Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Seeing the Sights

If you’ve even been on the 453 out of Nottingham you’ll know it’s a death trap to cyclists and motorists alike. Today, I saw something truly, monumentally, stupid. A man, in his early 40s, driving a large green estate car while eating a bowl of cereal (white ceramic bowl, metal spoon, cow pop, the works).

This set me thinking (well, ranting if the truth be known) and I probably see more of this than most. I spend around 2.5 hours a day cycling. Redhill to Derby, Derby to Redhill. Travelling slow enough to see what people are up to in what they perceive to be the isolation of their automobiles.

Here’s some of the stuff I’ve witnessed, by motorists, in my time as cyclist. This is not just stationary at junctions or whatever, this is going down the road in charge of a tonne of steel and rubber. I am excluding people on mobiles, those berating children in the back seat and people reading maps etc:

  • Several men shaving (cordless electric) during morning rush hour. One who does this daily. One man I actually saw shaving his head.
  • A bloke drinking coffee from an open top ceramic mug.
  • Legions of women putting on makeup and tying up their hair.
  • A man brushing his teeth, honestly, with an electric toothbrush and a plastic cup of what I presume was water.
  • Some git, in the snow, reaching around to wipe his windshield with a single, detached wiper blade because the actual articulated wipers were not functioning.
  • A man removing his pullover sweater, at around 40mph, while overtaking me.
  • At least 3 instances of people driving with one hand out on the car roof to hold down something down - twice this was a mattress laughingly secured in place with a minimum of hairy string, once this was a wooden bookshelf.
  • A bloke drinking a can of Stella, in the morning rush-hour.
  • Many, many people (usually in white vans) with newspapers spread out on the steering wheels.
  • A woman looking at a set of photographs that she’d presumably just picked up from Boots.

I’d love to hear if anyone has seen worse or can add to this list.

This is why cyclists should be issued with firearms.

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