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.
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.