Yesterday I went out for a walk and I happened to bump into a chap called Ian. He was cycling an eBike and we stopped to chat next to a large hole in the road that had been dug to repair (I imagine) the deep sewer. Such was the size of the hole that it had required the closure of the road. Marvellous! I love road closures. Gone were the cars racing up and down Saddleworth Road in Greetland near Halifax; peace and tranquility had returned, albeit temporarily to the valley… As we gazed into the hole, we set the local cycling world to rights. The dangerous pinch points on Stainland Road should go; a cycle lane installed along the road’s entire length (especially in the upward direction); car parking banned on the tight corners… Our chat made me feel better about our car-dominated world.
I came home and read this article on the BBC website about a father and his son who had cleaned the Nazi graffiti from a war memorial dedicated to those killed in the Spanish Civil War. The article made the following point:
“Steven McGowan and his six-year-old son cycled from Wishaw to scrub the paint from the memorial.”BBC News
It’s only about 3 miles from Wishaw to the war memorial in Motherwell but it was, nevertheless, noted that the dynamic duo had cycled. Why? Well perhaps it says something about Steven and his son. They do good things; they cycle!
Now cyclists are not saints or heroes. Not most of us anyway. Could I have had my positive chat with Ian about traffic management in Greetland and Stainland had he not been a cyclist? Probably not… The fact that we do choose to cycle says something about us. I knew I was on safe ground in my discussion with Ian. We cyclists do see the world from a different perspective, that’s for sure. Perhaps the bicycle doesn’t define us, but it does suggest something, and that thing is usually good.
By coincidence, an email from a PR firm has dropped into my email inbox this morning. It’s about a piece of research that purports to tell you what kind of person you are based upon the car that you drive. Be prepared to raise your eyebrows as you read the list:
- Fiat: you are a party animal
- Audi: you’re a social media influencer
- BMW: you’re a great lover
- Mini: you’re a cautious person
- Range Rover: you’re a high earner
- Volkswagen: you’re a foodie
- Mercedes Benz: you’re a bit of a loudmouth
- Vauxhall: you’re a natural comedian
- Volvo: you’re an avid reader
- Kia: you’re a sensitive soul
- Alfa Romeo: you’re a gym bunny
All this begs the question: what does being a cyclist say about you? Answers on a postcard (or, better still, in the comments section…).
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There’s something special about cyclists – I’m not sure I can think about any other activity or sport which is simultaneously a universal conversation starter.
And if you’ve never owned a car?
A very elderly grey SEAT Alhambra?? Great for transporting bikes and ancillary gubbins.
I drive a Mini; that makes me cautious, apparently. Not a bad attribute to have as a driver…
For Audi and BMW it should say “You are a ……” Fill in the blank with your expletive of choice.
Yes, I think most cyclists would agree with that…
I’ve a Ford