Thursday, October 25, 2007

And I Thought my Bike Commute was Bad

Every time I travel on somewhere my bike I experience the heart-pounding feeling of impending death, and plenty of frustration. It seems Torontonians, especially the uptownians, have not yet realized their beloved car culture is dying. My bike commute usually consists of at least a handful of the following: people honking randomly at me as if to say "what are you doing on MY ROAD?", the delivery vehicles in the bike lanes, the cars stopped in the no-stopping-zones, the drivers too lazy to signal their lane change, the three or four cars that go through every red light, and the bike lanes with a 4 lanes of traffic and a raised streetcar right-of-way in the middle (St. Clair & Poplar Plains). Or I get caught in traffic because some impatient yahoo in a huge car wondering what's the blockage ahead (not considering that the blockage is more huge CARS) has to pull all the way over to the right to have a look, leaving not enough inches for wee little me and my wee little bike to get through.

But, I must say, my commute has NOTHING on this guy's.


rich1107 said...

I live in NJ, about an hour from NYC and rarely visit since the whole time you are there it is white knuckle a car! If your commute is anything like his I hope you both give it up or both of you will need to be checked for a death wish;)

Stay safe:)

Scott Neigh said...

I've always felt very conflicted about cycling as a means of everyday transport in the city. On the one hand, I totally support it politically, and the more people who adopt it the better. On the other hand, I grew up in a small town, and even after doing it for a few years when I lived in Hamilton and even though I am a committed convert to most aspects of urban living, I was still quite uneasy about cycling in the city for safety reasons. I got rid of the bike before a big move, and though it has been a long time I still haven't replaced it...mind you, I don't have a commute, and often when I'm going some place cycleable it is with a 4 year-old, and I'm even less comfortable about pulling him in a trailer or something.

Anyway. I should get a bike regardless, and get back into the habit of doing it.

Matt Bors said...

I live in Portland and its a great city for cycling, but cyclists still die all the time.

I saw a video about Portland's bike scene today on the New York Times home page