Drawing the Ire of Drivers

I was waiting for my coworker to come pick something up from me during the transportation conference we were attending when I overheard a conversation that drew my ire (yes, I know the title refers to the ire of drivers..but we’ll get to that). It was a bit ironic considering the fact that I was a) at a transportation conference (transportation includes all modes including that of biking) and b) I had just come from a seminar centered around active transportation with one of the presentations on the bike lanes in Ottawa. The woman in the conversation was complaining about cyclists and their disrespect for the rules of the road and drew upon the example of bikers going the other direction on a one way street near the university. Well, for one, the majority of one way streets around the university have bike lanes that go against the direction indicated for the one way (thus legally sanctioned). Funny thing was I had my bike helmet strapped to backpack and I knew that she and her conversation partner had seen it. Cyclists that do not obey the rules of the road, including those who bike on sidewalks when there are perfectly good smaller streets by that big street they’re biking beside, piss me off too; but often times, the ‘good’ and ‘bad’ cyclists are lumped together. You don’t see people lumping drivers together now do you? Being on a bike doesn’t give us certain privileges per se, but it should give us certain considerations to keep everyone safe. After all, if a car and biker were to crash, obviously the biker would fare much more worse than the driver of the car. As I was biking to the conference centre this morning, I had just been cut off by a truck and nearly flipped off my bike when I had hit a couple deep potholes…so all that was fresh on my mind when I heard this woman. Furthermore, just last week I had read an article about how bike lanes aren’t the safest places for bikes which is completely true. You try riding on a pothole ridden, gravel/debris covered lane..it sucks! So drivers, please kindly remember that bikers aren’t out on their bikes to piss you off but for many other reasons and that we are much more vulnerable on the road than you are. Thanks 🙂

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