Today let’s talk about bicycles, trains and why a combination of the two is one of the worst possible things that can be inflicted on the world.
If you’re a long time reader then you might remember my feeling towards hopping on a bicycle ranges between telling people that I never do and threats involving circular saws. Turns out I have just as strong an opinion about other people who do cycle. Specifically, I have just as strong an opinion of people who decide to bring their bikes, their big, clumsy, awkward bikes, onto trains and buses with the rest of us. Because it’s fucking annoying.
You see it all the time on the train. Some hipster with a top-knot who’s parked his fixie across three seats. A bloke whose mountainous mountain bike blocks off half the carriage (and probably the doors as well) forcing the crowd that piles in after into a fraction of the space that should be available to them. Someone on their way to work risking a fine and the anger of their fellow commuters by bringing their carbon fibre monster onto the train against the rules during peak hour. A uni student trying to be helpful by lifting her bike vertically so it’s resting on it’s rear wheel, then being shocked when the rocking caused by a gentle bend sends the front wheel straight towards some poor bastard’s head (but god bless her, at least she’s trying). Another hipster leaving bruises and annoyed glares in their wake as they roughly shove another fixie in amongst the crowded carriage, then roughly drags it back out again at the next stop.
Not everyone who brings their bike on the train is a massive pain in everyone’s arse of course (#notallcyclists). I know a guy who always makes sure when he’s catching the train, after a long day of work and never during peak hour, to park his bike against the carriage doors that only open once on his entire trip home (and that’s his stop anyway). Plenty of people manage to get their bikes onto a train without pissing off everyone else. It just makes the inconsiderate ones look like even bigger jackasses.
So next time you’re thinking about dragging your bike onto the public transportation system, ask yourself two questions. The first is: “am I physically capable of getting this heavy lump of metal on and off the train without injuring, delaying or otherwise inconveniencing my fellow commuters?” The second question would be: “is the train so packed with people that it answers the first question for me?”
It it’s “no” to the former and “yes” to the latter, or even a maybe to either, than you probably shouldn’t be dragging your bike onto the train. Here’s an idea, how about instead you actually ride your bicycle to wherever you want to go instead. Ever thought about that? Fucking crazy thought, I know. But, hey, you guys are the ones always banging on about how cycling is a legitimate mode of transportation. So go and bloody prove it.