Re-cycling: by Martin Doyle

A plague of bicycle-riding is affecting thousands of young Wellingtonians who would otherwise be healthy, happy individuals. It can strike anyone at any time. I’ve known many people who have fallen victim to it. One minute they’re hale and hearty bon vivants raging at AC/DC concerts or having a rollicking time as Munich Beer Hall Fräuleins at the Rugby Sevens, and then the next time you see them they’re just bits of skin-and-bone pushing their bodies to the limit on ultra-expensive racing bikes.

They don’t look healthy. I know they eat lots of high-energy food and no doubt swallow heaps of pills and stuff, but at what cost, I have to ask. I’ve also noticed that quite a few of them seem to have bottles of gin or vodka tied to the bike frame within easy reach if they get the dry horrors as they weave through traffic at the lights.  Every cyclist you see is withered and emaciated. When they ride, their frail spines are arched over the handlebars and their mouths sag in groaning agony. You feel like yelling out: “Give up!”

They also wear hideous body-hugging Lycra tops and leggings. These can either be black and spiderish, or some blinding fluorescent yellow or green that makes them look as if they’re on fire as they ride through town. These stinking tights must be impossible to peel off at night and I’m sure many of them don’t even take them off, just sleep in them, then spray their armpits with deodorant and put work clothes on over the top when they’re at the office. I don’t know what their partners think of it all.

We’ve all found ourselves crawling up a hill behind a cyclist who’s going so slowly it’s a wonder they’re not going backwards. Some of them actually think they’re saving the planet by slowing you down. However, forcing thousands of motorists to each spend 15 to 30 minutes more on every trip is not environmentally friendly.

And again, what they don’t realise is that the sweat and vaporised body matter of a billion cyclists across the world are probably doing more damage to the ozone layer than a few cow farts ever will. But when you finally roar past them, they glare back at you disapprovingly, like smug cockroaches on wheels, through those tiny black goggles they like to wear.

To improve traffic flows, I’d allow racing bikes to be ridden downhill into town only in the very early morning, when they can travel like streaks of bat’s piss and not hold decent folk up.  After work, though, bikes and riders should be taken en masse back up the hills in decommissioned sheep trucks. Thus, by getting home earlier, riders could eat more and shower more before pedalling back to town in the morning.  

Now that’s recycling.


Martin Doyle

10/02/2010 10:13:00 a.m.