I know I promised you some stuff about history, and I did try, but it turned out to be dull as shite, so I gave up on it. It seems an odd metaphor, dull as shite, but I suppose I've never seen it sparkle.
Instead, here is news that Bristol has been named as Britain's first cycle city. They want there to be twice as many cyclists in three years. The BBC thought it was so important, they asked Sean about it.
Sean, accurately pigeonholed as the very opposite of a lycra-clad fitness fascist, was so enthusiastic about cycling he managed to talk for several sentences without once mentioning the vital importance of everyone in the world converting to Linux, which may be a first.
I tease, for it is the job of friends to be teased, but he made some valid points, pointing out that the council wasn't as pro-bike as had been implied, and that cycle theft is so prevalent he always rides bikes that aren't worth any money because the nice ones used to get nicked all the time.
If they really want to be pro-bike, I've got a few suggestions.
1. Do something about car showrooms behaving as if they own the roadside next to their forecourts. The Mitsubishi place near me has a fleet of cars constantly parked there, and it forces cars on the road into the cycle lane just as I'm trying to turn off. I suspect this one might be popular with car drivers too.
2. Stop the council constantly coming up with schemes to turn our cherished cycle routes into multi-lane superbus freeways. Apart from anything else, if you force us onto the roads we then slow down traffic far more than buses do.
3. Bring in a congestion charge, but give exemptions to people who share cars. That way the kind of people who won't ever act out of any kind of collective solidarity with their fellow citizens will be forced to do the right thing despite themselves.
4. Reverse car safety laws. These days cars are like little fortresses, with their cages and their airbags, and it makes people complacent. If you made safety belts for drivers illegal and required all cars to have a six inch spike sticking out of the steering wheel, road deaths would decline to virtually nothing overnight. An oldie, that one, but a good example of thinking outside the envelope. Or whatever the expression is.
5. Landmines. Just think about it. Every year thousands of people die in road accidents. Enough randomly scattered landmines would kill a few people, but drive everyone else off the road, with a massive net reduction in road deaths. Plus, instead of having to jet off to Africa or somewhere Geri Halliwell could protest landmines right here in the UK, which would save massively on air miles.
So, six inch spikes, landmines and a congestion charge. I'm just kidding, obviously. There's no way people would go for a congestion charge.