But… you said… you said… oh forget it.
The difference? They happen to be the most entitled as well.
Now, before the cyclists reading this spit their skinny moccacinos over their MacBook Pros, let me explain.
Yes, Cycling in London is hard. The roads are ridiculously busy, pedestrians don’t pay attention to what is going on, and generally the whole experience is so dangerous it borders on death defying. Plus, it’s easy to get lost, or to cycle too close to a bus. It doesn’t surprise me that, in the face of all of this, cyclists end up becoming gigantic a*seholes every time they get on the back of their increasingly uncomfortable saddles.
But the one thing cyclists seem to forget is that they are essentially driving a small, silent, high-speed weapon. When a pedestrian crosses a road, they are listening for the noise of a car, or for seeing a 6-foot wide, motorised killing machine. In London, these tend to be moving at 5 miles per hour. So you swooping through the traffic in absolute, by God silence is probably going to go unnoticed. You should know that. Then maybe tone down the screams of anger that follow it.
As a Londoner who spends the majority of my time on foot, I encounter a lot of angry, bitter cyclists on my journeys.
Just the other day, I was walking across a zebra crossing. The cars on each side saw me and stopped. They allowed me to go across the road, and I raised a hand to thank them.
Nearing the other side of the road, a cyclist whizzed up the inside of a car and went to dart across. Seeing him careering towards me I froze in shock. He swerved wildly to one side, narrowly avoiding a collision.
“Watch where you’re f*cking going!” he yelled as he cycled in to the distance.
Hey, d*ck, I was on a ZEBRA CROSSING. Those cars stopped on either side of those black and white stripes weren’t hanging out there arbitrarily. They weren’t taking in the views of the kebab shops on Bethnal Green Road.
And I’m not even going to touch on those who decide to cycle on pavements. The BASTARDS.
I appreciate at how much it can suck to be a cyclist in London sometimes. But the sooner you realise that you are viewed essentially as a high-speed pedestrian, the less we might all hate you. Or just keep swerving in and out of traffic yelling obscenities. Either/or.
I mentioned in my review of pedestrians (there’s a sentence I never thought I’d need) about the perception that everyone in London hates each other. Given that everyone is generally either a pedestrian, a motorist, a cyclist or a user of the Underground, I think it’s amazing we’re as nice to each other as we are. We’re all the worst.
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