Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

What’s with the angry old bike hating men of Glasgow?

Very angry old man

Last year, I learned to keep away from ‘Lycra Louts’ on road bikes. Get in front of them, and you’ll soon find out they think they own the road (and everything else) as a little spot of verbal abuse makes you aware of your trespass into their territory.

Moving off routes where I met the former introduced me to some new ‘friends’, angry old men who hate cyclists, and there seems to be more of them around this year, possibly down to the recent (reported) growth of cycling popularity in the city.

I don’t want to digress into the subject known as ‘Cycling n the pavement’, a real issue for some incontinent intolerant people, and not really as simple as some (such as the old men) think it is.

Nor am I speaking in defence of those who speed through pedestrians at 15 mph or more. They’re doing nobody any good.

We have, for example, assigned shared routes, there are also pavements/footpaths running alongside many fast A/B/unclassified roads where people are seldom seen let alone walk, and when a cyclist arrives at their destination, are they expected to use a Star Trek transporter and make it disappear.

I find it interesting that regardless of the type of pavement or footpath I may be cycling on, specifically allowed or because I’m close to my destination (and I only do so at walking pace), young people and adults don’t seem to have a problem. I stay as far away from them as I can, and am sometimes embarrassed as they still move over and apologise for getting in my way! Possibly this is an after effect of our ’15 mph’ friends barging past them.

But there seems to be a problem whenever I approach a certain type of white haired old man.

They not only seem to object strongly to seeing a bike on the pavement, but will even move to step in front and block them.

The most recent was a few evenings ago (I specify evening just to point out this was not during the busier and more crowded morning or afternoon working day), after I had followed the usual cycle route into the city centre, and arrived in Hope Street, where I was making my way along the pavement, sitting on my bike, but only moving a few metres at a time as I was slowly working my way along the street examining the buildings on the west side for some statues I was looking to get pictures of.

As this blog probably shows, I do this quite a lot, and never (usually) have any problems as I (slowly) navigate the city’s pavements.

I saw the old guy, white haired, in a pretty smart suit, at the edge of the pavement – turn to cross the pavement and step in front of me and forced me into the wall. Didn’t happen of course, as I only move at walking pace.

Interesting remark came from him – bearing in mind he had been walking along the road side of the pavement, and deliberately made his way across it to step in front of, and force me into the wall…

“DID YOU EXPECT ME TO MOVE?”

Angry old man in suit

Not really much you can say in response to deliberate provocation (and stupid), I was probably supposed to take on the role of an angry cyclist, as seen in popular YouTube videos.

I just pointed out the amount of space available, and that we could easily have passed one another, had one of us not moved. I didn’t even get as far as asking him why he’d made the detour from the edge of the pavement over to the wall to step in from of me.

That didn’t go down to well, and I got a mouthful of four letter abuse in return.

I really was taken by surprise by this one, he looked so smart, well-dressed and well presented – maybe he was already well tanked up for a good night out.

The last such notable meeting had been in a pedestrian precinct – same format as he deliberately stepped in front of me as I entered the precinct, but he didn’t bother with any niceties, and just started shouting at me to “Get off the pavement!”.

I wonder how they cope with their peers, such as this ‘tearaway’ in his chromed and customised mobility scooter?

I see him fairly often while waiting for the bus.

I don’t have any pics of him and his scooter from the front (which is similarly customised) as he travels so fast – he’s always passed by the time the camera wakes up.

I’d rather like to see one if my city centre white haired pavement defenders make a detour and step in front of him 🙂

Customised mobility scooter

Customised mobility scooter

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19/06/2019 - Posted by | Civilian, council, photography, Transport | , , ,

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