Bicycle rage 101

Maybe I was on the angry pills last week. But usually, I don’t have any trouble driving around and rarely have much trouble on my bicycle but one day last week, I must have popped a bad pill or something.

How can someone on a bicycle get road rage ? Well, if you cycle back from Cristo Rei not long before sunset, you will find yourself cycling west against a stream of vehicles heading for a sunset drink down at the “Caz Bar” or “Sol e Mar” (or a bit of exercise). The road can just fit 2 vehicles and is quite rural at the edges.

But 3 times, oncoming drivers attempted overtaking manoevres just as they were about to pass me. The first time, I was too late to get out a suitably aimed string of invective, but the 2nd guy copped both barrels. You can imagine how it went. I am wary of this stream of traffic, warning systems on alert and say to myself, “you are about to overtake right now aren’t you?”. And he did.

The 3rd one happened in slow motion outside the Lita Store. Another string of invective and my hand went into the air in consternation. The UN police driver following the offender, merely threw both hands into the air as if to say “what can you do?”.

Two minutes later, the piece de resistance occured next to the Palacio do Governo where the traffic was filling both lanes on the one way system. My way was blocked by a group of Timorese trying to cross the road at a “pedestrian crossing”. They were stuck, creeping out a few steps then retreating and I could not get around them unless I veered out into the traffic. I stopped, pondered the situation for 10 seconds then I snapped.

I got off my bike, walked out across the traffic (on the pedestrian crossing) holding up my hand to stop the traffic and herded the group of shocked Timorese across the road, while offering constructive suggestions to the drivers shocked into stopping at such a critical moment in their driving day.

3 thoughts on “Bicycle rage 101

  1. Seems like Dili has become a jungle traffic wise. The traffic jam by the beach area is not recent – I witnessed quite a few incidents myself -, but it is hard to imagine the confusion around the pedestrian walks and the traffic lights in the main parts of the capital. For some reason, all drivers in ET do not have patience as their main asset… probably influence of the “high-temperatures” 😉

  2. Just thank the gods that no media person was on-hand to record the event … like the time I was tapped on the shoulder to offer comments to the TV media after OZ lost the rugby world cup to England.

    It wasn’t how I looked, it was what I said !! In retrospective, highly humourous but those red wine stained lips were a dead give-away !

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