December 8, 2023

La Ronge Northerner

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Cursed Tanks |  Pres

Cursed Tanks | Pres

Granny-aged woman gives the middle finger to the cyclist: “Get in the bike lane!” »

David Desjardins has been driving 300 to 450 kilometers a week in the Quebec area for years.

Once again there was an argument with the man driving the tank. This time: a woman old enough to be a grandmother.

A polite reply from the columnist news : “I have the right to be on the road madam. »

And it’s absolutely true: cyclists have the right to be on (almost) all roads. Although there is a bike path ten minutes from where they are.

The woman’s reply: “O excrement-eater! »

For David, issues riding together in the Quebec region have traditionally been a rural affair. He was brushed off by lunatics on country roads. Now, in rural areas, things are better, he says.

But recently, brushing is now done twice a week in the city and suburbs. Once a week I yell. Every couple of weeks, I meet a crazy person.

David Desjardins, columnist news

Are you crazy?

Someone who decides to play the role of a cop, he said. Example: “I come to a stop sign and there’s no one, absolutely no one, I slow down and continue on my way. A guy in a pickup chases me, he tries to run me down three, four times…”

The boy, “absolutely insane,” shouted to David, down the window:

“Follow the rules!”

– Hey, you occupy half of the other lane! »

When shouting at him, the pick-up driver did not see, he left his lane and cut into the left lane …

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Before going any further, a word about imperatives. Last week, I voiced my displeasure at seeing cyclists run through stop signs and rush into intersections, giving priority between pedestrians and cars.

At my street corner, the vast majority of cyclists rush into the intersection without even pretending to slow down.


There are places in the world where cyclists are allowed to “Idaho stop”: you slow down and continue if the path is clear. A simple matter of physics and logic. A complete stop requires a significant expenditure of energy to turn the bike.

If every cyclist stops at every stop sign with their feet on the ground, they too can drop off their bike and pick up a tank.

Yes, here I hear the motorist who respects every article of the Highway Safety Code screeching…

I tell him: If I slow down at a stop and I get a ticket, I’ll pay it.

But a bicycle entering an intersection is always less dangerous than a tank — or SUV — entering an intersection.

For one thing, my perception of my environment is better when I come to the same intersection by bicycle than when I come to the same intersection in my vehicle.

Two, a pillar that supports the left side of the windshield1 My SUV creates a very dangerous blind spot2 For others…

In short, at intersections, carelessness with a pedal is always less dangerous than with a motor.

David knew I was going to write about “damn bikes”.3 And he contacted me to share his experience of riding a bike between cars. A motorist and bicyclist saw relationships change. Mostly as good as the countryside. Sometimes as bad as the suburbs and the city in recent years.

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In recent years, David has noticed changes in the air. An aggressiveness in the tone of those speaking to him.

“What do you think happened?”

– This is a minority, I would like to say that. But this minority is outraged. I’ve never seen people run after you to play police while yelling at you.

David Desjardins has a theory. He made it before the pandemic: “I feel that the lack of civility has really spread on social networks. Being in the car is like being behind the scenes. You are protected. On a bike, if you try to hit me with your tank, I can’t catch you and crash into you. Like I can’t find you if you insult me ​​from your keyboard. The social environment has deteriorated everywhere. Everyone in customer service says it: customers have never been more unpleasant…”

And, he admits, riding a tank is less and less easy, and more and more annoying. There are jobs, there are traffic jams. There are lots of… tanks.

“You, the cyclist, are the thing they can let off steam. You are a perfect target, he cannot defend himself. »

I agree with David’s theory.

Adding to this: the road is a metaphor for society, where everyone must share space, whether real or metaphorical.

Sharing space, real or figurative, is always a little uncomfortable…at first.

We are still at the beginning of an era in this country where tanks are not a virtual monopoly on the road.