Spare the rod, spoil the cyclist

Posted on July 20th, 2010 25 great comments. Room for one more!

“This is just glorious!”, exclaimed the unidentified cyclist as we stood in the middle of Jarvis Street, referring to the empty center lane he was casually occupying.

jarvis street, cyclists, bicyclists, bike lanes, toronto, city, life

Bicycling in Toronto has been contentious issue for some time. It really came to head just a little under a year ago when Michael Bryant, then the Attorney General for Ontario, had his run-in Darcy Allan Sheppard, then a general asshole. And bike courier.

The story, if you’re not familiar with it, goes like this: Bryant was driving home in his convertible with his wife beside him after an evening out when Sheppard, drunk and belligerent — for quite a few intersections and toward more than a few other drivers, a pattern of behaviour he regularly engaged in — decided that he’d had enough of cars. Or something. It’s unlikely that what he did had any real reason behind it.

It began, more or less, with Sheppard pulling in front of Bryant’s convertible and falling off his bike (not being knocked off, as was repeatedly suggested) . Maybe he was smashed off his gourd, maybe just trying to pick a fight, maybe both. Witnesses report that at this point Sheppard was screaming obscenities and basically acting like a raving lunatic, something he’d been visibly doing all the way down the street prior to reaching Bryant’s car. You can almost smell the halo above Sheppard’s head, can’t you?

This whole interaction can be seen on somewhat grainy closed-circuit footage, with detractors pointing out how Bryant “rolls toward Sheppard almost immediately”, ignoring the fact that Sheppard darts in front of the car well before it moves, in under a second, and is heavily drunk (according to later toxicology tests), and ready to fight the moment he gets up. Basically, the cycling world’s version of a saint.

Have a look for yourself:

For a moment the convertible lurches forward, something Bryant blames on the sudden alarming nature of the situation, and something that Sheppard supporters just can’t seem to come to grips with. Why would someone be alarmed and temporarily lose control of their vehicle with a bellowing maniac by their side? Why didn’t Bryant sit there and take it or get out of the car and confront Sheppard? With your wife by your side, after all, these are the “sensible” solutions.

Remember, the next time a cyclists cuts you off, get out of your vehicle or step off the curb and beat the living snot out of them – it’s what they would want you to do, it’s the wisest choice.

Supporters maintain that Sheppard was then “pushed” under the car, along with his bike, for almost a block. After which he miraculously jumped up and gave chase to the convertible on his bike, which, despite being dragged under a car for a block, was miraculously unharmed. Miracle upon miracle performed by Saint Sheppard.

In any event, poor innocent Sheppard managed to catch up to Bryant and lunged at him, managing only to grab the side rear-view mirror. At this point, Bryant decided he’d had enough and he floored it, shouting at Sheppard to let go. The cyclist, in a fit of benevolence, vocally refused to let go and the car travelled roughly two blocks with Bryant swerving onto the sidewalk trying to scrape Sheppard off the side of his car. Sheppard eventually let go only after hitting a tree and, in the process, cracking his skull and dying.

Not a good night out.

In the end the charges against Bryant were entirely dropped. Between the videotape evidence and the eyewitness accounts, there just wasn’t enough evidence to charge him with anything. Even after the intense media scrutiny he received (especially as Attorney General), lawyers on both sides agreed that Bryant had done the best he could, given the circumstances. Sheppard supporters said he got off easy because of his high profile. After all, the prosecution wanted nothing more than to just toss their hands in the air and walk away, as prosecution are wont to do. Even Sheppard’s dad said that this was the correct outcome and that he didn’t blame Bryant.

Poor Saint Sheppard, murdered by Bryant in cold blood. “No justice, no peace!”, wept Sheppard’s “family” of fellow couriers, all upstanding citizens in the own right, as they downed bottle after bottle of beer and liquor on the same street corner on which Sheppard died. Then they cycled off, back into the “meat grinder” of the city, angrier than ever, ready to confront all the four-wheeled murderers out there.

The reason I bring this up is to demonstrate the type of mentality (or lack of), that some cyclists carry around. Not all, mind you, but some – usually the most vocal and abrasive ones. And it’s clearly an adversarial attitude, to put it mildly. The cyclist I refer to in the first paragraph would probably fall into this category.

