Friday, December 01, 2006

God keep you safe, my friend

There's lots of news!
The cycling petition is over 1500 names now. Curt Harnett, the Canadian Olympic track cyclist signed (around #285), and there is "a" Mary Walsh from Newfoundland who signed (around #1405).

God knows if it's our favourite warrior princess from This Hour Has 22 Minutes, but it'd be very cool if it is. (Just in case - thanks Mary!)

The trick with this petition was in finding an MP who would present it to the House. That is now taken care of, thanks to Toronto NDP MP Olivia Chow! I emailed a few different MPs and heard nothing from them, and then broke down and wrote an old-school paper letter to Ms. Chow's office, and heard back from her almost immediately, saying she'd be happy to present the petition.

There is one catch though, but it isn't really a big one. As some of us had feared, you can't hand a print-out of an online petition w/signatures to an MP - House of Commons rules require a traditional paper & ink petition w/signatures. SO I now have to do a bit more work getting that done. I'm not too worried however. You only need 25 signatures for the petition to be valid, and I know I can get tons more than that amongst the Toronto cyclists alone.
I'm starting to dream big though, and am envisioning the first few pages of the written petition to be full of the signatures of notable Canadian sports figures. Mike Barry, arguably Canada's best current pro-cyclist, has agreed to sign (I just have to mail a paper copy to him and have him sign and send it back to me). I'm also hoping to get Steve Bauer & Curt Harnett to sign the paper one, and I might even have an "in" with some other Canadian Summer Olympic athletes. As well, after reading a story in the Toronto Star yesterday about how the World Cup of Skiing is being devastated by climate change, I might be able to entice some winter athletes to sign.

So anyway, blah blah blah... the petition is going well, and despite the fact that I have to put together a written one, Ms. Chow's office has said that she will be able to acknowledge the signatures on the online version (I.E. "Mr. Speaker, I have a petition which was signed by 300 people in Toronto, and 2000 people across the country via an online version").

Hmm... and I was interviewed in the Memorial Muse a few days ago and came off a bit goofy I think. The "kind of think that possibly maybe we might..." line near the end is pretty classic. And the petition should get a big boost when Get Out There Magazine writes it up in their Jan/Feb issue.

And why the "god keep you safe" subject line? Well I got hit last night. That's not entirely accurate since I did the hitting, but never-the-less, a Diamond Taxi and I came to be on far more intimate terms than I'd have liked last night.
I was heading west on Gerrard Street in Toronto, coming close to the Carlaw intersection. Gerrard is a four lane street (which sometimes allows parking so it's actually just a two lane street). Approaching Carlaw however it is indeed a four lane street, and also at Carlaw it dips down fairly quickly. It was pouring rain last night, and dark as death, and this cab was pulled over to the extreme right of the right side lane, looking as though he was going to pick up a pedestrian. SO - I start passing him on the left and he suddenly wheels into a big U - Turn. I slowed down but I still nailed him.
I'm okay, the bike is basically okay (the rack needed to be bent back into shape), and the taxi driver was about as nice as he could be. He was kind of an elderly Indian gentleman (possibly close to being one of those infamous seniors who should really have to re-do their driver's exam) and as we parted he shook my hand and kind of blessed me with "God keep you safe, my friend."


Joe (BikingToronto) said...

Great news on the petition... and good to hear you're alright. I bike Gerrard every day, so i know exactly where you mean... good to hear you and the bike are generally okay. :)

Anonymous said...

That must have been scary. I'm glad to hear you didn't get seriously hurt, of course.

It's a good thing you managed to slow down enough so you hit him on the side. And, it sounds like you managed to keep calm when you talked to him. Is it true, or am I reading too much into the handshake?

Tuco said...

It wasn't really so scary. It just kind of unfolded in front of me and then it was over and I was a guy standing in the rain beside a taxi, holding onto one handlebar with traffic clogged up behind me.
And I kept my cool. The guy was too nice to actually be able to yell at in a very convincing way!

Anonymous said...

Glad you weren't hurt in your bike accident.

Also thrilled with the work you are doing on the petition... thanks.

It looks like my friends in Kenora spread it around a bit. I have posted it on my blog so that others will see it.

Anonymous said...

Glad you're ok. I hate riding Gerrard and always take Dundas when I'm east of Broadview - as I'm sure you know, there's a bike lane and no streetcar tracks.

Tuco said...

Yeah, the Dundas bike lane is pretty sweet, there's been lots of glass in the westbound lane though recently. Broken glass drives me batty.

Melissa said...

This is so exciting about your petition! Also, I'm glad you didn't die.

griffin said...

wow, glad you ok after your run in with the cab! Glad, too, to see the petition doing so well, I have been maddley forwarding it to everyone I can think of :)

Also, I got "tagged recently, and I am sharing the joy
So heres how it works:
List six weird things about yourself. Strange habits, likes/dislikes, et cetera.
Pick six victims to tag likewise. Leave comments so they’ll know what’s up.

Anonymous said...

Well Chris, glad to hear that you are ok and that your petition is moving forwards! Good luck!

Rick said...

I signed up and blogged it:

Rick McCharles, Calgary

Charlie Dunver said...

I signed the on line thing and will give further support as I get more info!