a remarkable trip to work

Toronto, 2014.04.01

Today as I was riding to work, I came upon a construction site where a giant crane was lifting some concrete barriers into place. All traffic was held up as the concrete blocks floated through the air at head level.

The cyclist behind me spotted a policeman at the site, and asked him, "Hey, where's your hard hat?" He kept at it, and I chuckled along with the cop and some of the construction workers. But then he wouldn't let it go, and the officer strolled over towards us. Surely the cyclist would zip it?


The officer said, "I don't see a bell on that bike."

"Oh, I just yell, 'ding-ding-ding'!" the cyclist retorted. I turned and saw a fifty-something fellow who looked like you'd expect. The class clown thirty-five years on. No one was really chuckling any more.

"Do you know what the fine is for not having a bell?" asked the cop.

"Do you know what the fine is for not wearing a hard hat in a construction site?" came the flippant response.

The officer advanced again, gestured towards the curb, and said, "Why don't you pull over?"

"Hey," the guy said, "That guy's my partner!" He was pointing at me. I turned away.

We got the go-ahead and I left the fellow there to get his $90 ticket.

(No, this is not an April Fool's day joke.)

A few blocks later, I noticed that the car I was next to was driving a bit oddly. We were at speed, and approaching an intersection. Surely he wasn't preparing to turn? Yes!

I squeezed both brakes and pulled over as he cut me off, yelling, "Ho! Ho! Hey!" My rear tire slid out the way rear tires do, but happily we avoided a collision. I refrained from screaming at the jack-ass when I saw a small child in the back (half-Asian, like my kids). A cyclist behind me said, "Nice work. That happened to me on Queen yesterday."

We're not even a week out of the winter weather, and already this? Hmmmph. This is why I cycle (and drive) in what the gun-carry loons in the 'States call condition yellow. It's the opposite of a pleasant taking-in of the sights, but with imbeciles at every turn (literally) what can you do.

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