The Cycle of Violence

Case Against Bryant Crashes

The buzz on the street these days revolves around Michael Bryant; the case against the former Ontario attorney general seems to have fizzled out after the crown withdrew charges against him stemming from the unnecessary death of Darcy Allen Sheppard, a troubled bike courier.

While I do not condone what happened, the backlash from the cycling community is pretty dramatic; phrases like “…the message I’m getting is we deserve to die for riding a bike…” and “…it’s official: we are roadkill…” are being tossed around. The death of Mr. Sheppard is unfortunate, and the fact that his possible killer gets off scott-free is even moreso; however, I am finding it difficult to sympathize with the cyclists.

I have said before that a great majority of cyclists really piss me off; there are many who ride bikes that will cry foul when an automobile driver toes the line between safely assertive and aggressive, yet a good number of those same people have little regard for the rules of the road themselves. I can tell you that I have had quite a few near-misses with cyclists in my neighbourhood, as they breeze through the stop signs at break-neck speed; I certainly have no problem with a rolling-stop policy, but that involves actually checking for oncoming or intersecting traffic, be it on wheels or on feet, rather than blindly zooming through. I have a number of examples of this sort of hypocrisy, but I really don’t feel like getting worked up.

My message is simple: If you are a cyclist, and you are angry at the verdict of the case (or lack thereof) that recently transpired, make sure that you live up to the ideals that you stand for when your feet touch your pedals; or you’ll be just as bad as the Andretti’s that you bitch about.