The grandmother-aged woman pointed her middle finger at the cyclist: “Go to the bike path!” »
Posted at 6:54 p.m.
David Desjardins has been driving between 300 and 450 kilometers per week in the Quebec region for years.
And there, once again, he experienced an altercation with a person driving a tank. This time: a woman old enough to be a grandmother.
Polite response from the columnist of News : “I have the right to be on the road, ma’am. »
And it’s strictly true: cyclists have the right to be on (almost) all roads. Even though there is a bike path ten minutes from where they are.
The lady’s response: “Damned shit-eater! »
For David, the problems of riding together in the Quebec region were traditionally a rural affair. He was being brushed by madmen on country roads. Now, in the countryside, things are better, he says.
But lately, getting brushed in the city and in the suburbs is now twice a week. Once a week I get yelled at. And every two weeks, I come across a madman…
David Desjardins, columnist for News
Someone who decides to play police, he said. Example: “I arrive at a stop sign, there is no one, absolutely no one, I slow down and continue on my way. A guy in a pick-up chased me, he tried to knock me down three, four times…”
The guy, “completely crazy”, harangued David, window down:
“Follow the rules!”
— Hey, you’re half encroaching on the other lane! »
While yelling at him, the pick-up driver did not see that he was deviating from his lane, cutting into the left lane…
Before going any further, a word about mandatory stops. Last week, I told you my displeasure at seeing cyclists rushing into intersections in defiance of a stop sign, slaloming between pedestrians and cars which have priority.
At the corner of my street, the vast majority of cyclists rush into the intersection without even pretending to slow down.
There are places in the world where the “Idaho stop” is allowed for cyclists: you slow down and continue if the way is clear. Simple matter of physics and logic. A complete stop requires a significant expenditure of energy to get back on the bike.
If every cyclist stops at every stop sign by putting their foot on the ground, they might as well drop the bike and take the tank.
Yes, I hear here the motorist who scrupulously respects each article of the Highway Safety Code screaming…
I tell him: if I slow down at a stop sign and I get a ticket, I will pay it.
But the bicycle entering an intersection is always less dangerous than the tank – or the SUV – entering an intersection.
One, the perception of my environment when I arrive at an intersection is considerably better on a bicycle than when I arrive at the same intersection in my vehicle.
Two, the damn A-pillar that supports the left part of the windshield1 of my SUV creates a super-dangerous blind spot2 for others…
In short, at intersections as elsewhere, recklessness with a pedal is always less dangerous than recklessness with a motor.
David knew I was going to write about “damned bikes”3 and he contacted me to tell me about his experience riding a bike among cars. A motorist and cyclist, he has seen relationships change. Often for the better, like in the countryside. Sometimes for the worse, like in the suburbs and in the city, in recent years.
In recent years, David has noticed changes in the air. An aggressiveness in the tone of those who address him.
“What do you think happened?”
— It’s a minority, I want to say that. But this minority is furious. I’ve never seen that before, people running after you to play police while yelling at you…”
David Desjardins has a theory. And he developed it even before the pandemic: “I have the feeling that the lack of civility on social networks has spilled over into reality. Being in a car is a bit like being behind a screen. You are protected. On a bike, if you try to hit me with your tank, I can’t catch up with you and crash into you. Like I can’t find you if you insult me with your keyboard. The social climate has deteriorated everywhere. Everyone who is in customer service says it: customers have never been so unpleasant…”
And, he agrees, riding a tank is less and less easy, more and more irritating. There are works, there are traffic jams. There are too many… tanks.
“You, the cyclist, are THE thing they can let off steam on. You’re a perfect target, who can’t defend himself. »
I agree with David’s theory.
Adding this: the road is a metaphor for society, where everyone must share space, whether real or metaphorical.
Sharing space, real or metaphorical, is always a little unpleasant… at first.
And we are still at the beginning of the era where tanks, in this country, no longer have a virtual monopoly on the road.
#cursed #tanks #Press