Oh we cyclists are such a prickly bunch, aren’t we! The architectural critic and theorist Reyner Banham rode his bike everywhere, right the way across Arizona, if we are to believe the photo above. So when the architectural historian Nicolas Pevsner wrote—meaning no harm—that Lincoln Cathedral is "architecture", but a bicycle shed isn’t (and really, Pevsner was merely illustrating a point), Reyner Banham went frickin’ ape shit my loves:
Reyner, I think we can know. Bicycles sheds, in your day at least, were absolute shite.
But can you see how this sacred cow of ours, cycling, can turn an otherwise incisive architectural critic, into an outraged defender of anything at all to do with his faith? Had Pevsner compared Lincoln Cathedral to chook sheds, or hay sheds, or anything other than bicycles sheds, we can be sure Banham would have let the remark go through to the keeper.
But we are like this, we cyclists. A funny ad by a motoring group, sees us putting the NRMA in league with dealers and pimps (just read the vitriol here). An embarrassing combination of adrenalin, fear, endorphins, sanctimony, testosterone, and moral indignation runs in our veins, dulling our judgement, as happened to poor Reyner Banham. The opportunity these days to twit, blog and you-tube, turns us into a mob, all competing to squawk louder than the rest in the twit feed. We’re like Banham unedited, less educated, and far far less relevant. And I’m not sure what we can do.