4 Apr 2012

Anger management

The photo? It's me trying to illustrate the frustration I felt today.

So I’m riding to work this morning, stopped at a traffic light, waiting to go right. It turns green and I start moving off—a bicycle commuter (pretentiously kitted in full Tour de France garb) flies through the just-turned-red traffic light on the crossroad. He has his mobile phone in his right hand and is fiddling with it (texting? calling mum? updating foursquare?)…

I carry on, now on the same road as the cyclist. I swerve to avoid hitting him as he swings into my lane to go around a double-decker without looking, mobile phone still in hand. He seems completely unaware that he has nearly gone into the side of me.

So far, quite typical. Not worth my time or energy to react. By now I’m about 150m past him and move over to merge into the queue to turn left up the next road. As I slow, filtering between the lanes (as I’m legally entitled to do in this country), scoping out a suitable space between the cars, the gates of hell open up to the sound of a harpy’s scream as the cyclist starts hollering at me during his attempt to squeeze between me and the cars I’m merging with.

“YOU CAN’T DO THAT!!” he bellows like a bull being castrated without anaesthetia. I resisted the urge to acknowledge him. With anger management issues like his, there is little point to a response of any sort.

He continues on, nearly forcing a poor woman on another bicycle into the cars in the other lane, and jumps the next light before it turns green.

It’s this particular flavour of cyclist who gives a bad name to the other, law-abiding cyclists on the roads. The ‘holier than thou’, ‘rules don’t apply to me because the world is out to get me’, ‘chip on my shoulder the size of Everest’ type of cyclist.

So I ponder—why are cyclists not required to sit a theory test of the highway code like everyone else on the roads? At a minimum. Maybe it’s just me, but I’d rather see all road users licensed and registered. Make it free, to keep the whingers happy.

Back to our Lance Armstrong wannabe… Get the aggro under control, mate, before you have a stroke. And contrary to anyone else’s opinion, no one looks good in spandex. No one.