you belong there, not like you're asking permission.
Do not ever expect ANY consideration because your on a bike, as that is a classic potentially fatal error.