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Mad Scientess Jane Expat

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Reasons I Dislike Cyclists. [20090625|20:40]
Mad Scientess Jane Expat
[Tags|, , , ]
[the weather today is |irritable]
[with a hint of |Front 242 - Moldavia]

I had to poke the lens of my camera in through a broken pane on the opposite stained glass window of a mausoleum in Hammersmith Cemetery to take this photo. Blah blah I like to take pictures in cemeteries blah yes I'm a big goth blah blah what I really want to rant about right now is
Reasons I Dislike Cyclists*. Here we go.
  • The intolerable air of smugness they exude when talking about how healthy it is and how good for the environment. Yeah yeah. Go hug a tree, hippy.

  • An innocuous comment such as "That's a nice bike" provokes a tedious 25-minute monologue expounding its virtues.

  • The to-wear-a-helmet-or-not-wear-a-helmet argument. They all go bombing around at insane speeds, or they're clipped in with those ridiculous shoes, so if they fall off, does it really matter? Honestly, they'd need full body armour to keep from getting hurt.

  • Lycra.

  • The insufferable cheek they have, glaring at pedestrians when they're riding on the pavement, where they're not supposed to be.

  • The exemption they seem to have from obeying traffic signals, including pedestrian crossing lights.

  • Did I mention the Lycra?

  • The ones that think those little reflectors on the wheels provide sufficient indication of their presence at night.

  • Sneaking up behind me without using their bell and then acting pissed off when I don't get out of the way quickly enough.

  • Finally, the most important reason: I should not have to worry about getting run over by a grumpy fat man in electric blue Lycra while walking through a cemetery, goddammit.


* Lovely flatmates, colleagues and friends excepted, of course. </furious backpedaling>
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From: secretsquirrel7
2009-06-25 20:32 (UTC)
Maybe you should have just punched the guy in the face.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2009-06-26 10:23 (UTC)
You mean making someone the butt of a scathing internet post isn't the same thing? Oh.
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[User Picture]From: guyinahat
2009-06-25 20:33 (UTC)
It was bad of me to get revenge on a twat cyclist by buzzing him on the motorbike.

But it felt good.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2009-06-26 10:24 (UTC)
Officially, I disapprove. Unofficially, I'm leaning out from behind you, shaking my fist and saying, "Yeah!"
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[User Picture]From: chibaraki
2009-06-25 20:37 (UTC)
Self-satisfied cyclists make me want to punch babies.

Also I am directionally challenged so when one comes up behind me and says "On your left!" I have two options:

1. Stand there for 30 seconds staring at my hands until I figure out which one is the left, then move to the right so they can go by.

2. Make a wild guess at which side is left and step in a direction and have a 50% chance of getting hit by a bicycle. Which hurts.

Either way everyone involved winds up pissed off. I vote they just ride in the street and leave me out of it.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2009-06-26 10:28 (UTC)
ME TOO. I often say "right" when I mean "left" and vice versa. It makes me feel so dumb. And gets me sworn at by cyclists.
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From: pbristow
2009-06-25 20:58 (UTC)
Oh, God *YES*! [NODS VIGOROUSLY]

Plus: the convenient way they swap back and forth between being a road user or a pavement user at whim, but without bothering to give any warning to the road users/pavement users/road *crossers* they carve up in the process. =:o\

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[User Picture]From: nanila
2009-06-26 11:00 (UTC)
The behaviour and the colour scheme all point to one thing: Cyclists are the work of Baby Blue.
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[User Picture]From: ursarctous
2009-06-25 21:05 (UTC)
i love the way some cyclists wear those pollution-filtering masks, but no helmet. yes, if they get knocked down they're going to get rather scraped up all over, but without a helmet they could actually die. instantly. which they seem to care about far less than, omg, dirty air.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2009-06-26 10:29 (UTC)
I saw one of those this morning! And his mask was electric blue! It's a conspiracy!
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[User Picture]From: leidan
2009-06-25 22:18 (UTC)
I agree with you so much. And I used to be a cyclist. Or at least someone who cycled places, I think there is a fundamental difference.

