3pm Major City Hazard
Cardiff has a particular species of wildlife which I imagine is common to many other cities in this country. They are sometimes hard to identify as they bear a striking resemblance to an ordinary human being.
Commonly known as the ‘stoodent’. ‘Stoodents’ may be identified by their garish plumage quite often bright pink or orange and their apparent lack of camoflage. Many of them are highly visible by the bright coloured attire, these are usually, (although not always) the female of the species. The female also appears to have either some form of internal heating or special invisible insulation as they are often seen out in all weathers with very little by way of weather protection. The male variety is often to be found in black from head to toe, therefore making him less difficult to spot than the brighter coloured female.
These creatures are prolific at certain times of day. I find the highest concentration of them appears to be at just gone three in the afternoon. It is uncertain where they emerge from. At 2:59pm the roads are quiet and by 3:10pm these creatures are everywhere. I have learned that if I am due to be heading along these roads it is best to leave early to avoid the carnage. These creatures appear to swarm in droves all over the road taking no notice whatsoever of traffic lights, pedestrian crossings, vehicles or anything else designed for the safety of us mere mortals. It would appear from careful observation, that the rules of the road do not apply to them. They appear to believe they are invincible.
Anyone riding a bike needs to be especially careful if riding on these roads at just after 3pm. Be especially wary of those known as the ‘greater hooded’ variety – to be distinguished usually by their head attire – usually black, and which prevents sideways viewing. Also to be wary of is the ‘I-podded mute’ – identifiable by white wires emerging from the sides of their heads. These to some extent are more dangerous than the former greater hooded variety as they appear to have a lack of audio abiliity and will not hear you coming.
The main problem with these ‘stoodents’ is that they can cause a lot of damage should you collide with one, and my friend, YOU will be held at blame. Your no claims bonus will be reduced and you will therefore pay a lot more at renewal. If you have no ncd to start with then just wave goodbye to the bike. Sometimes the ‘stoodent’ will scuttle off. avoiding their demise but this will not stop you from doing the ‘S’ shaped braking jig, on the bike. This, from experience will at worst involve you coming a cropper or at best require a major change of underwear.