Fed up with the hostility he received from car drivers while riding on the streets of Luxembourg City and its environs, a cyclist from Strassen has found an effective but simple way to gain their favor.
Architect Carlos Maldonado, 44, jerry-rigged an automobile muffler so that it expels smoke whenever he rides. Now, he says, drivers no longer see him as a self-righteous jerk who only uses a bicycle to show how superior he is, but rather as a welcomed peer.
“Ever since I started spewing black smoke from my butt during my daily rides, drivers have begun to give me space and smile at me,” Maldonado said. “Sometimes they’ll even roll down their windows and call me ‘friend,’ and one guy even stopped to give me a box of cigars.”
Cents resident Jean Schmidt, 55, who drives a luxury SUV that weighs 102 times more than most bicycles but still feels threatened by them, says he’s relieved to finally see a cyclist doing the right thing.
“For years I’ve been putting up with all these skinny bastards on their childish peddle bikes, slowing me down, aggressively squeezing into that 3.5-centimeter strip between my lane and the sidewalk,” he said. “But now I see they’re not so different from us after all, that they too can help to fill the air with nasty fumes.”