16 May 2015

16th May 2015 Toxic overload?

Saturday 16th 48F, 9C, windy, heavy overcast. Forecast to rain all day. A decidedly, cold wind on the hands. Though no rain yet at nearly 11am. Only a stroll down to the village this morning, to a chorus of different warblers in the hedgerows. Shelducks were circling the marsh pond. Swallows rested on TV aerials between exuberant, acrobatic displays. I was passed by several cyclists and their noisier motorcyclist cousins. It did rain around lunch time.

For all my [occasional] dissatisfaction with some motorists at least I don't have to put up with the appalling standards of many UK and American drivers. The Danes as a whole are remarkably responsible drivers towards cyclists with some exceptions. Watching YT videos, made by cyclists with cameras, merely emphasises that many drivers in the UK and US are well beyond incompetent. Many may also be criminally insane or terrifyingly dysfunctional. In other words: Some are as dumb as they are when not behind the wheel.

Some cyclists are well beyond irritating too. The law may support their actions and road positioning but the "opposition" might as well be driving tanks for all the good it will do the truly pedantic cyclist. Some cyclists are victims desperately looking for their next "tragic" accident or road rage incident. Which they will often attract like moving magnets.

Reading many of the comments below the YT videos merely confirms the absence of the most basic rationality or functional levels of intelligence. Cyclists are probably becoming the new blacks for many closet racists. There's always been a need for somebody to blame for crippling, personal inadequacy. Why not blame an easy [and vulnerable] target? If Jews, Muslims or Christians are difficult to spot these days then cyclists certainly aren't. Cyclist become just the latest group which can be bullied with impunity and almost perfect anonymity.

Poor driving skills and bad behaviour seem to be constantly reinforced in the absence of a supervisor who commands respect. The willingness to commit crimes is usually based on the risk of discovery and sanction versus the perceived reward. The timid pedestrian becomes aggressive or totally indifferent to the cyclist and pedestrian the moment they get behind the wheel. Why else do drivers go berserk when their transgression is noticed and drawn to public attention? Road rage is the most totally inappropriate behaviour under most circumstances. While the deluded driver, who thinks that risking life and limb to gain one position ahead on the road, usually gets away with it. Only in our wildest fantasies is there a police motorcyclist following along behind.

What made me smile most about the YT videos though, was the long-outdated idea that "slow" cyclists were largely responsible for holding up the city traffic. When in practice, the cyclist caught, or overtook, the same vehicles several times at the following sets of  traffic lights. Even 45 years ago I could commute between Bath and Bristol by tricycle in the same time as the cars which passed me in the first town. The traffic queues at both ends in the rush hours were so dense that I could cruise for miles in each destination town without being overtaken by the same vehicles again. The traffic jams completely undid all their efforts to illegally overtake in the gap between the cities. Often at great danger to themselves and other road users.

They say self-driving cars are on their way. The sooner the better as far as cyclist and road death victims are concerned. Behaviour which would land the perp in jail, if on foot, goes completely unnoticed when using a car or lorry as a weapon of mass destruction. There has never been an easy way to report or record bad behaviour until very recently. The cycling YT video, dash cams and almost universal mobile phones with cameras are only beginning to show up on the radar of the habitual driving psychopath.

Given the appalling global road death and injury figures you'd think the NSA would be monitoring a fixed camera in every car instead of chasing potentially dangerous ghosts. Perhaps the Russians have the right idea? The popular dash-camera has multiple uses. Not least for monitoring road crime by the camera owner. I just hate to think how much bandwidth the world would need to watch every driver. It would be cheaper to pay the driver's wife/girlfriend/kids to keep the driver on the straight and narrow. Except it doesn't seem to work. Many speeding drivers in Denmark have the entire family aboard. All that's happening there is programming the next generation to drive like a brain dead fool! 

It rained going and rained harder coming back. So only 7 soggy miles. Serves him right for going on about poor innocent motorists? Suit yourselves. You will anyway.

Sunday 17th 56F, 13C, bright but windy. Rain forecast for after lunch. I walked my usual loop. A hare dozed beside a field pond. Shelducks crossed and recrossed the fields. I was passed by a couple on their mountain bikes on the track to the woods. Now I know who makes those tyre tracks! An open topped Ferrari droned past on the road coming back. Aren't they enormous?

I had another bout of vertigo-dizziness later. I'm wondering whether I am allergic to the crops or the spraying. Or something else altogether. My ears are blocked up and I'm partially deaf with constant tinnitus. I've tried gargling with warm, salt water, sniffing menthol and sucking strong mints. It all just makes my ears pop. Despite taking naps in bed I remained weak and wobbly well into the evening. So another rest day.

Click on any image for an enlargement.


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