The Pirate Ship of Captain Jim
Look, the pirate ship of Captain Jim
has its side-lights backwards when it’s shipping
it will take a thousand people tripping
’cause it’s filled with hashish to the brim
(N. Kavvadias, “Armida”)
These cyclists take special care in having the red light at the front and the white one at the back. So, you see them on your lane and wonder who’s this distracted person on the wrong lane, or (even worse) you see them on the opposite lane and you think you still have time, until they suddenly appear in front of you. I won’t give any further information at the moment, because they always show up when you least expect them so you don’t have time to see much.
These are the cyclists who have taken up a secret mission from Splinter or something, under the condition that they absolutely must not be seen; if by any chance someone sees them, they have to pay with their lives. So, the Ninjas always cycle during the night without any lights on, they wear black clothes, and they even paint their face and hands black. If you see them, you’ll see them on the last moment, because they forgot to cover the metallic parts of their bike with a cloth and they shone a bit under the light. The advantage is that, if they indeed need to sacrifice their life, it will look like an accident.
“Look, ma, no teeth!”
Unlike the Ninja, the “No teeth” can even be detected from a satellite, due to their sigmoid trajectory. They have their hands off the handle bar and their brain busy. They might be driving in the middle lane of the avenue in the middle of the day while playing Pokémon Go, they might be taking romantic selfies while cycling in the sunset, or they might just be eating peanuts, waiting for a chance to scatter them on the asphalt when they suddenly need to brake. [Disclaimer: The aforementioned examples are not a product of my imagination, any resemblance with real events and situations is unfortunately not a coincidence]
The clown car
Last time I looked at the regulations, the maximum amount of people allowed in an average car was 5. As we very well know, however, this doesn’t prevent much larger groups of circus clowns from squeezing inside a car. Similarly, we can see groups of two or even three cyclists riding the same bike, without hesitating to go out on the avenue. Of course, they can’t go fast at all. If you need to overtake them, you should keep three times the normal distance, because it’s never a good idea to be close to a moving object of mass-ive stupidity.
The Usain Bolt
These are the cyclists who believe that the crowded promenade bike lane during peak hours is the most suitable place for them to train for Tour de France. They’re always riding a racing bike, wearing colourful lycra clothes and sunglasses, carrying a water bottle, and obtaining a speed that might even exceed the 50km/h limit for inhabited areas. The slaloms they perform in order to overtake are something that even professional skiers would admire deeply. According to eyewitnesses, when they want to overtake, they’re even capable of cycling on the water of any adjacent river or sea.
The White Rabbit
This is a variation of the Usain Bolt, but the difference is that the White Rabbits aren’t running fast for sport, but because they’re in a hurry. You’ll see them with an average bike and everyday clothing, sweating to break the sound barrier in order to make it on time for a lesson, a shop, or a train. A necessary part of their equipment is their backpack, where they’re carrying their books, purchases, or weekend clothes respectively. If by any chance you find a White Rabbit without a backpack, it means that they’re rushing for some appointment or date, without minding that their significant other will see them drenched in sweat.
This category thinks that, just like Hercules obtained the strength of the lion of Nemea by wearing its skin, they’ll obtain the speed of the Usain Bolt by wearing the same clothes and riding the same bike. The speed they obtain partially justify the expense, because they can go twice as fast as a five-year-old with a trike outside the bike lane. The only thing that Paganists like more than cycling is discussions about cycling. So, they gather together with like-minded people on benches, trying to figure out who managed to find the smallest quality-to-price ratio for their bike and equipment. However, they only seem to care about the denominator of the fraction; the numerator is usually not interesting to them.
The religious procession
In this case, there are at least two bikes leading the rest of their group. These bikes are always going side by side, in order to block the whole width of the bike lane, and their speed is painfully low. You see their mouths moving, and it only makes sense that what can be heard is religious chants. The rest of the group follows them, slowly following the procession and praying, except they can’t hold candles because the wind would blow them off. At the end of the procession we can see some annoyed people following at the same speed, while looking into their calendars and trying to figure out if maybe it’s St Patrick’s day today.
Honourable mention: The taxi driver’s brother
In a well-known joke (at least in Greece), the taxi driver was proudly declaring that “my brother and I always run the red lights”. At the very least, he was considerate enough to stop at the green light, in order to not crash against his brother, in case he was running the red light on the other side. A simple glance at the city streets will reveal that the family in question has numerous members, and they’re not all as prudent as the taxi driver and his brother, which means that they don’t even stop at the green light. Unfortunately, one will notice that these family members are not restricting themselves to cycling, but they’ll often be found driving a motorcycle or a car. Therefore, they won’t be included into the official categories, but we’ll limit them to an honourable mention.