What part of “bicycle path” don’t you understand?

joggers

Dear jogger douchebags,

I know it’s a beautiful day and you want to take a nice jog around the park, but you must have realized by now that you’re jogging in the middle of a bicycle path. For various reasons, most notably the speed difference between you and the cyclists who would pass you, it is dangerous for you and those cyclists for you to be jogging in our path. Acknowledging this by shifting to the side when you see us coming doesn’t mitigate that, if only because you don’t see us coming behind you.

It’s not like there aren’t enough places to jog in this city. Most streets have sidewalks on both sides, but even with this city’s stellar reputation as a bike-friendly town, the bicycle path network is a patchy, disconnected mess. This is one of the few isolated bike paths in town, and you’re standing in the middle of it.

I know there’s something about the asphalt winding through the grass that is just so irresistible. If we could give you your own asphalt path to walk on we could.

Oh wait, there’s one ten feet to your left. Your own special lane. There are even little icons painted onto the ground at regular intervals to make clear that there’s a walking path and a bicycle path. Using our path when you have one of your own, that’s just being a douchebag.

walkers and joggers

The best part is when you pass by some senior walker douchebags who are walking in the lane for oncoming traffic, creating a pedestrian wall to make it even more dangerous for everyone.

stroller

Dear stroller mommy douchebag,

I see you have a child (not pictured) with you today, and he’s on his bike. Well, actually he’s not on his bike. His bike is on its side on the bike path.

As one of the safer bicycle paths in the city, this is a perfect spot for children. I fully support his right to use this path, even if he may be slow and prone to randomly changing directions.

You, however, are not on a bicycle. The stroller you’re pushing may have wheels, but they are not sufficient to qualify for this special lane.

Oh, and your two dogs, who are off their leashes and randomly cross the bike path oblivious to bicycle traffic? Yeah, that’s pure douchebaggery.

car

Dear driver douchebag,

I understand that there aren’t any painted lines here that denote the fact that you’re parked in the middle of a bicycle lane. There are those green posts though, and all the cars in front of you are parked six feet from the curb. Did you not stop for a moment and wonder why?

No, instead you stayed in your car (which, I might add, would be parked illegally even if it wasn’t in a bicycle lane) and did nothing as I tried to squeeze by in the narrow groove you left on your right side. I suppressed the urge to let my handlebars scrape against the side of your car making a long noticeable gash. This time.

And while I’m at it…

potties

Dear park maintenance douchebags,

This is a large park with lots of fields on it. You couldn’t figure out anywhere better to put your portable toilets? Did you not consider the danger inherent in an opaque door opening onto a bike path at the bottom of a hill? Could you not have put the toilets on the other side, or had the doors facing another way, or even just moved them over a few feet to reduce the chance of a bathroom-goer getting smashed by a cyclist at high speed?

Some things to think about folks.

Signed,

Your Friendly Neighbourhood Douchebag.

34 thoughts on “What part of “bicycle path” don’t you understand?

  1. lolcats

    geez. give him a makak jalopy and he’s suddenly a diehard bike activist!
    I can’t wait for your next cause.

    Reply
  2. ladyjaye75

    2 years ago, I spent the summer biking to work. Most of the way isn’t too bad since there’s a bike path (especially now that the Maisonneuve downtown path is open). However, I stopped doing that because of two spots on my route that were rather dangerous. Better quit before I get into an accident. Here are the two spots in question: 1. the intersection of Dickson and Notre-Dame. Very scary at rush hour, even with a separate pedestrian/cyclist light. 2. the intersection of Delorimier and René-Lévesque, where the bike path changes sides. This is where the cars turn to go to the Jacques-Cartier bridge. Why not have made that change elsewhere, say, in front of the CBC building? It’s just a bit further and makes more sense.

    Oh, and if I happened to work a bit late on Wednesdays, the bike path’s spot facing La Ronde would be filled with douches who’d come watch the fireworks. Wouldn’t it be asking too much to people to stay clear of the damn path and stay on the grass? I admit it: when people are in my way on a bike path, I become a total bitch. I yell ATTENTION! and couldn’t care less if that person got the scare of their life.

    Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      I’m not so mad about the fireworks. The street is closed to traffic, so one would assume the bike path would be too. And I’ve biked down there during the fireworks, there’s enough room in the middle of the street to get by.

      Reply
  3. princess iveylocks

    You know what else is annoying on a bike ride? GEESE! Stupid mother****ers waddle around the path aimlessly, five astride, unpredictably coming to a dead stop or abruptly veering into the cyclist’s detour route…

    Come to think of it, geese are exactly like London pedestrians, except they don’t smoke and curse less raucously than the fine specimens of voluntarily unemployed humanity I encounter on a daily basis.

