Yes, let’s talk about you, my daily companion (look, it’s just an expression, all right?), as you speed away from me, ducking cars, weaving your way around lorries and jumping red lights.
|Which one will jump the next red light?|
That’s where the problem lies.
It is not the fact that your bicycle is better than mine, that you are taller than I am, that you have longer legs and therefore ride faster than I do. It’s the fact that you seem to have almost no respect at all for the Highway Code.
A code, by the way, by which we all ought to abide: motorists, bikers, lorry drivers, skaters and... cyclists.
Is it a sense of superiority that consumes you? The thought of overtaking each and every cyclist you whizz past on the road. I see them as you leave them behind, huffing and puffing. Breathless. I, too, get breathless. And all the time you, looking regal and majestic, ducking cars, weaving your way around lorries and jumping yet more red lights.
I could live with the ignominy of defeat. After all I get my own back on the 8:12am guy. You know the one because by the time I cheetah past him you are a good two hundred yards ahead of me. What I cannot live with, though, if the thought of the damage you do to cycling.
Listen, brother, we are the baddies in this story. Even if we are the ones who get crushed under the wheels of an LGV. We are the cyclists riding on the road two abreast, we are the ones who climb onto pavements (you are, actually!) and we are the ones with the Lycra shorts (as if showing off our well-shaped legs were a crime). Finally we are the ones who run through red lights (you, again!)
So, let’s talk about you, Mr Early-Morning-Rush-Hour-Fast-Rider. Let’s talk about the hateful looks drivers give me after you have jumped yet another red light. I stay behind, you see? I am the scapegoat for their anger. Lorries close me in, bus drivers pretend not to see me on their side mirror and bikers compete with me for the small gap in between cars. This is the consequence of your selfish actions: you leave me, your fellow cyclist, in the middle of this Roman gladiatorial arena. With most thumbs pointing down.
I know I will see you tomorrow again. And the day after tomorrow. And the day after that. I wish I had the opportunity to let you know at least half the message I have written here tonight. But I know that won’t happen. Tomorrow, as I come up from one of the many side roads near my house and turn right on to the high street, I will wait for that instant, that moment when you will overtake me, without so much as a nod of the head, speeding away into the distance, leaving this motorists’ bête-noire muttering obscenities under his breath as you duck cars, weave your way around lorries and, not for the last time this week, jump another red light.
Photo taken from The Daily Telegraph
Next Post: “Sunday Mornings: Coffee, Reflections and Music”, to be published on Sunday 13th October at 10am (GMT)