By Ryan McGreal
Published August 06, 2008
Regurgitating the same old tired, discredited ad hominem and straw man attacks yet again, they do their part to bully cyclists off the road and, more important, out of the Real Road Warriors' way.
Bicycle commuters ... are people who selfishly avoid the obligations mandated for all other vehicles; for example, licensing, driver training, accident insurance, seatbelt requirements and minimum age restrictions are not mandatory for cyclists.
As always, the only response is to refer the angry Real Road Warrior patiently to the Highway Traffic Act, which specifies the requirements for a street-legal bicycle:
These, by law, are the "obligations mandated" for cyclists.
Never mind subtlety or nuance: the Real Road Warrior boldly makes sweeping claims about all cyclists, to wit: all cyclists disobey the law.
Let us not discuss obeying vehicle traffic laws.
If we're not going to discuss it, why bring it up?
There is not a cyclist alive who could maintain a valid driver's licence if the rules of the road were enforced.
Ah, it looks like we're going to discuss it after all.
It's a funny thing, but just this past Monday, I was sitting outside the convenience store at Upper Paradise and Scenic during a hike with my children (hikes in my family frequently involve popsicles).
For a ten minute period, I decided to observe the cars that passed through the T-intersection (three-way stop signs) to see how many came to a complete stop. I've done this before, and it never ceases to impress.
Here are the results:
|Action||Number||% of Total|
(Monday, August 4, 2008 from 3:33 PM to 3:54 PM.)
Here are couple of additional observations:
Obviously I can't generalize to an entire population of drivers from this one small sample set, but I will note that every time I stop to conduct this experiment, the results are invariably very similar.
Last year, Sean Burak posted an instructive YouTube clip in an RTH comment on automobiles running the stop sign at King and Kenilworth:
But back to the Absolute Truths of the Real Road Warrior's letter. He concludes:
Cyclists are not anything more than recreational vehicle operators. They should be placed in the same category as snowmobilers and golf cart devotees.
Again, he boldly asserts the omniscience to ascertain the purpose and destination of any cyclist he sees on the road. Never mind the actual statistical evidence, which is that driving is down, while transit use and cycling are up.
I commute by bicycle, so I tend to notice other cyclists on the road even when I'm not riding. I've certainly noticed what looks like an increase in commuting cyclists this year, though my observations are strictly anecdotal.
Yesterday morning, for example, I saw an approximately 50-year-old businessman in a suit getting off a brand-new mountain bike in front of the CIBC office and pulling the quick release on his front tire.
I'm pretty sure he was not there in a recreational capacity.
Finally, the Real Road Warrior gets to the heart of the matter:
These so-called road warriors have no place on roadways.
That's his complaint in a nutshell: the real crime of these cyclists is that they dare to ride on the same road as the Real Road Warrior, getting in his way and slowing him down.
For all his outrage and opprobrium, the underlying issue is that he just doesn't want to share.