    Although I have no factual evidence to prove this, I believe they reproduce less frequently too.

    Off-leash dogs are pretty stupid too. There are areas for off-leash dogs, I believe they are helpfully labeled “off-leash parks” and fenced off from cyclists and rollerbladers. If your dog is a moron and likes running up to rapidly moving objects (like all dogs do), I recommend checking out these wonderful untrammeled spaces.

    But my absolute LEAST favourite are the very special people who jog on the left. Not the grassy left, but the left side of the concrete.

    As in, the right line throughfare.

    They are so unique! Why should they move their squat, resentful, blond tanned selves away from oncoming traffic? They are hardcore road warriors, dispelling any collisions with the force of their sunglass-enhanced glares! The city built this 40K network for THEM, dammit, so they are bloody well entitled to take up the entire path as they jog along mincingly to downtempo Madonna hits.

    Reply
  4. Alastair Yates

    What about those cyclists who ride on sidewalks (which are for PEDESTRIANS) and run red lights (which are also supposed to be obeyed by cyclists)? Yes non-cyclists on bicycle paths is annoying, but not nearly as annoying as a cyclist nearly mowing you down on a sidewalk.

    Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      I was going to post a photo of a douchebag cyclist riding on the sidewalk, but I couldn’t get the picture in time.

      I don’t think one justifies the other though.

      Reply
  5. personne

    This reminds me of the time I was riding slowly on a wide sidewalk on my bike and a lone pedestrian, with metres of clearance all around him, snarled at me “it’s called a side WALK for a reason.” They’re called laxatives for a reason.

    Reply
  6. Eric

    What, no pictures of the biking douchebags on De Maisonneuve who ride the bikes on the street after we gave up all those primo parking spots so they could have their own lane? Anyways, no need to use the word douchebag when talking about Montrealers, it kinda goes without saying.

    Reply
  7. Jack Ruttan

    The downtown de Maisonneuve bike path is death on wheels. How about that little space by Metcalfe where it’s tight enough for one bike to squeeze by, forget about two lanes of bikes going different directions, and pedestrians.

    More than its share of eccentrics and idiots there, plus drunks. See you soon!

    DeLormier and Notre Dame is pretty scary.

    Reply
  8. Bill Lee

    Somebody got off on the wrong side of the bike this morning.

    There are such things as attention bumps that wake up pedestrians who look
    down and see the signs, while cyclists just coast over the raised platform with
    knobs on and smirk.
    Maybe the signs aren’t big enough, threatening enough or metal detectors don’t
    flash lights when a non-metalic human steps on the path.

    Reply
  9. Robin

    You forgot about the douchebags who push their wheelchair ridden parents in the bike lane, when there’s a perfectly nice, empty sidewalk right next to them.

    Reply
  10. Jean Naimard

    Ah, yes. Biketiquette. And the total righteousness riding a non-polluting, healthy vehicle. Pure bliss.
    I seldom ride on bike paths, but whenever I have to, if there are two-footed rubberneckers, my favourite trick is to sneak up on them, then shout as loud as possible when I go by them at speed.
    * * *
    The Maisonneuve is a tricky path; I also sneak up on cars, and if they turn without checking, I sneak up on the driver and shout.
    * * *
    But here is my best ever encounter:
    The scene: (almost) in Montréal-Ouest, going north on Elmhurst where it butts into Sherbrooke, just when school finishes and the streets are full of the brats going to Montréal-Ouest station to take the “Kiddy-Express” home (that’s how the train crews call the train that goes by at the school closing time).
    So I want to turn west on Sherbrooke to go towards Westminster, so I am on the left of the lane, waiting for the light. Comes a big honkin’ pickup truck turning south, taking all the room, and of course, I am in “his” way.
    You have no fucking business the road, you fucking biker, I hear, coming from the piehole of the asshjerk driving the truck.
    Of course, that was the proper way to insure that I would not move at all. Why would I? The light was red and there was that big honkin’ truck in the way.
    After about 2 minutes of yelling, he starts to manoeuver to avoid me. Meanwhile my light turns green but since the guy is very adept (not!) at driving his truck, he’s still not finished when it turns red again.
    He eventually manages to head south; as the light turns green, I leave, but I notice that the crossing gates go down. So the asshole will be trapped by the “Kiddy Express”.
    So I turn around, catch up with him, and as I start to give him a free conference about the respect due to cyclists, I notice a little boy on the seat.
    Ohh, that’s nice! I say. You’re teaching your kid how to be an asshole!
    He starts to yell at me again that I should get off the road; this gets the interest of the kids rushing to the station for their train… Before long, there’s about 50 kids yelling “asshole! asshole! asshole!” while their train take it’s sweet fucking time pulling into the station.
    The back of the train clears the crossing, and a train going the other direction arrives at the station, so the gates stay down.
    As I leave, the jerk decides to drive around the lowered crossing gates, only to fall in the hands of the railroad cop who was waiting on the other side of the tracks for precisely such an occation to give a $500 ticket to the asshole (maybe I should have asked the railroad for a commission)…
    To him, it only cost him $500, but for me, it was priceless!!!
    And I wonder what the little kid thinks of the big asshole…

