Wednesday, 22 July 2009

AND another thing...

I'm having a rant. If you're in a lovely flowery happy place, click away now...

Still here? Right. Then I'll begin....

First... Why is it that cyclists in London are so self-righteous these days? Obviously they are doing less harm to the environment than car drivers, I get that, but how on earth do they expect to be given the same rights as a car when they don't follow any of the same rules? For example, I can't count the number of times a cyclist has refused to stop or slow down at a pedestrian or a zebra crossing when I'm walking over with my children. And yet, if you challenge them on it, they get all upset. (And yes, I know it takes extra puff to slow down and speed up all the time. But they're cycling in London for goodness' sake. What do they expect?).

Plus, PLUS, cyclists going through red lights on a busy junction. Where in the highway code does it say that's allowed? Is there an extra booklet they issue to cyclists that says 'It's not strictly allowed to jump a red light but you're on two wheels rather than four and using pedal power so, what the hell, you're a saint and exempt from normal road laws. Go for your life...'

And whilst we're at it, why is it, when I'm out walking through London with my boys, male drivers (or even male cyclists) feel it's acceptable to comment if they think my children are too close to the edge of the pavement, are taking too long to cross the road, or they're just having a bad morning and are looking for someone to bully? Ask yourself, would they do that if I was my 6' 4" husband? I think not.

And finally; please, non-blogging PR people (I exclude blogging PR's - you know where it's at, this is not aimed at you at all), if you've even bothered to read this far down the post (which would be a first), take note of the following;


If I don't answer you the first time you e-mail me that is probably because I don't have the time. I know you're working to a deadline. I probably noted what it was when I read your e-mail and promptly prioritised it at the bottom of my list whilst trying to lead something approaching a normal life and simultaneously being a Butlins redcoat. Bombarding me with follow-up mails reminding me that 'time is running out to participate' will not make me feel any kinder to you when I'm dealing with two children hopping around like mad things. I will answer you when I can (if, that is, your note is remotely relevant or interesting - never a given, I'm afraid); and there is nothing more likely to make me hit 'delete' than a second, third, or even fourth email chasing me.

And - breeeeaaaaatheeee.


  1. pm, we are model cyclists over here. we do model erratic wobbling and model warning shouts about important matters like passing dogs and cats on doorsteps.

    and i get the feeling that school has its uses beyond a simple education then? ;-) (and ducks)

  2. Grit, I don't know WHAT you're talking about re the school.... (!) And I should say for clarity's sake that we are cyclists too, although mainly in a very boring and pedestrian styley at the weekends. It's the bike couriers that I suppose I'm really ranting at...

  3. There are some terrible cyclists, usually male, in London, but they are nothing compared to the drivers here. Talking on your mobile, despite being illegal, seems de rigeur, as does cutting corners when turning into a junction, and I know just what you mean about getting dirty looks because boys are taking too long to cross the road. Out here, the motorist rules OK. And you wouldn't dare cycle for fear of being mown down by an SUV.

  4. Try writing it Psyclists.

    Does that mke you feel better?

  5. Oooh feel better now?! Deep breaths. Blogging's like therapy isn't it!!

    Im with you on the email front too! :)

  6. I am just back from a month-long visit to the UK of which my last three days were spent in London. I have to say that I could not believe how fast and ignorant the cyclists were as I was having a lovely walk with my boys along the south bank! Scared the crap out of me they did!

  7. Unfortunately the more cyclists there are, the more representative of the human race, in general, they become. So - much to my disgust as a cyclist myself - you get the ones that don't follow the road rules, and start giving all of us a bad name.

    Sometimes I wonder if their behaviour is a misguided response to the way they've been treated by motorists. (Even in the relatively short time I've been cycling I could give you a big long rant about ignorant things that have been done to us by idiots in cars!) Two wrongs don't make a right though - and I get just as cheesed off as you when I'm driving when I encounter a cyclist doing the wrong thing - and I don't encounter it in a big city like you do!

  8. Oh, what we get over here are cyclists who cycle the wrong way down very narrow one-way streets. Yes, the drivers can see them coming, but if you're a pedestrian (with children hanging on) you're not exactly looking the wrong way down that street. Grrr.

  9. As a new London cyclist I PROMISE I am obeying the rule of the road as ignorant cyclists really wind me up too! The pavement is not for them and loud tutting is really rather rude.

    Sapre a rant for the drivers of buses (esp. bendy buses) that stop over crossings as well leaving you to tiptoe past their stinking exhausts to try to cross the road without being run over!

  10. I guess it is ranting time (did you see the title of my last post?)

    I love the bit about it being school holidays. Duh. I was invited to a day long event in London. Er, what do you want me to do with the kids?

    =A Modern Mother

  11. Here here here PM. We don't get too many cyclists on the orads here in Motor City Suburbia, for obvious reasons, the SUV and People Carriers rule. But I live in an area with many trails perfect for walkers and cyclists. However, the bl**dy cyclists treat it like a racetrack and if you don't obey their yell of, "Look out, on your left!" you will be moan down before you can say "Had a nice life!"
    I suppose I should be grateful that at least most of them warn you they are about to mow you down, but still, it can make a nice evening stroll as stressful as crossing a highway.
    When we go biking en famille, I like to meander and weave along the trail at a modest speed just to piss them off. Oops.

  12. As you know, I ride my bike daily in a moderate sized city in the Netherlands, and the people I'm really bothered by most are the pedestrians who step off the sidewalks as if they are visiting Disneyland and the whole city is just a huge entertainment park for them to ogle mindlessly from whatever spot anywhere they desire. I can't tell you how many near mishaps I've had with pedestrians and how many times I've had to yell at them not to walk on the road, which seems to surprise them, as they aimlessly wander around, while carrying bags of loot, in search of another store to raid. Pedestrians are the worst traffic offenders. That was my rant.

  13. Yes, don't forget to breathe PD, very important.
    In London, I hate mopeds, motorcycles and bikes when driving. When walking I hate cars, buses, bikes, motorbikes, mopeds and pedestrians.
    Hmm, think I shall just stay home

  14. I am always worried about extra children on the street and cyclists appearing out of nowhere when I am making a turn.

    I see that somewhere in Canada a number of cyclists were killed in one go by a vehicle.

    You're absolutely correct. They aren't thinking about their own safety. They have no protection around them and they act immortal.


  15. I get annoyed at cyclists on the pavement, though having attempted to cycle in Oxford I do understand why one would choose it over cycling on the road! My bugbear is cars parking on the pavement. And dog owners not picking up their dogs' poops (we have bags attached to the lead, so we are never without one). And kids on scooters... Oh yes, and those pesky wheelchair user! ;) Basically, I don't want anyone other than me to use the pavement.

  16. Cyclists drive me crazy. I wish they'd decide whether they are walking or cycling. If they're cycling, THEY CAN'T USE PEDESTRIAN CROSSINGS! Get off and push if you want to take advantage of the zebra crossing, you lazy so and so!

  17. Oh, Cyclists on the pavement make me want to scream. WHY?

  18. I reckon blogging actually prevents violence...including road rage! Even planning a ranting blog cheers me right up.

  19. There's an award for you at my Rantings.

  20. Think calm happy thoughts...and head over to mine for a tag...

  21. I liked Tracey's comment; it's the same group of arrogant asshats, whether they're transporting themselves via car, bike, or scooter, who are clue-impaired and never learned to play nice when they were children.

    Then again, sometimes you're going to offend people no matter how you behave. I've been yelled at by a man because I was committing the heinous offense of cleaning up after my dog. Presumably he thinks dogs should be designed so they come without any output function.


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