First I would like to warn all the bicycle lovers about something: this is NOT going to be your post.
The truth is that I’ve never been very fond of bikes. It’s probably because my parents used to take me to the park and while I was circling with no sense, they were having brunch. I was bored to death. Besides, I’ve never been a good rider.
I gotta admit, here in Barcelona I considered the possibility of buying one in order to move in the city some time ago, but the more I saw people doing crazy things, the less passionate about the idea I became. Instead, I got a cute little rockin’ motorbike, I had to buy almost 5 years ago for working reasons, in order to cover the most distances in the least time possible. I know it’s completely different, and it’s not a matter of exercise either, but for me, it’s been the best purchase I’ve done in my life, nothing has been so useful.
Luckily, nowadays I live downtown…and it’s great! The pleasure of going to work (and to most places) by walking plugged into the Ipod listening to a cheering up album is something priceless. I tell you, I adore walking, fast, slow, alone, with a friend…especially on these sunny pre-spring days, when weather is still cold, so walking fast helps you get warmer and sun is shining right onto your face…I love living in this city in days like these! But today.
Today, my day has started with an incident caused by a damn bicycle ridden by two stupid kids in a hurry, late for school. I was in one of these super fast walks, just like everybody else, going to work (late too), by a quite crowded street actually, when in a crossroads, I swear on Black Sabbath’s first album, I had looked, moreover, there was a car waiting for some pedestrians, including me, to cross, all of a sudden I’ve received a huge impact on my right side almost falling down. WTF!!!???
Two bloody kids have stopped apologizing, I was so shocked I haven’t felt the urge to curse them, people looking at the scene without assisting nor asking…unbelievable!
I reckon a bicycle is a good means of transport, environment friendly, cheap and even healthy, but it’s become sort of fashionable and most people on bikes are danger on wheels because they can ride them properly.
My point is this, imagine I’d fallen down and broke my arm. I would be covered by my working accident insurance, sure, because I was on my way to the working place, and even if I wasn’t, the public health system we have in Spain would have covered the expenses. Still, what about the responsibility of the bike drivers? Some kind of civic measures have to be taken. At least a kind of insurance should be compulsory, and bike registration.
On the other hand, what about people talking on the phone or listening to music while driving unaware of external noise and warnings? I’m also a driver, I must have a driving license and wear helmet, music and phones are forbidden, and focusing on the proper vehicle, my motorbike has to carry rearview mirrors, which I consider essential and has to pass a quality inspection every 3 years.
OK, I know there’s an important difference, motors work thanks to engines, but still, we are talking about precaution, life and civism, don’t you reckon? Many people die on crashes, and since the Bicing system was established in Barcelona, accidents involving bikes have increased dramatically. Be careful, shit! Not only you can harm someone but also you can hurt yourself! Of course this applies to motorbike and car drivers, skaters and whatever you’re up to, do not put anyone at risk, for Chrissake!
Anyway, don’t want to put too much crap on bike drivers, I don’t think it’s fair either, plus I have some friends who use them on a regular basis, and I understand their complaints about crappy bike lanes and other stuff, just want to make a point on safety and respect for the others…and yes, that my chest is aching right now 😦
To ease the pain and because I love the title of this post which reminds me of both Spielberg’s early movie Duel(amazing film, by the way), translated as the Devil on Wheels into Spanish, and Fu Manchu’s hit included in the King of the Road album, I share with you this.