Thursday, March 18, 2010

Day 160: Bicycles, Take Two

Bikes are an ever-present way of life in Oxford. This includes all the normal problems associated with cars, like bike parking congestion, bike speeding, and the ever-dangerous multi-tasking biker. Dangerous bike stunts can include the following:

* disobeying traffic laws, such as running red lights
* carrying groceries off the handle bars,
* wearing one's academic robes while cycling (my favorite),
* talking on a mobile while cycling,
* eating while cycling,
* texting while cycling,
* smoking while cycling (Lance's favorite),
* smoking a pipe while cycling (no joke)

Perhaps the Oxford University Council (which still makes the laws for the city, I think) should consider the proliferation of new traffic laws in the U.S. to accommodate new problems, such as TWD (texting while driving)...


  1. I mastered the art of carrying groceries on my bike during my mission. It can be kinda tricky :)

  2. This one made me chuckle. I think I am one of about 5 people in Oxford who actually pay attention to the traffic laws whilst cycling! As a (law-abiding) cyclist, I get very cross with stupid pedestrians, who think it is OK to just step out into the road without looking first! I cannot count on two hands how many times I have narrowly avoided ploughing into some idiot who has stepped out in front of me on the road!

    The other day a pedestrian made me so furious that I actually felt the need to call Ligaya and rant about it for 10 minutes! I was cycling along George Street towards the sharp left bend in the road. There was a line of cars waiting at the traffic light just before the bend, but as I approached and began to brake, the lights started to change, so I kept going and (lawfully) turned the corner quite a bit faster than the cars as the lights turned green. A pedestrian was crossing the road (when the little man at the pedestrian crossing was red, I might add!) and I rang my bell when I saw him. But he had the nerve to shout at me "It's a red light"!! What on earth did he know? He was around the corner and couldn't see the traffic light! But just because I'm a cyclist and there were no cars immediately on my tail, he assumed that I had disobeyed the traffic lights and was blaming me for almost running him down. I was furious! Pedestrians step out into the road without looking and try to cross the road at dangerous times ALL THE TIME here in Oxford! It drives me insane.

    I think that the vast body of irresponsible cyclists are to blame for pedestrians sitting on their high horses and blaming every dangerous encounter on the cyclist. But the fact that there are a lot of stupid cyclists is no excuse to be a stupid pedestrian! In fact, it ought to provide a greater reason to exercise care when walking the streets of Oxford. When did people forget to look both ways before crossing the road?!! Grrr...