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:
- 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...