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Vicious cycle - shadows of echoes of memories of songs
j4
j4
Vicious cycle
Dear cyclists,

Cycling on the pavement is illegal. The reason it's illegal is that it is ANTISOCIAL, STUPID, and potentially DANGEROUS.

Cycling on a crowded pavement, even if it wasn't illegal, would still be ANTISOCIAL, STUPID and potentially DANGEROUS.

When you are told "stop cycling on the pavement" by somebody you have just nearly run over by trying to cycle off a busy pedestrian crossing onto a very narrow pavement, the correct answer is not to point at a nearby toddler on a plastic trike (on the pavement) and say "He's cycling on the pavement." Nor is it to yell "FUCK OFF".

Toddlers are allowed to cycle on the pavement, even though it's still fucking irritating and still fucking painful when they run over your heels/toes. However toddlers have an excuse for being as annoying and stupid as 2-year-olds, namely they're, like, actually two years old, and are still in training for being useful and non-irritating members of the human race. If you are riding a bike that's nearly as tall as me and you're old enough to have a stupid haircut, a tweed jacket and a cocking iPod -- and to shout FUCK OFF at strangers -- then I'm guessing you're actually old enough to learn to cycle on the road.

Furthermore, even if some OTHER CRETINS have parked their white vans and their sodding vanity-numberplated SUVs in the cycle lane and the zigzags so they can sit and read the paper while their morbidly obese other half waddles the 1.5 metres to the shop to buy fags and cake, that STILL doesn't make you NOT a cretin for cycling on the pavement.

Oh, and while we're here:

Cycling while smoking or using a mobile phone is probably not, in itself, illegal. It is, however, STUPID and potentially DANGEROUS. Yes, I know, you have superhuman balance and control and psychic powers which prevent other people doing anything unpredictable within a 5-metre radius of you; you are therefore quite capable of cycling while smoking, texting and juggling chainsaws, WHILE BLINDFOLDED. So get a fucking unicycle and join the circus. Oh, by the way, unicycling on the pavement? ALSO ILLEGAL.

No love,
me.

P.S. AND NINTHLY I don't want to know how ACTUALLY you ALWAYS cycle on the 40-foot-wide well-lit pavement outside your HOUSE and it's just the fascism of the nanny state and health-and-safety-gone-mad that says that's illegal and besides bikes have a decree from THE QUEEN that says they're allowed to run you over if they want to whereas cars are evil and are technically disallowed by the second law of thermodynamics. I also don't give a fuck how you cycled on a pavement when nobody was there to see and therefore it can't have really been illegal, unless you also prove at the same time that you can SHUT THE FUCK UP in the woods when there's nobody there to listen to you.

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oinomel71 From: oinomel71 Date: October 26th, 2007 01:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
Tick.
sion_a From: sion_a Date: October 26th, 2007 01:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
Also, the fact that nearly the full width of the road is occupied by a couple of dippy pedestrians and a slower cyclist overtaking them is not a sufficient reason for mounting the pavement in order to overtake them all. Even if you were at least going the correct way down the one-way street in question.
j4 From: j4 Date: October 26th, 2007 01:57 pm (UTC) (Link)
Jaysus.

I forgot about pedestrians in the cycle lane though. Usually IME it's two or three girls aged somewhere between 9 and 18 (who can tell?), wearing every single item of clothing from the dressing-up-box plus some ballet slippers made out of gold paper, all with at least one iPod and talking on at least one phone, who when you ring the bell or shout "get out of the road!" collapse into a) the road and b) a fit of hysterical, screaming giggles.

Or people walking BACKWARDS along the road talking to their mates.

Or cycling along the pavement so they can go at the same speed as their mates who are walking in the cycle lane ARGH DIE DIE DIE.
sesquipedality From: sesquipedality Date: October 26th, 2007 01:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
Speaking as a cyclist CYCLE ON THE ROAD YOU F**KING MORONS! IT'S WHAT IT WAS INVENTED FOR.
j4 From: j4 Date: October 26th, 2007 01:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
I am fortunate (ha!) in being able to speak as a cyclist, pedestrian and (occasional) driver. This gives me a wealth of experience based on which I estimate that 90% of people are inconsiderate twats, whatever mode of transport they are currently using to convey their twattish selves from a to b.
beingjdc From: beingjdc Date: October 26th, 2007 01:35 pm (UTC) (Link)
South London Addendum - shrinking your bicycle by 60% so it looks like you've stolen it from a toddler, and adding an engine, is not the same as getting the pavement made into a cycle lane.
j4 From: j4 Date: October 26th, 2007 01:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
Is that those weird baby-motorbike things? I thought at first you were talking about those tossy low-slung stunt-bikes with which people cycle up stairs and over cars and stuff, but they don't have engines (possibly the only good thing about them).
From: (Anonymous) Date: October 26th, 2007 01:40 pm (UTC) (Link)

Cycling while smoking or using a mobile phone

I think you probably could get done for either of these. The Highway Code has a Should for "keep both hands on the handlebars except when signalling or changing gear". If a policeman was feeling particularly grumpy I imagine cycling whilst on a mobile or smoking would come under "cycling without due care and attention".

