Pedestrians of Israel


It’s dangerous to drive on the roads in Israel. It’s even more dangerous to ride your bike on the roads. So, whenever we head out to do some ‘mountain’ biking, whatever part of the route is on the road, we tend to take the coward’s way out and cycle on the pavement sidewalk. Advantage: it’s safer.  Disadvantage: it’s not without its risks.

These risks are more commonly known as pedestrians.

There are various types of pedestrian in Israel, and I am going to try and document them – those I have encountered –  on this blog. I am starting with:

The Music Fan

The Music Fan may be male or female, but tends to be younger, regardless of sex. The majority are equipped with an iPhone – though other cellphones and MP3 players are used in reasonable numbers. Every Music Fan has headphones, of course, with many certified for their background noise exclusion properties. This makes them perfect for the Music Fan, especially when meandering – sometimes walking, sometimes dancing – along a narrow sidewalk.

It’s possible to recognize the Music Fan from a distance because of some specific poses and maneuvers. These include:

  • The Air Guitar Pose
    The Music Fan plays his non existent guitar, occasionally bending low to reach those difficult notes, as his non existent audience howls with appreciation. Think Mark Knopfler or Johnny Ramone.
  • The Headbanger
    With his head nodding up and down in time to the music, his eyes may well be shut as he (or she) buries himself in the experience. That may not be the only burial experienced…
  • The Vocalist
    Singing, singing, singing, and yet not a sound shall you hear from the wide open gob. Practical hint: watch out for the sudden throwing out of the arms to each side as the Vocalist hits the climax of the song. As a rule, Vocalists cannot sing.
  • The Dancer
    Moving in time to the beat. Stepping to the left, gliding to the right, and celebrating the sound through movement. Not good at avoiding dog pooh.
  • The Classicist
    Beethoven, Bach, Mozart, Handel, Haydn, Brahms and Schubert; you name them, the Music Fan knows them and their work. In outward appearance, this type of Music Fan is the most peaceful. Little to set this Music Fan apart then, though the eyes may be shut, especially when crossing the road.
  • The Drummer
    Rare, but instantly recognizable, this one tends to have long hair and be male. If hairless, tends to be older; much older.

Music Fans tend not to congregate  while in fan  mode, thankfully.

Of course, the greatest impression the Music Fan can make on the poor cyclist, is by moving erratically on the sidewalk, just as the cyclist passes. It doesn’t help that the headphone equipped Music Fan is unable to hear the cyclist’s warning bell ringing. And ringing, and ringing. To be fair, the Music Fan is a believer in equal opportunity: cyclists are ignored just as much as cars, even when crossing the road…

Oh, Music Fan, I wish you were in your car.