Autumn has well and truly set in to Cape Town now. Leaves everywhere, that chilly breeze around every corner and sunset before 6pm each evening (5:56pm today, and it’ll only ever get as early as 5:44pm).
So why, oh why, oh why are the local cyclists doing their level best to blend into the roads and surrounds? Seriously, what has to be going through your mind to pop out for a ride along Rhodes Drive – the notoriously narrow and twisty road up the side of the mountain – wearing dark green and black lycra?
Yeah, I do understand that black is supposed to be slimming, but there’s only so much that it can do in the face of those 6 Castle Lites you down each evening. A bridge too far for Monsieur DuPont, I’m afraid.
Rhodes Drive is a very popular cycle route. And with good reason: it’s a good test for the legs, it’s recently resurfaced, and it’s just up the road from the posher suburbs of the city. The only thing it’s missing is any traffic lights to ignore, but otherwise, as far as cyclists go, it’s got the lot. But it also runs along the eastern side of the mountain, and so it loses the sun even earlier, and much of it is tree-lined, so it loses even more light, more quickly. And yet you MAMILs think it’s a good idea to try and camouflage yourself and see how many motorists you can pick off on a culpable homicide charge.
Is there maybe a thing on Strava for that?
Note that I am in no way suggesting that cyclists should be knocked off their bikes: of course not. But there has to be some sort of natural selection in this world, and you, puffing and sweating your way up towards Constantia Nek after sunset, in your freebie, khaki Nedbank Private Wealth cycling top you got from that golf day, is pretty much lining you up for – at the very least – a glancing blow.
Being a cyclist is unfairly dangerous enough without you trying to make it worse for yourselves. It’s not like there aren’t things like bright, reflective attire and – and please hear me out here – “lights” [crowd gasps] that you could adorn yourself and your two-wheeled machine with, in order to make yourselves a little more visible. And it’s not like the money isn’t there. You forked out (no pun intended) close on six figures for your bike, but you can’t afford a set of lights to stop you being killed while you’re using it?
Priorities? Skewed, mate.
Lights and shiny clothes would be a good thing at any time and in any place. But when heading out onto an twisting unlit, tree-lined road at dusk, they would almost seem completely sensible.
But, no. None of them choose to do it. Which says a lot about cyclists, I suppose.
So yes, while I absolutely recognise that all road users must share the road, it looks like us drivers will have to continue to share it with idiots. And pretty much invisible ones at that.