Saturday, 1 August 2009


You'd think cycling would be a cheap and healthy way to get around. I've generally found it fun as well. Until recently. Roadbike is still not fixed. I never realised trying to replace gear and brake cables could be so much hassle. First the internet retailer I ordered parts from didn't send me the outer for one type of cable so I asked them to send me it. Except they've sent me the wrong type of outer. I'm fed up of trying to get them to send me the right thing and decided to buy from a bike shop instead. Tried the biggest bike shop in Edinburgh. Wandering round for ages, I managed to find various brake kits and brake individual cabling parts, but not for gears. I asked one of the staffmembers, he stood looking at the display for a while and then decided that they didn't sell outer individually. They sell inners but not outers? Ok. So I asked for a kit, after a fair amount of dithering he said they probably didn't have any in stock (but didn't actually check on the system). I think asked about ferrules. He looked blank so I explained what he meant, then had to show him on a bike as he had no idea what I was on about. He wasn't sure if they sold them by which point I'd had enough.

I tried a different bike shop who did have gear kits but didn't sell the individual parts. So now I have one and a half sets of stuff to replace gear cabling for a lot more money than if I'd just bought the kit in the first place. Argh!

Also I hate the reactions people have to cyclists. I know some cyclists can be inconsiderate and break the rules of the road. That's because cyclists are actually human too. The thing is I'm a very polite, law-abiding cyclist, but since I'm small and female, I seem to get more of the anti-cyclist anger-venting. The other day I cycled to the pub. It was a Thursday evening about 9.30pm and starting to get dark. Since I'm a safety conscious cyclist I was wearing my helmet, high vis gilet and my bike lights were on. You'd think by the reaction I got that I was kicking puppies and assaulting grannies.

The pub is about 2miles away. The higlight of the trip was the car driver who wasn't paying attention to the road and nearly hit me. He did apologise though making him the nicest person on my trip.

The second person who reacted to me saw me cycling up the road (up as in up a reasonably steep hill) and pressed the button on the pedestrian crossing. Fair enough. Bit of a hassle starting on the hill but I wouldn't want pedestrians to get hit by cars. Except he stared at me, worked out in front of me, and then waited until the lights started flashing amber, then slowly sauntered off the road again. Now, being a polite, law abiding cyclist, I waited politely and so was inconvenienced. Whereas if I'd been a more aggressive cyclist, he wouldn't have bothered me at all as I would have just sped past him and ignore the red light. Bastard.

The third interaction I had with another road-user was a car full of 5 male youths. I was cycling along the road and the car shot past me and one of them yelled something. Now being idiots, they obviously didn't realise that shouting from a moving car makes them fairly unintelligible. Being Edinburgh, they had to stop at a red light about 20metres down the road and I casually cycled up alongside them. At which point they frantically wound their windows up again. Possibly sensible if I was large, male and agressive, but again I'm small and female and rather unlikely to take on a car full of stupid lads. I smiled at them politely. The window was wound down again and the passenger asked "Why are you riding a bike, why haven't you got a car". Now interestingly if the driver had said this it would have made a bit more sense. I didn't really fancy pointing out that he wasn't actually driving a car either, and that if I cycle, it means I'm actually allowed to drink alcohol in pubs.

The lights turned green and they shot off again. I was quite amused by cycling casually up to them again at the next 3 red lights.

*Sigh* People are idiots.

No comments:

Post a Comment