This time of year, I ride my bike just about every day. It makes me feel great and I love to do it. Today, a boy about 3 years old tried to stop me for some reason. As I was coming up the steep final hill toward home, a mom was pushing a stroller and another child was riding a tricycle next to her. Tricycle boy promptly left mom’s side and parked himself directly on the path in front of me. And then he glared at me. I have no idea why. I did not know whether to laugh or run him over. Of course, I did not hit him. But I did laugh. And he did remind me of my on-going list of cyclist’s pet peeves.
My favorite ride is on the path that goes all the way around Södermalm, the island I live on. The majority of the path is along the water, it’s fairly wide for the most part and well kept. Plus there tends to be a lot of interesting characters to check out along the way. So that’s all good. But I am bugged beyond belief by the road hogs: these are the moms with the large prams who slowly walk three and four abreast, thereby taking up the entire path. Can’t you just break up the line and let people pass? The other road hogs of note are roller bladers. I don’t see the need to take up the entire path with your swooping strokes. Come on. I don’t do that to you.
Another road hazard of note is the businessman on a bike holding a briefcace, talking on his mobile phone. He’s just an accident waiting to happen. I live in fear that he will hit me.
But the road hazard that truly bugs me the most are the people with roller suitcases. My path goes directly past the cruise ships, so this is an ongoing danger. Even though the path is clearly divided and painted with little symbols for bikes on one side and people walking on the other, those people with suitcases never stay on their side. It’s like they are deliberately defying the rules of the path. If I dared, I would run them and their suitcases over. But again, I don’t want to get hurt.
Until now, I have not posted my cycling pet peeves for fear that people will think that I hate kids, moms, strollers or just people in general. I have many friends who rollerblade and walk with big prams. They are all decent people and I have nothing against them. But I don’t think I can excuse the business biker or the suitcase people. They are just in my way.