Thursday, July 19, 2012

Who loves cyclists?

There are odd, cyclist-hating people running around these days.

Yesterday, I was cycling home from work, taking a different route to stop at a small organic market. Part of that route involved a one-way-road going ... not my way. So I used the walkway for about 20m. No living human being was using the walkway. There was just one bored waitress standing next to it, near the tables of the cafe she's apparently working in. Doing nothing. Just as I approached her, she started to move ... sloooowly, across the walkway, got a menu, and moved back ... sloooowly ... which was just the moment I had reached her. At which point she stopped, looked at me - I looked back, smiled - and she told me to get off the bike, because I'm not allowed to drive my bike on the walkway.
I continued driving without having said anything. I had no heart for a discussion, since she didn't seem like a person with whom discussing makes much sense.

Of course, she's right. But granted that there was no one using the street, I wasn't running over or endangering anybody, and granted that I share the bike lanes with:
- cars
- lorries
- pedestrians
- joggers
- roller skaters
- skateboarders and
- wheelchair users
I'm inclined to see certain roads as shared space and not privately owned by certain types of roadusers.
And, let's be honest, this whole thinking of "This is my stuff and this is your stuff and don't touch my stuff or I'll be angry" has made this world a somewhat annoying place to live in already.

But that was yesterday. Today is a different story.

A story I still don't understand...
I was cycling to work. Fully legally on a small road that is used by pedestrians, dog owners (yes, they are their own category), cyclists and - very occasionally and in a restricted way - cars. So I was cycling, and at some point I noticed a man somewhat ahead of me. First he was walking, then he stopped. I came closer. He turned around. Still I came closer. Then he lifted his fist in a quite menacing way, as if he wanted to punch me or throw a stone at me.
"Hm", I thought, giving him the benefit of the doubt. "I'll just try and see if I get hit by a stone."
I didn't get hit, neither by a stone nor by a fist. But as I drove past him, he yelled "Drive nicely!!!"
Nope, I wasn't going particularly fast. I'm not a speed biker, I'm a pleasure biker. A pleasure biker who has no clue what's up with people these days...

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Hellfire reloaded

And here they came. I knew there was something wrong with not sweating like hell at 30 degrees on a bike. Today, the last 500 metres, I was dripping. The last 500 metres is basically 5 minutes up a hill. The reason why is because today there was a carrotmob in Linz in 7 shops. So I bought two pairs of linen trousers for my vacation in Japan (30 degrees will be heaven over there), some foodstuff and borrowed, ahem, 10 books from the library. Thus I had some additional weight on me. Nevertheless, I was full of endorphines from the nice carrotmob-shops (and the books!). They all offered free carrot cake :D

Monday, July 02, 2012

In the fires of hell

It's hot. Since I'm currently learning Japanese, that would be あついです。 Temperatures are at 33 degrees Celsius, plus or minus 4 degrees. I expected to DIE, cycling home from work today. I didn't. Actually, I enjoyed it quite a bit. Mostly the bike is moving by itself, and there is WIND. How awesome is that? Granted, the last 800 metres were a bit tougher and less fun, because they go uphill. But the rest of my 8 kilometres were more than enjoyable. I can do with more fires of hell, if they feel like this.