Monday, 19 January 2009

People who annoy me....

As I promised but a few days ago, I am not going to complain about my life and lot this year. No - I shall cease moaning, count my blessings, and turn my ire on other people who frankly get on my wick.

So, who's first up? So many to choose from... but let's start with cyclists.

"Oh no Gyppo!" I hear the multitude cry, "Surely you can't be having a go at anyone who rides a bike?"

Umm - no, I'm not. There is an important distinction to be made. Ordinary People On Bikes (OPOBs) are one thing; evangelical cyclists in lycra, slipstream helmets and visors - let us term them cyclologists for ease of distinction - are quite another.

OPOBs ride along at an appropriate speed for a bicycle, wear ordinary clothes, look and signal before turning and stop at red lights. They don't get in the way of your car or run you over when you're on foot. I have no problem with such people. I wait patiently behind them until it is safe to overtake, I let them go at junctions and they thank me for it, I exhange cheery words with them at the pelican crossing. They are not the problem.

Cyclologists are people who regard bikes not as a means of getting from A to B but as an ideological statement. They fervently believe that they should have the right of way over anything and everybody because they are 'the good guys' and the rest of us are filth. They take delight in riding along narrowish busy roads at rush hour at a speed just fast enough to make it impossible to overtake safely, yet slowly enough to cause a massive tailback. They dress like prats. They sweep out in front of you without looking or signalling when turning right and only then turn to give you a filthy look when they hear the squeal of brakes. They swear at drivers and pedestrians alike and make rude gestures by way of apology after causing accidents to other people. They ride heedlessly through mud splattering inoffensive walkers on country paths. They ignore traffic signals and rights of way, and they still seem to think that they are better than the rest of us. Has it occurred to these brain-dead zealots that causing a massive traffic tailback by bimbling along in front of it at 10 mph under the speed limit causes more pollution than just getting in a car and driving at the same speed as everyone else, to say nothing of not causing major blockages TO SINGLE-LANE BRIDGES IN THE MIDDLE OF THE FREAKING RUSH HOUR?

Truly, they are the Esperantists and Socialist Workers of the transport world. And already I can predict their response - "But if everybody rode a bike..." And frankly, that's crap. Because I have been to cities where everyone rode a bike - China in the 80s was very much on that model. And it was fine. But if everyone in this country did ride a bike, the cyclologists wouldn't be riding along happily with the rest of us. They would be jostling for position, giving OPOBs filthy looks, trying to push to the front of the queue at red lights and swearing at pedestrians. Because in the final analysis, it's not about exercise or pollution or expense - it's about being a self-important, lycra-clad git.

("No, please -" I hear the multitude cry, "Just go back to moaning about your everyday life or posting silly music videos...")


scarlet-blue said...

Are you okay with pogo-stickists? The correct apparel for pogo-sticking is a short pleated skirt and kirby hair clips..

Gadjo Dilo said...

:-) I've been an OPOB for most of my conceited, self-righteous life; but then, for a few heady summer weeks I was a cycle courier in London's Glittering West End and committed all those things you say and never apologised to anyone! I admit now that I must have pissed many people off, but I still earned less than they did and that's always an excuse.... isn't it?

Gyppo Byard said...

Scarlet - Pogos are fine. The shorter the skirt, the better...

Gadj - No offence, mate (as people say when they just realise how offensive a comment they've just made). I avoid driving in London, so clearly you are not personally one of the people who's annoyed me. Since you are a loyal and regular reader - and one of so few - please reassure me that you're not in any of the following categories: Young-Earth Creationist, Anti-Stratfordian of any stripe, investment banker/hedge fund manager, practitioner of alternative medicine.

Gadjo Dilo said...

No offence taken, Gyppo! I realise I may have annoyed a few London drivers, (but also that I single-handedly saved the environment from extinction by not using any petrol at the time). No, I am not one of those types you mention - I don't know what an Anti-Stratfordian is but I've just seen Kenneth Branagh's Much Ado About Nothing film, which was excellent.