That’s twice in as many days now, that you have decided to yell, swear and gesture at me for driving my car in my driveway because I came nowhere near hitting you while you zoomed around at high speed on your bicycle on the sidewalk.
Interesting word, sidewalk. Notice how it doesn’t contain the word ‘ride’ anywhere? If you’re interested in hearing that word again, some places where you might find the word sidewalk include in the dictionary between sideshow and sidewall, on signs advertising sidewalk sales, and in the Toronto Municipal Bylaws where it prohibits you from zooming around on sidewalks on your fucking bicycle.
I’m a cautious driver in a neighborhood full of children. I very carefully check for pedestrians and small children learning to ride on the nearby sidewalks before I pull into or back out of my driveway. But here’s the thing, you stupid twit, I’m not magic. I can’t see around corners. So when you’re cycling at a high rate of speed on the sidewalk and you come around a corner without stopping and almost bang into my car which was already crossing the sidewalk as I back out of my driveway, that’s not my fucking fault, no matter how much you yell at me and pretend it is.
Had you been on the road, where you belonged, I’d have had more time to see you coming. Had you been on the road where you belonged and actually stopped at the stop sign at that corner, not only would I have seen you coming, but I would have been long since backed out of my driveway before you got anywhere near me. Had you been a pedestrian walking on the sidewalk, I probably wouldn’t even know you exist, since you’d still be so far around that corner by the time I had backed out and driven away that I’d never have even noticed you.
But since you were riding illegally on the sidewalk at a dangerously high rate of speed with a near complete disregard for your surroundings, perhaps you’d like to redirect that middle finger in a more appropriate direction? I’m getting quite tired of looking at it.
I got flipped off at a light the other day for honking at a bicyclist.
He was crossing four lanes of traffic. He made it to the grassy median in between when my light turned green. He kept coming. I was willing to wait for him to cross, and held my foot on the brake–hey, two seconds out of my day–but the car to my right either didn’t see him or didn’t care, and started moving forward.
He would’ve been hit by that car, so I honked at him to tell him to stop. He backed up.
While yelling “FUCK YOU, bitch!” at me and flipping me off.
From the safety of the median, of course.
Look, people-with-alternative-locomotion-who-want-to-be-treated-like-cars-but-want-the-freedom-to-act-like-pedestrians-depending-on-which-is-more-convenient, FUCK YOU RIGHT BACK.
Which is exactly what I yelled at him, actually, complete with my own bird out my window.
I commute to work on my bicycle from time to time. I restrict myself to roads, bike lanes where available, and designated bike paths until I get to campus (I work at a university). Yeah, the woman in the OP is being an ass.
But I have to admit, I have a lot less sympathy for the position of drivers after being nearly run down by a driver who failed to yield when I had the right of way, after watching countless drivers pull out into intersections without looking for oncoming traffic and then looking all startled when they see me, and after seeing the bicycle lane blocked countless times by illegally parked cars and the rubbish bins of boneheads.
Cyclists can’t win for losing on this one. If we ride on sidewalks, we get (rightly) yelled at for not following traffic laws. And if we (rightly) follow traffic laws, we have to share the road with automobile drivers who by and large don’t seem to care if we live or die.
So yeah, the woman in the OP is being an ass. Try not to run her over.
There is nothing wrong with considerate use of pavements by cyclists, but if you want to cycle in a hurry, get on the road and take your chances with the traffic.
Here in the UK, the by-laws against cycling on the pavement( or ‘sidewalk’, for you US folk.) were created at a time when road traffic was nowhere near as high as it is now, and with no real thought ahead for how situations might change. They certainly need to be reconsidered, because riding a cycle on British roads can be a very daunting experience, and if I was a parent, I’d never let a kid of mine ride on them.
There was once this Afrikaans cop who happened upon an accident involving a car and a cyclist, not too serious, but enough to warrant a report. Much to his dismay he remembered that this day was English day, and therefore he needed to complete the report in English, at which he was painfully bad.
Nonetheless, taking a deep breath and surveying the wreck, he started writing:
Our bylaws are written to allow children on their bicycles (or, more specifically, children’s bicycles since the bylaw is written based on the size of the bike, not the age of the child for enforcement reasons).
And I can kind of understand wanting to ride on the sidewalks in places where the streets are jammed full of cars, especially given how much narrower roads are in Europe, generally. But I live on a quiet, suburban residential street where the roads are only two lanes (one in each direction) but wide enough for four cars to fit across. Even given that their are generally cars parked on one side of the road, there’s still plenty of room for the relatively few cars that travel my street (with it’s low speed limit and zillions of stop signs, it’s not much of a through-street) and the relatively few bicycles, too.
There’s absolutely no reason for this woman to be riding on the sidewalk in my neighbourhood.
Not true. IMO, cycling and walking on most sidewalks are incompatible, simply because it isn’t possible to ride as slowly as the average walker. Except for little kids, riding on the roads is the safest thing for everyone.
As a pedestrian, I need to throw a hearty AMEN! in here.
I get downright annoyed when I’m walking along busy streets and a cyclist starts angrily jingling their bell because I’m not moving fast enough and they’d like room to pass around me.
Next time one of them does that, I’m stepping to the side to let them by, and then sticking out my arm at neck height just as they’re passing. Given that 90% of these inconsiderate jerks aren’t wearing a helmet either (hey, if you’re gonna break one law, might as well break 'em all, right?), maybe that’ll knock some sense into their thick skulls.
Hey, I ride my bike in TO too, and I fully understand how dangerous some streets can be (biking on Spadina, for example, is the equivalent of a death wish). It’s a little selfish to endanger everyone else by riding on the sidewalk, though.
I agree as well. I only use the sidewalk if the roadway doesn’t have space for me and there is too much traffic for me to safely be on the road. Otherwise, I am a vehicle on the road as well. I don’t roll up beside vehicles to get to the head of the line at the stoplight either, I wait in place.
We have a large number of bike couriers here and they follow whatever rules they feel like. Last week we almost hit one that was at first a vehicle on the road (like he should be), and then once he got the walk signal, decided to be a pedestrian (not walking his bike, of course). We were turning and didn’t expect him to suddenly become a pedestrian, so came pretty close. And then he fingered US and told us to f*ck off.
I have enormous sympathy for the “Share the Road” stickers … for about four seconds when a bicyclist runs a light or a stop sign and nearly hits me. Why is it that cyclists think they don’t ever have to stop?
I friggin’ hate the friggin’ bike couriers downtown. I had a similar experience - me as a pedestrian walking across the street, in a crosswalk, with a walk light - bike courier zooming the wrong way up the street against the light, flips me off for getting in his way.
There was a horrible collision in Calgary last month -link here. A 13 year old boy was struck by a car while he was riding his bike through a crosswalk - he had no helmet on, was wearing iPod headphones, and sustained critical head and other injuries (I don’t know if he died from his injuries). I feel terrible for the boy and his family, but I also feel really bad for the driver who hit the kid - the kid came whizzing across the street where there should only have been much slower pedestrians. The drivers didn’t have a chance to react, and now they have to live with what this thoughtless boy brought into their lives, just like his family has to live with it.