So much for a walk in the park. Timothy Goh takes on his nemeses
1. The Flash
Quicker than lightning! Faster than a speeding bullet! Is it a bird? Is it a plane?
Nope, it is just someone who seems to have wandered into the park from the expressway.
Be it a Lance Armstrong wannabe on a racing bike, an Usain Bolt-style sprinter on the pavement, an in-line skater going at 60kmh (Seriously man, what are you going to do if you need to stop? Deploy your parachute?) or that fat guy on a mountain bike who is somehow faster than you, the rule is simple: Get out of the way or get flattened.
The worst part is, most of these folks are going so fast that the only warning you will get is the “H” in “Hey, look out!” before you turn into an unwilling human speed bump.
2. The Flash(er)
Speaking of fat dudes on bikes, spandex isn’t for everybody and it’s certainly not for you if you’re going to bend over on your bike and twerk it like Miley.
Old fat uncles who run topless fall into this category too.
A simple rule to follow whether you’re a man or a woman: if you have boobs, please cover up.
3. The Flintstones
Thanks to some bright entrepreneur, the days of tandem bikes are gone – you can now be a danger to yourself AND society with the four-wheeled “lifestyle bicycle”.
Fun fact: If you’re in the park and on four wheels, you’re no longer a bicycle – you’re a public nuisance.
The best part? These things are the only vehicles to have two steering wheels, but zero gears or brakes.
This means you can watch in fascinated horror as the group of schoolgirls pedalling this thing try to go up a slope, then give up right at the summit and roll back down towards you at a rapid pace.
4. The Gophers
We get it, the park is a place for both young and old to enjoy. But there are some simple rules for parents to observe.
Don’t leave your kid unattended while you yak on your phone, don’t attempt to tow your child on roller skates behind your bike (seriously?) and for goodness’ sake, teach your kid to use a zebra crossing.
East Coast Park on weekends is swamped by groups of little kids weaving erratically in and out of traffic (often in the wrong lane) on tricycles, ringing their bells like an ice cream man with a hearing problem.
During each encounter, I am reminded of an arcade game called “Whack-a-mole”, where annoying little figures pop out of nowhere and you need to hit them on the head with a large hammer.
For instant viral video material results, combine these kids with The Flash from earlier and watch the fireworks (and bodies) fly.
5. The Roadblock
“Hey Jon, what a nice day for cycling! Why don’t we stop in the middle of the road and take in the scenery?”
“Sure! Why not spread ourselves out so we block the entire path while we’re at it, even though there’s a huge crowd behind us?”
“Sounds good. After we’re done, do you want to slowly waddle along without getting off our bikes over to the pavement so we can cause congestion and ruin everyone’s day?”
“Okay but first, let me take a selfie.”
(If you walk more than three dogs, this applies to you too.)
6. The Circus Acts
In every society, there are those who dare to be different – the thinkers, the dreamers, the explorers... and there are these people.
Those who think that the park is the best place to practise riding a unicycle and juggling.
Or those who think that pogo stick practice should be done on the pedestrian path (“It has no wheels! Where else do you want me to go?”). It’s alright when the park is empty, but these guys always inexplicably pop up when and where paths are congested.
On the bright side, it makes for an interesting story.
“Hey, you’ll never guess who ran over me the other day...”