Get the &*@$ out of my way

This last month I have taken the challenge of riding my bike to work everyday. This is a challenge because my bike is a piece of crap that was handed down to my by my boyfriend’s mother, I have never been a big bike rider before, and my physical condition I’d say is only so-so. Here is what I have discovered: I love to ride! I live in the King and Bathurst area and work at Bloor and Church. I did the appropriate mapquest calculations and found it is about a 5km ride – not too bad if you ask me.

Biking is great in a city like Toronto because it is relatively flat, some streets have bike lanes and biking is encourage as the city attempts to be “green”. I’ve noticed that as the weather gets warmers the streets become more and more populated with riders (who are usually zooming past me) who share a common bond.

In my month of bike riding I have almost been hit twice (one really close call) and I’ve seen a bike accident once. The girl was not very hurt and it appeared the mirror of the car smacked her elbow, but still!!!

Yes, it can be dangerous, but no more then driving in a car. Many people use that excuse but it’s probably one of the safer ways to travel. . I may be bias but I don’t think there are bad bike riders, just bad car drivers. Thank God for that little bell on my bike because I swear, some drivers just don’t see me.

On one occasion, a driver flew by me so fast and so close I could feel his van braise my arm. I speed up and caught up to him just to tell him to slow down and watch out. My tone was a little harsher then it could have been, but then when I was riding away he honked at me and gave me a dirty look. WTF!

I may not be the most experienced rider, but here are a few pointers to drivers looking to make a biker’s life a little easier.

1. Please look before opening your door when parked on the side of the road.

2. Please do not hug the curb when driving, waiting for a light to change or making a right-hand turn. Please leave room for me and my bike.

3. Please don’t make me ride over potholes (Bloor Street is a disaster). They hurt.

4. Play your music loud enough so I can hear. I like to jam when I ride but find putting headphones on is pretty dangerous.

5. Please do not give me a dirty look if I cut you off you am moving too slow. I’m on a bike – cut me some slack!

Thanks and happy riding.



About ramsayramsay

I am a 24 year old public relations student at Centennial College and have a degree from Brock University in communications. I love to read, travel and spend time with friends and family. I enjoy writing am excited to share my thoughts on PR, social media and everyday life.

Posted on May 30, 2008, in Toronto and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Bike riding is the way to go in Toronto, particularly since I don’t own a car and refuse to take the TTC. I ride year round to and from work, and its about the same distance as you.
    If I can offer any advice: 1.) Listen to music with headphones on. It puts you in the zone. 2.) Don’t expect anything from any drivers or other bikers – they mostly just get in the way (ah, how I miss the empty bike lanes of January) 3.) use your middle finger. And knock on windows of cars that piss you off.

    Good luck!

  2. As a driver, I’d like to remind cyclists to: wear a helmet (it lets drivers know you aren’t just a “sometimes” cyclist); signal when you’re going to turn; take your iPod out of your ears; stop at stop signs just like (most) cars do and ride close to the curb.

    I’m quite petrified of cyclists. I’m afraid of hitting one of them. Toronto has a long way to go to be a cyclists’ city. Yes, lots of streets are relatively flat, but, we really aren’t built to take on more people cycling–even if they’re doing it part time.

    However, I admire you for giving it a go.

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