Let me remove my rose-colored glasses and My Name Is…Pollyanna sticker for just a moment while I try to restore my heart rate and blood pressure to normal. I just got off my bike, after riding my three kids – two older ones on their bikes, youngest one on a tandem attachment to mine – to school. In that short distance, roughly two kilometers, my mortality was tested no less than thrice.

What’s more, my child’s mortality was tested. And while I’m wearing my big-girl Lycra cycling pants and can face certain threats, my little girl is seven. Wearing pig-tails.

Instead of seeing humanity in the faces of my fellow folk, today I saw only stupidity. And nothing pisses off a mother more than some idiot jeopardizing the health and safety of her child.

What’s surprising to me, though perhaps not to people less delusional about human nature, is that our cycling mishaps occurred in the wake of a spate of cyclists’ deaths this past week. I expected drivers to be more aware of cyclists than usual, but…no.

A just-proposed Ontario law would give cyclists a bit more room on the roads. And though the bill has been criticized as unenforceable and “utopian”, if it gets motorists thinking…and considering what a cyclist faces when they’re on the road (potholes, uneven pavement, rocks and debris, even a strong breeze can blow you off-course…), how can it be a bad thing?

And to date, I’ve been (mostly except for the occasional incident in my 20s) a law-abiding citizen; but I’m not waiting for this law to take effect.

On behalf of pissed off moms everywhere, I’m resorting to vigilante justice. A former pacifist, I’ve determined to arm myself with a water pistol, ready to aim and fire at the windshield of any driver doing something stupidly life-threatening. And if that doesn’t work, I’ll let loose with a stream of invective, censored only to protect my child’s notion of her mother as a nice person. (My GreenDrinks' buddies and I considered, and then discarded, shooting people’s tires…my lawlessness has limits.)

It’s a shame when an otherwise nice mommy must resort to weapons of mass instruction to teach drivers how to share the road. And by share, I mean give me the space I need to arrive at my destination safely. Blood pressure normal. Heart rate fine. And no new expletives in my seven-year-old’s vocabulary.

Leslie Garrett is a national award-winning journalist, author and editor, based near Toronto, Canada. She is the author of The Virtuous Consumer: Your Essential Shopping Guide for a Better, Kinder, Healthier World and she has also written a dozen children’s books, including a biography of renowned environmentalist David Suzuki and “EarthSmart”, a book for young children on protecting the environment.

Visit: http://www. virtuousconsumer. com/

Via:www.greenmuze. ??m

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