James
j4 From: j4 Date: October 26th, 2007 01:48 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Cycling while smoking or using a mobile phone

Yeah, but if the police actually gave a fuck about people cycling stupidly/illegally (or for that matter parking in cycle lanes) the world would be a very different place.

I've only ever once seen someone get stopped for cycling on the pavement, and that was when he overtook a police car by mounting the pavement to the left of it, which is really just taking the piss.
emperor From: emperor Date: October 26th, 2007 01:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
Good rant!
taimatsu From: taimatsu Date: October 26th, 2007 02:03 pm (UTC) (Link)
I Agree With This Post.

I think legally those ten years old and under are allowed to cycle on the pavement. But I see obviously middle-aged idiots doing it all the flipping time.
hairyears From: hairyears Date: October 26th, 2007 02:22 pm (UTC) (Link)


No, they're not. The Police choose not to act against children playing in front of their own house, on their own street, on their scooters and skateboards and bicycles.

That's all. I think there's something in the law that allows toddlers to trundle along on a tricycle, supervised by (or even tethered to) an adult but I wouldn't bet on it - it's about the Police and the CSO's showing discretion and choosing when to act on obvious hazards and irresponsible behaviour: they would definitely ask the parents to carry the trike and walk (or carry) the toddler in the crowds on Oxford Street on a Saturday.



hairyears From: hairyears Date: October 26th, 2007 02:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
"Mummy says I mustn't cycle on the road until I'm older"
half_of_monty From: half_of_monty Date: October 26th, 2007 02:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
And while we're on the subject, stop at red lights, get some decent bike lights, and if your brakes are broken, don't ride your bike again until you've got them fixed.

On the other hand, you're driving an SUV and crash into a cyclist from behind, claiming `your brakes don't work' is unlikely to be relevant.

Still, I have an entirely off-road commute to work (until it floods) so I get to avoid all other road-users for now.
half_of_monty From: half_of_monty Date: October 26th, 2007 02:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, and on the other hand: cycles are legitimate road users of all roads. Even roads with a cycle path on the pavement. So don't yell at cyclists to get off the road and onto the pavement, they may have a legitimate reason not to want to go near it, like it having been covered by deep and dangerous gravel, for example.
j4 From: j4 Date: October 26th, 2007 02:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yes, I am aware of that, and no, I don't yell at cyclists to get out of the road. Unless they're cycling THE WRONG WAY on the road, in which case I just yell "YOU'RE GOING THE WRONG WAY" at which point they either yell abuse or look blank.
sphyg From: sphyg Date: October 26th, 2007 02:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hear, hear. Plus, road cyclists should not cycle into pedestrians when the green man is showing at PEDESTRIAN crossings.
half_of_monty From: half_of_monty Date: October 26th, 2007 02:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
Nor should cars, as they regularly do at the top of south parks road.
burkesworks From: burkesworks Date: October 26th, 2007 02:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
Bad enough that there are cyclists on the pavement; but round our way we have worse. I'm talking about those annoying little quad bikes that make a noise in inverse proportion to their size, of which there are many that infest the highways during the evening. Those trials bikes sometimes make an appearance too. Worst scenario of the lot recently was almost being knocked over by a kid who looked no more than about fourteen driving an unlicensed CZ-150 on the pavement...
j4 From: j4 Date: October 26th, 2007 02:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
I've seen motorbikes on the cycle lane along the Botley Road. And those scooters that are little more than hairdryers-on-wheels, but I just overtake those.
covertmusic From: covertmusic Date: October 26th, 2007 02:35 pm (UTC) (Link)
I wonder if bug-spray would work on those. They're high-pitched enough. I can hear the mating cries drifting over from Stourbridge Common most nights; the thready skirl of the L-plated chavatista on a knocked-off Vespa.

One of these days - soon - the cows will take their revenge on us all.
crouchinglynx From: crouchinglynx Date: October 26th, 2007 03:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
I agree entirely. I usually manage to shout at one cyclist a day about this. The most recent one to stop and argue back was a hippie who gave me an "I won't be controlled" speech, and a minute later he backed down (at least until he got out of my sight). But I always win the argument, no matter how much or little they say to justify their actions, because I KNOW I'M RIGHT.

My current pet hate, though, is the ones that cycle on the pavement after dark, and when I tell them to get on the road, they say "but I've got no lights". Doing a second stupid, selfish, dangerous thing doesn't cancel the first one out!
nja From: nja Date: October 26th, 2007 03:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
Cycling while smoking or using a mobile phone is probably not, in itself, illegal. It is, however, STUPID and potentially DANGEROUS.

I agree, but there was something impressive about a woman I saw cycling through Lincolnshire the other week, obviously on her way to work (in overalls) and smoking like a steamtrain. None of that "I'm holding a fag in my hand and taking an occasional puff" nonsense, both hands were on the handlebars and the cigarette was being sucked to death with grim determination. I guess she was going to spend eight hours in a petrol station or one of those food factories where you're sacked if you go for a piss more than twice a day.

I'd be quite happy to allow adults to cycle on the pavement if they were forced to use an age 4-8 tricycle with My Little Pony decals and twinkly streamers on the handlebars, and one of those handles on the back to allow a grownup to stop them if they are going too fast.
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