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PostPosted: Sun Dec 10, 2006 17:22 
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Maybe this should have gone in a different place?

Daily Mirror

Quote:
END THE CYCLE OF US AND THEM
Richard Hammond
9 December 2006

WE found a cyclist stretched out on the road last night.

He turned out to be an absolutely charming young bloke who was nursing a possibly broken shoulder and not moving his neck or back from the road, just in case things out of sight were more severely crocked.

It turned out he had been put there when a motorist, coming the other way, failed to dip their headlights and dazzled him.

As his vision cleared it was filled by the branches of a tree hanging over from the side of the road, which deposited him on the freezing, muddy tarmac.

I felt much aggrieved on his part and found myself siding with the cyclist against the lunatic motorists wallowing in their air-conditioned luxury, while brave cyclists battled through the elements and tried to avoid getting felled by stray trees.

How typically selfish, not to dip their headlights in recognition of an approaching cyclist, just because he wasn't a fellow motorist.

CHATTING while we waited for an ambulance, my new cyclist friend told me he pedals an astonishing distance every day, as part of a rigorous training regime in order to get fit enough to ski at an internationally competitive level.

And he does all this while studying for a medical degree and holding down a job.

I got dizzy thinking about it all and just hope that the selfish motorist hadn't ruined his chances of representing his country as a skier.

But there's one slightly odd element in this tale - my cyclist friend skis and, as he's about 20 or so, is almost certainly a motorist as well.

I couldn't be much more of a motorist, let's be honest, but I also ride a bicycle quite regularly. And I enjoy walking.

So, between us both, we were two motorists, two cyclists, a skier, and a pedestrian.

Actually, make that two pedestrians as his bike was knackered.

The point is, we divide our society up into these tribes, like "pedestrian" or "motorist", when actually, they apply to nearly all of us.

There was a huge fuss made last week about wanting to punish "the motorist" financially.

Well yes, except that accounts for nearly everyone. Whether you drive yourself to work, squirm in the back seat of the family hatch on the way to school or sit waiting patiently for your meals on wheels to be delivered in a van, we all depend on cars and lorries in one way or another.

So it's a bit weird that we suddenly all point at one little band of "motorists" and say it's all their fault.

These meaningless divisions stick though, and I reckon it could be a throwback to an earlier age. Thank goodness we have lost the rigid class divisions that put all of us firmly in our place from the moment we were born according to whether our parents were "upstairs" or "downstairs".

We also live in an age where landlords are a little more friendly and approachable than the Victorian slum-lords and most employers are not really in quite the same calibre of exploitative bully as your average Victorian mill owner.

In other words, for most of society, there's really no "them" and "us". So we make one up. If we cycle, then the "us" is cyclists and the "them" is motorists.

If we drive to work then obviously, the "us" is motorists and the "them" is those lunatic cyclists.

The one thing both of those groups is united on is their loathing and mistrust of the "pedestrians" who just wander about the place making life difficult and trying, deliberately, to get knocked down.

That's all well and good, but once we've cycled or driven into town, how do we intend getting into the shops?

Flying, skating? Or by being a pedestrian?

Perhaps there is a "them" that the "us" can unite in mistrusting. It's the people who ask us to get all keyed up about "motorists" when actually, they're talking about all of us.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 10, 2006 17:31 
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Go go Hamster!

:clap1: :clap1: :clap1: :clap1: :clap1: :clap1: :clap1: :clap1:

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 10, 2006 18:34 
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Anyone posted that up on C+ ? :)

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 10, 2006 18:36 
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SafeSpeed wrote:
Go go Hamster!

:clap1: :clap1: :clap1: :clap1: :clap1: :clap1: :clap1: :clap1:



:bounce1: :drink: :drink: :drink2: :bighand: :clap1: :clap1:

We've all said it umpteen times before.. we need the motor vehicle for much more than getting from A to B and if we price people off the road and off the trains at peak times.. then we penalise the economy in the long term.

We all walk, and most of us use all available means of travel to get around. I used the subways and buses a lot last week and Wildy will have used the tram system whilst she's been back in Switzerland.

Tis all about showing courtesy towards others in basic terms.

And probably why we showed our love of the Hamster after his own accident by delving into pockets for a fund in his honour - and one which will save many more lives too.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 10, 2006 21:56 
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great stuff....

i had to brake to almost a complete halt on the way home the other night thanks to similar numpty full beaming me from a good half mile away (me with lights & hi vis naturally).... bring on the lupines i say.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2006 11:12 
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Ernest Marsh wrote:
Anyone posted that up on C+ ? :)

No point... They'd explain that as he'd had a shunt at 300mph he's obviously incapable of saying anything intelligent with regard to cycling... Oh, and he's advocated all sorts of illegal things on TG.

BURN HIM!!! :-)

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