At this time, Kenya is blanketed by a warm air of reverence and holiness because Mr. Pope from Vatican City will be popping in for a visit. Catholics have been slaving for months building furniture and drawing up an itinerary while Kenyans on Twitter have been clamouring for a public holiday. Both camps have been successful.
Moses Kuria appeared on Tv a few days back to continue his crusade of wonderfully skewed logic where he’s seeking to undo all the hard work he put in getting people to give false evidence against others so that they get prosecuted. Even he is looking forward to Mr. Pope’s arrival because at some point he said “… he’s prepared himself for the Pope…” or something like that. It’s just a sweet piece of irony that he got arrested for some hateful words he’d spewed a while back, and might not get to see Mr. Pope.
So in this spirit of forgiveness and reverence, I as a biker, would like to draw up a list of people I’d like to see Mr. Pope do something about. These are people we find on the road who make the simple process of going from one place to another a torrid affair full of pitfalls and nasty surprises.
In order to truly express my feelings, I will turn to the comedian George Carlin, whom in his wonderful piece titled A List of People Who Ought to Be Killed, expressed his feelings in a tone that totally resonates with me right now. So here goes:
I’ll start with the lunatics that overtake despite seeing a bike approaching in the opposite direction. Why do they do this? It’s a dangerous thing and a horrible feeling to be run off the road by someone that thinks bikers are nothing more than motorised insects. I fail to understand where their consideration for other road users went to, I fail to understand the impunity and I fail to understand why they have never been struck by lightning.
Another group who ought to have their hair set on fire are those people that overtake indiscriminately then squeeze back in line to when the truck coming from the opposite direction is 30 centimetres away. These idiots see other people as pawns in their game and they never care about the consequences of sudden braking or squeezing others out of their lanes.
Still on the overtaking theme, I would like to see the painful removal of fingernails from the people that overtake from the left, on the road shoulders. There’s no shock nastier than finding a speeding car inches from you on your left side when that was the last thing you expected. It is downright dangerous because bikers drift laterally across the lane every so often and nobody thinks to check for such a thing. Interestingly, bikers do this a lot, even in fast moving traffic. Don’t do this, it is stupid, you will die, and furthermore you are almost always guaranteed a puncture if you ride on road shoulders and your haste will count for nothing.
Another bunch of people I’d like to take to a forest never to return, are tailgaters. Especially those found on busy city roads like Mombasa road. These are the folks that drive too close behind you, causing you to speed up and inch ever closer to the person in-front. If the person in front brakes suddenly there will be nowhere to go and you will make the meat of a car sandwich.
I hate to say this, but the biker community has always had a bunch of show-offs that ride on public roads with speed and lane weaving that isn’t safe or considerate at all. A true story is that I have flagged down and warned 2 riders on 2 separate occasions about their riding and seen them dead minutes after I did so. Do not lane split like a fool, junctions are to be taken seriously, your bike is limited by grip and quality of parts and you the rider have limited skill.
I reserve my worst thoughts and wishes for the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA). This is a bunch of triple chinned men and women who sit in meetings making unfathomable rules about road use. My problem with this organisation is that it exists to extort from Kenyans and does absolutely nothing about road safety. Imposing silly speed limits and checking if someone has a KEBS approved bandage in the first-aid kit is idiotic when there are real problems on the road. The only thing this organisation should do is educate the public and focus on the things that matter – pedestrian safety and catching the truly dangerous drivers (and riders) in order to educate them better (or take them to the forest).
So Mr. Pope, I’ll end my list here because I imagine you are too busy to read 900 words. You know what my true feelings are towards these people and I too know that you actively campaign against such evil thoughts and actions.
So instead I ask that you send some divine intervention our way. Tumble down a miracle for example, that will get me appointed the head of NTSA and I will show them how to run a tax payer funded organisation. If this is a far-fetched request then please say a prayer for these people I have mentioned or better still, ask your Italian friends to arrange for a horse’s head to be placed in the beds of these cretinous bastards while they sleep. This should scare them into being sensible human beings when they wake up.