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Canada: This angry cyclist was no martyr

Darcy Allan Sheppard was in reality “an angry, aggressive road warrior” who spat on cars and yelled obscenities at drivers; just the kind of rogue who gives cyclists a bad name, said Marcus Gee in The Globe and Mail.

Marcus GeeThe Globe and Mail

The war between cyclists and motorists in Canada has just gotten uglier, said Marcus Gee. Last year, Ontario’s former Attorney General Michael Bryant accidentally killed a bicycle courier: Darcy Allan Sheppard, 31, had clung to the side of his car before hitting a fire hydrant and falling off. Sheppard died of his injuries. But now a special prosecutor, doubting Bryant was to blame, has dropped the charges of criminal negligence, and the two-wheeled fraternity is incandescent. “How to get away with murder? Use an automobile,” runs a typical Twitter comment. The dead cyclist is now being held up as some kind of martyr in a new public-relations campaign for street safety. How misguided.

Sheppard was in reality “an angry, aggressive road warrior” who spat on cars and yelled obscenities at drivers; just the kind of rogue who gives cyclists a bad name. He’d even reached over and grabbed the steering wheel of Bryant’s car. As users of a “green and superior” form of transport, cyclists think they should be allowed to lord it over “loutish” motorists. They’d get a lot more consideration if they dropped their “peevish, self-righteous tone” and treated motorists as partners rather than evil enemies. “Sheppard deserves sympathy for his troubled life and tragic death, but don’t make him cycling’s hero.”

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