Tourists where and when they shouldn’t be

If you’re a regular user of the Tube then you’ll appreciate the angst. It’s a busy time in the rush hour, it’s already busy and then what? Well, you’re probably getting elbowed in the stomach or impeded on the platform by some tourist with a bag on wheels or with a badly folded map of Central London.

Yesterday saw a full day of the tube strike and, thanks to the sanctimonious Bob Crow, London needed to find an alternative way to get to work. Many took a bus, packed onto a train, worked from home. I sensed that many drove as it seemed that there were more cars on the road.

But loads, loads decided to cycle.

This is good, after all, as a wise man once said,

stop driving the f&cking car, and start riding the bike, you utter muppet.

So more bikes is not a problem. More bikes on the road is a good thing and I do have a genuine esprit de corps with most cyclists but jeez these fair-weather interlopers who hadn’t cycled in a rush hour since the last tube strike really push that to the limit.

Here are some hints:

  • When you see other people stopped at a red light try to remember what red means.
  • You can’t suddenly change your mind and become a pedestrian and walk through zebra crossings, just wait like everyone else.
  • If you must stop and consult a map, at least shift yourself out of the road.
  • Pushing to the front of the group of other bikes at a traffic light is rude.
  • … particularly if you wobble off slowly when it does go green.

So if this sounds like moaning, well, it is. Too many people I’ve cycled with, around and near over the last couple of days could not, to misquote Margot Asquith on Lloyd George,

see a red light without riding through it.

We have to ride the other 51.5 weeks in the year picking up the pieces. It doesn’t hurt to be predictable and obey the rules and not piss off the locals.

Your normal tube journey has tourists getting in the way and making you grumble. You fairweather, occasional cyclists are the tourist on my tube. Don’t be surprised when I grumble at you!

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Tourists where and when they shouldn’t be

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