As soon as I get on my bike I become invisible. No one seems to notice a young man on a bike. It’s as if I’ve managed to travel to a parallel universe. As soon as I get off the bike, even when dragging it, I become noticed again. I get the interesting and interested looks, but once I’m on it and pedaling, I’m invisible.
I’m invisible to the traffic police who won’t stop me or even look at me if I cause a traffic problem or go against the flow, I’m invisible to the people that walk who don’t notice me at all. I’m invisible to the cars and I know that because I only started noticing bicycle riders of late. I’m invisible even to girls who are in the street who don’t seem to feel threatened at all by my passing by, and don’t even notice a flirty smile if I give one. I’m ignored by young women in cars and I don’t even try to smile. I’m even invisible to my friends, many of whom I’ve passed right next to and wasn’t noticed. They don’t even look at someone on a bike, they just go about doing their business.
There are exceptions however to this invisibility rule. I’m not invisible to those that are in a position to run me over. When I’m within a reasonable proximity to people, (basically head on collision) they tend to notice me. I’m not invisible to others on bicycles and motorbikes either. There seems to be some sort of vision between us. There’s also room for friendlier chats than if I were on foot or by car. Perhaps it’s the common circumstance of a minority that tries to make its way through the streets.
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