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  1. #1
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    Respect for Cyclists

    Ottawa Police Shut Down Driver For Mocking Winter Cyclist
    Spoiler: Cyclists have a right to the road, too.


    Drivers can sometimes forget they don't only have to share the road with other four-wheeled motorists, but that they also need to make room for their two-wheeled brethren.

    After a Toronto public figure took to Twitter to deride a winter cyclist for — gasp — daring to commute using a different mode of transportation than her, police sent out a gentle reminder on social media that cyclists have a right to the road too.

    On Friday, Alex Pierson, a current affairs radio host, tweeted a photo of a winter cyclist, while behind the wheel of her vehicle at an intersection.

    "U have to be a real knob to ride a bike on a day like this," she wrote.

    Respect for Cyclists-drqmxkyv4aenrod.jpg



    But Ottawa police were having none of that attitude.

    They clapped back right away, reminding Pierson that not only do cyclists have a right to the road as well, but that, "for many, it's their only mode of transportation."

    Drivers are supposed to treat cyclists like any other vehicle on the road, according to the Ottawa Police Service website, and should give them extra space when road conditions are slippery.

    As for cyclists, they "may occupy any part of a lane when [their] safety warrants it. Never compromise safety just for the convenience of others," the website states.

    When Pierson tried to argue that there's not enough room on the road for both cyclists and drivers, police gently reminded her that there is, if she waits for an opportunity to go around.

    Other Twitter users pointed out that Pierson probably shouldn't be so quick to throw stones from a glass house, as it's against Ontario's Highway Traffic Act to use a hand-held device while driving, even while stopped at a traffic light.


    Sauce: Ottawa Police Shut Down Driver For Mocking Winter Cyclist
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  2. #2
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    What a douche. Looks like she got her @$$ handed to her on Twitter over it. Put the phone down and watch the road.

  3. #3
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    Pierson is a venomous tool.

  4. #4
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    It may not be the most popular view, but one should really consider when or where on rides in winter conditions. With the snow piled up on the side of the road and the bit that is always right below it, the right hand lane is quite small at times. Even with a mountain bike, traction is at best poor. Regular snow does not cling and fill in tires like the slushy sand/salt combo. I have twice now seen people in rush hour traffic fishtailing and basically taking a complete lane. I was honestly terrified for the guys. It is just not safe for the rider and for vehicles. Specially when both these people where on skinnier tires on commuter bikes. In both instances having those bikes on the road simply caused a dangerous situation.
    Commuting in downtown Toronto is one thing, but doing it in the suburbs and industrial areas with tons of trucks and in winter conditions is nuts as infrastructure is now.
    I personally use sidewalks a lot in certain areas, but they are not always cleaned. Seeing cyclists on Eglinton and Derry Road which are now six and seven lanes wide and basically highways with tons of traffic and crossing highway onramps and offramps and having to merge in and out of traffic is horribly disrupting.
    My point is not that bikes don't belong out there, but that more needs to be done with paths and provisions made on sidewalks or some such thing. Maybe some kind of corridors where bikes are expected. It's a difficult subject at least around larger cities like Mississauga, Brampton, even Etobicoke. Traffic is brutally busy and presumably cyclists, like everyone else want to be using the road in the morning and afternoon. I drive quite a bit for work, and a single bike on a busy street, is forcing every single person to have to switch lanes if the lane has been plowed. There simply is not enough room to pass safely within the lane. I regularly visit in the west end of Toronto from Mississauga, and the most direct route would be Dundas, or Bloor, but I don't go that way. I take back roads to the waterfront and use the waterfront trail. It adds about 20 minutes to my ride, but it is almost free of cars. Maybe the choice of roads is also to be considered.
    Burnt Norton

  5. #5
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    There is steady progress in Toronto to increase bike lanes. When I used to commute by bike from mid town to downtown in the 90's and early 2000's I can't recall one bike lane on my various routes. (It was truly a harrowing experience) Dedicated bike lanes are safer. CoT is is also trying to keep those bike lanes plowed in winter. The numbers of riders has visibly increased and correlates with adding bike lanes. Build it and they will ride it.

    Respect for Cyclists-25594354_2034908726753568_7419638333229300811_n.jpg

    My husband commutes to work here in the 'burbs. One of the few bike lanes in town is hidden in the industrial part of town. A major link (Hwy 50) across the train tracks is accessible via a sidewalk is poorly plowed. (It's inaccessible to pedestrians, power mobility) It makes for a very gnarly ride. And yes we have brought this issue to the attention of the town.

