Car V Bike

I’ve been on the sidelines of Critical Mass for far too long. Time for that to end.

For the umpteen-millionth time, I was (either intentionally or not) bullied today by two cars on Commercial Drive. Riding in the right hand lane, ever watchful behind and in front of me, carefully judging whether the doors of parked cars along the side of the road are going to suddenly swing open, headed northward to 1st Avenue, a sudden white WHOOSH or ROAR came up on my left side, within inches of striking me. I shouted “Hey”, and proceeded to accelerate and follow the car to the intersection where it had stopped, behind a second white vehicle full of males who were laughing at me. I circled in front of my assailant’s car and said quite simply “share the road, man!”. I went right up to his driver’s window to get a look at him. He drunkenly slurred something about me being “all over the road”, and told me to “learn how to drive that thing”. I told him to learn how to drive his beat up car and went off. As the light turned to green, he sped off and then started yelling obscenities at me, not watching where he was driving.

I hope he doesn’t kill someone. I’m sorry I didn’t manage to photograph him or his license plate.

To the point, as this is becoming a weekly (or more) occurence for me as a well-mannered cyclist on Vancouver’s streets (I always stop at red/yellow lights, cruise at a walking pace in the rare instances I need to use spaces where pedestrians are, always ring my bell when coming up behind another cyclist or pedestrian etc), I’m completely done with car drivers that behave in illegal, reckless, and bullying ways. I think Critical Manners is a complete cop-out, and is created by people who don’t have the faintest idea what social change entails.

I’ll be joining you at Critical Mass, this time and next, and ever thereafter, until the bullying and harassment (on the streets and in the dying mainstream newspapers) stops.

And as I tweeted earlier today, if you bully me with your car or bus, I will photograph you and post it on the Internets as soon as I can find wireless nearby to do the uploading. With peak oil, climate change, the electric car, and the progressive advances in public transit and bike infrastructure in Vancouver in the last year, the message is clear: aggressive urban drivers, IT’S OVER. And every last one of you miscreants that want to try and intimidate and bully pedestrians, cyclists, sk8ers and seniors on scooters off the road, look out, for you are going to be outed and shamed.

That is all. See you at the VAG.