Letter: Room for drivers and cyclists to coexist

I was purposefully struck when the driver decided to turn hard left while I was at the driver door

Be better.

I was forced out of the bike lane in Coldstream on Sunday by a lovely couple vitriolically spewing venom out the window at speed, while training. I was 10cm left of the white line separating the bike lane from the road, as the bike lane was smothered in debris. By law, did you know I could actually take the whole lane? I was going 50 km/h, and yes, I’m allowed by law to go that fast with a human engine.

This was pure rage, fully unadulterated hate against cyclists. Had I not been experienced, I would likely have been seriously injured or possibly killed. I have cycled seriously for 29 years. I caught up to the couple at the next stop sign to have a chat and was purposefully struck when the gentleman driving decided to turn hard left while I was at the driver door, knowing the damage the angle of his truck and trailer would cause. This lovely example of human kindness drove away, fully hitting and running, watching me flail in the mirror whilst fleeing.

Should I have approached his door to have a chat? Probably not. However, I had just been run off the road, and a little bothered by the attempt on my life. Luckily, I grabbed the licence post-impact, and it’s a police matter now. Just another relaxing Sunday afternoon. Unfortunately, although this was extreme, incidents like this are all too common in our little town. If it matters, I cycle following lawful rules, as I’d prefer not to be smothered under your Dodge Ram. I also use expensive head and taillights, sparkling beautifully to get the attention of drivers. They help, but clearly not enough to overcome the blatant stupidity of the minority who feel they truly own the road.

As for you who argue cyclists don’t pay tax, many cyclists also own cars and pay just as much tax as you. Meanwhile, at age 47, my cardiovascular system is like a 25-year-old during a recent medical assessment. How about future medical costs, do I complain when your lack of health costs me tax dollars? Should I rage over that? Please don’t use the tax argument to spew hate against cyclists. It’s weak and exceptionally entrenched in illogical, uninformed and uneducated thinking.

The question is, why the hate? No one was coming the other way on Aberdeen Road. Just go around me. Simple. Why attempt to injure? I’m a dad with two kids and a lovely wife. Why? Just why are you filled with such hate to all cyclists? Do you also hate all drivers because of some bad apples? Some cyclists are horrible, I agree. However, cyclists don’t potentially kill people who are driving a vehicle. Consider this point.

Why? Human devolution. We are not connected. We don’t really care about each other. As I dropped my kids off at school today, I watched a man from Alberta pull out his cell phone, in the school parking lot, and begin focusing on the device while driving. In an elementary school parking lot, in a school zone, before school, texting. Should I now rage and hate all people from Alberta? How does that make any sense? Subsequently, why do some people classify all cyclists as one homogeneous group of subhuman life? Another point to reflect on.

I have a crazy solution. Let’s share our collective space. It’s not about you. Be better.

Andy Saunders

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