City cycling clinic
Updated: Thu Jul 30 2009
Evading kamikaze jaywalkersThere’s a new menace on London’s streets. It appears to be most prevalent along Kingsland Road, which I cycled along recently on my way north to Stoke Newington Church Street, but I am sure it exists in other areas that are just as ‘vibrant’, as the estate agents would have it. Adorned with chains of gold, this reckless urban male lurks by the side of the road, swaying languidly in the breeze like a gilded triffid, waiting for the cyclist’s approach. He casts a sly glance to gauge your distance, and then, with something between a slope and a swagger, he’s off. With his eyes trained firmly on the pavement opposite, his loping gait takes him directly into your path, forcing you to veer dangerously off course. This is not the absent-minded pedestrian who blunders into the road without checking the traffic first. These jaywalkers are engaging in a militant act. It is the pedestrian equivalent of a dog peeing up a tree: the jaywalker is saying ‘actually I do own the road, and I’m going to let you know it’. No one in the Green Cross Tufty Club was ever so blasé.The most satisfying response would be to hold my course and plough ahead regardless. But fear of swift and violent retribution stays my handlebars. So far, the furious tinkle of my Miss Marple bell hasn’t been half as effective.
Route ratingMiles 2.8 (Kingsland Rd to Stoke Newington Church St)Average cycle time 30 minsCalories burned Around 210Jaywalker collisions None, regrettably
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