Sunday, September 26, 2010

Thanks, NCC...

(I'm still mad at you about climbing access to Gatineau Park, but I do have to admit, you make my cycling life easier.)

This sign just went up at Parc Riverain, just off Montreal Road. Note that not only does it say "Don't feed the birds," but the bird pictured is ... yup indeed ... a Canada goose. 

I can't count the number of times I've come swinging down the little slope from Montreal Road on the bike path, happy to have cleared the awkward crosswalk and dodged the riders waiting at the bus stop and the random skaters or bladers or other bikes that tend to behave erratically at that intersection, only to have to come to a screeching halt because there's a flock of goddamn Canada geese wandering across the path, being fed by some well-meaning family, usually with small children who are also wandering across the path. I know it's not a huge inconvenience in the grand scheme of things, but between dodging goose droppings (which are large, green, and disgusting, and litter the path throughout the summer) and worrying that one of these days a goose will duck the wrong way and I'll hit it, and worrying that one of these days someone's kid will dart out into the path unexpectedly and I'll hit her, a cyclist can start to get a bit frustrated. 

How many times have I thought to myself, if you must feed the ducks or the geese or the pigeons or the seagulls, can you at least not do it standing on the heavily traveled bike path?

I note that there are no Canada geese on the path these days anyway: think they've already headed out. Funny how you can have them all over the place one day, moving in great landbound flocks all over the grass looking a lot like a herd of dinosaurs, and the next the whole park is empty. And this sign went up just as the geese left - to give people a chance to get used to the new rule? Maybe. Will it be enforced or obeyed? Maybe.

It made me happy to see the sign, though, and I stopped and came back to take a picture. Here's hoping this will eventually discourage the geese, and I'll have to worry less about who would come out best in a collision.

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