Idiot Road Buffet

Today I climbed on my trusty bike and braved the traffic to work. And I happened to come across almost all of the distinct idiot species present on Stockholm roads.

Idiot 1: Tough bike guy! This creature, always male, has spent a fortune on his pink cycling shorts, his orange glasses and his stupid-looking bike. This therefore gives him the right to disregard rules, signs and other road-users because he is, of course, far too busy listening to his DickPod to notice us.

2nd-street-bike-lane

Today’s example of Tough Bike Guy overtook another bike on a narrow bike lane, forcing a woman coming from the opposite direction to practically scrape up against the wall. I bet this guy is a real laugh to work with.

Idiotic 2: Moron Taxi Guy. Taxis actually should not be allowed in traffic at all, and here’s why: all other road users are watching out for danger, while these guys are usually looking out for possible customers waiting on the pavements.

driver-distractionToday’s taxi driver made a sudden and unannounced swing to the right, in front of me and 4 other cyclists, causing one of them to bang up against the car. And here’s the odd part – the bike rider just kept on going. Maybe he was in shock.

And so I, never one to pass up the chance to swear in public, took it upon myself to berate the driver, by thumping hard on his window and shouting: “What the fuck do you think you’re doing, you fucking tit?” Moron Taxi Guy gave a sheepish shrug – like, oops, heh heh, silly me – and then ignored me. May his license wither and drop off.

Idiot 3: The pedestrian wandering out into the bike lane, cut off from the dangerous environment with a big pair of headphones and making a quick and unexpected change of direction when they discover where they are.

Idiot 4: The stupid cyclist, without a helmet, actually talking on a mobile whilst negotiating busy and possibly lethal traffic. Jeeezus.

Idiot 5: Door-opening dude. Luckily I always leave 2 metres between myself and parked cars, and today this paid off as a guy swung a door out into the street without checking to see who was coming. I was, but luckily I was too far out to get clipped. Who gave these people their licences?

Idiot 6: Double-parked lady. But she had the magical flashing “warning!” lights on so that was fine then, no problem, please continue.

The only of the main idiots I did NOT see today was parking-in-the-bike-lane man. So I missed the complete set. But hey, tomorrow is another happy city cycling day.

/ paddy

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9 thoughts on “Idiot Road Buffet

  1. Of all the idiots you list, Tough Bike Guy may not be the most dangerous, but in a way he’s the most annoying, as his behaviour is apt to reinforce in people’s minds the conception of biking as some sort of extreme adventure sport, as opposed to simply the most sensible way of moving people around in densely populated areas. I don’t know why this phenomenon is so particularly common in Stockholm. In smaller cities, even in Sweden, bicyclists usually dress and act in a more grown-up (though not necessarily more law-abiding) manner.

      • I would estimate that:
        – 30% of the Tough Bike Guy in Sthlm are acually ugly dressed women!
        – 80% of all the bikers in Sthlm, regardless of speed, ride in an illusion of a private tunnel… disconnected from traffic and the material world.

  2. By the way, be careful whose windows you thump. Many motorists have difficulty distinguishing their vehicles from their bodies, so if you physically assault the former, they may decide to reciprocate “in kind”, leaving you bruised and sprawling on the asphalt. I speak from experience.

  3. That’s one way of putting it. I had tried to educate the hood of his car using the palm of my hand, so he overtook me, got out, walked up to me, and physically pushed me off my bike into the path of oncoming traffic.

    Car drivers are vile and lethal things. But I’ve found I can to some degree limit the amount of aggravation they cause me, by making up my mind not to consider them as sentient, accountable creatures, but just as the causal nexi of large objects in erratic motion. They remain ha huge bother, of course, but a less infuriating one.

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