Cycling advocate ‘finally’ hit by car after seeing countless close calls in Winnipeg

A Winnipeg bike advocate says he was hit by a car, and although he wasn't injured, it could've been way worse. File / Global News

A Winnipeg cycling advocate says he was ‘finally’ hit by a car Thursday, and that incidents like this make it clear Winnipeg’s “culture of being in a hurry” can be dangerous.

Anders Swanson, of Velo Canada Bikes and Winnipeg Trails, told 680 CJOB he wasn’t injured in the incident, which took place in the Exchange District.

“We were each going about 10 km/h,” he said.

“What was kind of crazy about it was how the person sort of looked right through me, and how bad it actually could have been even though it was slow.

“It was kind of one of those vulnerable moments.”

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Swanson said if he — at 6’1″ — can be overlooked by a driver, he’s concerned about what could have happened if it had been a child or someone less ‘noticeable in the landscape.’

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“It’s just a reminder that, jeez, if it had happened at 30 km/h, I would’ve been in the hospital, and if it was at 50 km/h, I might have been toast.

“I guess when it happens to you, it’s a bit surprising because I’m thinking of the people who are shorter … I’m pretty big.”

While Swanson said he forgives the driver, who seemed more shook up by the incident than he was, he’s seen a lot of close calls in recent weeks between drivers and cyclists or pedestrians, and he said it exposes a vulnerability the city has in terms of the way its roads are set up.

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“In this particular case, it was because he rolled through a stop sign. It’s that culture of being in a hurry that I think is really the danger, and it just kind of came home for me.”

Swanson’s experience comes on the heels of a vehicle/cyclist collision Wednesday night in the Munroe East neighbourhood, where a 50-year-old man on a bike was killed as a result of a hit-and-run incident.

Winnipeg police are reaching out to the public for tips from anyone who may have seen that deadly collision.

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