29 November 2009

BIKER PRONG PRANG

Ooh I do like that Wide latin font, looks like how I feel about bicyclists.

  • First off, I know that biking has changed since my days on the Palm Beach Tourist along the lanes of Crofton; certainly from the gentle freewheeling on the BSA down around the Peak School.
  • Suddenly, during my Seattle days I was aware they dressed different and whizzed around at what I secretly hoped would be break(their)neck speed.
  • Fuuck - come up behind one on the sidewalk - me who drifts anyway but am always gliding over to check out a store window. Amazed I was never knocked down
  • I'm sure they're perfectly nice people once they've shed the lycra and those helmets and shades, but what I see is the demons.
  • As I say, fantasise them coming a real cropper but only once did I get satisfaction: walking south from Colman Dock towards Safeco, it's a narrow pedestrian path that cyclists also terrorise.

    Once, just once out of all the times they whipped by me - and I have no idea how it happened or what sort of props it took - a cyclist shot by, knocking my dangly bag but also seeming to catch the strap in the right-hand bar and gear and carrying it off. Except they didn't because some protruding bar or fencing caught it a few feet on and literally upended the cyclist, whipping him/her off the bike and around by the right arm like some Bladerunner highland reel, ending blam! against the same post responsible for the cunningly placed protuberance.

    I don't think I was surprised because I had dreamed and prayed and imagined such a come-downance, but I didn't say anything as I picked my bag up and moved diagonally away from the stunned moaning figure. I rather hoped that, on recovering, he/she would think it had been planned timed and deliberate.

    Anyway, very cheering to read this Times piece about those assholes wearing iPods as they bike.

    And lovely numbers for those who like precison: according to DfT figures, "820 cyclists killed or seriously injured in the three months to June, a 19% rise on the same period in 2008. It is not known how many of these cases were caused by people listening to music ..." I mean like who cares? I'll tell myself that those 820 were the bad guys and had it coming to them, and that chaps like Sinbad will glide unharmed.

    Oh boy - how stoopid and arrogant can you be to listen as you bike? It's dangerous enough in a car to drive with those booming basses - anything, in fact, that might muffle the sound of someone approaching or a call of warning or whatever.

    I love the idea of some idiot cyclist bopping away to deafening sounds in their head, a klaxon of warning from some juggernaut melds with the metallica down the cans and Sproinngg! and Bwap! Kdunngg! (that's meant to be them ricocheting off the metal barrier). Tossed high into the air like some ragdoll marionette in the corrida.

    Oh to be a witness of that sort of come-uppance and assure the fuzz that the camion driver gave every warning, made every effort, but what can you do when these be-wheeled buffoons behave as no one else existed.

    What a good image of "heated exchanges between indignant cyclists and seething motorists, railing against the “erratic behaviour” and “breathtaking stupidity” of riders who career through the traffic."

    Bus Biff: Fashionista nixed by #98.

    Cyclist Crunch Prang - To gladden ones heart, save that it doesn't show blood everywhere and the villain-on-wheels coughing teeth. Or some following juggernaut squashing him/her under wheel.

  • 4 comments :

    Simon Baddeley said...

    The junction of Southampton Row and Theobalds Road where this happened is one of the most exciting and risky of spots for urban cyclists (and pedestrians). It's slippery in rain 'cos of drain tops, funnels traffic so the big vehicles shift lanes or have less space round them plus hazardous blindspots not seen in drivers' mirrors. Because urban cycling is such fun and so efficient for getting round London and so many are now doing it, there have to be some who assume it must be safe. (I'm not saying this of Zoe. Don't know what happened) But city cycling in UK (unlike the soft Scandinavian lands and the wimpish Dutch) borders on an extreme sport, the kind of thing that you have to make safe (like sailing) by knowing it's dangerous. Having cyclied in Cairo, i think London traffic's more dangerous - because of the culture. Egyptians actually believe it's wrong to mow down people on cycles and on foot - just try if you don't believe me. As for listening to music while cycling. It's insane but who said sanity was 'normal' among us humans. I guess some have found that dicing with your life on the streets of the city is better than than crack, especially if the music's good, and no amount of health and safety regulation is going to stop people thrill seeking. They'll simply shift the territory. I love life. I admire cyclecraft and seamanship and taking responsibility for others - but I'm over thirty.

    Simon Baddeley said...

    'Dorothy' not 'Zoe"

    Busker said...

    V good. I know Sthhmpton/Theo! My old fleet st/bk publishing days.
    i bike up from clapham across chelsea bridge on my clunker and i always put my life first but this was back in early 70s when i recall my pals thought i was odd. never knew how i got back home after the pub session 7-9pm.
    thanks for going to trouble to give such detailed comment.

    Busker said...

    Oh honestly, im surprised i let this thru.

    Ποιος νοιάζεται;
    Zoe τώρα δεν Ζωή ... ex-Dorothy ... δεν επιβραδύνουν το ρυθμό. Το blog για κτυπά.