It was brought to my attention via BoingBoing.net that a Toronto city councilman named Rob Ford had this to say about cycling and cyclists that appeared in a Toronto Star article about the city’s decay and debt:

“I can’t support bike lanes. Roads are built for buses, cars, and trucks. My heart bleeds when someone gets killed, but it’s their own fault at the end of the day.”

Well I stewed over that this morning, tossed a link to it up on the Midnight Ridazz website and then guess what I did next? Of course I did. Now say it with me: I wrote this Canadian neocon bastard a letter:

Mr. Ford,

My heart bleeds for you sir and your malignant opinions regarding cyclists that appeared recently in the Toronto Star. As a long-time recreational and commuter cyclist here in Los Angeles — one of the least bike-friendly places in the world — I have to share the road with many asinine vehicle operators that unfortunately share your selfish, shockingly narrow and unequivocably disgraceful point of view.

But in the midst of such a hostile environment I’m thankful that the city and state laws make it clear that a bicyclist has just as much a right to the road as any four-wheeled vehicle.

Los Angeles is a long way from being an ideal city to enjoy from the saddle of a bicycle, and indeed I’m well aware of the heightened degree of risk each time I ride. I ride carefully and cautiously but I know I’m only as safe as the most careless car driver I should happen to encounter. So for you to blame any and all cycling injuries/fatalities on the cyclists themselves, with an absolute disregard for the potentially reckless actions taken by people behind the wheels of their cars is patently idiotic.

That there are representatives such as yourself calling the shots and making policy decisions for the citizens of Toronto by spouting such shamefully alienating and polarizing statements means your fine city looks a little less fine to me now.  Here in Los Angeles, at least our elected officials are more prone to encourage alternate forms of transportation and adapt the city (however slowly) to include them rather than demean and degrade those of us that do as second-class citizens.

William Campbell
Los Angeles