Cyclists, Why wait if you just don’t have to?

Cyclists, Why wait if you just don’t have to?

Regular contributor Job Patstone is on the warpath with fellow cyclists.
Read all about it below.

Cyclists_Crossing_buttonWhy wait, if you don’t have to?

I love to bike on all the beautiful bike paths we have in this city, which can take us from urban streets to the wilds of raging rivers and beyond, and I’m not exaggerating when I say we are spoiled by the maintenance and sophistication of these trails. Most are paved, groomed and blessed
with natural and or manmade landscaping and the government has even equipped them all with control sensors to control traffic. These traffic control sensors (sensors, because they are activated by movement) are conveniently situated at every street crossing which one encounters while riding through the city. You simply swipe your hand under the switch and ‘bingo’ you just have to wait until the thirty second time frame comes up on the clock freezing all traffic in every direction so you can continue on your way, safely and conveniently without any hassle from cars turning left, right or straight on through.  Imagine that, you have the power to stop all vehicles for thirty seconds without using any superpowers.
Amazing.

Cyclists_Crossing_QuebecIf any of you use these paths, and I’m sure some of you do, you have probably also noticed as I have that some riders have a complete disregard for these “magic buttons” and just continue on their way crossing intersections at their own speed despite the risk of being hit by a vehicle navigating the roads in its usual manner.

It drives me nuts
I experience this every time I hit the trails and it drives me nuts. Just the other day I saw one of these jerks race across an intersection on ‘Boulevard Henri Bourassa’ (a four lane street), while the rest of us silently waited for ‘our’ turn to go. What was pathetic though, was as soon as he reached the other side after risking his life, he stopped, disembarked and drank a little something from his bike bottle and removed his jacket, two things he could have done while waiting for the light to change like the rest of us. He was obviously in a hurry to drink and as we all passed him while he was doing so, I couldn’t help but snicker and think to myself, “what an Idiot”.

This is but one case, but it kind of describes the mentality of some people who just need to prove to somebody, or to themselves, that the laws aren’t made for them. There is almost always one at every intersection and I’m sorry, but I just don’t get it. It is against the law, it is dangerous and it infuriates drivers, at the same time giving bike riders a bad rap.

Cyclists_CrossingI saw another chap recently who attempted to cross a street against the light and was nearly struck by a car turning right. The driver of the car slammed on the brakes and began yelling at the cyclist, and rightly so. Funny that he was the only biker who was stuck in the middle of the street pointlessly arguing with someone while the rest of us carried on our way. He was wrong and looked around for support from us other riders, but he wasn’t getting any.

The government spent a lot of money installing those sensors on every street corner, but apparently there are people who consider themselves autonomous and above any laws or sensibility to their own and others safety. These are the same people I imagine, who cross streets anywhere, anytime when on foot and who presumably have a bit of an arrogant attitude towards all things restrictive.  

Not to say that I’m perfect, as I will at times cross a parking lot entrance or a driveway without stopping, but I will slow down and look both ways just to make sure I won’t be struck down and or killed by a surprise attack from some hidden vehicle.

I do want to live another day, which apparently isn’t an aspiration for all of us.

Categories: News, Opinion

About Author

Job Patstone

Job Patstone was born in Hamilton, ON. and has lived in Montreal, Calgary, Edmonton and Red Deer AB. He is presently living in Quebec City, with his wife. He worked for Xerox for 26 years and was an ESL teacher for another ten.

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