Thursday, 30 September 2010

On not bullying pedestrians.

Yesterday it really rained. You were probably out in it. It was so wet that I even wore waterproof trousers (the opposite of stylish and something I usually avoid at all costs) and got soaked even through those. Weather like this means that I either need to order some new contacts or find someone who sells miniature windscreen wipers and some kind of desteaming mechanism for my glasses. Ideally the latter, obviously.

Ploughing up the river-like Amwell Street, in a mood somewhere in between my usual 'I love cycling in the rain' perkiness and 'Ok I'm bored of this and want a cup of tea now' gloom, I stopped at a zebra crossing because a young girl was waiting to cross. This wouldn't be unusual at all, except for the fact that I was the only one who did.Wether they couldn't see clearly through the moisture filled air, or, more realistically, they were just too desperate to get home and dry, the relentless series of rush hour cyclists all whizzed on through. The girl must have been fourteen, and was dressed in those slightly terrifying clothes that make teenagers look like baby versions of Pixie Lott. She stood hovering on the pavement in the downpour, occasionally venturing a toe into the road and then flinching back as it was nearly taken off. The look on her face was heartbreaking. By the time I arrived she must already have been there several minutes and the situation was clearly adding to an already bad day. I feared she might cry.

Eventually I resorted to swinging the steed's back wheel round into the cycle lane and physically putting my hands out to stop the next few riders.The girl looked at me with liquid eyes, mouthed a very polite "thank you so much" and scurried on through the rain.

Come on people. Getting slightly wetter than you already are will not kill you. Pedestrians should be our natural allies. Let's be nice to them, yes? With all those endorphins pumping round your system you must be able to spare a smile for an old lady or a child.

Today, it is sunny, so I'm sure the cycle behaviour will be infinitely better mannered.


  1. Yes! Yes-yes-yes.

    Good for you for doing the right thing. I think of you every time I stop at a red light, and now I'll keep your action in mind when I stop for walkers--as I usually do in unsignalled crossings, but not as consistently as I should.

  2. As much of a pain it is to stop at a zebra crossing...I usually do...and am then surprised by the vast majority of motorised vehicles that do not bother to stop!

    Ah...I got laughed at in my waterproofs yesterday by my not an attractive look...bright fluorescent jacket, ugly waterproof trousers and clunky waterproof very ugly and somewhat sweaty...but better than being drenched.

    I too wear glasses and it's so annoying when it rains. I use the fluffy/fabric bit of my cycling gloves (on the back of the thumbs) as 'window wipers'...although they too become slightly useless when soaked through.

    Ah well...welcome to winter (almost) once again. :)