Obviously this guy is a regular two-wheeled warrior, ready to take on the next car that gets in his way. To his credit, he was wearing a helmet and safety gear. He wasn’t actually allowed to be cycling down the middle lane on Jarvis Street, at least not yet. The project to turn a part of the street to bike-only is in the works, but it won’t be the centre lane, and it isn’t ready yet anyways. That didn’t stop this fellow from cursing cars that “cut him off”, and it didn’t stop him from blocking traffic for some time to describe how cars “always” push him off the road (and how they insist on taking up the whole lane).

jarvis street, bike lane, center lane, toronto, city, life

He was more than happy to stand in the middle of the road, in a section that would otherwise be the left-turn portion, while chatting with me and inviting other cyclists to ride down the “glorious” middle lane – actually insisting that they break the law for their own safety. To be fair, I shouldn’t have been in the lane either, but then again I wasn’t inviting fellow pedestrians to join me in the middle of a busy street based on my own faulty understanding of the law. Plus, I got the hell out of there as soon as this guy finished describing what assholes motorists were while he went on to have more interactions with them just a bit further on.

bike lane, center lane, jarvis street, toronto, city, life

If you look closely in the photos you’ll notice that there’s a singular traffic light posted above the middle lane. This is used to determine traffic flow; you can drive it one way in the mornings, the other in the afternoons. Today it was closed in both directions as part of the new lane construction. Not opened in either direction.

But since bicycles are exempt from the law, it’s obvious how anyone could make the mistake. Even simple logical deduction can be ignored; you know, like why they would put bicycles in the middle lane instead of the much-more-sensible side lanes — which is where the actual lanes will be. Yes, why expend one bit of energy on rational thought or an attempt to show any consideration for anyone else – fellow cyclists, pedestrians, and especially motorists — when you’re on a bicycle?

Yes, that is sarcasm, and it exemplifies the type of thinking that some cyclists adopt. But even this is too much for some people, like the cyclist I later saw going in the opposite direction, also using the centre lane illegally, assuming he also had the right of way around cars turning left and, while he was at it, also going through a red and nearly colliding with cars (screaming at them, of course). And why even bother wearing a helmet at that point, right? I know it sounds cruel but I wish that a car had hit this guy, just to take the asshole off the road. A menace, not only to himself, but to cars who have to swerve to avoid him, and also to pedestrians. Many cyclists still maintain that hitting someone on a bike can’t cause serious injury or even death. Nothing human-powered could possibly be dangerous.

omers big bicycle, wellington street, toronto, city, life

Basically the attitude is: cyclists own the roads, they have the right of way regardless (because they’re “more vulnerable” – my favourite argument), laws are only for motorized vehicles, and any evidence that bikes are dangerous should be ignored. I’ve tried to challenge a few cyclists with this – news reports of people being hit by bikes and then dying from their injuries – but it’s hard to argue facts when the response is “fuck you, you Fascist pig!” And that’s one of the more rational conversations I’ve had.

It’s kind of like arguing with the G20 “protesters” who maintain that they should be allowed to sit in the middle of a city street because it’s “their right” to “express” themselves. Fuck everyone else’s rights, especially the police because they’re “not human” (no kidding, this is actually what they said). “Wah wah wah! My daddy never loved me! Authorities are fascists! Wah wah wah!”  Exactly the same thing children do in stores when their parents refuse to buy them the toys they want – stomp their feet, then sit down in the middle of the aisle, pout, and scream about how unfair life is. At a certain point, the best thing parents can do is to introduce the kids to the back of their hand.

No small surprise, then, that I saw my fair share of cyclists facing off against G20 riot police. “No justice, no peace!”, they cried as they rallied with groups against Israeli apartheid. It’s the same infantile “me me me” attitude, it just happens to be on two wheels. And what it needs is a good strong smack upside the head. For starters. You want something to really cry about, you whiny little shits? How about some tear gas?

But I’m getting off topic here.

What makes the situation especially taxing is that Jarvis happens to be one of the major north-south thoroughfares in the city – one of the major reasons for the middle lane bi-directionality. It’s a pretty busy street on most days but now, in order to accommodate the children, that lane will be lost. Presumably it’ll be erased and half-width bike lanes added to each side of the street.

As an occasional cyclists I’m not at all convinced it’s necessary. As someone who lives a block away and sees the kind of bicycle traffic that goes through there every day, I’m even less convinced. But the widdle babies have whined their way up to a “green” City Hall and, despite all evidence to the contrary, have managed to convince them of the need for new bike lanes.

