(If you are a professional cyclist, or not one who goes out of their way to annoy others while getting from A to B, you can look away now. But if you are one of the cyclists who are a plague on the rest of us, pay attention, please!)
I have been planning to blog about this for a while, but then other more interesting things always come up for me to talk about. But reading a post by Amber where she talked about being a bit scared to cycle to work brought it back into the forefront of my mind. And the events of earlier today meant I HAD to blog about it like right now before I burst.
Why am I picking on you? I hear you ask. I'm sorry if you feel that way. It's just I've not had many good experiences with you.
My major peeve? Is of course the fact you change from motorist to pedestrian with the blink of an eye, or the same speed that Tiger Woods can drop his pants and shag another ladyfriend. (Both fast, obviously.) The rules of both the road and of pedestrianism (if that is a word) do not apply to you. You are impervious to both. You'll go through a red light if it suits you, despite of the fact that people are crossing the road because it's a GREEN light in their favour. You might not be a car, but you could still hurt others, and yourself, by doing that.
Or the way you'll suddenly drive up onto the pavement when you're stopped by a red light on the road. "Oooh," you think, "I'm wasting my time just waiting here. Let's just annoy the people trying to walk instead."
"In fact," you continue. "Let's ring my bell because they are all in my way! How DARE they all be in my way, despite the fact I'm on the pavement, a place that cyclists probably shouldn't actually be after they are actually GROWN-UPS." And then . . . "Well, I'll just drive over them if they don't move I guess! Oh well, it's their own fault!"
And, to add insult to injury, why don't you ALSO ring your bicycle bell to tell the pedestrians to get the fuck out of your way? You know, despite the fact that most of them are probably, I don't know, WEARING I-PODS AND WON'T HEAR YOU ANYWAY??? Didn't think of THAT now, did you???
I spoke to a guy once who started cycling to work, and he admitted in his case, he DID become a different person when he got on a bike. Like, he thought it was okay to cycle on a really narrow pavement between scaffolding and then have a spot of pavement rage when some people walking in the opposite direction (walking? On the PAVEMENT? How very novel.) wouldn't get out of his way immediately. He said he knew he shouldn't have been cycling along there in the first place, he knew he was in the wrong, but he couldn't help himself.
So maybe it isn't YOU as such, perhaps it's the bike that turns you evil. Or selfish. Or . . . PERVY???
Case in point: this morning. I was walking over the bridge near to my work. It is a PEDESTRIAN footbridge. In fact, I'm pretty sure there are even signs which tell cyclists to dismount. Not that they EVER pay attention to those. I digress. As I was walking up onto the bridge I saw a cyclist riding on the footpath underneath, so assumed he was probably coming over the bridge too (and more than likely not dismounting.) All the same though, I made sure to walk along one side (the BUMPIER side! See, I'm nice like that, despite everything!) of the bridge so the guy could get past me okay without having to ring his bell or do anything stupid.
A minute or two later, I felt a presence beside me, floating along in my left line of vision. It was the bike. And it was cycling alongside me, keeping pace. Assuming it must be someone I knew trying to say hi, I turned. Only to find a complete stranger who looked me up and down in a way that was so creepy it gave me shivers and stopped me from producing my world renowned "Hairy Eyeball" dirty look in its full glory. After several long seconds of just LOOKING at me (and not at the bridge that he shouldn't have been cycling on) he continued to cycle on his way, occasionally looking back at me like he thought I was the One Who Got Away, only in a "You're the one who got away from the basement I tied you up in after I kidnapped you" sort of way.
Bleeeeeee!!! I feel dirty now.
So cyclists, I hated most of you already but NOW . . . I'm terrified I might run into creepy Mr CyclePath again (see what I did there?) Ironic he's a cycle path considering he doesn't know how to USE one . . .
Anyway, the moral of the story is . . . just stay out of my way and I'll try not to hate you TOO much.
I make no promises though.
Love from me xxx