Sunday, February 27, 2011

Taxi rat running on the bikeway: OYP-317

I was testing out my bike camera today and took a circuitous route to a supermarket. I've been trying to do a 'underpass galore'-video to show the underpasses I've told about before, and add some others. The camera keeps shutting down, and I'm not sure if it's because of the camera or the batteries or what. Today was a warm day, almost +0C, so it couldn't be the cold, could it?

Anyway, I had finished taking the video, or in other words, the camera stopped working, and I was almost at the supermarket, when a taxi arrived there. What happened next amazed me and made me curse the bad luck that the camera was dead. It was good youtube material, and might even get mentioned in local yellow papers. I could be famous in youtube. Damn.

The taxi driver did not turn to the parking lot, but drove past it to get to the bikeway. Then he drove along the bikeway to the front door of the supermarket. The passenger left the taxi, and the driver decided parking rules do not apply to him. He decided to wait for the passenger right there.
A car driving on the bikeway is pretty rare. Off my head I can remember two cases where I saw a car (not belonging to maintenance crews) on the bikeway in the last 10 years. They teach you in the school that bikeways are not for cars, in the drivers ed they teach you are not to drive on them, in the drivers lisence test driving on one means you failed. Maybe taxi drivers know better.

I took a picture of him and the car. I guess I had a smile on my face when I took that, because the driver smiled and waved. Did he know my smile was a evil smile because he was going to be in the internet? ;-E

Taxi OYP-317 drives on bikeway, illegal parking.
Sure, the taxi driver is in a customer service business. They are there to transport people and they are "competent, professional drivers". The driver just wanted to get his client a little closer to the door. He's just trying to do his job and be nice to the client.

Nope. I'm not buying that. The real reason why the driver broke the law?
He felt entitled to use the bikeway as a rat run, because there were other cars in the parking lot in the way. They'd block his way and make him wait. He was driving on an important business!

Another real reason is avoiding work. He would have to park the car in the back rows, as the closest ones were full. Then he would have to wait there and hope the client finds him again. Or he could wait standing outside for hours, in the freezing blizzard- errm , a few minutes in balmy +0C weather, for the client to come back. Or maybe he could have waited inside, there's even benches to sit on there. But then he'd have to help carry the awfully heavy shopping bags back to the taxi. That sounds like work, can't do that!

And for Finnish readers using search engines:

Taksi, mersu rekisterinumerolla OYP-317 ajeli pitkin Oulun pyöräteitä marketin etuovelle ja jäi pysäköintikieltoalueelle parkkiin. Mersumies ajaa autolla pyörätiellä kun ei viitsi ajaa parkkipaikalle :-/


  1. I've been enjoying your blog a lot. It's refreshing to be reading bike stories from another winter climate (and not rolling my eyes whenever folks down south freak out about every little skiff of snow.) ;-)

    I have problems with my camera shutting down when it's (not very) cold, as well. I'll take the battery out and warm it in my hand to take stills, but every video I've tried to make this winter has ended up only a few seconds long. I checked my manual and it says the camera operating temperature range is 0C to 40C, like no one ever takes pictures outside in Canada in the winter.

  2. Hello!

    Yeah, it's funny how some people whine about cold when they mean around +0C :) But, everything is relative. That feels cold to us too in the autumn, in the spring it's warm.

    Just the other day I was happy when the weather warmed up after a few weeks of colder weather, and my bike was not suffering so much from the cold (much easier to ride). This was on a day of -15C :P

    I keep my regular camera in my pocket and just take it out to take photos. The video camera has to stay out in the cold and I haven't bothered to build a mask or box for it. Looks like the external battery (from a cell phone) helped a little, but I'd say MD80 opticam is useless in the winter. Too cold and dark.

    That said, I managed to get about 50 minutes of video in one go yesterday. Lots of underpasses to be seen :)