That’s More Like It….
I have been listening in to various debates (OK, OK, my foaming-cabbie-talk-radio habit is getting out of control) about cycling. The pure position is “Four wheels bad, two wheels good”…if you are a cyclist. If you are a motorist, the general position is “GET OUT OF MY FLAMING WAY – TOOT TOOT!” and so on, with expressive gestures and, sometimes, violence.
My view is that cyclists should seek to preserve their own lives, naturally, as to do otherwise would be a sin. However, mowing down pedestrians whilst carrying out missions which are obviously too urgent to, for example, get off and push, also lacks charity. I wrote here about the correct approach to cycling for Roman Catholics.
Today, watching as a chap hurtled down the busy main road on a bicycle with a large box affixed to the front and two small children cowering inside it, I thought many things, most of which I can’t say out loud. I live in an area that is, it seems, perenially in transition: the middle-classes – the yuppies, the hipsters and their hybrid cousins, the huppies – are being pushed into pastures new by the dizzying escalation of house-prices across London. The festering dump in which I live has been renamed a ‘Village’ by one local estate agent (which reminds me of the days when I lived in ‘Highgate Borders’, hahahahahaha). There are, wonder of wonders, coffee shops.
One of the things I thought was about how all groups have their signs and signifiers: these are about turf and worth, generally speaking. The message of the rather nice beamer pumping out its deafening music in our streets is recognisable, as is that of the Chelsea Tractor driven by a mother in pyjamas; that of the man sailing down the High Road on his Kidmobile is less so. But he is making a statement, nonetheless. I just didn’t like it much.