Plus, someone got it in their head that cyclists actually obey the rules of the road – that they’ll stick to the new bike lanes, that they’ll stop on reds, that they won’t cut across four lanes of traffic just because they can and, heaven forbid, should they get hit while egregiously breaking the law, that they won’t then attack the driver who is “always” in the wrong.

Is it too late to bring the stocks back into circulation? You know, stick the dipshits into the public square for a sweet shower of rotten veggies and fruits any time they break the law in a dangerous manner. Everyone can get involved, and if the crime was particularly selfish, perhaps the pits could be left in. Having a “peachy” afternoon could be a very positive thing.

Combine that with some sort of licensing system and we’ve got ourselves a winner. I’m sure the little brats will pout, stomp their feet, and scream for a little while, but you know what they say: spare the rod, spoil the child. The streets are no place for kids to be playing around on anyways.

25 Comments on “ Spare the rod, spoil the cyclist ”

  • papabear
    July 21st, 2010 1:22 am

    we have the same problem here but the menace here are not on bicycles but on motorcyles. they ride as if they own the road, riding through red lights and all… when you crashed onto them, they would gang up and beat you up… real as^h$#@s…


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  • Patrick
    July 21st, 2010 9:13 am

    Motorcycles can be just as bad, Papabear. Luckily they seem to be more or less willing to share the roads here in Toronto so I can't complain, but I occasionally see them breaking laws too. This doesn't bother me as much since, typically, they're only endangering themselves. It's when they start to take a callous attitude to people around them that I start to get irked.


  • Christine
    July 21st, 2010 6:34 am

    Whoever wrote this ridiculous article needs to educate themselves on the basic facts of the case. Bryant knocked Sheppard onto the hood of his car, and drove 30 feet, then stopped, Sheppard fell off and Bryant started to drive away. This can be seen on youtube and is explained in Richard Peck's brief! It is not in dispute.

    This is why Darcy grabbed onto the car. It was a normal human reaction. His last words were 'You're not getting away that easily.'

    Bryant dragged and killed Sheppard in a fit of road rage. It was completely senseless and unnecessary. Bryant is known for his impatience and pugnacious personality. If anyone else had done this we'd be rotting in jail right now.


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  • Patrick
    July 21st, 2010 9:09 am

    Christine,

    First of all, watch the video. Now watch it again. Did you notice something? Like the fact that Sheppard rolled into the path of the car before the car even started to move? Whoever produced the YouTube video even went to the trouble of slowing it down so you can clearly see the sequence of events, and who started the whole altercation. It was Sheppard who drunkenly rolled in front of Bryant, fell down, and started to harangue Bryant. Michael then tries to start his car, unsuccessfully, lurching forward. Any "normal" person would've at least moved out of the way at that point. Sheppard decides, instead, to stand in front of the car and pick a fight. Bryant accelerates at a reported (and witnessed) speed of around 10 kph (fast walking speed) for about 2 seconds. Clearly Sheppard takes this as the ultimate offense (as everyone keeps saying, Bryant should've just stopped and "taken it" ), and that's where it all begins. By all accounts, and I mean *ALL* accounts (video, eyewitnesses, forensic evidence), Bryant was just trying to get away. And if you think Sheppard's reaction was "normal", perhaps you need to see a psychiatrist yourself. Furthermore, what you claim Sheppard said wasn't what everyone else said he said. He was an enraged maniac screaming obscenities and clearly ready to beat up on anyone. He'd tried to pick fights with many people prior to this, in exactly the same way: cabbies, passengers in cabs, a 76-year-old grandmother (http://www.cbc.ca/news/pdf/bryant-decision.pdf), etc. Why would you support this violent piece of trash?

    Finally, I can kind of see why you might be confused about some of the facts. Let me assist your marvelous powers of observation a bit — there are clues as to who wrote this blog entry. Newspapers use the same "by-line" trick to fool readers but if you look hard enough, you'll be able to find it. If you look even harder, you'll be able to find the facts behind this case too.


  • Rita
    July 21st, 2010 7:18 am

    "and is heavily drunk (according to later toxicology tests),"

    Where did you find details of the toxicology tests please?


