Eight people you meet on São Paulo's Ciclofaixa
The Sunday cyclist
Fully equipped with a helmet, elbow pads and knee pads, this individual would be better off in bubble wrap as they will likely end up grazing their chin and wheeling their bike home. Their nerves are apparent from a mile off; the unmistakeable sight of their shuddering frame cycling within an inch of the pavement, veering wildly into the middle of the road with every rear view look and almost toppling over whenever overtaken. The build-up of sweat is more from fear than exertion, and their enjoyment will only come at having arrived home safely in one (slightly bruised) piece.
The Sunday cyclist
In spite of the 23 kg rusting titanic sitting beneath him, this man cycles as if he is contesting the sprint finish on the Champs Élysées. Though he veers wildly across lanes, coming dangerously close to decapitating young children, you will overtake him with ease. And yet at the next set of traffic lights he will weave his way into a starting position right in front of you. This manoeuvre serves as a gesture to suggest the race isn’t over, but the last you see of him will be as you freewheel past on a descent. His 200 rpm cadence on his no geared rental bicycle fails to generate enough power to fuel a thought.
Constantly nattering with her other girlfriends about that boy who won't call, that cute little top she might buy and Kim Kardashian's latest photo shoot in (insert "trendy" female magazine here), this girl should not be allowed on a bike. She is dressed for the Milan Fashion Show and judges anyone who isn’t robed accordingly. Riding in an impenetrable diamond formation with her pals, no amount of asking or gesticulating will get you past this gaggle. Beware!
Where are his parents? This kid is slaloming down the road on his tricycle like he owns the place and needs to be stopped. Is that them? I hope so, this kid is causing havoc. He can't cycle and eat ice cream at the same time, it's dangerous. Ah, finally, the parents are here, now discipline your son. Oh, you have ice creams too? Forget it, I'm off!
This gentleman makes the mountain bike beneath him look like a Barbie doll's bicycle, without the pink ribbons. He is, of course, topless to display his rippling muscles and tattoos (both acquired with the help of needles), and his cycling outing is more a parade of his manliness than a work out; after all, cardio is not the name of his game. Despite only paying attention to himself, he is of no real threat to the rest of the cycling community and will likely stop off at the first gym or supplement store he sees.
The Hulk (Source: www.greaserag.org)
The (uncouth) youth
This kid spends most of his time cycling on one wheel, but he’s not on a unicycle. Surrounded by his posse, he zig-zags wildly performing wheelies while his friends follow suit. Wearing a backwards facing cap with a foul-mouthed slogen and his t-shirt slung over his shoulder, this young man is yet to understand the meaning of the word respect and is unlikely to learn it anytime soon based on the obsceneties he shouts at passing cyclists.
These two are in love, have eyes only for each other and don't want to stop holding hands. Generally a beautiful thing, this causes havoc on the Ciclofaixa as an unwavering want to gaze into each other's eyes puts all other cyclists at risk. Their snail's pace means that their hand holding will unlikely result in an unfortunate double clothesline, though individuals are forced to overtake on the outside of the cones, putting themselves at peril's door. These two should be on a tandem, not individual bicycles.
The wannabe professional
This fool acts like he’s fallen off the pace at the Tour de France and is hell bent on making his way back to the peloton. Weaving in and out of families and friends at break neck speeds, overtaking on the inside and outside, risking life and limb to get through those girlfriends and sneaking by recently turned red lights to avoid being cut off by maniacs on rental bikes, this individual will stop at nothing to overtake the world. A menace to the Sunday cyclist, this clown is, of course, me, and I wouldn't want to cycle any other way. After all, everyone else on the Ciclofaixa is a nuisance…
The wannabe professional