Christopher Thompson: Five Years

Not cool.

I love searching the internets for bicycle news.  It’s also great, however, when said news arrives magically in my inbox.  A reader forwarded me the latest news on former-physician and part-time a-hole Christopher Thompson.  A while back Thompson slammed on his brakes in front of a group of cyclists to, in his words, “teach them a lesson.”  [the above photo is that lesson] Well, Thompson should be extra careful about people behind him for the next 5 years.  He’ll be in jail.

While this might be considered good news by some, upon reflection this is a case with no winners.  The two cyclists Thompson injured will likely never feel the same way about riding a bicycle, as the psychological damage caused by an accident such as this will not quickly abate.  Thompson himself is largely ruined.  Even in the heat of the moment, we could all learn a thing or two from economists who rely heavily on costs-benefit analysis.  Before you flip off a driver or yell at a pedestrian, take a split second to run the potential results of such an action.  I always ask myself: is this worth getting punched in the face over?

If the answer is yes (perhaps a driver both passed too close and besmirched the honour of your significant other) then go for it.  But if not, chalk it up to idiocy, keep it in your memory to vent about later, and pedal on.  Or, kill them with kindness.  Not too long ago I enjoyed a particularly “close pass,” twice by the same driver.  We found ourselves at a red light together, so I knocked on the window and she rolled it down.  I said, “Hi, sorry to bug you, but in the future could you please try to leave a little more room for cyclists?”  She apologized and said of course she would.  You’d be amazed at how far common courtesy goes.

There’s almost nothing worth losing teeth over, never mind five years in jail.

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