Why a Fellow Cyclist Said Nasty Things to Me this Morning

I was heading east on Dundas this morning when I stopped for a red light at Shaw Street, east of Ossington. A scruffy guy pedalled up from behind, ambling in a high gear, and blew through the red. It changed to green and I was at the guy’s rear wheel after a few pedal strokes. He continued to amble, so I passed him and came to a stop by a minivan at the red at Montrose Avenue. Ambler went by but before he cleared the intersection, I had to call him out.

“Oh yeah, keep going. I don’t want to catch you again,” I said with what I’m sure was playful sarcasm.

“Fuck you, asshole!” he yelled over his shoulder.

A guy in the minivan called to me, across a woman in the passenger seat :

“He’s going to get hit someday.”

It was offered like a consolation. Sure, ambler was passing you and slowing you up, but he’d get what’s coming, don’t worry ruler-follower. The words were also a show of solidarity. We didn’t run red lights. We were good drivers. It’s like we were on the same team. But we’re not.

“Yeah, but that happens to cyclists who follow the rules, too,” I said.

We both started moving on the green.

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