I am going to begin this entry with a rare conciliatory preface. I admire most cyclists. I like cyclists. A few cyclists I find positively inspirational (like @OttilieQ – visit her website and then put yourself on an organ donation register). Hell, some of my best friends are cyclists. So let me first say this:
I appreciate that Britain’s road infrastructure is not fairly balanced towards your favoured means of transport. I understand you often unfairly receive abuse from other road users who have little grasp of the Highway Code. I get that you are vulnerable – just a frail human being encased in a skintight outfit and an awkward-looking helmet, sharing the road with vehicular behemoths and their aggressive pilots who feel empowered to hurl abuse at you from the protective confines of their air-conditioned seat. I get it – truly I do.
That being said, some of you are still cunts.
There are many subsets here, so forgive the list format, but when a group commits so many assaults against polite society it helps to compartmentalise.
Cyclists that run red lights
Let’s get this one out if the way first. It’s obvious, it’s been oft written about, but it’s no less fucking annoying. If I’m at a pedestrian crossing and I get a green light, I don’t think it’s too much to expect that the red light greeting approaching road users will afford me safe passage to the opposite curb. I would rather it didn’t herald a real-life game of Frogger, with me starring as the frog.
The fact that you’re near-enough silent makes the whole experience of narrowly avoiding a collision with a high-speed Lycra-clad assassin even more terrifying. Is it that you don’t know? Does the cycling proficiency test not cover traffic lights?? Or is it that you are so supremely confident in your two-wheeled city-traversing abilities that you feel the traffic light is an unnecessary bureaucratic impediment to your swift onward journey, that as a cyclist travelling only 25 miles an hour you are essentially exempt from any kind of traffic control, and anyway… human beings are the simplest of obstacles to avoid, aren’t they? I suspect it’s the latter.
Cyclists that mount the pavement
You’re not like a Native American spirit warrior who walks two worlds – you’re either a vehicle on the road, or a pedestrian on the pavement. You do not get the option of whizzing down a pedestrianised zone because the traffic suddenly seizes up for a second or two. And don’t you DARE ring your little fucking bell to get me to move over as I amble at a perfectly reasonable velocity. GET OFF YOUR FUCKING BIKE!!
Cyclists who ride two abreast on narrow country roads
Having a nice chat, are we? No please, don’t mind me, or indeed the 47 other cars currently stuck in a slow-moving line behind you. If you were traveling single file there’d be just enough room to overtake without risking a head-on collision with an oncoming vehicle, but you’re probably having a really important conversation aren’t you? Something about carbs or glutes I’d wager…
Cyclists that lean on your car while waiting at a junction
I must at least commend you for stopping at the red light, or resisting the urge to mount the pavement. But don’t touch my car. It’s my car. I don’t like strangers touching it. Especially sweaty ones. How about I lean out the window and pop a hand on your saddle while we wait? Too familiar? Then take your clammy mitts off my Ford Focus!
Cyclists that wear Lycra when they really, really shouldn’t
Some things you can’t un-see. A lot of cyclists pull off the Lycra look because, well, they’re cyclists, and such a pursuit lends itself to a toned physique. But there are some cyclists – I’m guessing part-time ones – whose bodies have yet to fully respond to the physical demands of this activity. In the name of decency, please wait until they have before donning the skintight outfit. Lycra is the least forgiving material at the best if times, but when encasing a body shape that errs on the lardy it becomes positively vindictive.
I don’t want to see every fold of your excess flesh, every roll of fat, every glutinous curve of your body. I don’t want an unfiltered presentation of the exact proportions of your massive arse. And I particularly don’t want to see the contours of your squashed genitalia. In short, I feel it’s unfair to have the equivalent of a human lava lamp thrust into my line of sight. Black is slimming. Lycra is not.
Cyclists that take their bikes down an escalator
Ha ha. No it’s fine. I didn’t want to jog down the steps so I could catch my train. I’m more than happy for you to impose your own rate of descent on everyone else behind you. I mean it is annoying taking that slight detour for the lift, isn’t it? I completely understand. Please, carry on. I insist.
Cyclists that ride without holding the handlebars
I’ve covered this already, but it’s worth repeating.
Cyclists that wear ultra bright headlamps
A new phenomenon this, but one that I’m experiencing with increasing frequency. Apparently the traditional bike lamp just doesn’t cut it anymore, and the high power xenon headlamp has become the nighttime cyclist’s illuminating device of choice. Nothing wrong with this, you may think. Why shouldn’t cyclists equip themselves with the same modern illumination that drivers have in their car headlights?
Well for one, ours are dipped. And as you cycle towards me with your head proudly held high, you are filling my car with the blinding light of a God revealing himself. I hope you can see me. Because I sure as Hell can no longer see you. Or anything else, for that matter…
Cyclists with a smug sense of self-satisfaction
You know who you are. For you, cycling isn’t a hobby or a form of exercise or even a way of getting from A to B. It’s an almost religious calling that you have taken up so that the rest of us infidels may gaze upon your majesty, your single-handed attempt to save the planet, and – let’s not be coy – your incredibly firm thighs. You despise drivers of motorised vehicles and pity poor pedestrians. Our complaints regarding your selfish use of the road and pavement falls upon deaf ears as the pious justification for your pedal-based tyranny oozes from your patronising lips. You commit the majority of the sins mentioned in this post on an almost daily basis. You ride around Box Hill on a Sunday because since 2012 it’s become your Mecca. But you’re not an Olympics-class athlete; you’re a cock. And I hate you. I think a lot of people do.
So, in conclusion: Cycle? Regularly do any of the things listed above? Then stop cycling. Or cycle really really fast. Down a train track.