Friday, December 11, 2015

More biking in Toronto

It appears that I have already covered much of what I was going to write here, but I should mention that while the extended bike lanes on Richmond are really quite nice, there is so little enforcement on Adelaide that they are basically useless once you get to University Ave.

I'm a little surprised that I am still biking at least occasionally in the second week of December.  I don't expect to do it much longer, partly because it is starting to get cold* and it is really dark by the time I bike home but mostly because I keep running into terrible head winds ever morning and they get stronger as I get closer to the downtown.

While there are definitely difficulties in urban biking, I haven't felt too personally threatened until today.  I was coming back the long way (having dropped off some books at Robarts) and a few people walking by on the sidewalk yelled at me.  I didn't really pay any attention until one of them pitched a full bottle of water along the street and it skidded past me and hit a parked car.  It's really hard to tell what would have happened if it had hit my tire, particularly the front tire.  I might have been able to keep going, or I might have had a minor fall, or it could have been pretty ugly.  I guess it just goes to show there are cretins everywhere, even in Toronto the Good.  Fortunately, I wasn't hit and I left them behind quickly.

It also goes to show that there is a lot of chance governing our lives.  If I had been going slower, or they threw it a bit harder or at a different angle, I would have been hit.  For that matter, last week I saw a cyclist in front of me nearly hit by a car that decided to turn right onto University at the last minute and didn't signal or even look, even though they have to cross a bike lane.  This is probably the single worst thing about the Richmond bike lane, and I have to remember to actually write City Council about it, since it is so unsafe at that intersection.

It's one of the unfortunate aspects of living with others that it only takes a very small number of misadjusted people to ruin life for everyone: ripping up flowers, destroying park benches, stealing wreathes and donation boxes, etc.  While it isn't literally an example of the third law of thermodynamics, it is an example of the asymmetry involved in creating/preserving a "nice" environment vs. despoiling it.  It takes an enormous amount of energy (and often red tape) to put things right again, which is why vandals can be so "successful."  It is always hard to build something up than try to tear it down.

* I did, however, just turn up my full fingered gloved literally less than 5 minutes ago -- and my banana carrying case.

While people can laugh, it has saved many a banana from being smooshed on the ride in to work, and -- more importantly -- prevented smashed banana from getting over everything else in my panier.

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