During a short spell between cyclones, we went over to the coast to do a few errands.
I had a spare half hour so I went to the sat in a cafe to watch a heated altercation.
I was not the only one - about ten cafes in a row were fairly full of layabouts like myself, sitting outdoors, facing the street and the beach beyond.
A food delivery truck was pulled up in front of the cafe strip, and a road cyclist was parked in front of the truck, yelling his head off.
The food delivery truck was parked in the cycle lane.
Unless you get extremely lucky, there isn’t anywhere else within cooee to park anything, let alone a delivery truck that needs to make a delivery.
Cycle lanes are great, we all agree. Unless they run along the back of diagonal car parks, fizzle out whenever the road gets dangerous: places like pedestrian crossing choke points and roundabouts, or prevent the delivery of the things required to make a coffee and a date scone, for example. This particular lane features all those flaws, but as it is also on a flat and scenic promenade, it is well used by cyclists. Although not, I suspect, to actually get anywhere. It’s just a nice ride, and there are cafes.
The cyclist who was yelling at the truck was actually parked facing the wrong way, having taken the trouble to move himself there so he could remonstrate with the truckie.
The driver appeared, making placatory gestures, and obviously explaining quietly that he had a delivery to make and how else was he supposed to do it.
The cyclist was still yelling, I think for the benefit of the audience, that the truck and its driver should move, right now, using a word that rhymes with duck and is a personal favourite of my own.
This went on for an excruciatingly long time.
Eventually the truck moved on, clearing the way for cyclist to proceed along the wrong side of the road.
There was a large round of applause from the gallery, and at that point it was hard to discern where the onlookers’ sympathies were placed.
Then the cyclist turned himself around 180 degrees, and headed along the same route as the truck, and he received a hearty round of clapping, but also boos, catcalls, and abuse from the cheap seats.
OK, the truck should not have been parked in the cycle lane. But then, the cycle lane should maybe not be in the loading zone.
But whatever, the way our representative (he was on a bike, and so are we, and we are all ‘bloody cyclists’ to some people) handled the situation did not win us any friends.
To my relief, the cyclist chose to represent a global corporation with his bicycle and apparel choices, not having the wit to outfit himself from a local business that offers things like this and this. Or even this.
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