I hate, hate, hate, the bunches of entitled middle age people who think because they spent two grand on a bike and another grand on a lycra suit to put their banana in (both literally and figuratively) they should be able to have the whole road and the foot-path and damned be any others.

On the helmet front I really don't think there can be an argument. Limbs, eyes, skins, they are all kind of optional, brains... not so much.

PS. The man in electric blue lycra wasn't a cyclist. He was a retired middle age super-hero. Used to be called the Bolt. Then he got arthritis in his knees and had to give it up. Now the only way he gets to wear the old suit and feel the wind rushing through his hair (what little he has left) is on a bike in the quiet places no-one goes. He is sorry he is grumpy but sometimes it just hurts too much to remember the old days.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2009-06-26 11:05 (UTC)
On the helmet front I really don't think there can be an argument. Limbs, eyes, skins, they are all kind of optional, brains... not so much.

You'd think. But apparently there are all kinds of statistics that show helmets don't work above a certain speed, and that drivers give less space to cyclists wearing helmets and therefore helmet-wearers are more likely to be involve in accidents and blah blah I can't believe there is space in my brain devoted to this information.

After your story about the Bolt, I can forgive the cyclist. It's not easy going unsung and unremembered when once you basked in glory.
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[User Picture]From: wurlitzerprized
2009-06-25 23:22 (UTC)

and btw, gorgeous photo

read my mind much?
i was about to post about this, sorta.

IF YOU'RE AFRAID TO RIDE IN THE STREET THEN DON'T RIDE AT ALL. I'M WALKING HERE!

that's how it is here in brooklyn.

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[User Picture]From: nanila
2009-06-26 10:31 (UTC)

Thank you

Walking is healthy too. Making it dangerous is UNACCEPTABLE.
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[User Picture]From: giles
2009-06-26 03:34 (UTC)
I am happy when I see someone in a buttoned shirt with some kind of bag on a bike. Because that person is going somewhere. To do something.

When I see someone in Lycra and wraparound shades and five more just like 'em tanking along I know it's for no good reason and they probably drove their bike somewhere on the rack on their motor vehicle just to ride it around and agitate me.

And, you know, it's probably different in a city, but on a suburban rode with hills and the speed limit's 35 or so... what exactly am I supposed to do behind a Lycralist when I can't see 'round the corner or over a hill?
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2009-06-26 13:23 (UTC)
Unfortunately, I think it is an inescapable fact that when you are on a bicycle, automobiles will annoy you, and when you're in a car, cyclists will annoy you, even if they aren't in Lycra.
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[User Picture]From: anthrokeight
2009-06-26 03:43 (UTC)
It appears the entire single male population of my city has ditched their cars and decided to bike for morality and love and whatever. Which is great and I appreciate their pollution reduction efforts.

However, I think any man that informs a woman that she's frivolous for owning a car in my cities of residence can figure out how to get from campus to home or from a bar to home or from the library to home at night with busses that run only once every hour and not at all after ten and never close enough to my house to mean you're not on a street alone with no lights in the dark for a stretch without being afraid for 20 of the 40 minutes it takes to get from Point A to Point B.

I am very happy to call my legislators and push for light rail and really good public transit in St. Cloud and the Twin Cities. I am not about to tell any woman in St. Cloud in particular she shouldn't have a car if she can afford one.

I'll say it again: gender equality will do great things for my carbon footprint.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2009-06-26 14:25 (UTC)
I completely agree. I stopped thinking of night buses as viable transport after being attacked at a bus stop a block and a half from my flat. If I'm going to be out late alone, I always have cab fare on me. That peace of mind is worth a lot more than £30.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2009-06-26 10:40 (UTC)
I am not a cyclist, I just have a bike. Occasionally, I ride it.

I ride my bike so rarely that I forgot that I fall into this category myself. :-P
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[User Picture]From: danaid_luv
2009-06-26 07:24 (UTC)
Yes. To all of it. And nearly half the commenters have left me quietly giggling into my laptop.

