Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Crazy Cycling Swedes

What is with these people? The weather doesn't stop them. As evidenced by the saying, "No bad weather, just bad clothes." We've had countless blizzards the past few weeks and there's one constant through the thick haze of snowflakes and gusts of wind: cyclists wiping out.

Ok. I get it. Cycling is not only an environmentally-friendly mode of transportation but a much quicker alternative than walking. Plus, you look all athletic doing it, even if you're wearing a skirt and high-heeled boots.

But c'mon people. For a population that is practical and all common sense about everything, what's the deal with peddling in the middle of a snowstorm? You WILL wipeout. You always do. I see you. I see cars braking as you careen into traffic, your shit flying everywhere.

If they do sell winter tires for bicycles (do they?), get some on. And if they do and you have them on and you're still wiping out, abandon your bike and put feet to pavement. Ok, there's a chance you can wipeout there too. But what's worse? Falling off a moving, raised "vehicle" (that likely comes crashing down onto you) into oncoming traffic or falling a few feet onto your arse?

I'm all for the bike brigade that is Sweden and am thinking of joining you. Seriously. But I'm gonna be smart. I'll be the one wiping out in a busy street on a sunny, dry summer day.


Maelle said...

Oh I really agree with you ! They are crazy ! You did not mention it but with all the snow and ice pedestrians and cycles paths have gotten smaller (at least here in Gothenburg) so that these cycling people are kinda dangerous for the careful pedestrians too ! I can't understand their will to keep on cycling in spite of bad weather... And I do not like them cycling in MY way...

GotHereFromWelcomeToSweden said...

Well, you and your family are living in Uppsala, and that by definition is a city of mildly crazy students who cycles everywhere since they don't have a car. And the public transportation UL seems to be dead serious about having seriously over-prized tickets for the usability factor they provide which doesn't improve the situation.

LostInTraslation...Literally said...

hahahahahahaah your post had me laughing esp the " your shit flying everywhere" part LOL!!!!

JEN! i love your posts!! KEEP POSTING THEM!
* continues to stalk*

SwedishJenn said...

@Maelle: I totally get you about the paths crossing. The worst part is, I can't see the lines so am constantly almost getting run over by cyclists.
@GotHerefromanamazingblogbtw: Totally agreed. Uppsala is a university town so we likely have more crazy cyclists than almost any other area on Sweden. Tickets are not cheap that's for sure.
@Lost: I think we are each other's biggest fans. Thanks to you and your posts too!

septembermom said...

I can't imagine cycling in a snowstorm. That's either commitment or obsession. You wouldn't catch me doing it!

Anonymous said...

haha about uppsala.. what do you say about bikers that act like they are cars.. stading at a stoplight in the middle of a car lane.. sometimes 4-5 at the time.. looks so funny.. crazy city uppsala

SwedishJenn said...

@anon: OMG! I had only been here for a few short months and driving with my mother-in-law. We were going down some street in the city and this fat-assed woman was directly in front of us on a bicycle. WTF? I beeped loudly, she looked back annoyed and kept riding. I never thought for a minute that what SHE was doing was legal. But now, I think it must be. Is it?!

Mazui said...

Once I was biking down the hill at the university library. There was a bus ahead of me going at the same speed, because when you are biking downhill you can go pretty fast. Nedre slottsgatan, which crosses Drottninggatan at the bottom of the hill, also has a slope down from the cathedral. A girl came careening down the slope on Nedre slottsgatan and didn't even bother looking to see if there was any traffic on the road she was crossing. Of course she got hit by the bus. Smack!

Fortunately it only hit her rear wheel and she could walk away with a lot of bruises and a bike with a twisted wheel.


It ended happily for me too, as I managed to avoid running into the back of the bus as it stopped.

So yes, they are crazy. Not because the ride the bike in a blizzard, but because they ignore traffic rules.

SwedishJenn said...

That hill is absolutely CRAZY for bikers and drivers alike. And you're absolutely right...I swear one of these days I am going to hit a cyclist and it will NOT be my fault.