    Reply
  11. JoLalo

    Ouais, mais Steve, rendu dans l’Est où Notre-Dame n’est plus fermée, les osties de douchebags continuent à utiliser la piste cyclable… J’vais tu vraiment me placer dans le chemin des voitures sur putain-de-Notre-Dame?

    Piste cyclable = vélos. Si tu tiens à la vie de tes enfants, la mère, arrange-toi pas pour qu’ils se mettent en plein milieu de la piste cyclable à 22h30 entre les arbres où seul mon petit faisceau lumineux de mon phare de vélo peut sauver la vie dudit enfant.

    Reply
  12. Eric Gagne

    Next time, I will ask my wife to take a picture of me leaving my appartment. I live on Berri which is oneway southwards. The next street is also a southward oneway. Guess what I do when I have to go the other way, when there are cars parked on both side, and a bus is coming my way: I use the sidewalk. But I always give the priority to the pedestrians.

    Anyway, that is the key. If you run red lights or go the wrong way or the sidewalk, respect the f…. priority of those( bikers, drivers, pedestrians) who have it.

    Last word: On a bike I really have to care about what is on my way, any accident can greatly injure me as well as the other person. In a car, many drivers (not all) don’t give a s… because they feel highly protected. Don’t compare driving a 2 ton car with a 20 kg (+70 kg biker) bike. :)

    Reply
  13. Horonymous

    You sound like a motorist. Alas there are asshat pedistrian, cyclist and motorists.

    We just need to watch our for them.

    Share the road folks.

    Reply
  14. Homer

    fagstein, you sound like the douchebag here…

    I guess, I have every right as a motorist, pedestrian, public transport user and cyclist to complain about the DOUCHEBAG cyclists that are biking up and down st-catherine and sherbrooke when they have a bike path for themselves on de Maisonneuve? What about the DOUCHEBAG cyclist who ride on the sidewalk on overpasses?
    What about the further DOUCHBAGS who are on de Maisonneuve and not using the bikepath that cost millions of dollars of taxpayer money?

    Really disappointed in this rant… you’re being completely unreasonable. Just get a god damn bell for your bike and “ding ding” and people will make room for you. Oh, and get of your high horse, and share the road like everyone else.

    You’ve just further portrayed the stereotypical holier than thou cyclist this city is plagued with…

    Reply
  15. Homer

    Just as unreasonable as asking for roads to be reserved for cars.

    The lines on the road are painted wide for CARS/Trucks/Motorcycles. Roads weren’t made for bikes or for walking on, but people do walk on them and DO ride bikes or rollerblade, or roller-ski (trust me i’ve seen it). As drivers we have been told we need to give them right of way (since WE can hurt them more than they can hurt us).

    Cyclists on the road are dangerous, but we, drivers have to tolerate them. Pedestrians run into the street without look, we have to bike and THEY ( the pedestrians) have the right of way.

    Drivers have to share the roads with Bike, and Pedestrians. If you want a bike oriented city, expect to have to tolerate people who aren’t always as courteous as you are.

    Reply
  16. Ramsay

    On a related subject, what can be done about bus stops along bike paths (ex. along Berri)? Providing about 18 inches of standing room after stepping down all but ensures accidents will occur.

    Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      The ideal solution would be to not have buses and bike paths on the same streets. When the path goes on Brébeuf and Boyer this problem disappears.

      Reply
  17. Kevin

    Homer seems to get just about everything backwards. Yes, in fact, the cyclists who bike on de Maisonneuve rather than the bike path are douchebags. It doesn’t follow that the roads are only for cars. Autoroutes, okay; no place for a bike. But the bike path network is far from complete, and many trips require riding on the road. And complaining about pedestrians on the road? That’s how they get from one sidewalk to the next, and while it is apparently a challenging concept for drivers here, when pedestrians are crossing the street, they do have priority over drivers’ left turns, just like any other road user. There are of course pedestrians who cross blindly, etc. Those are douchebags. And of course, there is another group of douchebags on the bike paths not mentioned by Fagstein (no, I don’t mean rollerbladers, that goes without saying): many of the cyclists. There are the douchebags that ride side by side at 1/4 of the speed of most other cyclists; the douchebags that ride at a reasonable clip but still slower than even a cranky old man like me with my 2+inch wide tires and insist on being closer to the centre line than the edge, so that they can’t be passed if there’s another of their ilk coming in the opposite direction; etc. At least with respect to their behaviour on the move, Eric said it best above: “no need to use the word douchebag when talking about Montrealers, it kinda goes without saying”.

