Road rage/cyclist rage

Ok. You’ve just got to let me vent here.

But first I have to start off by saying that between two drivers in my family, we put on only about 5000km annually on our car. I cycle almost everywhere across Toronto. In fact I rarely take the TTC because I cycle so much. I even have a ‘Share the Road’ bumper sticker on my car. I’ve got the credentials to write this column.

So when I get mad at cyclists, I’m serious about it.

I’m not into ‘blaming the victim’. You know, it’s when the cops get upset about the road carnage of cyclists and so they clamp down on cyclists rather than work with drivers and bicycle friendly infrastructure to makes streets safer for everyone.

No, that’s not what this is about.

But these are times when cycling is under attack by the right wing on City Council. And, I think, it behooves us cyclists to behave responsibly. I jay walk all the time. I walk through red lights when there is no traffic and it’s not a major intersection. I don’t stop at stop signs on my bike and I cycle the wrong way on one-way streets–all provided it’s safe.

But I resent cyclists on the side walks weaving between pedestrians and scaring them or running them off the sidewalks. I am tired of getting the finger from cyclists when I exercise my right of way either as a driver or a pedestrian at a light or a stop sign.

When I cycle through a stop sign, I know I am in the wrong should anything untoward happen. I only do so if it will not inconvenience a pedestrian or a driver. If I am breaking the rules (which I do gladly) I only do so when some one else doesn’t have to pay for my decision.

So, by what god-given (because that is the religious fervor of some cyclists) right does a cyclist give me the finger when I enter an intersection in my car following traffic rules? Why do I get yelled at by a woman on her cycle when I proceed down a street when she is coming the wrong way up a one-way street on the other side to what she is supposed to be on (and, I might add, not wearing a helmet or with a light at night)?

And just today I was the recipient of road rage from an idiot on a bike who took offence at something I apparently did wrong (I have no idea what it was) and caught up with me at the next light, leaned on my car and proceeded to shower me with verbal abuse. It was all I could do to not get out of my car and start a brawl with him.

I know drivers do this as well. And it is only a percentage of cyclists who behave this way. But it appears to be a growing percentage and it is all the more distressing when I feel like I am doing my best to accommodate my fellow cyclists.

If you are on a cycle and that pissed off at the world, go home and leave the rest of us in peace. I enjoy cycling. I hate arguing.


4 Comments to “Road rage/cyclist rage”

  1. I hate bikers the most when I’m biking. They box you in, and don’t think. Especially along Harbord.

    • I know you’re a biker so I won’t take that the wrong way. Obviously many bikers are either rude or incompetent. But there is great social value to biking so I always try to be patient and accepting. I just wish they didn’t make it so hard so often.
      What are your comments on riding a fixie, my friend?

  2. Just recently got in a big argument with 3 bicyclists about this. i merely pointed out that there are some road-raging bicyclist who not only yell at me in the car when i’m doing everything correctly (and i wasn’t even angry at them) but also entitled to bang on my car’s hood and windows while yelling. My bicyclist friends seemed to have a really hard time even accepting that some percentages of people (pedestrian, bicyclists, drivers) are always going to be inconsiderate, stupid, or lacking anger management skills.

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