Community Soapbox: Observations from the Bike Lane

Bike Lane, Kingston, OntarioI’ve been riding my bike here in Kingston for a few years now. After 10s of thousands of miles commuting on two wheels under my own power, I have noticed a few things about drivers. Things that they themselves probably not realize.

So here as a public service, four recommendations from me to you, to enhance your commuting experience:

  1. Your horn is malfunctioning. For some reason, it keeps going off whenever you get too close to one of our bikes. It may be some electronic thing. Perhaps it’s set to honk when some huge two wheeled chunk of metal and flesh comes dangerously close. Maybe not. I’d get it check if I was you.
  2. Though driving with your right wheels to the right of the solid white line on the road does protect you from anyone who may inadvertently drift over the centre line, it also means you’re going to subject 1/2 of your car to the same rough road, cavernous potholes, and smashed glass as the cyclist. Our bikes are there to run over this tire-blowing debris before it harms your vehicle. Please let us do our job.
  3. Somewhat related to that: even though there’s a solid line of very bright white paint defining the bike lane, cyclists still feel it doesn’t protect them from the ten foot 2×6 that’s been so carefully jammed through your passenger window and anchored into the backseat of your Prius. In fact, most bike riders have such a tenuous sense of balance, that they’ll probably fall down like a diving NHLer the second your clearly necessary lumber purchase “nudges” them from behind.
  4. If you’re going to roll down your window and yell something at somebody on a bike, do it fast. That ridiculously funny quip you shouted out about the rider’s spandex, skinny white legs, awesome butt, or whatever it was, got lost somewhere between the first and second word as your vehicle is travelling about 3 times as fast as the cyclist. In essence, the cyclist heard something like “hey youf….” and though you probably went to the frighteningly insightful end of that sentence, the poor rider is left wondering if you sneezed, have Tourette Syndrome or just passed your high school equivalency and needed to tell the world. It makes us sad that we don’t get to hear the full impact of your finely honed wit.

I know, I know. Cyclists aren’t even supposed to be on the road. Why should you have all this added extra worry when you’re trying to get to work, drink your coffee and get your emails out of the way before you get in. I get that.  Driving is not easy.

There we are adding all this stress while we whine away about our stupid bike lanes.

We’re a selfish bunch.
Submitted to Kingstonist’s Community Soapbox by: Jim Elyot.

Thanks to Richard Masoner for the accompanying photo.

Kingston EcDev open for business


  1. David May 25, 2011
  2. TedSmitts May 27, 2011
    • kayomw May 28, 2011
      • Musicgrrl May 28, 2011
  3. David May 29, 2011
  4. Ted Smitts May 29, 2011
  5. Kook June 27, 2011
  6. Mike July 7, 2011
  7. Terry Bridges July 8, 2011
    • David July 9, 2011
      • Terry Bridges July 10, 2011
  8. Bikes May 2, 2014

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