Have you ever had someone hold a door open for you because you were close by or had many shopping bags? It’s called “courtesy”; it’s ‘being polite’ from one human being to another.
The bus driver was being polite to you as a courtesy because he recognised that you, as a cyclist, were a vulnerable road user.
Next time someone attempts to be polite to you, for what ever reason, give a friendly wave and say “Thank you”. In the meantime, I strongly recommend that you enroll in one of the bicycle traffic skills courses presented by the Bike to Work Society; your cultural background appears to be other than local, caucasian, Canadian.
Particularly offensive is his last sentence, because it is:
It is bizarre because nothing in his preceding comments prepares the reader for his ad hominem attack on my “background.” It is irrelevant because my background has nothing to do with the topic of the post; no matter what my background is, I have a right to expect safe and predictable conditions when operating a vehicle on public roads. It is incorrect because none of what he says about me is true. I have lived in British Columbia for eighteen years, on Vancouver Island and in Vancouver for the whole time; that makes me local. I am “caucasian,” in the sense that I think he means (white skin, European ancestry), although the fact that anybody is using racial classifications to signify something essential about another human being is surprising and confusing. Finally, I am and always have been a Canadian citizen and have lived in Canada for all but a year of my life.
Jim G’s final sentence also contains another incorrect suggestion/assertion: that I should “enroll in one of the bicycle traffic skills courses presented by the Bike to Work Society.” As I mentioned in my reply to his comment earlier today,
in fact, I did take the VACC’s Commuting Cycling Skills course in 2008, in which they taught us that we should obey the regular rules of the road and expect other road users to do so. One of the exercises we did [during that course] was to wait our turn, even if motorists tried to give us the right of way, in an effort to encourage them to follow the rules of the road too!
Jim G’s might have been correct earlier in his comment that the bus driver was trying to be polite in letting me turn in front of his bus. The point of my post and letter to B.C. Transit was that it was a misguided attempt at politeness, since it put me in a dangerous situation, and then descended into impoliteness when the bus driver and two of the drivers following him yelled at me. It was also impolite for him to inconvenience his passengers and those behind him unnecessarily.
Jim G’s comment has forced me to consider creating a Comment Policy. This blog is still new and in flux, so I do not want to put many restrictions on what can and cannot be said in the comments here. However, I will not tolerate racism, homophobia, sexism or other forms of ad hominem attacks. In the future, this will mean that I will delete comments that display these characteristics, if the comments are aimed at other people and/or groups. If the comments are aimed at me, I will write a post like this one, aimed at reeducating the offenders. To be clear, all further comments should stick to the arguments and ideas expressed in the posts, and not make personal attacks.