Comment 32126

By mikeonthemountain (registered) | Posted June 26, 2009 at 12:24:22

It took me a couple days to get back here and comment but likewise as a full time commuter cyclist and simply as a fellow human I am saddened to hear any such incident occurred.

In the united states this type of story is an almost daily occurrence. The police are increasingly beating and killing whomever they wish. In most areas of Canada we still enjoy a much higher social safety standard by comparison, even if imperfect. Myself, I have found every conversation with a Hamilton police officer professional, sensible, and down to earth. My sincerest wishes are that this be the case for everyone. Law enforcement necessarily needs to be held to a very high standard due to their police powers.

It seems like the incident started with road rage. That it was a police officer is secondary - it allowed a physical response that any other road raging driver would never dare as they would be arrested.

But at the core it is road rage plain and simple. I can see it getting worse before it gets better. The cycling plan is a timid little bit of lip service only and forget about ever turning into Portland or Montreal.

So as people continue to lose their minds ... most important in my opinion is do not respond to road rage. It escalates the situation.

Some neanderthal tries to kill you then yells at you and flips you the bird because you selfishly dare to occupy 20cm of asphalt so you can bike to work ... it is going to happen occasionally. I know it sucks ... I have experienced it ... it is difficult to diffuse your anger without reacting.

But they just want you to be as upset and miserable as they are. They'll SHOW YOU!! In my experience so far, not responding AT ALL works the best. Don't even skip a beat with your pedaling. They won't run you over, they don't want their insurance to go up. They can do nothing but change lanes, flip you the bird, then go home and have the stroke or heart attack that they are setting themselves up for with all their anger.

Try to see the good people. Wave thank you when someone lets you in. Wave hello to a kind person. They are WAY MORE of them. These are your neighbors who at minimum do care about something, can behave themselves, and have basic emotional intelligence.

Cheers and stay safe and relaxed!

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