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Image / Editorial

Spandex Bums

18th Jul 2013

Ahhh? summer. Long, hot sunny days and a sea of Spandex bums blocking every country road in Wicklow and all around the country. Tell me, why do racing cyclists ride two and three abreast, chatting merrily whilst bringing traffic to a standstill? Never a thought for the motorist trapped behind their brightly coloured derri’res, they reign supreme – the road is theirs although good manners should dictate they pull in every so often to give other road users a fighting chance. Last weekend, whilst crossing the Wicklow Gap behind three gaily apparelled gents, puffing uphill at about 5mph, a clutter of high-powered motorcyclists loomed up behind me. I like motor bikes, actually I LOVE them. Big fast dream machines – gladiators of the road with only a covering of armoured leather between them and sudden death. Anyway… the Spandex puffers at the front suddenly unleashed such exasperation amongst the gladiators that, en masse, they opened up the throttle and with a deafening roar, raced towards a blind corner and almost certain death or at least carnage, with me, the filling in the sandwich! As luck would have it, there was no oncoming traffic and so, we all lived to see another day.

As anyone can pick up a bicycle and take to the road, why don’t they have to sit a road test like other road users incorporating good road manners at the top of the list? Show respect to gain respect I say and don’t weave in and out of traffic and then show surprise when things don’t go as planned. Now that cycle paths have been introduced, how about them paying a minimal road tax that would go towards filling in those huge black pot holes that a cyclist might disappear into!

Another thing that’s not permissible, no matter how annoyed one gets … a cyclist kicking the side of a car or banging on a bonnet when vexed. They can escape through the traffic leaving the motorist with no comeback as the bicycle does not display a number plate for the motorist to report – that’s just not playing fair! Further down my bicycle list of things I find most annoying is the bicyclist with the little trailer on the back carrying one or two children. This is not annoying because they are in the way, but because they should have been around when I was a child. How cool would it have been to dice with death merely inches from the tarmac in blissful ignorance of clear and present danger? I suppose my wooden boxcar was the nearest I got to it and Lord … I loved that boxcar! Anyway, you easy riders out there, give a thought to us mere mortals who pay a fortune to swan around in our little tin boxes; we pay to use the road and although we do try to be polite, it is two way traffic and you are the poor relation.

By Tina Koumarianos @TweetOurTina