Collecting the Door Prize


Photo Peter Redman, National Post

David Hayes is an experienced urban cyclist and glances ahead at side-view mirrors to see if anyone is getting ready to pull out or open the door. It isn't rush hour, it is Saturday in July. He is behind a slow cyclist who blocks his view. "I see this part of the day like a video clip, a series of rapid-fire events in freeze-frames. First, a door opens, knocking the slow-moving cyclist sideways. I jam on my brakes but he's falling right in my path. My front wheel collides with the falling bike and, I'm certain, the edge of the door with a terrible crunch." Two cyclists down and the driver says ""I couldn't see you coming. You came up behind me, came out of nowhere ?" David has injured both his arms, not what one would call major injuries, but he is a freelance writer.

"For a self-employed writer, the after effects have been catastrophic. Ten or 15 minutes of typing does me in and even scribbling a few lines in a notepad is painful. (For this story, my girlfriend helped with the typing.) And work that I'd been counting on for cash flow in the coming months has ground to a halt.

My physiotherapist, who has seen injuries of this sort countless times, warns that it may be many more weeks before I fully recover and that my left elbow may never fully straighten.

It's a reminder to cyclists to be vigilant about parked cars and a wake-up call for the many drivers who forget that their responsibility doesn't end when they turn off the ignition."::National Post

TreeHugger promotes cycling as perhaps the best way to get around a city, but how many serious door prizes and deaths is it going to take before they make the city safe for cyclists, instead of forcing us into a two foot wide space between streetcar tracks and parked cars filled with people who don't know how to use a mirror?

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