25 Jul 2013

Six Superpowers We Cyclists Never Knew We Had

Today I recommend that you read Rosamund Urwin's great article on superpowers us cyclists never knew we had.....:

"Riding around London recently, it struck me that many motorists must believe we cyclists are superheroes. Perhaps it’s the shared penchant for Lycra that confuses them. Maybe it’s that our leader, Sir Chris Hoy, has hamstrings straight out of a Marvel comic book. Either way, these drivers act as though we possess the superpowers to stop an evil overlord but only use them while we’re on two wheels. Let’s consider cyclists’ supernatural (and super-imaginary) skills:

TELEPATHY: Good news, fellow velocipedists: you can read minds! Apparently, our psychic abilities are such that drivers don’t need to indicate when changing lanes or turning left around us. Similarly, when they creep out into a junction that we’re cycling across, we will know that they’ve spotted us and that they aren’t simply going to mow us down. Essentially, we’re Professor X, just on a different type of two wheels.

INVISIBILITY: More a hindrance than a help this one, we occasionally disappear from sight. That explains all those “SMIDSY” (“Sorry mate, I didn’t see you”) comments — it couldn’t possibly be that they didn’t bother to check their mirrors — and why motorists gesture to fellow drivers to pull out in front of us, even though that’s a swift way to get us squished. It also accounts for all those car doors that open inches away from our rotating front wheels.

TELEPORTATION: Some drivers are under the impression that cyclists never need to turn right. Should we make our way to the centre of the road, they beep, gesticulate and curse. This must be because we can actually teleport from street to street. Cycling around the city anti-clockwise is merely part of our superhero training regime.

SHAPE-SHIFTING: When we get shoved into the gutter or overtaken so tightly that our arm hairs vibrate, it must be because drivers think we can stretch ourselves à la Elastigirl from the Incredibles. Likewise, tailgating is fine — even in a lorry — because we can shape-shift out of the way if a vehicle comes too close.
TELEKINESIS: Obviously, cyclists must stay in their designated lane at all times — and should be honked at if they don’t — even if there’s a fat 4x4 parked in it. Apparently, we can move all obstacles with our minds.

INVINCIBILITY: The most dangerous belief that motorists exhibit — the one that unites almost all reckless driving — is that cyclists are unbreakable. Be aggressive! Be impatient! Overtake us just before turning left! But the reality is that drivers, wrapped in 1,300 kg of steel, are far closer to possessing Wolverine’s adamantium frame than we are. Three cyclists have been killed on London’s streets in the past month. So drivers: please stop treating us like we are invincible. We aren’t. We bleed just like you."

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