I know you deserve all sorts of special considerations and lovely gifts and awards for using such an environmentally superior mode of transportation. And I know you’re constantly brutalized by motorists and the weather and dogs, too, probably. And I know this somehow means you are obligated to pay it forward by terrorizing something weaker and slower than you. And I know the likeliest candidate for that is the pedestrian.
But, come on guys! Motorists hate us almost as much as they hate you, but they rarely come up on the sidewalk to show their distain. Couldn’t you just sneer or something like they do?
Sidewalks are for walking, that’s why they’re called sidewalks and not side-cycle-free-for-all-places.
Like today, for instance: I was walking on a bridge that’s part of the riverside pathway. There are huge signs posted on either end of the bridge telling (not asking) cyclists they must disembark and walk their bikes across the narrow path. Why you even need a sign telling you that a pathway only wide enough for one isn’t a good place to ride your bike, I don’t know. Wouldn’t that just be common sense? Maybe that skinny bike seat up wedged up your muscular arse-cheeks compels you to be so boorish?
Anyway, today, I and several other pedestrians were forced to leap off this bridge path and onto the street, ya’ll. The STREET. Why? It was because of 2 idiot adult male cyclists leading a gaggle (12 or more) of adolescent boy cyclists at top speeds. No bells, no warning, no slowing down, no apologies.
I yelled rude things, but you didn’t hear me. You were busy having fun and feeling the wind in your helmetless hair.
I’d probably suck this up if it were a rare occurrence, but it’s not. Every freakin’ day, no matter when or where I’m walking, one or more of you comes this close to mowing me down as you silently bullet by me on the sidewalk. It’s a good thing I’m not plugged into an iPod or anything, so I at least have that split second’s fighting chance to jig to safety.
And then there are the times when you run red lights while I’m trying to cross a street. I think, “Oh, how nice, the cyclist is on the street where he belongs.” And then you brashly ignore traffic, traffic lights, stop signs, rights-of-way, motorists, pedestrians and all those pesky laws that apply to the rest of us on the road — like you have some special Papal (or Al Goral) dispensation that exempts you from anything that slows your environmentally-friendly ass down. I’m not surprised motorists are doing their best to cull your numbers.
Now I know that not all cyclists are like this. I know there are many that cycle where, and how they’re legally obligated and I know you’re as frustrated as the rest of us with the Velotards. And I hope some of these issues get addressed on July 9th, when Ottawa City Council and the public discuss the Ottawa Cycling Plan.