    Respect for Cyclists-26113961_1367989173330087_1309158027019389650_n.jpg
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  6. #6
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    Everyone I know who rides in icy weather has fallen off. Had a few near-falls myself so I agree with her. You need to be an idiot to cycle in that.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Pig View Post
    Everyone I know who rides in icy weather has fallen off. Had a few near-falls myself so I agree with her. You need to be an idiot to cycle in that.
    Idiot or not, they have a right to be there. That's the point.
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    Stop asking how much it weighs and just go ride it.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by *OneSpeed* View Post
    Idiot or not, they have a right to be there.
    Sure, but having the right to do something does not make it sensible? The woman did not say the cyclist had no right to be there, she said he was a knob for riding a bike in slush. I agree with her.

    It was the cops who decided to interpret her comment as meaning he had no right to be there.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Pig View Post
    Sure, but having the right to do something does not make it sensible? The woman did not say the cyclist had no right to be there, she said he was a knob for riding a bike in slush. I agree with her.

    It was the cops who decided to interpret her comment as meaning he had no right to be there.
    The title of the thread is "respect for cyclists". Is being called a knob or an idiot what you consider respectful?

    It sends the wrong message.
    Rigid SS 29er
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    Fat Lefty
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    Stop asking how much it weighs and just go ride it.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by *OneSpeed* View Post
    It sends the wrong message.
    Cycling in slush doesn't?

    When I see guys cycling on icy roads what can I say, my first thought is 'what a knob!'.

    Being a cyclist isn't a ticket to unqualified respect. If it's ok to call out car drivers for being dumb I don't see why cyclists should be exempt. Cyclists can be stupid too.

  11. #11
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    Definite improvements in Toronto for sure. Though those are somewhat mitigated by some serious volume of cars and due to the success of certain corridors, also bikes. If things keep going the way the are on some routes, we are going to have bike gridlock. I spent a couple of weeks in Montreal, and they are approaching that on some bike lanes, which are nicely separated.
    I don't think anyone here believes that bikes don't belong or have a right to the roads, but some common sense has to be used. Riding your bike in slush in a small lane and basically causing mayhem, is a pretty clueless move, or self-entitled or something of that sort.
    Just to play devil's advocate, if you allowed bikes on the 401 and it was your right, would you do it? Remember it is perfectly legal. I think some of the riding in winter that I've seen so far approaches that scenario in so far as safety goes to the rider and motorists.
    Burnt Norton

  12. #12
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    Shutdown and clapped back....... :/

  13. #13
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    I see cars crash all the time in the winter, you have to be and idiot to drive if you can't do it properly. Plus using a handheld device, so stupid and illegal.

  14. #14
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    I see a greater lack of common sense with car drivers. Running red lights, speeding, improper lane changes, road rage, distracted driving, very poor driving skills, tailgating, intimidation, failing to yield, lack of concern/repect for other user and so on...

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by singlesprocket View Post
    I see cars crash all the time in the winter, you have to be and idiot to drive if you can't do it properly. Plus using a handheld device, so stupid and illegal.
    And driving while plucking a chicken. Or folding bed-sheets. Some people are just idiots.

  16. #16
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    Bikes on the 401 is a false analogy, because bikes will never be allowed on the 401. You might as well compare riding bikes on airport runways. That someone is on a bike, they are allowed to be there by law and you have to respect/yield their space as the law dictates. That you get your knickers in a knot if they slow you down following the law as it pertains to both parties is just entitled.

  17. #17
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    Unfortunately there is a lot of them in cars killing people with their poor driving.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclelicious View Post
    There is steady progress in Toronto to increase bike lanes. When I used to commute by bike from mid town to downtown in the 90's and early 2000's I can't recall one bike lane on my various routes. (It was truly a harrowing experience) Dedicated bike lanes are safer. CoT is is also trying to keep those bike lanes plowed in winter. The numbers of riders has visibly increased and correlates with adding bike lanes. Build it and they will ride it.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    My husband commutes to work here in the 'burbs. One of the few bike lanes in town is hidden in the industrial part of town. A major link (Hwy 50) across the train tracks is accessible via a sidewalk is poorly plowed. (It's inaccessible to pedestrians, power mobility) It makes for a very gnarly ride. And yes we have brought this issue to the attention of the town.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Holy crap, don't get me started...
    I live in Bolton and feel your pain. I've commuted by MTB through town for the last 15 years. What really pisses me off is, we pay so much taxes but where the F does the money go? They don't clear the streets/sidewalks, parks are all run down, roads are shite, there's no transit, a lot of the streets don't even have sidewalks. There is no infrastructure, yet they build and build and build houses with no regard for traffic.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Pig View Post
    Sure, but having the right to do something does not make it sensible? The woman did not say the cyclist had no right to be there, she said he was a knob for riding a bike in slush. I agree with her.

