Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Room 101

Shamelessly lifted from Random Burblings, a new weekly feature: my personal nominations for Room 101. First up, we have...


I have divided these into categories, all equally annoying.

A: Boys aged 8-16. If you are the parent of one of the lesser spotted teenage cyclists who actually cycles on the road (or a teenage boy himself who does this), then I apologise, but I am fed up with my 35 minute walk to work being marred by these spotty gits cycling straight down the middle of the pavement towards me, in some cases looking round to chat to their friend behind, causing me to dive into a hedge. Actually, the worst spot for this in Teddington is where they have a cycle lane!

The worst of it is, I sometimes find myself accidentally saying sorry to these people when I open a car door a bit too quickly and they have to brake. Then I realise, they shouldn't be there anyway. It's a vehicle, you w*nkers, you should be on the road!!

Incidentally, before anybody suggests that it's just a by-product of roads being filled with dangerous, inconsiderate drivers, and we should cut young boys some slack, what with them not being allowed to wear hoodies now, I notice that the smaller number of female cyclists in this age group seem a lot more law abiding and sensible.

B: Lycra louts. I'm sorry, you with your toned thighs, aerodynamic helmet and silly clothes, but traffic lights still apply to cyclists. I know that you have a much shorter breaking distance than a car, and can weave in and out of people more easily, but you still have to stop! Oh, and lime green lycra cycling shorts just look naff, even on somebody with Kylie Minogue's bum (get well soon, Kylie). Obviously, I mean somebody with a bum like Kylie's, not somebody with Kylie's actual bum, stolen in some bizarre Silence of the Lambs type crime. She's got enough on her plate at the moment.

C: Lycra louts in Richmond Park. I don't mean those extremely fast cyclists who use the metalled roads in the park; that's fine, driving a fast vehicle on a road, it's what they are designed for, and people know to watch out when they cross a road. I mean the macho mountain bikers who use the trails without a thought to the fact that old people with their dogs use the trails for walking; some of us use the trails for spotting wildlife, or simply dreaming; small children toddle up them; and we don't want to be constantly on the watch for people who think they are auditioning for an episode of Jackass. I remember an incident where a small boy of about three was retrieving a ball, and got knocked down by some lout who constantly said that the kid was OK. Well, he wasn't missing teeth, and he didn't need to go to hospital or anything, but it's not OK to be slammed into because you thought you were in The Tour de France, mate.

D: The family pavement group. You know the ones. They've got one very little kid with a pink Barbie bike (poor little chap!) which it is technically legal to ride on the pavement (there is a maximum sized bike for which this is legal but it is for very young children, not as some people think, for anybody up to twelve or so). In order to lead their little girl, Dad, Mum, and hulking great acne-ridden teenage lout, also ride on the pavement, Dad leading the way with a self satisfied parental smile. Get on the s*dding road!! Incidentally, I believe that the law says that you cannot cyle on the pavement if your bike has wheels above 12" diameter. This is suitable up to the age of about 5. Too right!