So, here we are again. A couple of months after the huge protest about safe cycling in this country’s capital, the city where the mayor just loves to trundle around sur la bicyclette, his flaxen locks waving in the air, the city where cycling superhighways designed to keep people safe cause so much rancour and bitterness.
And four more cyclists dead. Many lives, on top of the poor cyclists who’ve lost theirs, broken, or consigned to the depths of despair.
I haven’t yet had the courage to try checking on @cyclehatred to see what diseased ramblings these crowing imbeciles will put on there. Probably won’t, after giving up in disgust some months ago. To explain, I thought it might help me to gain a glimpse of what goes on in the head of the enemy. But it was all just too sick for me.
I’ve always tried to act as if everyone on the road belongs there, and there is always space for people, no matter how they like to use the road. (The best one I saw was last weekend in Lewisham, where two kids were disco-ing down the Hither Green Lane on roller skates. Middle of the road. All over the place. And no-one cared). That’s why I (a country boy by forced exile) love London so much. There always seems to be a place for everyone, no matter how odd they are. (And to me, the people in suits and ties and grim “time is money” facial expressions are the oddest of them all. Sad).
But there is still this them and us situation. I know we are the chosen commuters, who’ve seen the light, and occasionally mount it on a bike. But we seem to be getting beaten by the grim faced “time is money” assholes: these are the guys who run the companies who contract the work that uses the trucks that crush defenceless squishy cyclists because the drivers are on a schedule that will maximise the profits of the fuckers in the suits and ties and grim fucking faces. Not only is it now impossible to buy a house within 300 miles of the capital unless you are a Russian oligarch, or the CEO of Google, but it’s starting to feel like cyclists are being frightened off the streets.
So follow the calls for cyclists to protest London deaths: the streets must be reclaimed before some dork starts to rant about us having to stop riding simply because it’s too dangerous.
Bring back Critical Mass.