Watch your ass, Bicycle Man -or- Walking, Riding, and Being Ridden Over on the Burrard Street Bridge

It was so beautiful today that I decided to walk home from MacDonald and Broadway. This requires that, at some point, I cross a bridge to get downtown. I chose Burrard as it was closest to me, and of the three immediate bridges, it puts me closest to my place of residence. Of course, Burrard Street Bridge is also a bustling bicycle route in Vancouver, allowing office workers to commute to and from their jobs.

Hey, good on ’em. I gave a thumbs up and pretend high-fived every blessed one of them.

Except for you, Mr. get-the-hell-outta-my-way-I-am-a-bicyclist. Yes, I see your fancy road bike, and I see your reflective patches, your over-sized aerodynamic helmet, your skin tight outfit, and I see your man-junk. Oh, are the five professional cyclists in front of you going to slow?  Then blast on by!  Oh, but you’re scared of traffic?  Well, just head into the pedestrian lane and scream “Get out-a-tha-waaaaay!”.

Please, I beg of you Mr. did-you-not-hear-me-I-am-a-fucking-bicyclist, leave your ego at home, or at work, or really anywhere either than in plain view, rolling around the edge of your seat like a couple of under cooked pirogies struggling to break away from their polyester prison.

I was almost run over by a bicyclist on the Burrard Street Bridge yesterday. On each side of the bridge, there is a one lane each for foot and bicycle traffic. Sure, maybe I should have joined my northern-bound bicycle compatriots on the east side of the bridge as I came downtown. If there had been signs instructing me to walk on the other side, I would have. No sweat.

But you know what, I wasn’t the only one walking North on my side. There were at least a dozen of us – a dozen of the smartest, life-loving walkers in this city. Why? Well, what’s there to see east of Burrard? Nothing, that’s what, unless you consider a cement factory something, or the ugliest bridge in the GVRD something. To the west is a beautiful beach, sunbathers bathing, sailboats sailing, dogs frolicking and fornicating, and old people watching it all from their west end apartments. To the east, the false creek harbor – the crapper of our fair city’s boating population.

Two months ago, the city revealed that the cost to modify the bridge to allow for increased bicycle space had quadrupled to a staggering $57 million. I have a better solution: thumb’s ups and high fives, but only for those that deserve them.

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Dave Semeniuk spends hours locked up in his office, thinking about the role the oceans play in controlling global climate, and unique ways of studying it. He'd also like to shamelessly plug his art practice: