I was involved in a completely avoidable collision with a motor vehicle on Monday September 30, 2013. The story of the collision was covered by the local newspaper “The Record” and can be reviewed at the following link:
Late in the evening the night the article was put on the newsstand I received the following email. I have not corrected the grammar or spelling errors:
“I am happy to hear your injuryes were not more serious than they were and I wish you a speedy recovery. I must speak my mind. You are on a bike and not a car. Stay out of the turning lanes. Stick to the side of the roads. Yes it might be your right but you can be so right your are wrong. A car is a lot bigger and more visible than you. I guess you do get some publicity. Next time you might not be so luck.”
The following is my response to the individual:
“Thank you for your email and your regard for my health. I am on the mend. Your opinion regarding staying to the right-side of the road and out of left turn lanes is unfortunately not possible to abide by. Just a month ago another cycling friend of mine did as you suggested, they stayed to the right in a two lane roundabout. They stayed out of the traffic as you requested, but not only were they driven into by a car, but they were also charged by the Police for being in the wrong lane. It is illegal to ride a bike on a sidewalk. It is illegal to ride a bike through a crosswalk. It is illegal to ride a bike facing on-coming traffic.
Please learn from this article. Please understand that people ride their bicycles for a large number of reasons. All of us are only temporarily able bodied and there are many law abiding, tax paying citizens who have no other options related to commuting for work and business other than to ride a bike. Municipalities and their governors such as I are called to serve all of the citizens in our city regardless of ability. Cities such as the City of Waterloo seek to be age friendly and bicycle friendly communities. To be successful in building a community that supports at home living from infant to senior requires the willingness, on behalf of all road users, to share with pedestrians and cyclists. Sharing of the road cannot be accomplished through police enforcement. Sharing cannot be accomplished through reluctant tolerance. Sharing can only be achieved by enlightened road users who show care towards one another. His Excellency Governor General David Johnston is calling on Canadians to build a Strong and Caring Nation. I see sharing the road as a small step towards this lofty goal.
Best Regards, Diane Freeman”
I struggled with deciding how and if I should respond. I was truly hurt with the contents of the email. I felt victimized all over again. I felt like I did something wrong, when I knew I did not. In the end I prepared the above response with the hopes of educating one and maybe through this blog others on how we need to seek to care for one another.