Whistling, hooting, swearing, hindering. No, this is not an article about football, but a story about a regular day in the traffic for the regular European bicyclist. If you are a girl, it becomes even spicier.
The bicycle has been for a long time just a way of traveling in small cities. Since the eco lifestyle has become a trend, people seem to have become more responsible with the environment and adopted cycling even in the big European cities.
“Are you feeling any pleasure when you are cycling?”, I was asked one day by a guy in a sports car, while waiting at the traffic light. I was shocked, but I stood still and gasped. I took a deep breath and moved forward, because these incidents have become a habit in Bucharest, my home town.
I am not the only girl who can brag about such experiences. “I get that all the time. Taxi drivers are actually the worst, because they always ask you all sort of nasty questions and grin into your face”, said Anca, a student at the University of Bucharest and regular bicyclist.
For the rest of Europe things are more or less alike. Although some countries have a well implemented regulation for bicyclists, nice bike tracks and traffic signs, we are facing a lack of interest into this topic from our politicians. Even though they have political programs raising ecological issues such as recycling, saving energy and reducing pollution by encouraging alternative ways of transportation, little has been done to achieve these goals.
A European city has to have decent bicycle tracks. Nina, a German student, complained about the lack of tracks in the UK, compared to her home country. “It was awful! Drivers were whistling, calling me sexy ass and staring like mad. Something has to be done”.
Although cycling has this controversial stigma, we shouldn’t forget its actual purpose: it’s fun, healthy, environmentally friendly and, let’s face it, women ARE sexy on bicycles, but they don’t need men to tell them that!