OK I have been very good so far. I have not mentioned them at all.
By now, regular readers will know a few things about me, but for the benefit of some late comers or new readers (welcome!) here are a few facts.
* I love driving
* I dislike some types of drivers…
* Driving in front of me at 28mph in a 60 zone will make me tear off my steering wheel and beat you to death with it.
* People who drive cars while wearing hats are suspicious at best and really should be avoided.
* Caravanner’s should be outlawed.
* All cars are brilliant.
There, a brief summary of my messed up and skewed view of motoring. You will notice I have left out the obvious natural enemy of drivers, such as speed cameras, the Police, traffic wardens, farmers and the Green Party; all of which should fill any driver with bowel loosening dread.
But I have been silent about group of people (I use the term loosely) because I realise that that a few of my readers could be in this group and that might be a bad thing. But something happened to me today that has to break my silence, shoot my self in the foot, encourage hate mail and enrage my audience. Never let it be said that I am scared of controversial journalism.
I’m talking about Cyclists.
Right, now, before all you green lot run in circles and yell at me on how much better the humble 10 speed is and how the environment isn’t damaged by the gentle swish of pedal, or the summery ting of a bell as a lady in a big straw hat swoops past a buttercup meadow in a haze of sunshine, let me tell you something. The bicycle is directly responsible for two of the worst contributors of greenhouse gases, co2, soot, acid rain, plagues, frogs, locusts and anything else that’s supposed to kill buttercuppy meadows.
Don’t believe me? Well what was the day job of the blokes that invented powered flight for the first time? Want more? OK what did Mr Peugeot do before he made exciting little hatchbacks? Or Honda-san, what did he cut his teeth on prior to making some of the best and most popular cars ever known? That’s right they all made (or STILL MAKE) Bicycles.
Kids on bikes are just fine. Normally they are on the path anyway and more interested in doing wheelies or (if they are a bit older) riding them over bits of street furniture and causing a nuisance to the park keeper. Mum or old guy on a bike are fine, Mum has little one on the baby seat, so wont even think of doing anything stupid. Old man is in top gear, pushing laboriously on each pedal stroke. He is moving so slowly that it really would be quicker to walk as continental drift is starting to catch him up. Nope, my fury is with the multi coloured blokes that really, truly, actually believe they are in the tour-de-France. They dress up in skin tight, multicoloured clothes, shave all their body hair off , put on a streamlined helmet and biff about on the road believing that they can keep up with traffic.
It gets worse when they bring a friend, and they ride side by side totally ignoring the poor sod behind him that is trying to get past without causing offence or inconvenience to them as they have the moral high ground and he is murdering the planet, and therefore a son of Satan.
But it doesn’t stop there, oh no…
Today (a Sunday) I had to go and get my wife from work, a not bad run of some 15 miles of twisty bits and some long straights. 60Mph is the speed limit over about 90% all of it just single lane, but at 7am it would be clear of traffic so a nice sunny run to get the missus. Or so I thought.
The local bicycle clubbery had decided to hold a ‘Cycle Event’ I found this out by reading the sign pinned to the back of a bloke with a beard wearing a high vis jacket. I then saw a swarm of brightly coloured spandex for the next 15 miles and had to spend my time over taking time and time again, trying not to hit the driver coming the other way head on as he did the same. I’m not going to say it was a race, even though there were timers, and even a chequered flag, and event is an event. Safety was paramount, but safety and cycling are very hard to have in the same sentence, so maybe that’s why cyclists ignore safety for the most part and just don a polystyrene hat and put the blame firmly on the motorist if there is an accident (remember, motorists are planet killers) This probably explains why I watched these event participants ride the wrong way up the road in places, fix their bikes in the road in other places, ride in a pack sometimes three abreast, causing other road users to continually overtake them on the wrong side of the road, now, add to the fact this was happening on BOTH sides, and it forced a ton of metal at 60mph to drive at each other head on time after time. If you were to put forward an ‘event’ like this to any sane person he would reach for the phone and find out if the local loony bin had a break out!
Me, you and every other motorist pays through the nose in petrol tax, road tax insurance premiums, etc, but it costs the cyclist nothing to use all of the roads that we pay for. If I got a bunch of 50 of my mates to have a timed ‘event’ from here to Basingstoke and back, then every beard in 5 miles would ring the police, the air force and the SAS to put a stop to it. Even when a group of like minded car freaks get together in a car park for a chat and some appreciation of other car nuts hard work, the beardies get sniffy. As soon as an engine is revved up it goes from a cruise to a rave, someone is having some fun.
And that’s just not allowed