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Thursday, May 03, 2007


Pedestrians and Car drivers

There I am on my bicycle waiting at a red light when a lady pedestrian runs out when the little red man is lit, promptly causing a taxi to do an emergency stop. The taxi just knocks her slightly. She bounces off the bonnet and continues to run across the road. Taxi driver shouts something, but she carries on. He waits a moment and then, with a shrug, drives on.

A chap on another bicycle by the side of me mutters something. I didn't catch what he said, so I smile politely.

The lady then runs out into the road, again, this time down the side of some parked cars. Chap besides me calls to her, incredulously, "Skal du kører bil os?" (You're allowed to drive a car?)

She looks back down the road at us with a withering look whilst opening the drivers side door, and gets in.

"Hold da kæft!" (WTF!) my fellow cyclist exclaims.

I nearly fall over laughing so much.

Later, I relate this story to some of my Danish co-workers, "Nørrebro" one of them comments, others nod sagely at this.

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Wednesday, November 08, 2006


How did that van get there?

Oh, not another car crash story? Sorry, but yes.

Roundabout at Høje Taastrup is the place in question. It is where two dual carriage ways cross each other. The roundabout is a sort of dome shape, covered in bushes, about 4 meters tall in the middle, obviously three spiral lanes around it. And traffic lights. (Yeah, I didn't get the traffic lights and spiral lanes when I first saw it, but then I saw the traffic using it...)

Many Danish drivers don't 'get' roundabouts in a deep and meaningful way. To be fair there are precious few roundabouts, so most drivers are just not exposed to them that often. This particular one is a 5 minute education in how many ways one can do a roundabout badly. It scares me to death on a regular basis (I've actually seen the traffic light I'm waiting at crushed by a lorry that couldn't work out what was road, what was cyclepath, and what was pavement), and many cyclist don't do it as marked as, well, they don't feel safe either. But I digress.

Saw a van with "accident tape" around it about 3/4 of the way up the roundabout. Shone my lights on it as first impression was WTF, which only made the scene more strange as there didn't appear to be any smashed bushes indicating the path to where it came to rest.

The conclusion I inevitably came to using Occams Rasor (i.e. discounting it being dropped there by a helicopter), was the van had approached from the other side of the roundabout at speed, somehow gone airborne, and landed on my side thereby avoiding smashing any of the bushes I could see.

I shall investigate by doing a full circuit of the roundabout tonight, as long as there isn't too much traffic, one shouldn't tempt the fates after all.

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