Jumping the fence

Act as if, apologize after

There is a bridge over the harbour between my small town (Dartmouth) and the small town on the other side (Halifax).

I used to cross this bridge daily with my bicycle. At the time it was illegal to ride on the bridge. The sidewalk was narrow. There was no room for bikes.

Recently, I rode my bike across this bridge for the first time.

For years, I fantasized about how wonderful it would be to carry my speed down the slope of this suspension bridge.

I wasn’t disappointed. The experience was grand.

Coming home was a different story.

When they built the bicycle lane, they built it with some silly limits.

Back then?

Most of the people who crossed the bridge daily with bikes were members of the military. If riding or jogging to work, they were allowed to show up in civilian clothes. Otherwise, they would have to wear their uniforms. This policy was in place to encourage physical activity and fitness.

With this in mind, the bike lane goes along the bridge and ends at the entrance to the naval base.

This is fine if you’re in the navy.

It’s not too bad if you want to go to downtown Halifax.

Unfortunately, it’s not very helpful if you need to go straight off the bridge. You’re required to go down a steep hill before going up again. Carrying momentum? Not a chance.

The same issue applies heading back to Dartmouth. There is a six foot tall fence between the road and the bicycle pathway.

Is this clear at all?

On my way home I was tired.

I had fully intended to go under the bridge and use the ramp.


Then the reality of my forty nine years on the planet caught up with me.

I saw the fence.

Way too easy to climb.

It’s like they’re asking for it.


I lofted my bike onto and eventually over the barrier, followed by myself.

Once there I discovered the sign:

No climbing the fence.

It was on a fence behind the fence I climbed.

What does this tell you?

Me? I don’t think they are very serious about the ‘don’t climb the fence’ rule. Why else would they put it on a fence that no one would want to climb. It leads to a fairly substantial drop. I’m reckless, not stupid.

I didn’t ask permission. I found an easier way.

Against the rules?



There are a lot of stupid rules on the books. Rules based on short sighted decisions that have long term impacts.

When it comes to stupid rules, I have lived the adage that it’s easier to beg forgiveness than ask permission.

What stupid rules have you made for yourself?

What rules do you have that seemed to make sense at one time in your life but are no longer valid?

What would happen if you chose to break some of them?

Go ahead. Climb the fence.