Cyclist's near collision with water truck results in act of charity
Video of cyclist being cut off taken on Carling Avenue near Corkstown Road
City(?) truck decides to cut me off, jump the curb and crush me. Just another <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ottbike?src=hash">#ottbike</a> commute on Carling. <a href="https://t.co/0yIxpwY77Z">pic.twitter.com/0yIxpwY77Z</a>—@zzptichka
It had the makings of an #Ottbike social media post that could have easily boiled over into Twitter rage, pitting riders of 20-pound bikes against hard working drivers of two-tonne heavy metal machines.
The video shows a commercial truck with eight wheels veering into a marked bike lane and cutting off a cyclist before coming to a sudden stop on top of a median.
Yaro Shkvorets, 34, captured the video using a handle-bar mounted Go-Pro camera and recorded the footage along a 300-metre stretch of Carling Avenue, beginning at Corkstown Road.
After the near collision on Thursday, Shkvorets — a software developer who bicycles nine months of the year — vented his anger on Twitter.
"I had to the brake hard and I'm glad I wasn't five metres closer. I'm also glad I'm experienced (cycling) and it wasn't my mom."
His video was retweeted by dozens in the #Ottbike community.
<a href="https://twitter.com/zzptichka">@zzptichka</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/Ancien_Smith">@Ancien_Smith</a> I hope the driver is held accountable...that is a joke! No excuse ...—@BobBoehman
Others on social media, pointing to the flashing signal light — took the side of the truck driver.
<a href="https://twitter.com/zzptichka">@zzptichka</a> I saw nothing wrong.<br>Truck clearly signalled, was going a slow speed & he needed to pull over. You should of stopped!—@ABritoverseas
The groundwork was laid for the incident to become a heated debate between motorists and cyclists when Clean Water Works Canada, the company that employs the truck driver, responded to Shkvorets's tweet.
We sincerely apologize <a href="https://twitter.com/zzptichka">@zzptichka</a> and want to thank you for bringing this to our attention.—@CWWCanada
In a phone interview, CWW manager Ken Seward says the incident "looked scary" but pointed out their driver did signal and was slowing down. But Seward acknowledged the driver of the water excavation truck should have been more aware of his surroundings since the company's 160 drivers do get two safety and defensive driving training sessions annually.
"The person will be spoken to — we are trained to share the road," said Seward.
Then CWW went one step further and offered to make a donation in Shkvorets's name to the charity of his choice.
Guess what he chose.
Thank you for response <a href="https://twitter.com/CWWCanada">@CWWCanada</a>. I would appreciate if you make a donation to our local safe cycling advocacy group <a href="https://twitter.com/BikeOttawa">@bikeottawa</a>—@zzptichka
So what could have been an angry social media confrontation ended in a $100 donation to Citizens for Safe Cycling to continue their work advocating for more and safer cycling infrastructure in Ottawa.
And finally, one last tweet of helpful advice whether you push pedals, rev your handlebars or drive little cars or big trucks.
<a href="https://twitter.com/zzptichka">@zzptichka</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/ottawastart">@ottawastart</a> <a href="https://t.co/5Ti18sobcJ">pic.twitter.com/5Ti18sobcJ</a>—@landtsmom_shaw