Tillie & Coco

two ladies, two bicycles, two hemispheres

Category: Road rage

The Killer Commute

by Tillie

Hi Coco,

This post is for Jen, who sent me this excellent graphic months ago and I have only just properly sat down to craft it into a blog post (sorry Jen!)

Readers, in case you ever wake up thinking “I want to hang out in traffic today!” you may want to bookmark this page to remind you why driving is oh-so-bad for your health. I am especially concerned by the impact of traffic on your mental state illustrated by Jen’s team. I used to drive in Sydney peak-hour traffic, and suffered terrible road rage as a result. Selling my car was the best thing I ever did – so much so that I had a party.

Farewell Car party, 2007

After four years in London I was so in love with public transport and so out of the habit of driving that moving to the States has been quite an adjustment. It’s amazing how just having access to a car shrinks your perception of distance. We used to think nothing of a 15 minute walk to the Tube, but now we’re likely to get in the car to travel the same distance to the shop.

As of next week I’ll be commuting two hours a day (one hour each way) to university (for lack of alternatives) and I am all too aware of how this will affect my health. I’m currently looking into how I can keep my bike to campus so I can redress the balance. Luckily for me, getting stuck in traffic shouldn’t be a problem, but I am certainly concerned about other hazards such as fatigue, snow and wayward deer.

We’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences about the impact of traffic on your health – share your stories in the comments!


Idiots with elbows

by Alacoque

Dear Tillie,

as I’m due to give birth tomorrow I haven’t been on my bike recently but I have had my spies keeping an eye out for interesting bike news. This little gem was sent to me by my sister who noticed the following sign posted on every telegraph pole down Victoria Road in Balmain/Rozelle.


As you can see in the images this is a shared path that even goes so far as to have a painted divider down the middle of the path to encourage people to keep to the left. Apparently despite these extreme efforts some pedestrians don’t like to share and one cyclist is fighting back!

If anyone knows the full story please tell us in the comments!

Love Coco xx

The Gentlewoman

by Tillie

I love this magazine. On page 160 of the Autumn & Winter 2011 issue there are not one but two references to Olivia Williams being a cyclist! They are:

a) “While playing a woman “who was very angry but never got to release her anger” in the LaBute play, she managed to avoid losing her rag with her family, but careless drivers would bear the brunt when she was on her bike: “Any minor road offence would result in a completely unequal reaction from me.”

b) “(Arriving unassumingly on a bike would be a no-no.)”

Road rage

by tillieandcoco

Dear Tillie,

I just had my first ever road rage incident! I just walked in the door and I’m still shaking! From shock, I should add, I wasn’t the one raging.

I was about halfway home when I heard furious beeping behind me. Thinking something was wrong I look over my shoulder and there is a taxi less than a metre away from my bike beeping and gesticulating furiously! He was waving me to the left, which was ridiculous because I was riding in the right-lane-must-turn-right lane for a reason. I indicated, thinking maybe the penny will drop, but he kept on honking. This was even more bizarre as the lights were red and traffic stopped twenty metres ahead. I feebly flipped him the bird (that’s what you’re supposed to do in these situations, right?) and keep riding for the twenty metres before I came to a stop. Thought it would end there? Oh no. Not so easily. He kept honking and yelling at me even though we were stopped at the lights! I turned around and yelled “What do you want me to do? I have every right to be here!”. He in turn yelled some rather nasty phrases I refuse to repeat here, and some pretty impressive hand signs. I replied with “Well fuck you too!” which elicited laughs from the pedestrians at the lights. Guess it would have looked pretty amusing coming from a chick on a ladies bike wearing a peach cardigan and pearls. I’m just really annoyed I didn’t think to grab his licence plate, or cab number. I can’t even remember what company the cab was.

Wow. I still can’t believe that just happened.

Love Coco xx