Attack of the eco cyclists


courtesy FreeFoto.comIn the environmentally conscious world we live in, it is perhaps a little daring to suggest that cycling is anything but a divine act that we should all engage in or at least promote in the wider society. But this is not a blog about the merits of abandoning gas guzzling monsters in place of bicycles. This is about cyclists; and not just any type of cyclists, London cyclists.

I never learnt how to cycle properly in my childhood; to be honest I was never really interested in learning and I still have no plans to learn. In fact I was recently put to shame by my godson as he raced round me in circles while I wobbled along and fell off his mum’s bike (he wasn’t even three years old at the time). So I think attempting to cycle in a city where manic white van drivers run rampant is not a good idea.

Somewhere along the line, I learnt how to drive (don’t even ask how) and now sometimes I even consider myself to be a better driver than I am a pedestrian. Yes, I am one of those irritating people who will occasionally dash out into the street when I see my bus advancing on the other aside of the road but I’d wait and wait and wait at the dotted white line at the end of a road just to make sure I don’t get crushed by another car. So as an ok pedestrian and a decent motorist, my prejudice towards two wheelers might be a tad bit inflated but the evidence speaks for itself.

The only road accident I have ever had was a few years ago when I was trying to walk across a road and got bumped into by a man on his bicycle. To be honest, I don’t remember if the little green man was on display or if he was the one breaking the road rules but I looked before I crossed and there was no one there, next thing I know I’m trying to steady myself as a man and his bicycle collided with me. As fate would have it, his bicycle suffered more than both of us did because he jumped off and let go when it hit me and the bicycle went flying off to the side. But I was so shaken that I didn’t get any proper work done for hours when I finally staggered into the office.

As I said earlier, I have no problem with cycling as a mode of transport or as a way to cut carbon emissions but the questions I would like to ask cyclists are:

– would it kill you to observe traffic lights like the rest of us try to? Red means stop, even for you!

– who said cycling on the pavement is ok? I’m not talking of little kids in their tricycles but full grown adults speeding along like its legal!

– helmet anyone? How come drivers get fined for driving with no seatbelts and no one seems to cares about cyclists in the same way?

– why cycle leisurely on a major road when you know you’re holding up the rest of the world ? If you can’t go faster than 10mph, stick to back streets and let the speedy cyclists do their thing.

– and finally why do cyclists think it’s possible to squeeze past two cars when the human body was clearly not meant to fit between such tight spaces, talk less of a bike?

Would I be less annoyed with cyclists if I knew how to ride a bike? Probably. But I say, bring on the cycling police! It’s a shame that motorists take all the slack for bad road etiquette and have so many ways of being caught out – traffic wardens, speed cameras, other angry motorists – and yet cyclists seem to only get cautioned if there is a copper in the vicinity when they do wrong. Tsk tsk. Thank you Boris for giving us a few more two wheelers to navigate around on our already congested streets – the obstacle course was just not exciting enough!

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    • ethanarc
    • June 10th, 2011

    (Lmao)

    (sigh) What can we say woman, Cyclists live within that thin line between Law Breaking & Vulnerability in the eyes of society. They are fragile enough to be cared for like pedestrians are when you 4wheel vehicular manipulators roam these mean streets & yet they are mobile enough to move at varying increasing speeds that make them more efficient than my sneakers no matter how fast i run…& you DO know i run fast & often…XD

    What i’m trying to say is, i guess their mode of transportation gives them the mentality of pedestrians: You are free to move at your own pace & use whichever route you wish since you’re moving under the power of your own muscle not an engine, but of course this sssslightly ignores the fact that they ARE actually vehicles & so also enjoy the best of THAT world too by being able to utilise the same routes you guys do.

    In essence they utilise both a pedestrian & a drivers mentalities interchangeably. Hence trying to move when the light is red, (Doesn’t matter which light, Walk or Drive); Speeding out in & around cars in rush hour & YES, not thinking they can do as much damage to OTHER pedestrians as vehicles can so not minding so much when they ride almost beside you without ringing a bell even when coming from behind.

    Problem here is, those 2 different mentalities (Pedestrian & Driver) are interchangeable to the cyclists depending on where he/she is, which is good for THEM but kinda f***ed up for everyone else.

    • True say! It’s even more annoying because I know so many cyclists (too many in my line of work) and they all claim to be good cyclists but I’ll never know until I see them in action. I just remembered another gripe – 2 or 3 cyclists riding in a row!!! Why?!!?

    • razoo3214
    • June 10th, 2011

    Could be the ‘driver’ mentality….after all cars drive in 2 rows.

    I say be grateful they don’t let them on the motorways…now that would be a HUGE problem!

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