Cycle It Up Your Ask

- November 24th, 2012

 

I said ask, you dumb ask.

 

So right now you’re wondering where this is going. It’s going right up your ask, you dumb ask.

 

I’m so pissed off I don’t know where to begin. So I’ll begin at the beginning.

 

I’ll begin with the freaking, fracking, motherfricking Ontario Highway Traffic Act.

 

Here’s what it has to say — at least as far as the Ontario government is concerned, even if you aren’t, you dumb ask:

 

“A bicycle is a vehicle under the Ontario Highway Traffic Act (HTA). This means that, as a bicyclist, you have the same rights and responsibilities to obey all traffic laws as other road users.”

 

That’s the first thing that pops into view when you Google “ontario highway traffic act bicycle.”  It’s from the website for the Ontario Ministry of Transportation and it goes on to list all the fines and punishments a cyclist is subject to for doing such things as not signalling a turn ($85 fine) or stopping for a school bus ($400 fine).

 

That’s what it does. It goes on endlessly with the fines and penalties a cyclist faces for fracturing various infractions. And then it ends. It just talks about the “responsibilities” — threatened punishments which have nothing to do with real responsibility — and says nothing at all about the “rights” — the legal, God-is-my-witness, don’t-tread-on-me rights – of people who pedal in this province.

 

But yet it started out saying “A bicycle is a vehicle … you have the same rights … as other road users.”

 

Do you understand that, you dumb asks? A bicycle has the same rights on the roads and highways (apart from the 400 series) of Ontario as every other freaking, fracking, motherfricking vehicle. Yep. Same as an Amish buggy. Same as a Honda Civic. Same as a Cadillac. Same as a Humvee. Same as a Ford pickup. Same as a Mack truck.

 

So the bicycle in front of you is not an obstacle impeding your passage, you dumb ask. It is a freaking, fracking, mother fricking VEHICLE occupying the lane in front of you, you dumb ask. You DON’T get to ride over it. You DON’T get to sideswipe it. You DON’T get to “give it a message.” You DO get to pass it like any other vehicle — by doing so safely and responsibly, usually by changing lanes. You dumb ask.

 

And if you don’t, ass yourself this, you dumb ask: Why doesn’t the Mack truck have the same “right” to run over you or run you into the ditch simply because your puny little compact or SUV is in front of it, you dumb ask?

 

Look, I’ve got speeding tickets coming out my ying-yang. I’m no saint when it comes to obeying (sometimes seemingly stupid) traffic laws. But I respect human life and I respect the right of other people to carry on their lives within the law.

 

Bicycles are not only ALLOWED to be on the highways and roads of Ontario, they are REQUIRED to be on said highways and roads. And you, as the driver of a two-tonne vehicle, have some kind of human, moral, motherly, fatherly, sisterly, brotherly, freaking, fracking, motherfricking HUGE responsibility to STAY CLEAR of other fragile, important, impossible-to-replicate human beings wobbling around on little bits of bicycle weighing only ounces and pounds, centigrams and kilos.

 

It doesn’t matter if you’re late. It doesn’t matter if traffic is clogged. It doesn’t matter if the askhole on the bicycle in front of you gives you the finger when you honk your horn.

 

The next time you’re in that situation, just think this thought: “That’s my kid on the bike in front of me. What am I going to do?”

Oh, did I mention that another Toronto cyclist — Tom Samson, a Grade 2 teacher at Swansea Public School — was killed by a hit-and-run driver  on Friday?

Categories: News

Subscribe to the post

Leave a comment

 characters available