Wednesday, August 09, 2006

 

Squirrels

I don't like squirrels. Not the ones with the pointy noses and bushy tails, they're just rats with a good press agent. No, I mean cyclists who wander back and forth on the cycle path making it difficult to get past them. By getting in the way they add, and I have worked this out proper like with my timing statistics and gadgets, about 15 minutes to my daily commute. i.e. when I don't meet any squirrels my round trip is 15 minutes shorter. You might think, what's a little delay? Relax! Which is true. The main issue is that more than once I've seen them force people off the cycle lane and into the road, which is positively dangerous, or more usually just cause a pile up. Me being a big bloke, lots of mass, means they bounce off. Hence the time is the personal issue, but I do feel for them that get their day ruined.

Interestingly KĂžbenhavn Kommune is wanting to shorten cyclist's journey times, so they might want to look at educating the squirrels. Considering the numbers of cyclists in Copenhagen I guess they could save immense amounts of time, it must add up to man weeks of delays every day due to the actions of an inconsiderate few.

Anyways I digress, there I was approaching one, at about 25 kph, you can't do much faster than that in the city, not safely, them doing something about 10 kph. I rings my bell. Do they pull over, even a little? Not a chance.

I start to slow down and ring the bell again. No effect.

I am now slowed down to their speed and right on their back tire, ringing the bell again. Some say insanity it repeating the same actions but expecting different results ... The other traffic behind is catching up now, starting to bunch up, and also ringing their bells, for a moment I fancied hearing Freddie Mercury starting to sing.

Eventually the lights change, I would have had it on a good green, but am held up by the squirrel and so everyone arrives as it turns red.

Pulling up next to them I go to strike up a conversation. I want to know why they wouldn't pull over and being the charitable type I always ere on the side of 'accident' than 'maliciousness', then a little devil in me noticed a look on their face indicating they wanted an argument, hence it was malicious, so said: "Sorry about ringing the bell like that. I've just realised it being an English bell you probably couldn't understand it."

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