Cycle File: The Pedalophile


Daisy, Daisy, give me your answer do
I’m half crazy all for the love of you
It won’t be a stylish marriage
I can’t afford a carriage
But you’ll look sweet upon the seat
Of a bicycle built for two.
    Daisy Bell (Bicycle Built for Two)*

We keen cyclists all love our bicycles built for one but we are not keen to share them with anyone, let alone total strangers.
In the first week of the 100th Tour de France, Swedish police were on the hunt for a Dʒæk the Ripper who either dislikes bicycles a lot or likes them a little too much.

The Stuff story under the heading “Man caught having sex with bike”* didn’t say if the velocipede in question was the town bike, a recreational bone-shaker, a knobbly mountain bike, a stripped down racing model, a penny farthing or a plain unicycle.

It  transpires that while he may have been “caught” it was only unphotogenically on camera; so far he has eluded the clutches of the long leg of the Swedish law. British bobbies on bicycles two by two are much more efficient.*

Let down once too often
“This man is probably completely harmless, bicycles are just his thing. I am not scared of him, but mostly irritated over all the punctures I have had to fix.”
Per Edstrom

Annoyance at being let down so often had caused cyclist Per Edstrom to set up a camera outside his home which captured video footage of the bike molester red-handed, if not red faced, because he was hooded.

Apparently the pedalophile is seen (on YouTube?) surgically cutting open a tyre and then disporting himself as the tyre expires. Even without a helmet cycle solitaire may be safe sex but it’s still probably rather deflating psychologically.

Osterlund police think that Edstrom’s bike-slasher could be linked to a series of similar crimes in the area five years ago, resulting in mutilated tyres on 20 bikes. However it’s possible that over the quinquennium this original offender may have retired, but not as often, perforce, as Per Edstrom.  A new Scandinavian  crime cycle may have begun.

Do you think my bum looks big on this?

Do you think my bum looks big on this?

Safety in Numbers?
“It appears that the driver has simply not seen all of the cyclists when overtaking them and pulled back into the group,” Senior Sergeant Dave Litton

An anti-cyclonic atmosphere has been brewing in this part of the world for some time and there is a fair bit of mutual loathing between cyclists, especially the road recreational variety, and motorists, despite the fact that many, of course, are both.

It’s not just solitary bikes that are an endangered species. The Sunday before last I went for a pedal into Christchurch’s Cathedral Square, fully opening on 28 June to the public for the first time since the February 2011 quake as the armed forces finally withdrew the military cordon set up around the Red Zone on 3 March 2011.

Heading around Cashmere Road, a popular cycle route at the foot of Cashmere Hills, I was passed by two pairs of cyclists who insisted on maintaining their two abreast formation as they passed me near some tricky bends.  At the next compulsory stop I caught up and suggested that they ride single file on this route, especially when passing other cyclists, even slow coaches like me. One argued that if they rode single file motorists would force them further over to the shoulder. I maintained that it was still safer all round.

Four days later a  pellaton of about a dozen cyclists on the open road on the outskirts of Hamilton was struck by a car. Four were taken to Waikato Hospital and one later died after the driver swerved into the cycle bunch to avoid an on-coming car.  According to police it seems that lack of visibility, along with the driver not allowing sufficient space to perform the overtaking, contributed to this collision. Overtaking vehicles are supposed to have 100 metres of clear space ahead throughout the passing manoeuvre.

It is not so aerodynamically efficient nor so sociable, but if they were in single file they may have been much safer-not that the driver should have attempted to overtake any configuration until sure that the way ahead was clear.

Talking of passing manoeuvres, Lance McKechie was recently walking on the left hand side of a Brisbane thoroughfare shared by pedestrians and cyclists. All the cyclists called out “cyclist on right” when approaching from the rear. I have recently bought an old fashioned cycle bell for the same purpose. It is a rarely seen safety appendage for cycles and, like the absence of turning signals and my small rear vision mirror,  a reflection of a lack of common sense and courtesy among a large number of recreational and commuter cyclists.

If you want  urban cycling safety in numbers go to Vienna. The most convenient way to discover Vienna* is by bike, with 1,200 km of cycle paths used intensively and the availability of Citybikes, which can be rented at 100 stations.* As Chrischurch re-builds post-quakes, cycle friendly infrastructure is getting a lot more attention and Vienna is a poster city.

Beijing Bikes

Beijing Bikes

If you really want a bevy of  bikes  (without the benefit of separate cycleways) try Beijing.  9 million bicycles: something else, as Katie Melua’s dreamy music video shows.*


Postscript: Give Us Your Answer Do!

A month later, UK Driver Daisy Abela has been at the centre of a Twitter storm over after she claimed to have “purposely run over” a cyclist*. Now we know who is really half crazy.

*Blinks  Daisy Bell (Bicycle Built for Two) sung by Londoner Pat Phillips
Man caught having sex with bike   Look Ma-both hands! Roger Miller England Swings  Visiting Viennese cycling tourists get on their bikes  Christchurch psychopaths and cycle paths.  Vid Katie Melua – Nine Million Bicycles    Watch this!,or.r_cp.r_qf.&fp=ee3ce3276c1c2fc4&q=daisy+abela%2C+driver+sorry Daisy Abela!

#Lyall Lukey 
11 July 2013  My other (slightly more) serious blog


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