Views / Winnipeg / Urban Compass Winnipeg

Six ways to kill a cyclist

With a late start to spring, it seems many people are impatient about the late start to cyclist hunting season.

During a short ride on Saturday afternoon, I had cars honk at me, rev their engines at me, and pass me within inches.

So, for the benefit of those who really want to bag a big one this summer, here are a few (completely facetious) tips from your prey:

1. Hit them with your car. Unimaginative, but remarkably effective. Works best at intersections.

2. Drive in the bike lane. In recent years, bike lanes have been added to many streets. In some areas, the paint is still visible enough to make out where the bike lane is supposed to be. Many cyclists naively expect they’ll be safe riding within the painted bike lanes. Fools. But you can surprise them — to death! — by popping in and out of the bike lane with your car, or use it for parking.

3. Door them. If you’re lazy, the good news is that your car doesn’t even have to be moving to kill a cyclist. Just park along a popular bike route, and randomly fling open your door without checking to see if someone is coming first. If you’re lucky enough to catch a cyclist, the end result for them is a lot like riding into a brick wall at full speed.

4. Honk at them. Honking your car horn might seem like an innocent way to express your frustration to cyclists about their existence. And maybe they’ve done something annoying, like pulling into the middle of a lane at a stop sign to avoid being crushed. Jerks. But since the sound of a horn is much louder outside of a car, a blast delivered at the right moment can be enough to startle cyclists and send them careening into traffic or off the road.

5. Give them a right hook. No, not the boxing punch, but that might work, too. On the road, a right hook is when you speed ahead of a cyclist, only to immediately slow down to make a right turn. Timed correctly, the cyclist will fly over or be dragged under your car. Particularly effective if you’re driving a semi-trailer.

6. Infrastructure them to death. This is an advanced technique, as it requires you to get elected to city council or secure employment with the public works department. But once there, a number of effective cyclist minimization strategies are available, like neglecting to repair massive potholes on the edge of the road, forgetting to repaint bike lanes, not replacing tire-grabbing sewer grates, and failing to build safe alternatives to riding on major roadways.

Of course, cyclists, you can do your part to make the pursuit more challenging.

Don’t ride aggressively, don’t pass cars on the right, don’t ride on the sidewalk unless you’re five years old (or it’s the safest, quickest way between two bike routes), wear your helmet, call 3-1-1 about dangerous roads, and keep your head up.

Happy hunting, everyone!

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