Ken Walker, who writes the blog Bike View in Ottawa, just posted this: video of his bike being deliberately rear-ended by an SUV in Old Ottawa South. (Mom, don't look.)
I'm in total awe of the guy's restraint. I would have been swearing and yelling like mad at the driver. It's a reaction when I'm scared. And although it's never happened to me I would bet there's not much scarier, in the cycling world, than having someone in charge of a half-ton of motor vehicle deciding that it's okay to strike (or, okay, 'nudge' or 'bump') you with it.
I ask: would the driver have done this to a car that was stopped in front of him in the same situation? No. The other car would be seen as having every right to be there waiting for the light. Would he have done it if the vehicle in front of him had been a motorcycle? Nope. Would he have done this to a pedestrian who happened to take that moment to cross the street in front of his grill? Again, no. What on earth gives him the idea it's okay to do it to a cyclist? And why does it seem that this attitude is not so uncommon?
"Well, move over," he says, when Ken protests. I've been down that stretch of Bank a lot. When the right lane isn't full of parked cars, it's so clogged with slush you're forced into the middle lane anyway. Besides. Traffic was stopped, what does it matter if the bike was in his lane; no one was going anywhere anyway. And, he'd already hit Ken with his mirror while he was trying to signal: oh, and look at the video. At that point the bike couldn't have been any further right.
To the driver: you are in control of a deadly weapon. Try to behave like a grownup.
To Ken: bravo. And thanks for getting it on tape. And thanks for reporting it to the cops.