Given I’m still rather car-shy and road-shy, I’ve been spending more time on the footpaths wrangling pedestrians – and politicians it seems.
This afternoon I encountered the best pedestrian ever! An international tourist or student or resident (a young Asian woman speaking a language I couldn’t understand!) did the loveliest thing. She was walking with a friend along a footpath and I was approaching a pedestrian crossing and she happened to notice how awkward it was going to be for me to press the ‘walk’ button so she pressed it for me as she was walking by! How cool is that?!?!? At first I figured she and her friend must’ve been crossing, but they moseyed right on past. I seriously think that’s the nicest thing anyone did for me all week.
As a cyclist, punching the ‘walk’ buttons at road crossings is the most frustrating thing. The curb never matches where the pole with said button is, so you have to roll up, press the button, roll back and position yourself correctly on the curb. When you’re on a steep slope going up or down, this becomes more difficult. In fact, I must look like the most unco person that ever was when I’m on a hill with a walk button.
POLITICIANS (and prospective politicians)
But not as unco as the LNP candidate for South Brisbane Clem Grehan. At least, I think it was Clem Grehan. He looked too ‘candidatey’ to be a volunteer.
On Tuesday or Wednesday I was cycling along the south-east freeway bike path. I was heading for the city so I was cycling inbound on the left. Mister LNP Candidate was positioned on the right-hand side of the bike path with his corflute (dangerous much?!). I saw him and his LNP colours from a fair distance and so was somewhat prepared when he gave me a big ‘GOOD MORNING’!!
You know, I wouldn’t have minded so much if he hadn’t been the first person to speak to me that morning. I drew the line at talking back and just nodded. I thought that was highly respectful and was proud of my grace under fire.
Mind you, just as I cycled past I realised I completely failed the test and could’ve used the opportunity to chat with him about how I think the train stations should upgrade their bicycle lockers, how train stations should have cycle and disability access, how buses should cut across town rather than just TO town and how bike paths should frame road-sides all around town.
Damn it. I could’ve completely chewed his ear entirely undercover and under the guise of a random cyclist who he happened to wave to on their daily commute to work.
But no. I nodded and went on my merry way. As fast as my little legs could carry me.
Oddly and perhaps more significantly, on Tuesday I was stuck outside my office building with my bike stuck in the basement due to lifts being dead and me not having a swipe card with proper security access. I was pretty cranky and frustrated. Three people walked out of building – ALP’s last hope Kate Jones and two other people I presume were ALP staffers.
Me: Do any of you have a swipe card?
Kate: Nar we’re nobody.
Other two people: Mute.
Me: Haha it’s OK I know who you are!
Kate: We got a carpark though!
Other two people: Mute.
Kate: See ya later!
Me: See ya!
Other two people: Mute.
The difference between a politician and their staff is that politicians generally act like human beings whereas their staff generally come across as grumpy, arrogant, overly-protective people whose main thought is perhaps ‘Don’t you KNOW who we are …?’ or ‘How dare you ask Kate Jones MP who is sooooo important right now something so mundane as whether she has a swipe card to the building?’
Meh. Maybe I imagined the whole thing.
Either way, thank god Kate was there to represent Kate because her minders sure didn’t endear me. You’d think they should be be super nice as well in case I happen to be a constituent. Even if I’m not a member for Ashgrove, the ALP needs every vote and preference they can get.
Particularly if Clem Grehan is working the bikeways.
FLOTSUM AND JETSUM
I haven’t written my blog for a while. Not sure why. Busy with my new job I guess! And BLISSFULLY enjoying being back together with Sheldon.
I have a fantastic picture from last week. I made the correct decision to not cycle in the rain last week. It was bucketing down on the Tuesday. On the Thursday I braved the Ekibin bike path and realised (and silently celebrated!) my wisdom upon seeing evidence the waterways swelled so high on previous days that they left a whole stack of weeds lodged in the rails.
This was a common sight all along the bike path. It looked pretty cool (in a really morbid ‘I just flooded and ruined my picturesque surroundings’ kind of way).
Aside from not being able to access my bike overnight, I had the most wonderful week of cycling this week.
Jumping on the bike in the morning to commute to work and back on it again at night to commute home turns me into a completely different person. I am in great spirits – physically and psychologically. When I’m without the bike, I feel deflated and miserable. It’s not walking, it’s trudgery. Trudge. Trudge. Trudge.
I guess my ultimate goal is to achieve great spirits on the bus, but so far it has eluded me.