08 March 2010

To All You Cyclists...

To all you Cyclists: You are not cars. This may surprise you, but it is the truth. You are not encased in a metal frame, surrounded by airbags and securely buckled in. You are decidedly squishy (crunchy in places). You ARE, however, required to follow the same rules as cars. Now, these rule were invented to aid people driving around in giant, aluminum contraptions designed to keep them alive. You do not have this luxury. Why then, one must ask, do you insist on flouting these rules? Your size and dexterity on the road does not preclude you from grievous bodily damage or general squishing when, say, you decide to ignore the robot at a busy fourway. If a man were to go strolling down the highway on stilts during rush hour traffic, we would call him an idiot, If not a raging mad-man, yet you attempt a similar balancing act on a daily basis, but at potentially fatal speeds. Now, when the man on stilts gets turned to putty by a passing meat truck, everyone says he had it coming, but when a cyclist comes short, a thousand lycra-clad arms are thrown up in protest, denouncing motorists as blind, ignorant, blundering fools, ignoring the fact that said cyclist was popping a wheelie at 90kmph down St Louries in the oncoming lane (for example). I mention this because the Cape Argus is coming up and near on a trillion cyclists are about to descend upon a city notorious for it’s traffic. As a motorist, you can’t help but be aware of you brightly coloured fellows and fellowettes. You’re everywhere. It’s like trying to drive through a spandex-sporting, eco-friendly swarm of giant locusts, settling on our fair city and moving, en masse, from coffee shop to coffee shop, devouring our resources as you go and making our favourite booths smell faintly of ammonia and baked rubber. Ignoring your presence is, unfortunately, not an option. As motorists, we have no choice but to pay you attention. I only ask that, when you are flying down Settlers Way with no mirrors, no seat-belts, in-adequate brakes (essentially on a vehicle that, if it had an engine – but was still doing the same speed regardless – would be considered un-roadworthy), shiny new Oakley’s and a wonton disregard for blind spots, you pay us the same courtesy. Because, when a cyclist gets into an accident, he’s not the only one who gets hurt. Sometimes our cars get dinged.

1 comment:

  1. Darn it! The Argus coincides with Let-The-Air-Out-Of-The-Wheels-Of-A-Two-Wheeled-Analogue-Contraption Day. Going to be busy.