Today is a weekend tale. Well, a tale of Friday afternoon which is almost the weekend, especially this time of year. It was a hot afternoon in London yesterday and the general feeling on the streets was good humoured. The streets were packed with tourists going places and Londoners seeking that Friday afternoon beer at an outside table – all of us enjoying the spectacular weather. To be honest, cyclists and their infractions were the furthest thing from my mind.
But what was this? There was a stir in the dense crowds making their way along Victoria towards the Catholic Cathedral whose plaza was full of picnickers and sunbathers. What could be happening? Was it a swarm of bees? A mad axeman? An especially bad busker? No. It was a chap on a Brompton riding fast on the pavement, weaving in and out of pedestrians, and, in one case, judging from the yelp of pain I heard, over them.
My jaw may actually have dropped. It’s true there were some fairly hideous roadworks in the vicinity which have led to various queues and bus diversions but this was extraordinary. A man riding his bike against the general flow of pedestrian traffic and some speed and appearing not to give two hoots about the dismay or danger he was causing.
Cyclists, I know our roads can be difficult, dusty, sometimes dangerous places to ride. I sympathise, really I do. But if you’re going to decide it’s all too much and come and join us on the pavement (which I absolutely defend your right to do) for heavens sake get off and push.