Cycling poses a serious threat to drive-time radio DJs (look right), psychiatrists, heart surgeons, and anyone who profits from this miserable state of affairs, called car dependence. They look at these people who are fast enough to avail themselves of the road network, yet nimble enough to use alleys and other shortcuts meant for pedestrians, and they fear their jigs could be up, that maybe one day the whole city will realise that these loopholes are out there, for everyone, not just these weirdos who the jerk-jocks call “sssscyclists” (gritting their teeth). All the city’s captives would fly away free, if they realised they too could be cyclists, that to be a cyclist, is nothing special.
Cyclists are not confined to either following footpaths, or crawling in columns of cars. We can do either, both, each, one then the other, this one then that one, then look out, we’re back being cars, no we’re pedestrians, watch the birdy, fphe-e-ew, another cyclist disappears out of view. We’re dancing, cheating, weaving, bring bring, “excuse me, EXCUSE ME! Yes please keep over sir, there are bikes coming through.”
There are 1.6 working bikes per household, here in Australia, and I presume similar numbers in other fledgeling bike nations. Imagine if all those bikes, could all be in use, all at the same time. I don’t mean all in one place, like a critical mass ride. I mean all over the place, at the one time. Forget Earth Hour: that thing did nothing. Imagine Bike Hour,
11am Saturday Morning, on the first Saturday of… I don’t know: Lent! Yes, at 11am on the first Saturday of Lent (whenever Lent is) everyone in the world who owns a bike, will ride out their door, and go wherever they jolly well like. Up gutters. Across roads. Along roads. On water. Down footpaths. On cell phones. I don’t care what you all do. Do your own thing, but with the knowledge that in your own way, in a place of your choosing, you’re a part of a world wide outpouring of passive resistance, and reason.
Bunched up together in critical mass rides, cyclists are beholden to herds. But it’s to avoid being herded, that most of us ride. No, screw being herded. Let’s keep our mass outpouring simple, and closer to home. Let’s observe Bike Hour.
Can anyone tell me when Lent is?
p.s. since writing this post, and with some help from a reader (see comments) I’ve settled on 20 March (the equinox) as the best date, from 6-7pm (your time).