Since Richmond Park has been closed, I have taken to cycling through Wimbledon Common. Whilst doing this, I have come to the realisation that the people I see on the common nicely fit into a series of stereotypes, so I thought I would share them with you.
The people who did sports before isolation. Now, these are few and far between. They can be spotted because they are actually running and they have the sports gear (including the fancy water bottles). As well as this, there is the occasional head shaking at those who are perhaps less experienced than them.
The family time people. Some people have really got into the spirit of family bonding during isolation, this lot can be seen a mile off. They travel as a pack of a minimum of six people, and insist on cycling in rows of three, making getting past them almost impossible. My question for them is this, is there a reason that you’ve decided now is the time to teach your very young children to ride a bike? Because if moving around this pack was hard before, the unpredictable path of a four year old on a bike with no stabilisers exponentially raises the difficulty of passing without breaking the two metre distance rule.
The stretchers. These are the people who really just want people to know that they’re exercising and not spending isolation on the sofa watching Netflix (not that there’s anything wrong with that, in my opinion). They bring some equipment and proceed to exercise in a way that really could be done in their living room.
The charity 5k runners. If you have Instagram, you’ve probably seen the Run for Heroes challenge: Run 5, Donate 5, Nominate 5. When this challenge was at its peak, there was a definite increase in the number of runners around. Geared up with a fitbit to record their time and a phone in hand to take the post work out photo, it becomes apparent rather quickly that this is the first run they’ve been on since they bought the fitbit two years ago when they stop after five minutes and move to a speedwalk.
The talkers. Honestly, the most irritating group. Let me set the scene, one person running sees their friend running towards them. So they stop walking and stand on opposite sides of the path to talk to each other, thus ensuring that a two metre distance is maintained between them. However, by doing this, people are forced to walk through them, very much not 2 meters away from either of them. Moreover, they’ve made the path smaller by just standing there, and so people trying to get past have to get closer to each other as well. Overall, not my favourite people. Don’t be these people.
The fakers. These people are the reason that all the benches have been taped over. They get all dressed up for sport, some go as far as to bring a bike with them. Soon though, they’ve deviated from the path, and have conveniently bumped into some friends. Eventually, they are sat down and having a bit of a sesh. You might think I’m overreacting, but trust me there’s been many a time when I’ve gone past a group of four or five people, and they haven’t moved by the time I’m on my way back an hour and a half later.
The dog walkers. Really just trying to get on with their daily lives; they cause no problems. Plus they have dogs, which always make people happy.
The Boris bikers. Often quite a hazard. This group is made up of people who have decided that now is the time to take up learning how to ride a bike. Not that this is a bad thing, in fact, I admire the dedication, but it does cause some complications. Same as the children who have started to learn, the path of a Boris biker is hard to predict, resulting in quite a few near misses.
The road walkers. To get to the common, you have to cycle on the road. Not a problem usually. However, due to the general lack of cars on the road, many people have taken to walking on the road, often in a line that makes them impossible to move past. This results in awkwardly having to try and get their attention from two meters away to tell them to move so you can get past.