Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Stickneys and Stones


Hey Don Cherry. I think we need to have a little talk.

While I've always loved your style, your affinity for clashing plaids and your folksy straight talk on Coaches Corner, today I feel betrayed by you. How could you wear such an awesome jacket and hate on cyclists at the same time?
It's like time that time Le Tigre went and did an album with Xtina, and we were all like 'What were you thinking Kathleen?".

Maybe you were seduced. But whatever. There are some things I need to tell you, too. It's only fair.

Like, do you know what I like to do at rush hour on Bloor? I smile and wave at cars from my bike because I'm zipping past everyone on my big red Raleigh road bike. Okay, and maybe I laugh at them, too. Sure, on the highway any of them could drive faster than me, but in the downtown core? Bikes win every time. I can get across the city on my bike in half the time a car can do it. Faster than a taxi. Rather than spending my daily commute flat on my butt, I get to spend it whizzing through traffic with the wind in my hair and my heart pumping blood to my brain.

So go ahead and call me a left wing commie pinko cyclist, Don Cherry (even though I'm a libertarian). We're an easy target. Call me a hippie, or whatever you want. I'll still be biking to work everyday, long after your next coronary bypass and there's nothing you can do about it. In your heart you know I'm right; bikes are the future. Bike lanes are the future, public transit is the future. While US auto makers are going slowly bankrupt, bike sales are only going up and up. Hold on tight to your 'American Dream', where cars are the only ones allowed on the road - cause it's fading fast.


Anonymous said...

what if you live outside toronto but work downtown?
or if you need to move something heavy? how many bikes does it take to move a sewing machine?
what then?

Irene said...

Hey Anonymous - I know lots of people have to commute, but it just doesn't seem like it makes them happy... Biking to work is the best part of my day, and I do tease drivers sometimes, but I seriously think it's really important for people to try and live close to where they work. Obviously it's not possible all of the time, and I totally understand that people have financial and family obligations that would require them to commute, etc.

What I don't understand is why cyclists have become a symbol for so many people to hate on? Why hate on such a cheap, easy, simple and awesome mode of transportation? Sure, cyclists can be rude - but so are most drivers. Why not hate on taxi drivers? or better yet - The Senators? Why did Don Cherry choose to single out cyclists out of everyone?
It feels like we've become a scapegoat for all the problems commuters face.

Irene said...

p.s. I do use rental cars when I have to move really heavy stuff, but I can bike with a sewing machine in my bike basket or under my arm.

Anonymous said...

I save over $9,000 a year now (insurance, gas, lease payments) after getting rid of my car and biking everywhere instead.

Is it okay if I just leave that in the bank instead of smoking it in my pipe?

mego said...

Dear Anonymous,

I have messenger friends in NYC who have a solution



And Momentum did a whole issue about kids and cargo bikes.


Learning is fun!!!

mego said...

And if Ford doesnt' scrap transit city, if you live in the 'burbs you can take public transit downtown! You can talk to people and read and relax instead of driving. Yeah!!!

laura! said...

i think the most unsettling aspect to the don cherry's speech, has nothing to do with cars or cyclists or who gets where faster etc.

rather it's the precedent of intolerance, ignorance & outdated generalization that our new mayor has decided to begin his term with - which unfortunately fell on cyclists.