June 3, 2010

The Irony of the Pedal-Bike

Filed under: Food for Thought — Chantelle @ 9:25 am

If it were up to me I would walk everywhere, and so would everything else.

Sure, everything would have to be squished together, but so what? We’re spreading out like an uncurable puddle of goo anyway; oozing out like a festering wound.

In today’s society thoguh, that isn’t realistic. I try to bike when I am in school. I bike to school and back (which is only 20 min each way – not bad). When the weather is bad, I take the bus.

Working however, brings a whole new set of challenges to this. I can’t ride my bike to school, right? After all, I’m a marketing representative – how would it look if I arrived at work all sweaty, and based on the weather we keep having, muddy? Not to mention that my job is all the way across the city – it takes me a half hour to drive to work every morning. What ungodly hour would I have to get at to be able to get to work at 8am if I biked?

On top of that, I’d probably get killed.

Over the course of one semester biking, I can’t count on one hand the number of close calls I had. It’s always the same story. Someone turning left, and looking only for a hole in traffic – not looking to see if anyone is crossing the road that way. Or someone turning right, planning to come to a quick, almost imaginary stop and keep going. There have been a couple times where I have been almost to the other side of the road, and a vehicle comes tearing up to the stopsign, stops right on top of the sidewalk (without looking to see if anyone is there of course) and then keeps going (still hasn’t seen me, he’s looking to see if there is anyone that is going to hit him if he turns, not to see if he just missed running someone over by a fraction of an inch).

Another problem is when people are leaving store parking lots. They forget that on sidewalks, people can be coming from both directions. So, they look to the left to see if any traffic is coming, and then zip onto the road before they accidentally cut someone off. Of course they didn’t notice the pedestrian about to cross that approach from their right.

Now, I know that I’m not supposed to be biking on the sidewalks. Quite frankly, though, it scares the shit out of me to bike on the road. I’m not in awful shape – I can keep a decent pace – for a biker. However, I can’t keep up with the 50km/hr speed limit that the vehicles have. And so, you have vehicles behind me honking because I’m going too slow, or I hug the very edge of the lane and they pass me – their mirrors getting again, within a few inches of hitting me.

And yet, I want to bike. I want to be able to say that I am actively doing my part to reduce the amount of carbon emissions that are entering the atmosphere on a daily basis. But if I were to bike to work, I would have to travel on some of the busiest, and least bike-friendly streets in the city.


As you know, I managed to hit a deer with my car last Monday. Today on my way into work, Dodge phoned me to tell me that my car is fixed. No longer do I have to wait for Gilles ot be ready for work so that I can drive his work to his shop, drop him off, and continue to my work (in desperate hopes that I will not be late). No longer will Gilles have to get dropped off in the company van at the front door of our apartment building after work. No longer will Gilles have to leave all of his tools in a company van in hopes that they won’t get stolen, so that he won’t forget to take them out of his car when I drop him off again. I will pick up my car after work, and no longer will I have the inconvenience of having to share a car.

But then we will have two vehicles on the road every day again, instead of two. Is this progressive, or destructive?


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