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  • Patrick
    July 21st, 2010 8:58 am

    Hi Rita,

    Unfortunately I didn't see the tests directly (not sure I ever will), but according to the Globe and Mail and prosecutor Peck, Sheppard had twice the legal limit in his blood: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/toro

    As a regular drinker he probably would've been more capable of handling his bike but, at the same time, regular drinking also tends to lend itself to bouts of irrational anger.


  • Dramaturge
    July 21st, 2010 7:44 am

    Thanks Navigator – good one. Now please just leave Al Sheppard alone. Go make your money somewhere else – And watch out for Saabs with faulty clutches. Dink.


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  • Patrick
    July 21st, 2010 9:25 am

    Thanks for the insight, Dramaturge. How did you know I worked for Navigator? Somehow the G20 folks were able to discover that I work undercover for the cops too. Dang.
    But I'll tell you this, between a Saab with a "faulty clutch", and someone like Sheppard, I'll take a Saab any day. The person in the driver's seat might be a total dick but there are many identifying features that I can use to make sure he gets what's coming to him. Sheppard, instead, enjoys the anonymity and lawlessness of most city cyclists and has no qualms about picking fights with anyone he doesn't like, on the spot. Have a gander at some of the awful awful people Sheppard assaulted prior to this incident (shockingly, in exactly the same way): http://www.cbc.ca/news/pdf/bryant-decision.pdf
    Even his own father saw something like this coming. But I know, you're right. You're always right, even when faced with overwhelming evidence and testimony, etc. etc. Your attitude is refreshingly original and nothing like I described in my writing.
    Sheppard is a shining example of the rotten mentality on our streets, and I'll happily use his name again to illustrate my point if it applies.


  • VanillaSeven
    July 22nd, 2010 6:03 pm

    We all should just walk or take the train then. Not only healthier but also safer :)


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  • Dramaturge
    July 23rd, 2010 5:54 am

    Patrick: 3 questions

    1) Have you ever actually riden a bike – in traffic – and had someone "lunge" at you (because you dare "roll" in front of them)? Fact: it is always, 100%, a male middle aged asshole. And you don't have to be drunk to react in the way Mr. Sheppard did.

    2) Did you notice that the old grandmother that (thinks she might have) encountered Mr. Sheppard months earlier had 100% more guts than Mr. Bryant – and (like all the others) ignored his antics and drove away – why would you defend such a publically proven coward as Bryant?

    3) Lastly, Why are you doing this (blog)?


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  • Patrick
    July 26th, 2010 6:10 pm

    To answer your questions, Dramaturge:

    1. Yes, many times. I live downtown and have had more than my fair share of close calls. The majority of them because of asshole cyclists, not motorists. Your fact is precisely the kind of thinking that's so wrong: it's "always", 100% middle-aged assholes. No prejudice, huh? Good, clear, unclouded judgment. And by the way, Sheppard rolled in front of Bryant — not the other way around. Have another look at the video. Seriously, open your eyes for God's sake — it's RIGHT THERE!

    2. The grandmother had "guts" for driving away? Huh, okay, if that's what you call guts. But, hold on, doesn't that make Sheppard a coward then? Or does that not apply to cyclists? After all, he refused to leave. If you look at the video, Sheppard prevents the car from a "heroic" getaway (not for lack of trying) so it's not fair to call Bryant a coward. Look at the video, it's obvious. Sheppard pulls in front of Bryant and tries to keep him from moving. Then again (ending up on the hood as a result). And then, grabbing the side mirror, in idiotic final attempt to prevent the car from getting away. By your own definition, Sheppard is the coward in this situation, time and again. And your myopic arguments obviate exactly what's wrong with cyclists' thinking; the grandmother had "guts" for leaving but Bryant was a coward for trying to do exactly the same thing? At the same time, Sheppard was a hero for staying and the grandmother had guts for leaving? So Bryant was a coward for leaving AND also if he had tried to stay? In other words, it doesn't matter, Bryant's an asshole, case closed. The rules you define apply arbitrarily as you see fit — one way to cyclists, another to everyone else on a case-by-case basis depending on if you like their hairstyle, if they're driving a convertible, etc. etc. And other Sheppard supporters say that Bryant is a coward for trying to leave. Maybe the other motorists Sheppard interacted with "deserved it", maybe they didn't even exist. It's "always, 100%" middle-aged assholes who are the instigators, despite anything to back this claim, but video-tape evidence of Sheppard being a dick over and over again is inadmissible (http://news.nationalpost.com/2010/05/25/darcy-allan-sheppard-taunted-other-drivers-before-michael-bryant-photos/). It's evident that you're so wrapped up in your own muddled thoughts that you can't even agree with your own arguments let alone other cyclists'. Despite this you're all convinced that Sheppard could do no wrong. I rest my case.

