Camille’s Journal Entry #2: on cycling safety and being a girl.
The other day, Eric and I were talking about our respective daily commute routes and I was telling him how I normally bike up St-Laurent. He then asked if I was riding in the right lane or between the lanes. I normally use the left lane (I KNOW), because my work is one the left side of the street and like that I am not in the way of the many buses going up that street. Also, my commute isn’t during rush hours so I avoid the issue of big intense traffic jams.
Still, especially for streets like St. Laurent, the safest way to ride them, if you can keep up a good pace, is between the two lanes. No cars turning on you without signalling and no risks of getting doored. Sweet.
I can definitely keep up a pace that allows me to ride between lanes safely, yet I don’t do it because I’m a girl. Yup.
Being a girl is pretty cool, but it comes with a bunch of annoying things likes periods and stuff like that, but in this specific case, things like bros cat-calling you when you bike by their cars or even bros sticking out their hands out their car-window to fake grab your butt or thighs. Super fun stuff. I’ve never heard of anything like this happening to a fellow male cyclist, but I’m pretty sure I’m not the only girl who had to deal with that.
So, biking pretty fast up a busy street, between two rows of cars, and fearing that maybe, just maybe, some douche is gonna’ yell something at me or do something stupid that could have me lose my focus or make me fall is enough for me to decide not to ride there and opt for a less safe spot. All of this, because of my gender. It’s so unfair and it angers me so much.
Even if we take that whole lane theory out, sticking your arm out or yelling at someone who’s biking while you drive by is so dangerous for the cyclist. I don’t even understand how someone could think it is an okay thing to do.
So yeah, being a girl is great, until a douche almost makes your break your face while riding a dumb bixi (Montreal’s city bikes) because he really had to tell (yell) “nice ass”, while sticking half his torso out of a cab.
This one goes to you, classy gentlemen, in that cab on Notre-Dame West back in the Summer of 2010.
ps. maybe be I’m just ranting, ’cause you know, I’m a girl.
pps. please stop cat-calling. It’s rude and creepy.