Spring it seems is finally here, and with bicyclists returning to the roads, so is an increase in commuter hostility. But this spring things have taken a turn for the worst. This year Southern Ontario has seen a violent confrontation between vehicle operators, so-called “Guzzlers” and bicyclists, otherwise known as “Rusties.” In a Waterloo Honk exclusive, our reporters get to the bottom of what is becoming known as “The Great Vehicular War.”
For most of us, this was a complete surprise. Although, in hindsight, the root causes are crystal clear: vulgar gestures on busy roads, rush hour rage, narrow lanes, all these things contributed to the conflict. It was only a matter of time before all out war broke loose.
The Beginning of the Conflict
City streets are in a state of confusion and chaos — some speculate the Rusties are especially uneasy due to the possibility of Rob Ford’s re-election — but there is one thing each side agrees upon: it all started with the middle finger. Unfortunately that’s where the agreement ends. Who flipped who? The Rusty or the Guzzler? No one knows for sure. But it all went downhill from there. The infamous exchange took place in downtown Toronto. Two commuters verbally brawled for over an hour, causing major traffic congestion. Soon others joined in. Tweets were tweeted, texts were texted. Before long, Toronto’s downtown core was reduced to G20-style pandemonium.
Cyclists joined forces with the pedestrians and established key areas of control in the downtown core. The vehicle operators quickly mobilized in the greater suburban areas. Most combat occurs on the boundaries of these two territories.
Battle ground Toronto
Our correspondent in Toronto managed to interview one Rusty (who wished to remain anonymous) during skirmishes along Bloor St. His face was covered with cloth: “to protect from the emissions,” he said. “They’re throwing everything they got at us, like half-full slurpies or McDonald’s garbage. My buddy got hit with a Timbit just yesterday.” The Rusty talked about the casualties of war as he removed chrome air-valve caps from a nearby BMW. He then proceeded to swap them for the plain black caps on his bicycle tires. “It’s hard to find nice ones like these. I’d love to see the look on this Guzzler’s face when he realizes his fancy shmancy car only has the plain black valve caps,” he chuckled.
The interview abruptly ended when the two suddenly became targets of a drive-by attack. Shouts were heard amidst a barrage of eggs: “Get off the roads you hippies!”
The war quickly spread throughout the GTA, pulling Hamilton into the chaos. But the Rusties have maintained control of the GO Lakeshore train route, which is now seen as a key strategic supply line. A leaked photo indicates that the Guzzlers are preparing for a major aqua offensive from Lake Ontario, codenamed Operation Eco-Unfriendly.
The war spreads
In the meantime the Tricity has toppled into its own war of the wheels. Cambridge was quickly conquered by the Guzzlers, along with the North end of Waterloo. Kitchener has become a Rusty stronghold, but without reinforcements from Hamilton, it is expected that the base will not hold out for much longer.
We managed to contact a Guzzler in Cambridge. “It’s about time we had a showdown with those weenies,” he replied in regards to the War. “The only thing is, the road-market has become volatile as a result.” When asked if he owned roads he replied, “yes, I own a large swath of Hespeler, pretty much everything north of Bishop.” The Honk was surprised to learn that Guzzlers have indeed purchased most roads throughout the Waterloo Region, which explains why they get so angry when bicyclists use them.
Reports are coming in from Kitchener of cars parked in dedicated bicycle lanes, with some suspiciously leaving banana peels in the bike lane after departing. One Kitchenerite reported that Guzzlers are opening their vehicle doors irresponsibly fast. “They park on the side of the a road and they open their door without checking. They’re definitely trying to catch bicyclists off-guard.”
She said she’s been doing her part to contribute to the war effort. “I take my time crossing roads at stop signs,” she whispered, “and the cars have to wait extra long for me.”