    3. Mostly for the tail.


  • William K Wallace
    July 24th, 2010 2:22 pm

    It is the same in London cyclists are mainly a bunch of self righteous assholes, that can do do wrong.


    Read more from William K Wallace at: http://londoniscool.com
  • Christine
    July 25th, 2010 8:41 am

    Patrick,

    First off, I have watched the video dozens of times. I can see that the driver of the car, for whatever reason, repeatedly drives closer to the cyclist. The driver is either a jerk or is incompetent. The car was checked and no mechanical problems were found with it.

    Some witnesses described Bryant as being belligerent towards Sheppard. Bryant is known for his impatience and his pugnacious personality. Whatever was going on, there is NO EXCUSE ON EARTH for knocking a cyclist onto your car, driving 30 feet, then trying to flee the scene. Nothing can justify that.

    If someone ever did that to me, I certainly would not just stand there watching the person drive off.

    The stories regarding past incidents involving Sheppard are questionable. No one knows for sure whether it was really Sheppard they dealt with. And the stories all involve situations in which the driver did something stupid to piss the cyclist off. The cycle did not just randomly start bothering the driver.

    Bryant's explanation of the events make no sense whatsoever. If he was frightened of Sheppard, which would be strange in the first place since Bryant, who has been boxing since he was a young kid, was in the safety of a car and Sheppard was drunk on a bike, why would Bryant have ever taken his eyes off of Sheppard? It's not necessary to look down for more than a split second to start your car, but Bryant drove for 30 feet with a human being on the hood of his car because he was rattled and looking down and desperate to get away? That is ridiculous. I'd love to see someone like Sheppard try to get away with that excuse. Face it, if the roles had been reversed that night, Sheppard would be rotting in jail right now.

    And NOTHING can justify speeding down the wrong side of the road and intentionally using a mailbox to smash a human being off your car. There was absolutely no need for that and you cannot claim that Sheppard was somehow in control of the accelerator.

    No matter the circumstances regarding Sheppard's alcohol content, personality, past behaviour or judgment on that night, Bryant's behaviour was cold-blooded and criminal. First an unnecessary hit and run, then an unnecessary killing.

    Richard Peck is a defense lawyer from Bryant's hometown who went to UBC, same as Bryant. They are both boxers. Bryant is a former Attorney General. It's not a huge stretch of the imagination to guess that some special treatment took place in Peck's handling of the case. Peck's executive summary outlining his reasons for dropping the charges is a joke. About 30% of it is devoted to alleged past behaviour of Sheppard's. As if any of that could excuse Bryant's actions.


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  • Patrick
    July 26th, 2010 4:56 pm

    You can believe what you like, Christine, despite the established facts. You'd rather excuse a violent scumbag and make all sorts of excuses for Sheppard's repeated instigations of violence rather than hold him to account. It's not okay for Bryant to have used any violence but Sheppard, yup, that's just fine. Wake up and smell the hypocrisy.

    It's sad you're such a pacifist that you wouldn't lift a finger to defend yourself or your family no matter what. I hope it never comes to it but one day you'll either prove your conviction right and end up dead (hopefully not), or, I believe, will finally realize what nonsense you're spouting and will also vigorously defend yourself and your family — with anything you have at hand. There are plenty of situations when using a weapon — a car, a gun, a knife, etc. are perfectly justifiable. The situation between Bryant and Sheppard was one of them.

    But I'm sure you'll keep insisting that Bryant had no right to use violence while at the same time defending Sheppard's repeated raging aggression. One rule for cyclists, another for everyone else. But only as you see fit.

    I, on the other hand, will fight back and use any weapon available to me. If Sheppard had pulled that kind of shit on me he would've been lucky to get off the hood of the car in the first place.

