Dave Meslin warned us he wasn’t in it for the long haul. We know him as flighty. We know him as fanciful. We love him like that, even if he infuriates us as he jumps to the next great idea, leaving us holding the sticky residue. He said he’d hang around and see that the Cyclist Union had a smooth birth process, and a healthy first year. But he had already left for greener pastures back in April, at the Cyclist Union-sponsored “advocacy workshop,” which we participated in.
The Toronto Cyclist Union, now free to be called TCU or the Cyclist’s Union, or whatever moniker it ultimately chooses for itself (“Fred?”), is to be raised by a committee of 44 or so, led by “coordinator” Rick Conroy and “assistant coordinator” Yvonne Bambrick. Already, the future of the pale, shallow-breathing infant is in jeopardy. Who changes diapers (or a flat) in this town? Will it have a CAA-style roadside assistance program? No. Will it have a magazine with a kick-ass attitude and a party all its own? Later, we’re promised. What will it have? a bunch of political wanna-bes posing in city hall council chambers on a Sunday? We were there. We saw it with our own eyes. Clout at city hall? Maybe.
We were at the launch and heard Gil Penalosa slam the book on political timidity that poses for leadership in Toronto. Mayor David Miller was there too, with his handler, Don Wanagas. But Miller might not have heard Penalosa; Wanagas drew his boss aside for a photo-op just as Penalosa got started.
Now, with “Bike Month” underway, we begin in typical fashion: a cyclist has been killed in the city of Toronto. The Cyclist Union is suddenly on record as the expert: Yvonne Bambrick has been quoted (misquoted, we hope) in the Globe and Mail and Car Advertiser saying cyclists should not daydream when they’re on their bikes. The cops are on record themselves, saying it’s unlikely charges will be filed: “what could possibly be negligent about not seeing a cyclist?”
What’s next? A Cyclist Union meeting under a “Rob Ford for mayor” banner?