    Reply
  18. Justin

    Brilliant Steve. Simply brilliant. I could not have said it better myself. I witness this kind of doucebagness every single day when I ride.

    Take a spin on the path from Lachine along the canal back through Lasalle by the water. Nothing but douchbags pushing strollers the size of Hummers.

    Oh and Homer, get a clue.

    Reply
  19. Lucie

    Merci pour cet article; je me sens moins seule au monde à rager contre toutes les idioties qu’on peut voir dans les pistes… Je comprends vraiment pas l’attrait de la piste, c’est à croire qu’elles sont aimantés pour attirer autant les gens… Il y a aussi tous ces crétins qui se croient plus hot parce qu’ils joggent dans une piste cyclable et non sur le trottoir juste à côté…

    Reply
    1. Edith

      tu veux savoir pourquoi on court pas sur le trottoir , ben ces pas parce que on est idiots. Le béton qu’on utilise pour les trottoir est beaucoup plus dur pour l’impact des articulation, tendis que l’ alfate est beaucoup plus molle donc moins dure pour les impacts… Sérieusement je me pense pas super hot parce que je cours sur LE REBORD d’une piste cyclable c’est une question de confort et de technique . désoler de partager votre territoire de cycliste !

      Reply
  20. Sid

    Agree 100% with your premise and examples, except you could easily have another dozen douchebag types under your microscope. Sadly, many are bicycle-riding douchebags

    a few I notice:
    Racers on bike path (mellow out dudes, it’s not a race track)
    Twits with any type of headphone on
    non-single-file groups on busy paths
    any bicycle on a busy sidewalk
    cyclists stopping at red light and blocking the intersection for pedestrians on crosswalk
    people who lock up their bikes and block the railings/ramps used by old or mobility reduced people.
    Any place with a stupid bike rack (i.e. front of front wheel rack as at Outremont copshop/public security opposite outremont metro
    Any group of one or more people stopped on a bike path and NOT off to the side
    People who use the wrong side of the painted-on-street bike paths (i.e. hutchinson at laurier)
    Idiots who ride UP st-Urbain on the downhill-only direction bike path
    anyone who practices the 7 wrong ways to turn at an intersection on the bike on as many wrong-sides/directions as possible
    The lack of baggage cars to carry bikes on AMT suburban trains
    this is complicated, but has caused me so many near-death experiences: cars in left lane waiting to turn left, one car driver in lane is blocked but wants to go straight, so driver jumps into right lane to continue in a straight direction, causing bike rider to shit his pants or be killed.
    Any red light runner
    Any horde of kids with parent NOT in single file. (and major kudos to any parent who does achieve this level of control)
    Any parent who doesn’t teach their kids to stop and look when entering a street – almost killed a kid this week who rode out of an alley across the street without stopping/looking.
    Any double parker or half-in-the-parking space/half on street car who is blocking the space where a bike would ride.
    Traffic engineers who narrow the street and make less space for bike riders: new part of St-Laurent, all long cote-ste-catherine where they have narrowed intersections to allow quicker pedestrian crossing, but removing space for bikes to ride beside cars (see laurier at cote-ste-catherine)

    Reply
  21. CycleCrazyCrassCrud

    I agree, there are people like this all over the place and it isn’t only contained to bike paths.

    I was at a skateboard park with my daughter a couple of weeks ago. There was a family standing in the middle of the skatepark flying kites. Now these weren’t normal kites. They were just a bit smaller than the type that people in the ocean use for para-surfing or whatever it is called.

    I went over to the father and told him that what he was doing was dangerous and that there was a large field, a two minute walk away that would be better suited for this.

    They left for the field and he was apologetic and nice, but I wonder what in the world he was thinking????

    Reply
  22. Edith

    I am a jogger who trains in the park. and I’m sorry to tell you
    sometimes I have to take the bike path as it loops
    longer. By cons I respect the bike and I run on the side of the
    road. second, that your toilet seen her settle in for a day
    during special events taking place at the park. again I think
    People often park to meet a strength of this cross any 5 x
    week. I never had to face was a cyclist who thought that I
    disorganized.
    Thank you

    Reply

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