Sunday, June 7, 2009

Ride for Heart

I had the opportunity to bike in the Becel Ride for Heart. The weather was a little chilly with spitting rain, but despite that it was a great ride. The volunteers and staff were enthusiastic and very helpful and I managed to pickup some good speed, averaging 30kph in the 50km course. Despite all this, there were some set backs.

The one thing that really bothered me (and I'm sure some others as well) was the poor riding etiquette from the less experienced riders. I may not be an expert in group riding but I know that it's only common sense to look where you are going and avoid getting in the way of faster riders. I had way too many close calls with cyclists who decided to swerve across 2 or 3 whole car lanes without even so much as glancing, signalling or calling their movement. There was one particular rider who insisted on getting in my way and ignored any attempt at trying to warn him of my passing him. Sudden erratic movement, suddenly stopping, riding 4 or more abreast, not signalling, passing awfully close and littering were some of the bad habits I encountered. There was one crash that could have easily been avoided had riders followed the rules; part of the route involved riding on an off ramp from one road to the expressway, it was a tight one-laner with a barricade. A cyclist decided to try and cut corners, effectively cutting in the path of several others forcing a pile up. I loved the ride and I'll do it next year, I just have to ride with even more vigilence than if I were riding in heavy traffic.

On a related note, CP24 ran a poll asking viewers if major roadways should be closed for fundraising events. Strangely, well over 60% of viewers think roads should only be closed for repairs. Actually, it isn't strange, it's a perfect example of car-culture affecting our society. It has become obvious that for many people the ability to drive their car from point A to B as fast as possible has taken priority over things such as fundraisers to help support life-saving research. If that's the case it looks like cultural, social, ethnic, historical or any fun event for that matter such as festivals, block parties, parades and stuff of the sort are bad too. There goes Salsa at St. Clair, Caribana, the Pride Parade, and a whole slew of others! So is the Santa Claus parade bad too? What about the Toronto Marathon?

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