    You basically said it, it doesn't matter that Sheppard was a raging, aggressive alcoholic who had done that in the past and was clearly ready to beat up on anyone again — it was incumbent on Bryant to stand idly by and do nothing. Or maybe get out of the car and fight back? Oh, but I forgot, violence is wrong. But wait, only if it's used by a motorist. Of course it was okay for Sheppard to be violent. etc. etc.

    Shall we flip-flop a third time or are we getting to the meat of the issue here? You're pissed off that a biker got killed; you don't care that he was an asshole, you don't care about circumstances, the law, etc., It doesn't matter that due process was carefully followed, it didn't turn out the way you wanted so it's wrong. Cyclist mentality 101.


  • Christine
    July 25th, 2010 8:52 am

    Anyone interested can watch the youtube videos of the construction workers who witnessed Bryant dragging Sheppard down the street. One described Bryant as driving about 90km/hr. The other said that Bryant was screaming the whole time, like someone who was 'not all there.'

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o8UKQW225gI


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  • Patrick
    July 26th, 2010 4:57 pm

    Seriously, Christine? Not a critical bone in your body, huh? First off, in the videos capturing the altercation there were no construction workers present. Secondly, construction workers working at night? You seriously buy that? And you also accept everything they say verbatim? Not other witnesses … oh no, of course not, they don't support your version of events. But these two fellows seem like upstanding citizens. They must be telling the truth, otherwise why would you agree with them?


  • A.R.
    July 25th, 2010 12:54 pm

    I can tell from this article that you're against the Jarvis bike lanes. It was a pathetic waste of time reading it because you didn't mount any good arguments.

    You seemed to have attempted some smear job against cyclists. You invoked the "cyclists don't follow the rules of the road" stereotype. Well, I hate to break it to the self-righteous driving community, but on the roads it's typical to see drivers exceeding the speed limit, changing lanes without signaling, rolling through stop signs, parking illegally, running reds, etc. But these fools (poorly raised children?) always insist that only their form of transportation be accommodated despite how wasteful it is in terms of road space, non-renewal energy, and land for parking and service facilities.

    I think you'll get what's coming to you. (More bike lanes.)


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  • Patrick
    July 26th, 2010 5:14 pm

    I have nothing against bike lanes per se, A.R., I just see the one on Jarvis as a waste. You're right, motorists do break the laws but not nearly in the same numbers as cyclists. Out of every 1 car that goes through a red, 20 cyclists will do the same. For every car that ignores a stop sign, 50 cyclists will roll through like it's nothing. Sorry, but the numbers just don't compare. Motorists, however, are held to account when they're caught. Cyclists, on the other hand, curse and swear like it's their God-given right to break the law and fuck everyone else. Apparently they can weave in between cars and when they get a door prize for their illegal maneuvers they pick a fight with the motorist as though they had any right to be cutting through traffic like that in the first place. One car cut them off three days ago so now everyone behind the wheel is an asshole and deserves to die. Darcy Allan Sheppard incarnate.

    And it goes on and on. Worse still, when pedestrians pull these kinds of stunts — running out from between parked cars, for example — cyclists give them the same level of vitriol. Apparently it's perfectly fine for cyclists to be assholes, just no one else — OR ELSE! It's "ME ME ME! MY RIGHTS!" all the way down the road. And anyone can stand on any downtown city corner and witness this for themselves — in fact, I urge people not to believe me and see just what pricks cyclists can be for themselves. It's all out there in the broad daylight.


  • Christine
    July 25th, 2010 6:09 pm

    p.s. Patrick. I have spent a great deal of time looking into this case.

    I didn't bother wasting a lot of time trying to figure out who you are because after reading your claim that Darcy FELL off his bike I could see that you were not someone whose column I would bother reading again.

    To anyone interested: there is a Facebook group: Justice Ontario, in Memory of Darcy Sheppard. We have a petition asking the gov't to assign a new prosecutor to review special prosecutor Richard Peck's handling of this case. This isn't over yet.


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  • Patrick
    July 26th, 2010 5:49 pm

    The reason I included the video in the post, Christine, is that it's clear what exactly happened. The car is parked, Sheppard rolls past (0:02 to 0:05), then in front of it, then he falls down (0:07). Only after he stands back up does the car lurch forward. The video is even slowed down and zoomed in — it's all right there, obvious and clear. Sheppard is the instigator. And this is the video that's supposed to be exonerating him. I'm trying to figure out how in the world you keep seeing it backwards; is it drugs? That's cool but you should know that they can screw with your head, just like heavy alcohol use can.