PS I love your photo. Made all the better knowing the extra bits you had to go through to get it. *nods*
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2009-06-26 10:45 (UTC)
The dry wit consistently displayed by a large percentage of my LJ friends continues to thrill me.

Thank you. I stepped over to peek in on a whim - the outside of the mausoleum wasn't anything special. I was pretty surprised to see such a detailed piece of work. It was just lucky that the sun happened to be in the right place to illuminate it fully.
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[User Picture]From: helpful_mammal
2009-06-26 12:37 (UTC)
I don't have a bike. A do have a unicycle but mostly I fall off that; one day I may actually learn how to ride the damn thing.

Oddly it's probably legal to unicycle on the pavement under British law, while those on bikes are meant to stay on the road - the law considers cycles to be unpowered vehicles of two, three or four wheels.

As a bizarre side-effect one then can't unicycle on a bridleway, which is is reserved for horses, pedestrians or cycles as legally defined.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2009-06-26 13:16 (UTC)
My officemate in grad school (mole6e23) had a unicycle that he rode to work most days. He also had a t-shirt that said "Unicycling is not a crime," for the reason you cited here. I think you have to be a lot more coordinated to commute via unicycle than bicycle, anyway, so I find it highly unlikely that we'll see the pavements jammed with unicycles anytime soon.
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[User Picture]From: seismic
2009-06-26 13:14 (UTC)
Uhn. That is a lovely shot. It triggers my pseudo-synasthesia. I can almost smell it.

And ohdeargodsyes. Two words: Critical Mass. Now, I appreciate the sentiment behind it: a large gathering of bicycles to drive home the point that they're vehicles too, share the road, be aware, be courteous and all that. It even doesn't much bother me that they end up breaking traffic laws, bringing the vehicle commute to a stand still, and use the resources of the city by pretty much requiring a police escort now but (and it's happened more than once) when Critical Mass is going on and cyclists on the damned sidewalk are giving pedestrians flak, I really just want to put a broom handle through their spokes.

(There is also a bicyclist in SF who makes me smile every time I see him. He has a mini trailer with speakers on it and pumps bouncy happy songs through them. You can only hear him for a couple of blocks then he's gone. I'm sure some find him more irritating than amusing but he always brightens my day for some reason despite the fact that someone in a car with music at the same volume would get an impolite one-finger salute and the wry comment that, "I wanna be cool like you some day.")
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2009-06-26 14:31 (UTC)
Thank you. I'm not often pleased with my work in colour, but this shot needed it.

I bet that chap isn't going particularly fast, either. I can understand wanting to ride on the pavement in some of the scarier, more congested bits of London. But when you're taking a shortcut with no automobile traffic through a cemetery, there is no reason to be bombing down the path with no regard for the pedestrians strolling quietly (and respectfully, I might add), though the grounds.
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[User Picture]From: senusert
2009-06-26 13:49 (UTC)
Kick him off the bike, it serves him right. There is a road for that, or cycle paths.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2009-06-26 14:28 (UTC)
The thing is, I can understand being afraid on the roads in London and feeling a bit safer on the pavement. That's the single most important reason I don't cycle to work. In this guy's case, though, he was bombing along a path through the middle of a cemetery, which if he had any sort of sensitivity, he wouldn't be doing. Plenty of other cyclists were using that path and riding at a sensible speed.
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[User Picture]From: gourou
2009-06-29 15:45 (UTC)
There are a lot of cock-cyclists out there. Troof.

As far as jumping some lights and riding on the pavement etc, they can be done as long as the cyclist is suitably English about it.

As with all traffic, it works best when the bigger faster traffic looks after and respects the lower life forms slower squishier traffic.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2009-06-29 22:09 (UTC)
As far as jumping some lights and riding on the pavement etc, they can be done as long as the cyclist is suitably English about it.

You mean by shouting "Sorrysorrysorry" x 20 to cover the terrible inconvenience their presence has cause to everyone in the vicinity? Including the ones who didn't notice, of course.

Edited at 2009-06-29 10:10 pm (UTC)
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