Saturday, 20 March 2010

discrimination against cyclist rage

i'm on a soap box, and i'm not getting off until the completion of this post. warning.

i am *so* tired of being discriminated against for being a cyclist. most of the time it happens, i'm not even on my bike, i'm just next to it, looking like a cyclist. if you'd gather i'm raging about a specific incident, i am. here it is;

on thursday i was on a mammoth cycle around london with friend lisa. we realise we're running out of time to get home by dark, and voila; we see a DLR station (that's london's light rail network). lisa is pretty sure she's known others to use it with bikes, so we go to the station and look for signs. nothing. no train guard either. we're on the outskirts of london and it's not peak hour, so we make the assumption it's a go-er. we buy our stupidly expensive-for-what-we're-getting tickets, and go to the platform.

the train arrives. it has around six people on it, and we board the train. instantly, an announcement tells us to get off. we're like WTF? come on! non peak hour? six people on the train? outside of central london? no signs at the station??

we get off and when i look back there's a woman sitting on the train, she's got an incredibly smug look on her face, twinged with contempt, and she's shaking her head.

i felt slight rage at having to get off the train, but this woman *really* tipped me over the edge. what gave her the right to shake her head at me?? i wasn't doing anything knowingly wrong, and i was the one who had now wasted my money, *and* would now need to cycle home in the dark without lights. and i deserve the look of death??

i'm tired of people treating me like shit because i have a bike.

i'm pissed off because my bike is smaller in space than 85% of baby buggies out there, and yet they're allowed to travel at free will.

when are we going to shift our attitude towards cycling in this country? in so many countries you're permitted to take your bike on public transport, though sometimes not at peak hour. i get the peak hour thing, that makes sense, but the rest of the time? come onnnnnnn

Our mayor of london, Boris Johnson (above) is supposedly cycle friendly, well it's time to get your finger out. if you want to encourage cycling, stop discouraging us.


Ironman By Thirty said...

I feel your pain. Not sure if this ( made it across the pond or not, but an ESPN nut case went off on cyclists the other day gaining the attention of a small time cyclist by the name of Lance Armstrong. Lance ended up going on the show the following day and they talked about cyclist/driver issues. Lance mentioned how drivers will get behind a tractor, horse & buggy, or other slow moving vehicle and wait patiently, but if they get behind a cyclist, they go bonkers.

PS: It sounds like you would have been well within your rights have clocked that woman :)

teacherwoman said...

Oh how frustrating. I would have been furious ... especially after seeing that lady shake her head.

Stemmet said...

I feel for you, even in South Africa it is a thing of cyclists vs the rest. My wife needs to drive behind me lately on my long rides as it is just not safe riding alone.

The motorist see how close they can get to you when they pass you.

Must be so frustrating seeing that women on the train shaking her head.

Big Daddy Diesel said...

Here in the states, some national radio idiot went off on cyclist and told people to run us off the road. Its ridiclous, we are given a bad rap for trying to live a healthy lifestyle.