I can neither drive nor safely and independently bike from A to B, so for the longest time the cycling debate that shows up every so often here in Ottawa hasn’t caught my attention for the simple fact of it can’t and didn’t involve me. A couple folks on bikes wanted to change that yesterday, it would appear.
So I’m waiting for a bus to go get a couple things done before May took off out of the country last night, and a couple folks on bikes decided the road was much too busy for their tastes. So up on the sidewalk they went. The first one was at least moderately inteligent enough to put that stupid bell some of them have to some halfway decent use, so I was able to get across the sidewalk and out of his way. And yet, he still came within a couple inches of taking me out. The second was a while later, and I think at a different bus stop, but I can’t entirely be sure–after spending the majority of the day running around like a headless chicken, the minor details tend to sort of run together like a bad paint job. He didn’t give any actual warning, but I still managed to pick up on his arival and subsequently managed to just miss the thing’s handlebars coming from the opposite direction. Meanwhile there was maybe one or two cars on the road at the time, and they weren’t in much of a hurry to get anywhere–and were doing it on the opposite side of the road to boot.
So both these fools decided to sidewalk it because they could, and nearly got themselves clotheslined because they could. Because I’m the curious sort, on the way back we ended up being passed by a third cyclist. This one I at least knew he was coming before I had to duck and cover, but also interesting was this one actually stayed his ass on the road. It was in the same general area as one of the other bikes from the trip earlier, so that ruled out my admittedly not well tested theory that the road wasn’t suitable there for biking. Which left the only other option being the two that played chicken with me figured cycling laws were for chumps. No, my environmentally active friend, cycling laws are for cyclists. And bikes are for roads. Try and remember that the next time some guy standing at a bus stop considers clotheslining you for trying to make the pedestrian life much more interesting than it really needs to be. That is, after all, what we have OC Transpo for. Of course I suppose next time I could just clothesline me a sidewalk chicken. That might prove slightly more educational.