Toronto cyclists are using pool noodles to combat dangerous drivers
If you've been keeping up with the news this summer, or use Twitter like, ever, I don't need to tell you how worked up people in Toronto can get about bicycles.
Not everybody is on the same page about traffic calming measures or how many bike lanes the city should have, but we can all agree — unless we're sociopaths — that nobody should be killed on the streets of Toronto.
Given how many cyclists and pedestrians do, in fact, die in this city on account of traffic incidents (93 of them between 2016 and 2018 alone), riding a bike is downright scary for many locals these days.
Those who do ride on the regular report frequent "near miss" experiences and incredibly dangerous behaviour among mildly inconvenienced motorists — like stopping in bike lanes, turning right without looking or getting way, way too close to vulnerable cyclists with their two-ton killing machines.
Drivers not knowing how big their car is or where their wheels are, is like one of my biggest pet peeves. Using a noodle really brings it out - most literally can't gauge how close they are to nearby objects. Okay done. (4/3) #bikeTO— neville park (@neville_park) June 27, 2018
Enter the pool noodle! A soft, simple, harmless tube that some cyclists are choosing to mount under their seats so that cars learn to leave one-metre’s distance when passing them on the road — you know, like the law says they should.
I shouldnt even be showing you 905ers this BUT..Drivers and cyclists are playing this awesome new game downtown. The cyclists strap pool noodles to their bicycles and I'm pretty sure if you can hit the pool noodle with your car you get points! #VisionZero pic.twitter.com/9Wy2tNbcNF— Condo Chris Borkowski (@CondoChris) August 13, 2018
The idea isn't new, but it seems to have caught on in popularity since The Star profiled OG Toronto pool noodle cyclist Warren Huska back in 2016.
Pool noodle riders have been spotted all over the city in recent months, and some local cyclists swear by the tactic.
"The difference is remarkable," tweeted Neville Park of their pool noodle in July. "Though it still feels like a game of chicken when a car is zooming up behind you and you stay on course instead of moving right."
"I was doored, closely passed and threatened a number of times," wrote someone who goes by Root Brian on Twitter in May. "I now use a helmet camera, and soon, putting the pool noodle back ON my bike. If they can't give us 1 metre of passing distance (IT'S THE LAW!), THEY should lose that privilege to drive."
Better a pool noodle than baseball bat wrapped in barbed wire, right?
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