    You keep starring bleak reality in the face and denying it: violent, aggressive, arrogant asshole repeatedly picks on a motorist and his wife and you think that's just peachy. He did it to other motorists but "maybe they deserved it" (the cyclists never deserves it, of course). Sheppard was ready to beat the living snot out of anyone fitting the bill (driving a car), you think that the best thing to do would've been to stand there and take it. But hey, you're welcome to try that the next time someone comes at you aggressively. Try this: cut off someone who's visibly raging (as Sheppard was — and he wasn't even cut off), then just stand there as you keep suggesting. Try it with a cyclist because they're so meek and harmless, you're sure to walk away without a scratch. They'll respect you as a fellow cyclist, for sure. Maybe try to have a pleasant chat. Of course, I'm sure you'll have some bullshit excuse why your situation is unique and why only you should feel threatened while no one else has that right (especially if they're in a car, or on foot, or anything other than a bicycle) and blah blah blah.

    Sheppard had multiple opportunities to leave, just as Bryant was attempting to do (obviously being prevented by asshole Sheppard). Why was it okay for Sheppard to attack Bryant but not the other way around? Because Sheppard was on a bike or some such bullshit? Putrid reeking hypocrisy, pure and simple. And an example of the rotten "me me me!" cyclist mentality out on the streets.


  • Stanya
    July 28th, 2010 12:13 pm

    Reading this almost endless discusions about Mr. Bryant and Mr. Sheppard's case makes me literaly dizy. Arguments of Christina and Dramaturge are really sickening. How can you guys be so stupid and so foolishly discus about something so obviously clear. I was watching this video for about half hour. Christina did you ever try to put yourselve into the seat of convertible, driving it at night when all of a sudden somebody will appear in front of your car with bicycle(especialy "so good looking" like Mr. Sheppard) and will spout on you obscenities, offences, hitting your car just because unfortunately you are at this spot at the wrong time and on top driving convertible? What would be your reaction? Would you start plesanteries with this person? I don't think so. You'll be scare to death unless you are one of them and will give him "go ahead I like it, you are 100% right to do it, and hey I am your supporter." Or there is another possibility: maybe you are also physicaly fit about similar way like Mr. Bryant you say – boxing, so would you start fight for your sake? Then you would be in big trouble, becasue Mr. Sheppard would sue you. Christina and Dramaturge I'll tell you the Secret – the people of Mr. Sheppard's type would sue you either way. Even because the night is dark and sun is not shining right now, because you are black or white, every stupid idea is good enough to be added. It's their way to treat people who are luckier then them. Rudenes and obscenities are included for free. It actually seems to me that when it comes to both of you there is absolute avoidance of Patrick's point. He just wanted to show the attitudes of most of the cycklists in Toronto and to be honest I agree with him that to make cycle-lanes on Jarvis is not good idea at all. The street is not wide enough just two lanes on each side and middle lane, which has special use. Definitely it's not assignet as cyclists lane. So now the lanes will be more narrow and therefore even more dangerous for everybody. Not to mention that the cycle-lanes themselves are too narrow because of lack of space. If you ever watched cyclists to ride you should see that slightest move of their head or hands is getting bicycle of balance and hence good chance that someone could end up under or on the car if car driver would be paying the same attention like the bicylist. And how about if he would be drunk on top of it? Yes I know you will stop, take him into your car and will appologize for not paying enough attention while he is drunk driving. You know what? They have to obey the same rules like car drivers and every other street users. Ones they are on the street on two weeler or 4 wheeler they have the same responsibility and incumbency like anybody else. They have nothing to do on the street when using alcohol,particularly when riding for business. They should be disciplined enough to know it. And another thing about those unfortunate lanes. How many people you think will use them? I don't think many. You think that somebody would be so stupid and drive there for pleasure? In the middle of heavy trafic, filling his/her lungs with heavy smog? For the sake of good health and great physical condition? It is essentialy ridiculous idea. In Europe they have those lanes in many cities choosing carefully where to build them. They've been using cycle-lanes many years before some smart guy here though that he "discovered America" by "brand new idea" of cycle-lanes. But in Europe it is provided in absolutely different environment and people using bicycles are very disciplined, not like here. Those people are honestly more educated and intelingent then many people here. They respect automobiles, motorcycles and pedestrians and vise a versa. People here should learn lot more about human relationships. And so do you two.

