I’m sure that older readers will remember Ricky Martin’s song, María: with the unforgettable chorus of Un, dos, tres, un pasito p’alante María. Un dos tres, un pasito p’atrás - literally 1,2,3 one step forward María, 1,2,3 one step backwards. If not, here’s a link.
Well this is how pedestrians have to walk, or rather jump, about the pavements in
as cyclists zoom
recklessly towards them, making the most of their god-given right to put
everyone's life at risk – including their own. Indeed, watching a pedestrian
trying to walk along the average Seville Sevillian
street is rather like watching someone in a
Western “dance” as the baddies shoot at their feet. Desperation, lack of
concerted coordination and the fear of imminent death or mutilation are common
to both sufferers.
And the problem is this: enlightened
(a city for people,
according to its own rather brainless propaganda) now has cycle lanes
incorporated onto its pavements, but cyclists here (indeed, anywhere) respect neither the lanes nor
the traffic rules. Speeding cyclists are a greater menace than speeding cars (at
least in general terms cars do not speed along the pavement!). Yet for some
reason, best known to themselves, cyclists do of course have greater right of
way than any other form of life. Seville
Cycling seems to have become a new form of Fascism. Once the wearing of a black, brown, or blue shirt with its corresponding armband raised the possessor above the ranks of the common herd. He – or she – became an exalted member of that class of beings who, as Orwell so famously put it, are more equal than others. Such fascists, or communists (basically the same genus of being) could do what the hell they liked without fear of reprisal or punishment by the authorities. Now to be more equal than the rest of urban humanity what you need is a bike.
Once mounted upon his or her gleaming, non-polluting charger, the rider becomes a sort of knight in hi-viz armour, bearing down upon the cycle-less villeins with all the contempt and recklessness of a Norman aristocrat taking a constitutional on his palfrey among his serfs.
“By what right?” You may cry. “By the divine right of the non-polluting eco-warrior” Sallies forth the reply as, bell a-ring, lights a-twinkle and pedals a-whirr the oppressor bears down on you. You have two options: stand your ground and get hospitalised or jump back and let the arrogant bastard waft by unchallenged.
Teeth a-grind, we let the chevalier thunder past, as in days of yore.
In a word, most cyclists are arrogant, selfish turds who deserve a timely stick thrust through their flashing spokes.
And so to
For all of the chemical weapons, nuclear bombs and avunculophage dogs that that
particularly distasteful regime might vaunt, as yet it has not been a real
threat to my life and physical integrity – or indeed yours. The cyclist, on the
other hand, is a real daily meance and a greater threat to your, or my, existence
than the hermits of Pyong Yang. "Leave North North Korea alone!", I say. Get the UN
Security Council onto the case of the cyclo-fascists. Korea
Let us not, however, bomb them back to the Stone Age; let us merely put them back where they belong – on the roads, not the pavements – where they can put their own lives at risk without risking ours. Either that, or send the whole parcel of them to Guantánamo and thence unleash them on the Castros.