Friday, August 19, 2011

Parking etiquette

It's easy to become arrogant on the bike paths around Amsterdam, cyclists have right of way and for the most part people respect this. So it's easy to fly around and race through intersections when... if something, god forbid, were to actually happen... you know that you are protected from liability.

Occasionally I get a sharp reminder that I'm not untouchable. Like this morning, when - even though I was on the main road, and it was most definitely my right of way - a delivery van reversed out of a side street, completely oblivious to the fact that I was right in his path. I screeched to a halt on my brakes, because I realised if I didn't, I was going under his back wheel. Even then, he was turning out of the side street and turning into the place where I had now become stationary. So I smacked the back of his van with the flat of my palm.

I saw the driver put his head out the window with a quizzical raise of his eyebrows. Then he smiled and waved, like I'd just told him to have a nice day. Which is pretty much the opposite of what I was feeling.

He roared off on his merry oblivious way and I got to my office without further incident...  until I got into our small allocated parking area where once again, it was demonstrated that four-wheeled or two, people park like dicks.

For the uninitiated in bike parking etiquette, this wanker is taking up not one, not two, but three spots. Supreme dickmanship.

He's parked his bike on the other side from where I took the pic, from where I thought I would park my bike until closer inspection. But instead of locking his giant chain to either (or any of the other three) metal frames on his side, he's chosen to place the lock directly across 'my' side of the rack.

So no one can park between him and the bike to his right (our left). No one can use the rack next to his left (our right) because he's between those two. And no one can use the rack opposite, that he's locked across on the other side. Three bike spots. For one very special, inconsiderate cyclist.

Kinda makes me wanna stab a front tyre. But I know Karma doesn't like it when I do that. So instead, I just wished compacted constipation on the recipient bike owner for the rest of the month. Karma owes me one for good behaviour, restraining from vandalising other people's property.

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