    And at the end I want to tell you that I admire Patrick for his courage to show the true no matter what it is about. I believe that he does his home work before he write something, it always has firm base and clear and logical points.

    And not Mr. Bryant is coward. I would pass this word on you guys because you keep focused on something evidently wrong, support it and refuse to even try to see the problem from the other side. The only action you master is threatening Patrick because of lack of proper arguments. And this is real cowardice. But it could be lack of proper education and ability to be impartial. Well nobody's perfect right?


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  • Graham
    August 1st, 2010 2:38 am

    Patrick, you are a moron. If the whole case was so clear cut, as you make out, with amazing facts that apparently only you are aware of, why did Bryant and Navigator make damn sure it never made it to court? Why would a man so obviously innocent not want his name cleared in a court of law for all the world to see?

    You obviously have a rather large chip on your shoulder when it comes to cyclists, I feel sorry for someone who doesn't see the sadness in someone having their life taken so brutally, it speaks volumes about you character.


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  • Patrick
    August 2nd, 2010 2:52 pm

    The case was clear cut, Graham, according to the legal system as well. The case never made it to court because there was insufficient evidence to prove Bryant was guilty of anything other than defending himself from an enraged asshole. No love lost for an prick who picked on motorists using "his" roads, no. And, by the way, all of you defending Sheppard all this time have failed to explain why it was okay for Sheppard to be aggressive and go after Bryant (or anyone, for that matter), but why it's not okay for it to happen in reverse, and furthermore, in self defense. Hypocrisy, "me me me! my rights! everyone who doesn't agree with my view is a moron!" — that's why.


  • Dramaturge
    August 27th, 2010 4:41 am

    Patrick:

    The case never made it to court because Michael "Richy Rich" Bryant's family made sure it didn't. This is obviously a good example of the racism still present in our society. In the slave days the white man made the laws – thus if a white man killed a slave he got a 15$ fine, and it was legal for the white man to rape his slaves. Completely "legal".

    Nothing has really changed has it… white man kills an aboriginal man and pays good money to "make it go away".

    Two questions remain:

    1) Have you walked or riden down Jarvis since the bike lanes were installed? It is so much safer now, pedestrians are buffered from the traffic, the street is visibly and physically quieter… it's wonderful… all this because the traffic engineers put in a mechanism to stop impatient motorists from changing lanes every two blocks (get real – it's true.)

    2) And tell me, why again do we need eight lanes on University Avenue?

    Automobile addicts are like the smokers of the 1980's – you'll get yours (when your lazy bones seize up at 65, and you sit in your wheel chair crapping your pants, while I whiz by on my bike at 90!)

    *****

    Rest in Peace Al Sheppard – you were a good man, and a good friend. Your family misses you dearly.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8fbdwQTq1Ws


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  • Patrick
    August 30th, 2010 10:19 am

    I live a block away from Jarvis, Dramaturge — walked it and bikes it many times. When you mention that it's much safer now, what are you basing that on? I still see cyclists peeling through red lights like it's going out of style. And if the cyclists weren't swerving between lanes then motorists who are "impatiently" changing lanes wouldn't really be an issue. I have yet to hear of a single story of a car mounting the sidewalk and taking out pedestrians, yet cyclists do that on an almost daily basis. Nope, no one's safe from the actual menace on the roads: bicycles.

    About University Avenue and why we need eight lanes — because they're used! Have you been there during rush hour? On the same token, why do we need bike lanes? We're lucky to get one cyclist every two hours in most of them.

    Automobile drivers aren't addicts, you're once again demonstrating how twisted your (cyclists' ) view of the world is. How many people could realistically bike in from Pickering with a briefcase in the middle of winter? You're telling me that, given the choice, they'd rather pay the exorbitant costs of owning a car rather than free/healthier transportation? They *must* be evil!

    I'm sure you'll be going by them at 90 on your bike — breaking the law as usual (speed limit is 40 on must downtown streets). Hypocrisy wins again. Sheppard was an asshole and even his dad wasn't surprised that this happened. I hope you run into someone like him one day and then you can tell him what a wonderful saintly person he is as he's beating the shit out of you for using his roads in a way that he doesn't approve of. (Oh, wait, it's okay for cyclists to do that, right? — I forgot)


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