Sunday, June 20, 2010

Cyclists and Drivers

A few weeks ago, I rode from Perth to Elphin and Maberly and was so impressed with the bucolic beauty of the route and the rolling hills that I decided to repeat this ride.

Emerson and I left Perth at around 1030 and soon found ourselves on the quiet roads and verdant pastures of Lanark county. The traffic was almost non existent. The cars that we did see were remarkably polite. Rather than roaring past us with horns blasting they would wait until we signaled and give us a wide berth. In Ottawa, I am used to drivers who will see how close they can come to me, or blow the horn or both. I am used to impatient drivers, their windows open, snarling and glaring at traffic and staring malevolently at we cyclists whom they see as a direct threat to their horsepower!

I had assumed that the reason the Lanark county drivers were so much better was because the Perth chamber of commerce had done an excellent job in educating drivers and after speaking with an owner of a lone corner store, was even more impressed with the quality and caliber of the drivers of Lanark County Ontario.

On June 5th and 6th some 2000 cyclists descend on this part of the world for the Rideau Lakes tour. There are some serious cyclists and many Lance Armstrong wannabes. The shopkeeper complained of the fact that the cyclists take up the entire road, do not let cars pass and slow up traffic to the point that her business suffers. No wonder the drivers were pleased with Emerson and I, we signaled our intentions and did not take up the road.

The drivers responded favourably.

Sometimes I think we cyclists rail at drivers and attribute all the ills of the world to them without thinking our behaviour in many ways dictates how a driver will respond. Today while driving my car, I saw a cyclist, no helmet riding down the wrong way on Ogilvie Road, which is very busy. How is a car supposed to react to that? No wonder drivers get upset! I was upset and I was not even near this moron!

The moral of the story is if you act like an idiot you will be treated like one.

1 comment:

  1. Yes - I agree fully. I'm an avid cyclist in the Almonte area. But when two morons in their Lance wannabe outfits drive down Clayton Rd side by side - and take up the whole width of the lane and have numerous cars lined up behind them doing 30 km... well it makes me wonder how they ever survive their trip. I'm pretty patient, but it sure made me angry!

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