Now, THAT’s my kind of cycling


I have several very good reasons to loathe the Tour de France. It follows me. No matter where we decide to escape for a break, we find ourselves stuck in roads closed for two hours to allow a bunch of bicycles flash through in two minutes flat. Inevitably it is 30°C and a toss-up between who is going die of heat exhaustion first – the dogs or the Old Feller.

Even this time, with the Old Dude being safely in the UK, coming home from his grandson’s passing out parade, guess what? Yup, the route he needs to take to get to Dover tomorrow morning crosses the blasted two wheelers. It doesn’t matter how carefully we plan our route, they buggers catch up with us.

Secondly, living in France, inspired by the national rapture, there is a rash of elderly TdeF wannabees who turn out with their podgy bodies in cling-film tight outfits on a Sunday. That in itself is an offence to my sensibilities but they have decided that, being in a big gang, they can do what they like. Pootling along the main street on my motorbike I suddenly find myself inundated by a swarm of grandads swearing at me as they shoot out of a side street, ignoring the stop sign.

I can’t blame them. Most cyclists merely using it for transport are self-declared exempt from the Highway Code.

Red light? Naaaaaaah – not me, mate, I’m on a bicycle. Pedestrian crossing? Knock ’em over! Pavement? Much less traffic on there – here I go!

I have, when nearly mown down leaving a shop, given a straight arm jab at the stupid bint responsible and then leaned over, all concerned as she lay on the floor. “Shall I call the police?” I enquired sweetly. Strangely enough she didn’t want me to.

OK it’s not entirely their fault. Towns here are not designed for cyclists, unlike the Netherlands and Belgium where bike lanes are clearly indicated, even when they form part of the pavement and pedestrians are not allowed to walk there. That’s good. That’s a great idea. Unfortunately where that system doesn’t exist, I don’t appreciate someone aiming their Hi-Tech, dayglo machine straight at me while I’m going about my lawful business.

Coming, as it does, in the midst of football and tennis, knowing that my religion forbids me to follow any sport apart from equestrian…you may understand that I am somewhat grumpy with hearing nothing but Turd France on the news. I wouldn’t mind but it’s all down to who has managed to ingest the most boost-juice without being noticed! I’d rather watch a Hash Bash – the music is usually better.


5 thoughts on “Pedlars

  1. Ha! Try being in bloody Yorkshire this last few months! All that’s been on the news for months is the TdF! People have painted their bloody roofs yellow for pity’s sake!

  2. Reblogged this on Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life and commented:
    Thanks Ailsa…. You are right, as soon as you have the temerity to criticise those on two wheels as they knock you into a plate glass window (that hurt) you get a whole bunch of righteous anger. Of course there are cyclists who follow the rules of the road and courtesy but you are correct there are times when you encounter three abreast going up one of our mountains at 5 miles an hour – ‘Get off and push for goodness sake!’ Ah well that is two of us unpopular this morning. And no cyclists should not use pedestrian crossings when riding their bikes – the clue is in the name.

  3. I happened to go back to Yorkshire today, but at least the road I had to take wasn’t blocked until tomorrow….Mind you, I’d never seen so many people in bikes and it’s a hard road. I remember in Vienna years back where the whole of the pavement was a cycle rail so you had to walk on the road and be run over by a car or be on the pavement and get run over by a bicycle…

  4. I like the stupid bint story – oh I like the whole blog! But I’m going to have to use that term. It’s brilliant, and also exactly what I would have don’t.

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