Folks are always going on about “going green” and saving the environment.
I have always suggested that we need to “stop the nonsense” when it comes to polluting our lovely planet.
I live in Cape Town. Some folks are quite negative about his place. I call it jealousy. You can call it what you want. But we have a small space in the city bowl and there isn’t a great deal of room for cars and parking.
So to combat this, I ride a bicycle. This city is made for it. We have the Cape Town Cycle race here as well. Something like 40 000 people take part in a ride that is over 113kms in length. So you can understand that people take riding bikes here quite seriously.
I bought one of those folding bikes. You know the kind. It is the kind of bike that whilst being totally practical it is also totally ridiculed. Everyone in SA rides for pleasure, not to commute. So people go off and spend like nine gazillion Rand on road bikes and mountain bikes that cost more than the GDP of Zimbabwe. Me? I have my trusty folding steed. But why a folding bike?
There are many reasons. One of which is simple. I can fold it up and take it indoors with me. This is South Africa, I could write a whole blog post on how many bikes I have had stolen over the years. I keep this thing attached to me at all times. Why? People cannot be trusted. I just fold it up and push it along with me. Some people have thought that I was unpacking and folding up a wheelchair, but no. It is just a fancy bike. Also, being the fat and lazy man that I am, I can just as easily stick in the back seat or the boot of a friends car. I am no fool. If I can grab an easy ride in a car, just you watch me. Unpacking the bike and folding has left some folks, particularly the homeless thinking I have just performed a magic trick. It is quite good fun I must admit.
Living where I am, it is actually quicker to cycle to the Cape Town Comedy Club, than it is for me to walk. So I ride. I am ready for the bumps in the road, I am ready for the traffic and drivers that you just know will treat you like you are made of the of invisible ghost dust. I am no fool. It is dangerous out there. I take my safety seriously. I have the helmet, the reflective gear, the various bike lights, and I make sure I use the cycle paths are all over this fine city. Sadly, nobody explained to all the trucks and drivers out there that there is a point to the cycle paths. That point of course being, THAT THEY ARE FOR BICYCLES. So in an attempt to use them, you are forced to ride along your special little track, then veer into the main road and avoid being made into a flat white, much like the tasty hot beverages. Someone in the city council needs to “Stop the nonsense”. Cycle paths have if anything, made riding a bike more dangerous.
But by far the hardest part of riding a folding bike in Cape Town, its not the hills and the steep climbs and arriving sweaty. It is not the fear of a truck not seeing you, no. The hardest part of it all is being spotted by your friends and the hollering out of their office windows or cars or whatever as you ride down the road. Looking like a dodgy Pacific Blue Bike Cop.
There is no coming back from that.
Please. Someone. Anyone. Just stop the nonsense. Now cycling may be difficult in Cape Town. But if you live in Johannesburg and you cycle you will need more than a bike. You will need medical aid and possibly a session at the Psychiatrist.