    It was the cops who decided to interpret her comment as meaning he had no right to be there.
    Maybe he is going to work and that is his only option. Besides, looking at the photo, the road does not look very busy, looks like passing would be very easy.
    This post is a natural product. Variances in spelling & grammar should be appreciated as part of its character & beauty.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by singlesprocket View Post
    I see cars crash all the time in the winter, you have to be and idiot to drive if you can't do it properly. Plus using a handheld device, so stupid and illegal.
    ^^^^ This x1000

  21. #21
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    Her attitude about biking (not just the weather in this case) is one reason I don't tend to do much of any riding in or near traffic. I feel she is just openly expressing what many other drivers might not be so willing to admit, yet they feel the same way about owning the road.
    When I know they feel this way, it's doubly difficult for me to trust they give much effort to keeping a safe space when over-taking. Many roads truly are not set up intuitively or common sense in the way traffic should be routed and offering a few feet of bike lane. The poor bike commuters all-to-often hang their life on the whims and attention of drivers. That's the part that sucks.
    bachman must spread some Reputation around before giving it to himself again. :madman:


  22. #22
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    The law regarding bikes on roads is a huge compromise. Legislators don't care to tackle this issue properly. There is enough attention, that they need to do something. This is driven by a cycling community based in larger cities like Toronto and Montreal which have very specific conditions. The rules are then applied through the province and don't make sense for rural areas and suburbs. Cars crash into other cars, people and bikes. It will always be this way. So we want to make it safer for cyclists and pedestrians by separating them from cars. This is what my whole point was. It is just inherently dangerous to have bikes and cars together. We don't walk on the side of road for a reason. We have sidewalks. Why is it a good solution to have bikes on the side of the road? I don't get it. I think it is greatly irresponsible of government to allow this and not do more to get bikes off the roads to a safe environment. They have no good solutions, political will or money in many cases, but ultimately putting cars and bikes into untenable situations should not be the answer. Drivers hate bikes and cyclists hate how they are treated, but I believe it is just a matter of how we have to interact. The system is stupid and dangerous and arguing that you have a right to it does nothing to improve it.
    Burnt Norton

  23. #23
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    Maybe the guy in the photo is cycling to work because that is his only reasonable option. Maybe he sold the family vehicle to pay for his wife's chemotherapy. Maybe he is homeless. Maybe he has studded tires and his traction is better than yours. Maybe 95% of his commute is on segregated bike lanes and paths and this is the only short section that isn't.

    We don't know a cyclist's rationale for biking in winter, but we sure are quick to make assumptions and pass judgement when we get stuck behind them for a few seconds, only to race ahead to the next red light and wait behind a dozen other cars for a few minutes, and then sit in stop-and-go traffic on a 400-series highway for an hour or more, twice a day.

    The occasional winter cyclist isn't making our commute hell. Rather, it's the collective choice of millions of people to live far out in the suburbs and drive to work instead of living closer to their workplace and/or using transportation alternatives. Yet somehow, it's the winter cyclist in this scenario that is the self-entitled knob for the choice he made. Interesting logic.

    I bike to work in the winter most days. I don't own a car. My commute is about 60% on multi-user pathways completely segregated from traffic, about 30% on a wide road with bike lanes and light traffic, and the remainder on secluded residential streets. I find this route is safer overall than the route I would take if I had to drive. My fatbike has good grip. On many days, the road surface is snow and ice free and I could safely ride a racing road bike with slicks if only the multi-user pathways were cleared to the same standard. There is plenty of room for motorists to pass safely. The delay I add to a driver's commute is miniscule compared to the delay motorists inflict on one another in the form of traffic. If the conditions are really bad, I take the bus, which is slower and inconvenient as hell for me, but hey, drivers come first.

    I'm sure I've been called a knob before from the comfort of a car. Hell, I had a guy roll down his window and yell "You're a f*****g idiot!", as I biked on a segregated pathway next to him. I wasn't on the road, I wasn't delaying his commute at all, but ironically I probably would have, had I been driving. If I had fallen on the pathway, I would only hurt myself. Somehow, this made him angry.

