Five things I hate about commuting.

1: Car (and other) drivers
An unsurprising number one but to add a twist to the standard car hating cyclist rant, it’s not all of them. Well not quite – it a broad church including anyone that drives a SUV (or TWATVEHICLE as I like to think of them) in town, all those apparently lucid humans who believe cyclists were put on the road for bloodsport, the special needs wannabe comics who make feeble jokes about road tax and any form of public transport.

Two types of drivers exist; those who are trying to kill you and those who do it apologetically. To the former, we’re a hated genus, a sub species of human who – if they possessed any sentient intelligence – would be bloody grateful to be wiped off this earth. The latter just forgot to look.

A small percentage are pagan outcasts to this visceral church. They are generally 90 years old and concentrating so hard on avoiding those pesky lampposts, to pose us any threat. But beware any person driving with a hat especially anything with flowers. Trust me on this.

2:Holier than thou hippy evangelists.
“Hey man we’re all in this together. Don’t bust the vibe running red lights or trading aggression – if you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem y’know. Have a toke on this lentil�. Oh you know the sort, the God loves me or everyone hates you who plaster themselves over the forums bullying those unable to marshal an augment, and lambasting the rest of us that don’t give a shit.

Cyclists aren’t a breed apart. Ok, the ratio of normal to fuckwit is significantly smaller than the itinerant cagers but we’re not short of assholes snootily occupying the moral high ground, mistakenly under the impression that vast swathes of the cycling population flock to their cause.

It’s every man for himself and anyone that tells you otherwise should probably revisit hatred#1.

3:The train
Considering some of my previous missives, the stuffed metal sandwich which chuffs between my two bike rides adopts a lowly third rank. And rank it is, championing a business model where we pay more for less service. I’ll grudgingly accept it’s not all wank when the railway company manages to adhere to their timetable for entire days on end. But when they don’t, we’re marooned outside Harrow On The Hill while chronologically unbroken epochs pass by the window.

It’s similar to being forced to go to for the dentist. You know it’s going to be expensive, delayed and bloody painful but you really have no choice. And the real kicker is that they know that. It’s not even that they don’t care, it’s just they don’t have to.

4:The faff
Managing the transition from grubby mountain biker to corporate clone in either direction is tedium to the power of a thousand.. Slipping out of the office on time in the secure knowledge that – best case – it’s two hours before I get home, and in between are changes to both clothes and transport medium. Watching a fun sun dive below the summer horizon or bracing briefly train warmed limbs for significant weather draws a long sigh and a longer face.

Many times in winter, I’ve been gritting teeth into a bastard headwind laced with snow and ice while recent train companions swoosh past in their heated safety cages. And I can’t help thinking “you know, I’ve got one of those�.

5: Other cyclists
If I may be allowed a small Ben Elton moment “oooh a bit of politics� except not really. But while I applaud the two wheeled heroes and heroines who risk life and possibly one limb every day, you don’t half piss me off. Either with your stupid selfishness (blithely careering into a stroller on a pedestrian crossing), your craven cowardliness (that bloke cut you up, go and fucking punch him, it’s the only language they understand) or your galloping gait (Jesus, slow down, I’m like a dog with a motorbike, I just can’t help chasing you but if you carry on at this speed, you’ll have my death on your conscience).

And yet I still do it because the alternative is too bloody depressing and to this negative Ying is a positive Yang which will form the next entry in my never ending whinge at the world.

Still, it’s better than actually doing anything about it.

9 thoughts on “Five things I hate about commuting.”

  1. oh dear no, other cyclists are ace, all of them. I love them all, even the cocks. I will quite happily watch another cyclist do something insanely cockish, such as jump a red light and then nearly die because they don’t really understand the red light jumping ethos, and then will fix a puncture for them with all the love and skill I can muster.

    Take a toke on this lentil dude.

  2. Jon you’re right of course. There is a sense of community and it’s great to see so many people riding even if they are riding like cocks. The odd one (I’m thinking specifically of the guy who ran into the stroller) tho really do try my patience 😉

    I was just looking for a number five and I couldn’t bring myself to write about the weather!

  3. Well put.

    Since my daily commute is mostly on trails (a bit of a blessing) here in the States, I’d add the iPod-augmented zombie jogger to that list. Shit, add the iPod-augmented zombie biker to the list as well. Inchoate cyborgs, all of ’em, who loathe the sounds of nature and the occasional human voice.

    I appreciate Jean Baudrillard more every day…

  4. Someone should sponsor some research “The IPOD as a personal protector” as everyone who wanders in front of me wearing one appears to believe they are immortal!

    Wish I could commute off road. Somewhat of a challenge in central London….

  5. Just to amuse/antagonise you, I should mention that yesterdays paper carried an article (possibly a complete work of fiction depending on your view) that Chiltern railways “enjoy” the title of “most reliable rail service”!!!!! 😮

    I’m not sure what they’re comparing them with. Possibly some third world rail company 😉

  6. Was that paper “Chiltern Railways Monthly” owned, edited and published by a firm of the same name.

    Although there are worse franchises much as I hate to admit it. One bloke I know has been stuck on the 8:11 from Reading since October 😉

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