How Not To Die While Cycling

Cycling in a busy city like Montreal is easy. It’s true that our automobile drivers have a terrible reputation, and most cyclists don’t obey the laws of the road. Even pedestrians get into the act by crossing on red lights. Especially downtown where the streets are narrow and it’s easy to skit across.

It’s just not dangerous at all to ride in traffic if you obey the laws. I’ll admit that I was a bit of an idiot when I was younger. I rode a bike without brakes for 2 summers which ended when I broke the bike in half by slamming into a station wagon at full speed. It was pulling out of a driveway and I…well…I had no brakes. I flew over the car but only ended up with a cut on my thigh. I was lucky, but continued to be stupid for another 3 to 10 years in both biking and non-biking situations. We’ll save those details for another time.

jagwire bicycle brake padsA few weeks ago, I installed new brake pads on my bike. Stopping is key if you want to stay alive. Look how snug they look all nestled in next to the wheel like that. They work great!

Even as a law abiding cyclist, I managed to get a ticket last summer. 30$ for riding on a designated pedestrian street. It was for only half a block, but I got caught. It wouldn’t have been so bad if a pedestrian hadn’t walked up to the officer and said, “Oh thank you, officer! These cyclists deserve to be ticketed!” Well, doesn’t someone deserve to be beaten to a pulp, I mused. But I didn’t say anything. I believe in karma.

Cycling is my favorite summertime activity for both commuting and leisure. There’s nothing quite like arriving at work sweating profusely. My colleagues appear to be cool with it or might be too polite to say anything. I sure do love my bike.

blue specialized mountain bike

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  • 1 – Fuck! Your place is a mess.
    2 – I really like your guitar bike stand.
    3 – You need to transfer your plant to a bigger pot.
    4 – I am heading downstairs to tune up my bike.
    5 – Is that a dildo on your coffee table?

  • Peter

    How do us bikers (if I had a bike) obey traffic laws, when the rules are so ambiguous for us (you) bikers.

  • nice bike you’ve got there. i also love biking, unfortunately, my office is too far away from home and that means no biking to work for me.

  • Nice bike!  And nice collection of guitars but I have to ask, what kind of plant is that (if it is a plant)? At first glance it looks like a mutant spiny lobster shell or something that crawled out of a sci-fi movie.  Dang, it’s ugly.


  • It kind of sounds like Amsterdam.  I’ve never seen so many bikes as in Amsterdam!  I swear that’s why everyone looked to be 25, tan, and in great shape!  Do be careful though.  A friend was riding and got badly hurt when a guy opened his car door as she was whizzing by.  I love the collection of guitars!  Impressive!  Do show a photo of your legs to show everyone how good legs look when you use a bike every day.   (And, no, I ‘m not asking for an Anthony Weiner type thing, Mike!  You know me better than that!)

  • I love cities that have a lot of bikers. Here in Kansas City, there is a minimal amount of people riding bikes on the public streets.  Our biking/hiking trails are quite well used.  (and there are a LOT of trails) Linda is right about Amsterdam. Everyone uses a bike.  Our son went to college there and I don’t think he ever had occassion to need a car. How often have you had people asking for a picture of your legs? Pretty funny, Linda… I am laughing.

  • Jepeto

    Nice Mike, Bike. Hum…mice nike, hike. Tuck! Nut again! Where py mills?

  • There’s no coffee table in that picture. Are you sure you weren’t talking about yours when you wrote that?

  • The rules for cyclists are the same as for cars. It’s certain cyclists who are ambiguous about the rules.

  • Thanks, Eric. Luckily my office is only a 20 minute ride, which is about 5-6km. I generally consider anything further than 10km to be a bit too much for a morning commute.

  • I know, it’s hideous! Which is why it’s on the floor. It’s kind of a leafy cactus thing and recently, it sprung another head. I guess that means it’s healthy, so it’s going to be around for a bit.

  • I wish it was like Amsterdam! Amsterdam totally has it figured out with the bike/bus/car routes all intertwined. We’re still in the chaos phase.
    I’ve been complimented on my calves while cycling, but seeing as I was still in my idiot phase at the time, I didn’t get her number 🙁

    Also, what guitars? 😉

  • I didn’t know KC had so many trails. Good to know! And yes, Amsterdam is the best example of how multiple modes of transport can get along.

    Requests for pics of my legs? Definitely doesn’t happen often!

  • In th cedicine mabinet!

  • OMFG!  Did I type that?  I must have been drinking!   Gitars?  Better, huh?  Also I did see a photo of your splendid legs but it was quite a while ago!  (But I”m betting they are still splendid!)

  • No no! You were correct in saying “guitars”. I was trying to be funny by pretending that there were no guitars in the photo when clearly there are many of them (and a violin).

  • That station wagon was probably askin’ for it…  Sorry to hear that your bike was a casualty of the object lesson you were trying to give to the car.

  • Me and some friends actually repaired the bike. New set of forks and it was back to its brakeless self. It even got stolen, and returned the next day. What a great bike 🙂

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  • Haha.  You’d be right at home in China.  People park their cars, ride bikes, ebikes and basically use the pedestrian areas for anything they fancy.  

    Hell, I ride my ebike on the side because the bike lane is jammed with parked cars. :/

  • I can only imagine. Since they started with BIXI in Montreal, there are so many more cyclists that we’re actually getting close to that point critical mass daily.


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