These past three years, I’ve gotten around Montreal with little more than a bus pass and a Bixi key but, last summer, when 15 noticed the black and red-trimmed plastic dangling from my keychain, he couldn’t help but shake his head, almost in disgust, at the fact that I supported the bicycle sharing system. Why not? I responded. And what followed was a brief but insightful debate about the whole program and those who make use of it.
It turns out people don’t hate Bixi; they hate the dickheads who ride them. And If you’re unsure about whether or not you’re part of this dickheadedness, then perhaps you should ask yourself some of these questions the next time you wrench a Bixi from its Telus branded bike rack.
Must you use the sidewalk as your personal bike path? It’s one thing to hop the curb when you sense danger, or when it’s time to take a breather; it’s another when you insist on tailgating pedestrians, impatiently ringing your bell, demanding that they move aside. You won’t get too far on those three gears so instead of traipsing around, do us all a favor and walk the damn thing when you’re not on the road.
Why aren’t you wearing a helmet? Maybe you’re a tourist or riding around town for the first time but if you’re anything like me, going to and from work every other day, you should just buy one already. The one distinction motorists make between bixiers and cyclists is that, amidst the ruck, cyclists have the awareness and coordination to get the hell out of the way so making the argument that you bike only occasionally is little more than a reason to shell out the few extra bucks. You don’t see Communauto drivers going around without seatbelts, do you?
Should you really be tweeting from your bike? @BIXImontreal couldn’t care less that you’re on one. @RiMartineau won’t call you out on la belle vie. Only Segways are less cool than these things so, please, enough with touting your phone while you ride. Focus on the road and your surroundings because your friends don’t care what you’re doing right this instant but they’ll be pissed if you die and fail to check them in on facebook.
Enough bitching about the ads, kay? How can they possibly bother you this much? There are always going to be ads, always. They even double as decent and tasteful mudguards. But if you’d rather pay more for your membership, fine. If you ride the metro or bus without ads, fine. If you Google without ads, YouTube without ads, and buy apps without ads, fine. Otherwise, get over it. They’re just ads, dude.