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Two Wheels through The City

I’ve been quite ill, again, recently, and am still not fully recovered. Certainly not recovered enough for the walk from The Tower up to City Road to be a quick one, and not recovered enough to risk that ride. So for the past couple of days I’ve been pushing my scooter through The City. Haven’t died yet, but…

There are three scourges of the trip, in ascending order of most likely to cause me injury:


  1. Tourists
  2. commuters reading Facebook or Twitter or whatever on their phones
  3. Bankers

Tourists aren’t too bad, because mostly they are restricted to a few places, and are visible from a way off. Their sin is a tendency to stop in the middle of a crowded pavement without any warning, or worse, to suddenly jink one direction or another. When I used to travel through outback Australia, I would see the same behaviour with flocks of emus. As you tore down the highway, you would see a flock ahead of you by the road. When they saw the car, they would try to run away from it… down the road. When you got close enough to be able to overtake them, the birds would realise that running in a straight-line was not going to get them away from pursuit, and they would turn 90 degrees. There was an even chance that they would turn away from the car, or throw themselves under it.

If smart phones, or equivalent, are around long enough in their current form, urban humans will evolve so that like plaice one eye will migrate to the top of their head. That will allow them to keep their head down over the phone, while one eye is still looking where they are going. I would like to think that the anyone falling under a bus while head down over the device is evolution in action. Dear commuter: your body awareness is lousy to start with, don’t impair yourself further.

Finally, Bankers. I do fear that one of these blue-shirted Masters of the Universe will shoulder me into a plate glass window because their double soy decaffe latte was three degrees too cold. These are the geniuses who will, on a 3 meter wide pavement, look you in the eye as you approach and play chicken rather than share the space. And if you think I’m exaggerating, I had one this morning on an otherwise empty pavement, look me in the eye and say “I don’t have to give way to you”. No, you don’t, but the pavement is 3 meters wide, I am using one meter of it, you can easily use the other 2. I know that you’re told that you only win if you take it all, but that just makes you an arsehole.

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