    Are you worried that the cyclist in front of you is going to slip and fall? Then maintain a safe following distance and pass when it is safe to do so. You don't have a right to the road any more than any other user, but you do have a duty of care to others to drive in a safe and responsible manner. Put the cell phone down, stop texting, clear the snow from your hood, and drive as if you cared about other people's lives. If you can't do that, then don't drive.
    Last edited by ray.vermette; 01-03-2018 at 07:02 AM. Reason: Remove cursing.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Pig View Post
    Everyone I know who rides in icy weather has fallen off. Had a few near-falls myself so I agree with her. You need to be an idiot to cycle in that.
    Guess that makes me an idiot.
    Leaving work now for my ride home.

    PS. Thank you Ray. Wish I could write like that.
    Cheers, Dave

  25. #25
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    Maybe I bike to work because I like it.

    I've got an F-150 at home. I like to leave it there and ride my bike. If you think that is foolish, well, you can enjoy your opinion while I enjoy my bike.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewalk View Post
    Maybe I bike to work because I like it.
    No better reason.

  27. #27
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    Once the motorist hordes have their foot in the door, it's never closing.

    Okay, so you may personally think that riding in slush is a bad idea. That's your call, and a reasonable *PERSONAL* decision to make.

    But do we honestly think that motorist hordes see any difference between that and:

    Riding in winter
    Riding in rain
    Riding at night
    Riding on any even marginally busy road

    It doesn't matter what we spent on lights, tires, brakes, clothing, or Can-Bike™ training. If you're not in a car, they think you're a "knob",
    And the decision to avoid one particular type of weather condition does not reduce cyclist knob-ness in their eyes, I assure you.

    But if it makes you feel any better, people just walking across the street get almost as much hate, and way more fatalities per mile traveled.
    The above statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration

  28. #28
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    nowhere have we mentioned what responsibility we as cyclist have when riding the streets in winter. I invested in a pair of Schwalbe Ice Spikers a couple of years ago and this is a completely different ride. The other day with the bike lanes all iced up another rider was on the street in the car lane, (somewhat narrowed because of the plowing) and I past him on the bike lane because my tires were 100% traction. He might be a "knob" or not, but he certainly wasn't safe like I was.

  29. #29
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    Also, food for thought:

    What if a male "media personality" had covertly taken a photo of a woman from his car, and then posted it online calling her a derogatory name for female genitalia?

    Because..... ya know... it's 2018.

    I hope he would have lost his job, but I really have no idea these days.
    The above statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration

  30. #30
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    I got really pissed off here lately in Bolton about the lack of service with regards to snow clearing for pedestrians and cyclists. The works department seemed indifferent and down right lazy. I was not getting any responses from my inquires to the works department and the routes remained blocked and dangerous. Finally I contacted the regional councilor, sent her pictures and my concerns. She contacted the works department and the informed her the work has been done and the routes are clear. I sent her pictures again of the routes which have gotten worse. I also reported that the routes where not in compliance with the regional standards which required the snow to be cleared to the concrete. Oh boy, then the shit hit the fan. The works department lied and made the councilor look bad. It suffices to say, the routes got cleared. The councilor did an excellent job and I will support her because of this. I've also been asked to keep an eye on things, which I'm very happy to do. Moral of the story, let your elected officials know what is going on in your community and pursue change for the better.

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  31. #31
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    ^ that's pretty awesome! Gotta love it when you get a response like that and people do the right thing.
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    Stop asking how much it weighs and just go ride it.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by singlesprocket View Post
    I got really pissed off here lately in Bolton about the lack of service with regards to snow clearing for pedestrians and cyclists. The works department seemed indifferent and down right lazy. I was not getting any responses from my inquires to the works department and the routes remained blocked and dangerous. Finally I contacted the regional councilor, sent her pictures and my concerns. She contacted the works department and the informed her the work has been done and the routes are clear. I sent her pictures again of the routes which have gotten worse. I also reported that the routes where not in compliance with the regional standards which required the snow to be cleared to the concrete. Oh boy, then the shit hit the fan. The works department lied and made the councilor look bad. It suffices to say, the routes got cleared. The councilor did an excellent job and I will support her because of this. I've also been asked to keep an eye on things, which I'm very happy to do. Moral of the story, let your elected officials know what is going on in your community and pursue change for the better.
    Way to get shit done Sprocket!

  33. #33
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    Good job, singlesprocket. We should all follow your lead.

    BTW, kudos to the Roadie I saw Saturday morning in -21c weather.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bikin' Bric View Post
    Way to get shit done Sprocket!
    Ditto. Thanks for taking the initiative.

    My experience was similar to SS's the one time I contacted my councillor about a cycle-safety issue. They went above and beyond to address it.
    Mountain bikers are generally a rational bunch...until someone moves a rock on our favorite trail and we lose our minds - LMN

  35. #35
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    Friday funnies and a big shout out to those still riding to work


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