06 May 2009

Path rage

I was nearly knocked over by a cyclist this morning.

Not my fault, although she clearly thought it was, as she swerved to avoid me on the path just because I'd stopped and stepped sideways to get a clearer look at a little fluffy bird up a tree.

She lent round on her bike, and shouted "I rang my bell! Take your headphones out, or are you deaf?"

It was still too early to think of a witty response, so I just flipped the V's and carried on walking DOWN THE PATH. It was only as she peddled away that my morning brain started to rouse, and I considered the pointlessness of her question.

Why the fuck would I have headphones in if I was deaf? And if I was a deafer, would that really justify her shouting at me for not hearing her ring her bell as she charged towards me?

Can you imagine this women making her excuses to an ambulance crew if I actually had been deaf and she'd plowed into me? I doubt it. Maybe in her world deaf people should carry a big sign warning cyclists so they know to give them a wide berth.

It seems to be the general attitude of cyclists in Cambridge that they can do what the hell they like. Cyclists would maintain that it's car drivers that are to blame, and make the road so unsafe for use that they are forced to cycle on the pavements.

As I both drive and cycle (although much less of the latter these days), then I can say that they are both as bad as each other. I know if I'm in the car, I need to check all the mirrors constantly because they can come at you from anywhere, at anytime.

I firmly believe that if you hit a cyclist at who has not got lights on their bike, it is not only okay, it's perfectly acceptable to throw the car into reverse and back over the twat just to drive the point home that it is nigh on impossible to see them.

And if I'm on my bike, then the reverse applies. Assume every parked car is about to throw open it's door in your path. Always leave at least 2 feet of road to your left, so when someone overtakes you, but forgets he has wing mirrors, you've still got a bit of space to avoid bundling under the car when he nudges you of your bike.

But the one saving grace of motorists, is at least they stick to the bloody rules. They don't fly through pedestrian crossings because they think they can swerve round the poor souls on it.
They don't suddenly drive on the path if there's a traffic jam, or because it's safer because the road is full of big nasty lorries that are bigger than them.

But cyclists on the other hand (or the majority of at least) just do what they damn well please.

So tell me madam, if you're cycling like a lunatic on the path because the road is too dangerous, then where the hell am I supposed to go as a pedestrian?

Maybe I should just crawl in the gutter. It would probably be quite fitting.

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