Regular readers will be aware that I commute to work by bicycle and I am, basically, the much-maligned cyclist’s friend. However, I have to say, my affection was severely tested one lunchtime when a cyclist came flying around the corner on the pavement at speed. Myself and another man who were walking along jumped smartly out of his way. The other pedestrian shouted at him, aggressively, I grant but the cyclist had nearly run us both over. The cyclist then yelled right back at this man, who was black and called out a nasty racial slur. I have to say, I was really shaken. I’m sure there is plenty of racism in Ireland but I have never been so up close and personal with it and it was horrible. I wish I’d said something but I just scurried away out of trouble. I want to do better next time while hoping there will never be a next time at all.
Years and years ago I witnessed someone abuse an elderly Chinese woman on a crowded train (and coincidentally he too was a cyclist, and was actually the one causing the problem by bringing his bike onto the train in rush hour). It still bothers me that I didn’t speak up, because I was a coward and because I didn’t think quickly enough.
Well bad manners are bad manners. Cyclists are just as prone to them as other people. Cyclists are very good at trying to take the moral high ground but they are just human. I am a cyclist but I also have a car…how can I live with myself you ask?
Decent people always seem to have to clean up after loud rude emotionally immature people have their fun. I always find a good drink helps….
These are both very comforting comments, thank you. I do wish I had said something but if something like this happens again, I hope I’ll do a bit better.