Plonkers on 'peds

The second installment from our columnist, 'City Slacker'

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Submitted by CitySlacker on Tue, 25/10/2005 - 00:38

As the Congestion Charge rises and more and more of London's streets become Resident Permit Parking only. We're experiencing a steady increase in the number of people who have cottoned on to the fact that if you don't like public transport in the Smoke, and who could blame you, then get a 125 or a scooter. New members in the ranks can only be a good thing, surely? Not always so.

And this is because the vast majority of scooter riders and new bikers have jumped straight out of a car and onto 2-wheels. Having taken all of the selfish, insular, aspects of car driving with them transferring these to their 'ped or bike. Consequently their observation is generally crap, as usual largely relying on other road users to keep an eye on where they're going. They can't filter safely because they don't have any experience of a vehicle without a cup-holder and air-con, either crawling at a snail's pace and creating a sort of filtering crocodile of pissed off riders, or caning it through swervy style on their way to becoming another statistic.

But these are not the only 4-wheeled faults that handicap new riders. There's a complete lack of manners. Which is hardly surprising when you consider how many car drivers would stop to help another car driver who'd broken down or was having trouble, erm, none. We do that guys and girls, yes, amazing as it sounds if there's another rider in difficulty we stop to see if they're OK. Then there's the fact that so many unenlightened riders are happy to sit at the front of the lights without allowing anyone behind them to come through, this is not only dangerous for riders behind but it's also ignorant.

So, if you're new to 2-wheels try thinking differently, you're not in a car anymore so stop riding like you're driving. I'm not saying you now have to wear skanky denim with club patches or dayglo one-piece leathers, or for the 'ped riders tracksuits or saggys, unless of course you really are intent on labelling yourself as a knob. Just that the rules that used to apply to you as a road user, no longer do. Enjoy your new freedom but let those who're already here continue to enjoy theirs.

And as for anyone who ever buys a Honda Habana to ride in any city never mind London; why? You're effectively buying a filtering cork, something that's so widely impractical for city traffic it will wedge itself into what little space there is like one of the Fat Slags in a mini-skirt, unable to move without screwing something.

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