Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Vigilantes? Or just trying to stay alive?

Apparently I am a vigilante, think about it, a vigilante, I dunno about you, but it conjours up visions of hooded men in balaclavas and black bomber jackets, wielding a selection of nail studded baseball bats, crowbars and motorcycle chains, or maybe Charles Bronson in Death Wish, taking his revenge on all who have wronged him (and those who haven't, for that matter)

Unlike Charlie, I don't have a dodgy 'tache, a shiny Automag or murderous intentions. I don't even want anybody to get injured, especially myself. My weapon of choice is a GoPro camera, which, unlike a .44 Magnum, won't "blow your head clean off" but like a vigilante, I am forced to use it because law and order have failed me, I'm using it because I want to stay alive.

It's a pretty piss poor state of affairs when you have to use a camera to film your daily cycling because you run a risk of being wiped out and the person who wipes you out will probably get off scot free, I've only had it a while and the footage is overwhelmingly boring, only a couple of incidents have genuinely been life threatening, but if the worst happens, I want it on film so my family know who to take their revenge on, sorry, so the offender can hopefully be prosecuted.

Some people take it to extremes, one chap claims to have shopped 70 people to the police, ok in London, but probably not the wisest move in Belfast, another has something like 8 cameras on his bike, he must have the worlds best USB charger, but the point remains the same, crap infrastructure, lack of enforcement regarding abuse of existing infrastructure and poor driving have created a climate where the cyclists have to strike back in a metaphorical sense, if nothing else.

Regarding crappy infrastructure, the plans have been unveiled for the York St/M2/M3/Westlink junction, plenty of room for a separate cycle lane, but as per bloody usual, they have a load of green paint pretending to be cycle infrastructure, the University of Ulster are building a huge mega campus where the old Co-op building once stood, with the resulting influx of student who will no doubt have more than a few cyclists amongst their ranks, if nothing else, it could have made the trip to North Belfast a lot more pleasant, another missed opportunity!

Oh well, at least I didn't get my hopes up.

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