Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Night Cyclists: Some Day You Will Die By My Hand

It's legal to swerve directly into a night cyclist with no lights or reflectors and straight murder them, right?
Do you see the cyclist? Trick question, he's in the ditch, bleeding to death.

A 10 minute drive down Bank St. at 10pm had some pretty interesting results: I drove past 10 people on bicycles and 8 of them had no lights whatsoever on their bikes. Not even reflectors.  In the dark. On the road, alongside the number one killer of cyclists (number two: wombats). One guy, bless his heart, had, I swear to god, a flashlight in his mouth. 

Now I'm the LAST thing from a bike safety ninny. I don't wear a helmet, I think segregated bike lanes are a waste of money and are counterproductive because they only instill in cyclists a fear of roads that DON'T have a segregated bike lane, and nine times out of ten I give the cyclist half the blame when they get hit by a car, because they probably could have seen it coming (exception: getting hit from behind, and even then you can sort of predict it with frequent shoulder checks or a mirror).

I'm also a frequent and active cyclist - I bike almost every day when there's no snow on the ground, and I love biking amongst the cars on busy roads. I also safely run red lights and stop signs. You probably all hate me right now but I'm telling you all this to qualify the fact that in terms of bike safety, there are a lot of areas where I don't necessarily play ball.

But the one thing I do follow is to have some fuckin' lights on when it's dark out, or at the very least some reflectors. Lights will up the chance that you're spotted from far away, which gives a driver plenty of time to react and prepare to pass you. It's a simple concept, so simple that I feel really weird having to explain it but here we are.

Listen, dummy: you're not nearly as visible as you think, even with streetlights all around. Trust me on this, from a driver's point of view you fade very quickly into the darkness between streetlights. Darkness usually happens at night, along with other night time activities such as drunk driving or falling asleep at the wheel. All it takes is for a driver to look away for a second and then WHOA you pop out of the dark directly in front of them and SPLAT you're roadkill.

So for the love of god get some fucking lights. I bought mine at Dollarama for christ's sake. I have a fucking flashlight taped to my handle bars. You idiots. Holy shit.

I'm actually getting mad as I write this. The drive happened several nights ago but I never got around to finishing the post until today.

I need a nap.

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