An open letter to the cyclist heading west on Portage Ave during rush hour on Thursday:
As an advocate of cycling, I ride to work as often as I can and support the creation of bike lanes here in the city. So you had my full sympathy as I watched you struggling along in the slush, moving ahead of the bus I was on at about the pace of a slow jog. I recognized that you had a right to that lane, and while I personally would have pulled over and stopped to let the bus by you chose to exercise your right to the lane and didn’t seem to mind holding up a busload of fellow commuters. Fine. Some folks are like that. The bus managed to pass you and we resumed a normal speed.
But you lost my support completely at the next stop light when you swung out from the curb and moved between two lanes of stopped cars, passed not one but two buses full of passengers eager to get home, ran the red light and struggled on for another half-block before the light changed, putting yourself in the perfect position to once again reduce roughly 70 fellow commuters to your slow-jog pace.
Winnipeg is perfect for bikes. It’s flat enough that my mother could commute by bike, and most of the main roads are plenty wide to accommodate them. Too perfect, apparently, since it allow idiots like you to keep riding in the winter time. I was always a bit curious why drivers hated bikes so much, but now, thanks to you, I think I’m beginning to understand.
Sir, you have a rare opportunity to do something that will please both drivers AND cyclists alike. Put your bike in the garage until the roads get better, stop blocking traffic, get on the bus instead of slowing it down, and stop making the rest of the city’s cyclists look bad.