Monday, 26 September 2011

Ditch the Car and Bring on The Bike

No, I’ve not gone all green and save-the-worldy; I’ve got enough day-to-day concerns to be dealt with before I can worry about what may happen to the world if I keep using my secret stash of 100 watt light bulbs and having luxuriously deep baths. It’s just that I’ve fallen out of love with driving lately. I am a loud and proud Skoda driver (the Yeti, it’s ace!) but a couple of recent occurrences have taken away the fun of the open road.

1) I have now hit 9 penalty points on my licence for speeding. Oh come on, don’t get tut-tutty with me. All high-speed offences were conducted safely away from schools, zebra crossings and old ladies.

2) My car insurance went up ASTRONOMICALLY as a result. You’d have thought I’d just admitted to moonlighting as a get-away driver the amount they want me to pay.

3) I was half a minute longer than planned in a café in my small, local town and was slapped with a £50 parking fine (£25 if I send the money in the next 3 minutes). Whose bright idea was it to give parking wardens a bonus scheme??

4) When parking in a residential street recently for Toddler-Not-So-Tiny-Temper’s swimming lesson, I had a run-in with the local busybody. Before I had even put the hand brake on, I was confronted by a furious old bat who had tweaked her net curtain as I arrived and scurried straight out. She banged on my window and told me that by parking there (in a perfectly legal spot), I was going to make it hard for her to turn into her drive (which, unless she drives a Challenger 2 tank was not clearly not true). Before I could even draw breath, she had promised to take photos and send them to the council. She was so aggressive that it got my hackles up, and I told her to take all the photos she desired and send them to the Prime Minister for all I cared, and then flounced off.

Where once I was foot-down and fancy free in my super speed machine, I am now driving like bloody Mary Poppins, keeping religiously to the speed limit, not daring to park in car parks, or on residential roads, or to overtake, or to even think about unwrapping a sweet whilst in the car for fear of what may happen. On a daily basis I have to put up with tail-gaters, light-flashers and flipping-me-the-finger-drivers as I cruise carefully at 30 miles per hour, hands on the wheel in the ten-to-two position as taught, and frankly I’ve had enough.  So, I’ve ditched the car and unearthed instead my rusty steed. I’ve removed the resident spiders, fitted the child seat, and am now a fully fledged cyclist (albeit not in Lycra). Yes, it’s 2 wheels for me from now on. Toddler-Not-So-Tiny-Temper loves it, there is no way that I could ever be accused of speeding even going downhill and with a favourable wind behind me, and by next summer I’ll have a beach body to die for. Ting-ting!



  1. This just had me laughing until I cry, especially the bit about the 'curtain twitcher' and tellling her to write to the Prime Minister! I llive in a seaside town and home owners tolerance for having ANYONE not them park outside there house causes many an argument with me and my (usually screaming) toddler. I always saying the same thing 'You own the house, NOT the road!' Another fabulous blog!

  2. Thanks Lynsey. I'll definitely use your line about not owning the road next time!! x

  3. Love this post! I sold my gas guzzler and have bought a bike, though I soon realised riding 15km each way is too much for an out of shape lady to rush into!

    Hope you stick with the cycling! xx

  4. Finally been able to post a comment! Technical difficulties here.

    Another great post. I'm sorry you're having so many problems with speeding - don't they put up handy little signs to tell you how fast you should go? ;-)

  5. Thanks Tinuke! The novelty has worn off since the weather's turned nippy but I'm sticking with it for now....just about...well, when it's not raining of course....

  6. Yes, Chatty Baby apparently there are handy signs but it's hard to keep track of them whilst applying lipstick, perfecting harmonies to disco classics and wiping toddler finger marks / lick / crayon off my glasses!