According to Katie Melua there are nine million bicycles in
Beijing. Yes, nine bloody
million of the damned things. What a nightmare.
Bikes, I just don’t like them. Well, not so much the bikes, it’s the bloody riders I can’t stand. Just where do they get off? I don’t like the way that they run red lights or the fact that they ride onto the pavement if there’s any obstacle in their way. It annoys me that so many of them refuse to use the cycle paths that have been specially constructed for them at the cost of tens of millions of European pounds, and just why do they feel the need to clog the country lanes by riding three abreast?
Suddenly, aging men all over the country seem to have decided that it’s time to slip into Lycra shorts and start wearing penis shaped hats on their heads. Is it fitness or desperation that drives - or rather pedals - them? Well, I suppose it’s a cheaper mid-life crisis alternative than a Harley, even if they do look like absolute plonkers.
If all of this wasn’t enough, when I set out for Wing Yip’s Chinese supermarket in the centre of
yesterday I wasn’t expecting to find myself driving through bloody Beijing, but that is what
it seemed like. There were sodding bicycles with their bloody riders
everywhere; roads were closed, diversions abounded, traffic was gridlocked,
tempers were frayed, and all so that some bloody cyclists could ride along major
highways that were built for cars and where bicycles seldom venture.
It took me three hours to travel the ten miles from my home to Wing Yips. Ten miles of stop start, ten miles of crazy drivers trying to take short cuts up one way streets, ten miles of watching smug, back-packed, arseholes pretending to race their million-speed, ridiculously expensive, customised shit heaps, when they should been out for a leisurely drive with their families.