As you may know I have been off the Brompton for a few weeks and will be for a few more. I have therefore had to walk to and from work and just about everywhere else. In the past few weeks as a pedestrian I thought I would write down a few observations.
There is nothing new perhaps in what I am going to write first but I have to say motorists do look a miserable lot. I do feel sorry for them as they sit in an endless queue of traffic that does not seem to move. Cyclists and even me on foot seem to get from A to B quicker. It is bad enough in the morning rush hour but it seems magnified by the time people are making their way home.
As with cycling, I have to report that walking does seem to offer the same benefits of unwinding from a hard day at work. Normally I tend to listen to a downloaded podcast - Desert Island Dics, Great Lives or something from Londist Out Loud both wlakgn to and from work. When I return to cycling I will miss this aspect.
Cars do seem to rule the road. Zebra crossings do seem optional and more often than not us pedestrians are left waiting with cars streaming by. I even witnessed one pedestrian getting a mouthful from a car driver as they had not indicated their thanks to the car driver who stopped for them to cross.
On my route to and from work there is a good amount of cyclists who do not use the road at all and simply cycle on the pavement. Some do this at a snails pace and are obviously conscious that they should not be doing this. Others are cycling at speed and certainly as fast as they would if on the road.
Sadly with the days getting shorter I have also seen more than a few cyclists riding on the road with no lights. In addition to this they have no reflective elements whatsoever. This renders them all but invisible and I for one do not understand why they do it? You can buy a decent set of lights for £9.99.
One thing I have found amusing is that pedestrians do not seem to walk the street on one side of the pavement and up the other - a bit light the direction of traffic on the road - but walk whether it takes their fancy. With people talking into their smartphones, looking at their smartphones or listening to something on said smartphone occasionally, like a game of chess there is En passant. There is the customary and very British, 'sorry' which actually means 'get the *@£! out of my way!'
My last observation is just how many more cyclists there are out there. When cycling I do of course see lots but perhaps with the slower pace of walking I seem to have had the time to see a great deal more. There are loads! It is just a shame the infrastructure isn't yet there to cater for them.
When I am eventually allowed / able to cycle I won't miss being a pedestrian and for me at least it really is the most efficient way to commute.