I think I'm turning that cycling corner. Upping the gear from occasional fair weather cyclist, who'll only leave if the clouds are Cumulus and the temperature is in double figures, into don't give a damn if it's hailing and my mascara has given me a Dali mustache daily user. Even if that means spending the first hour of work drying my pants under the hand dryer and going about my meetings with helmet hair. That's how much I hate public transport. Or more specifically the public. Why sit on the bus in relative comfort and safety when you can risk your life by cycling alongside it? Thus adding an exciting element of danger to your day.
My daily commute, North to South East London takes me through some of the Capital's most creative boroughs. As I navigate my way through East London's poorly maintained and yet to be Borisized roads, here are some of the cycling types I regularly come across.
The Fashion Cyclist
They've bought their bike from an Independent shop on Broadway market. What it lacks in gears (gears? How queer!) it makes up for in novelty hamburger shaped bells and wheels that cost more than a yearly travel card zones 1-6. Inadequately dressed, they are recognisable by the dew drop of snot on the end of their nose and icy blue finger tips. Most often seen trying to roll a cigarette at a traffic light.
They annoy the Serious Cyclist by a) existing and b) their devil-may-care road attitude and disregard for protective head gear.
The Serious Cyclist
On the other hand, is a testament to Lycra and Gore-Tex, showing off their bulging calf muscles with a padded cycle short that from behind makes them look like an incontinent Axel Rose. They repair their own punctures because they can. Most likely to be heard uttering the phrase, 'no such thing as bad weather, just inadequate clothing' in a Ranulph Fiennes voice.
The Boris Biker
Uniting all road users in universal hatred, we have The Boris Biker. Overslept Suits obliviously cycling down one-way streets and occasional tourists perplexed at the lack of cycle lanes, balancing maps and iPhones and attempting to take pictures of London Bridge whilst a fleet of traffic backs up behind.
Please note, are in a cycling league of their own. They move so fast, they're basically cars.
At the moment I waver between the Fashion and the Serious - heels and lycra, high-vis vest over a fur coat, backpack concealing a handbag inside. But as the temperature plunges and arctic winds whip my face, I'm starting to get over trying to look vaguely fashion as I brave the morning commute. Yesterday my fingers and toes were so cold on the way home, I doubted their mere existence. So, I'm embracing my inner Serious Cyclist. Well, at least until it snows...
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