Knock, Knock

March 15, 2007


Knock, knock.
Who’s there?
Isabel.
Isabel who?
Is a bell necessary on a bicycle?

To test this we edited together all the times we used our bell on the way to work today. They are:
Van pulling out, overtaking a cyclist, overtaking a cyclist, jaywalkers, pedestrian in the road, pedestrian in the road, scooters and cyclists rubbernecking a cop giving a ticket, van reversing into traffic, pedestrian in the cycle lane, scooters trying to jump a red light, overtaking a cyclist, overtaking sporty kid on a bike who can’t believe a forty-something white guy is going faster than him, scooters jumping a red light, two cars and a scooter turning into oncoming traffic, scooter coming out of the sun on the wrong side of the road, a wheelchair and two more jaywalkers.

Isabel necessary on a bicycle? She certainly is!

Bus Out Of Hell

March 9, 2007


We usually keep clear of buses anyway but this one was on a mission! Guangzhou city in the south of China banned the use of horns 2 years ago and we keep waiting for the same ban to be enforced in Shanghai. Who was he tooting at anyway? The road was empty apart from me and I don’t think he even noticed me on the bike. The best theory we have is that his shift is nearly over and he wants to get back to that oldest established, permanently rolling, mahjong game at the depot.

Bus Stop Bungle

October 8, 2006


Bus stops. I hate bus stops.
The buses have to cut across the bike lane then load and unload passengers into it (and anyway, on this occasion, spot the car parked in the cycle lane / bus stop.
So do you get caught up in all that – or do you overtake the bus on the outside, dodge the 3 girls jaywalking past a police car, get cut up by a red moped, get squeezed between said cop car and a black sedan while trying to get back into the cycle lane then get squeezed between the next bus and a taxi – only to have the cycle lane vanish at the next bottleneck anyway?


Ah, yes – adrenalin. It works twice as fast as caffeine and it’s cheaper than anything they sell in Starbucks. You get plenty of it on a Shanghai bicycle commute to make sure you’re fully awake by the time you reach the office.
Did you see that taxi coming? No, nor did I.

Wheelchair Chicken

September 26, 2006


A man in a motorised wheelchair makes a dodgy left turn, playing chicken with an oncoming taxi. I think I see how he ended up in a chair in the first place!

Left is Right, Right?

August 17, 2006


OK, try to stay with me here.
In China we drive on the right. So at a crossroads junction, when the lights change, the traffic coming towards you but wanting
to turn left will pass you on the left, wait for a gap and then turn left – right?
Wrong! What actually happens is the traffic turning left sees the oncoming cars and bikes and heads straight across their path, passing as many as possible on the right, forcing oncoming traffic into
the center.
Wow, lucky there’s a policeman at this junction to keep everyone in line!

Free Wheeling Beer

June 20, 2006


Coming down off this Suzhou Creek bridge is the only free-wheeling section of my ride. With the mess of traffic at the bottom it’s best to hold back a bit – even more so if you’re carrying a heavy load balanced on the back of your bike. Sixty full bottles of beer, for example.
Also, mentioning “free” and “beer” seems to boost my youtube stats. I can’t think why but here goes, once more for luck – Free! Beer! 🙂