Friday, 9 September 2011

On My Bike

I got rid of my car in May.  Mainly due to the fact that the old banger was going to cost so much to pass its MOT and I switched over to using my bike full time.  I had previously used the bike to get to work and back every day but I did tend to take the car when the weather was really bad.  However now that option is gone and I cycle regardless of the weather.

I did get myself a set of waterproof trousers and matching jacket so that I wouldn't have to carry spare clothing round with me and despite the fact that I look like the man from the fisherman's friend advert when wearing it, it does do the job.

I have already written about one hazard of cycling here - the snarling yorkie but there are a couple of other ones I have observed on my daily commute.

Firstly, the number of people who text while they are walking.  (I am talking about on the cycle path).  Now that wouldn't really be a problem but for some reason they don't walk in a straight line while texting - they tend to amble in a sort of zig zag while looking down. I usually just pull into the side till they pass me rather than risk them walking into me and me getting the blame!

Second to texting, are the number of walkers who have earphones in listening to music while they walk.  If I am cycling towards them it is usually no problem as they see me coming but if I'm behind them they don't hear me.  I ping my bell a few times and get no response and usually have to creep along at walking pace till I get to a suitable passing point - at which time they almost jump out their skins as they are not expecting to see anyone!

Walkers, have the odd look up and round now and again and let the "old biddy" on the bike past!

My final gripe is with drivers.  I have a nightmare roundabout to manoeuvre to get to the turning for work.  I haven't yet plucked up the courage to cycle round it with the traffic - too much like whacky races -  but the roads department conveniently put a path through it, so I cross at the traffic lights, through the middle of the roundabout, 2 more sets of traffic lights and I'm back on the cycle path to work.  It amazes me every day how many drivers go through when the light is on red, or they try to go through and end up blocking the crossing part!  My motto to myself at the roundabout is "just because the light is red, don't assume they will stop" - I would advise all cyclists to keep this in mind.

On the whole though, I do enjoy my daily commute.  It wakens me up, I can sing/think/plan while on my way and generally arrive at work and then at home again in a good mood and of course I don't have to worry about rising petrol costs and am hopefully doing my own little bit for the environment.  Try it sometime - you may enjoy it too!

Mich :)

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