Brain Bugs

I don’t think I have particularly large or ‘jug’ ears but today they were acting as very effective bug catchers. If, however long down the line, they find me going gaga and discover my brain’s being munched on by bugs, today’s the day they set-up home. I’ve never known them to be quite so irritating. Yeah, wildlife might be wonderful and yeah, we probably all ought to learn that the insects are just as valuable and marvellous as the big mammals and what-have-you, but there are limits to my enthusiasm.

Plenty of cyclists out today and yesterday; as normal the Friday riders are friendlier than the Saturday ones. Strange but true – so much for the weekends being a time of relaxation.

That’s also fairly true of drivers – weekdays outside of rush hour will generally entail encounters with more considerate motorists than the weekends. If you can tolerate a crude stereotype, I’d advise being particularly wary of slightly pudgy, often quite pale males in BMW never-been-dirty 4WDs with kids in the passenger seats on a weekend day. Mother is rarely there – presumably she’s having some ‘me time’ and he’s having some ‘quality time’ with the sprogs after a week in an office somewhere. Somewhere, presumably, that pays him well but costs him dear. If you want a safe bet, it’s that he’ll be looking very sour about it and driving distractedly, unhappily.

It’s easy to sneer but that’s not appropriate. Pity is probably a more suitable reaction; that and the hope that they can somehow get out of that rut. It can’t be nice for anyone involved.

All the cyclists looked able, experienced and happy enough on their bikes. That applies just as much to the quite elderly lady on a regular ‘sit up and beg’ bike as the lycra-wearing blokes on road or mountain bikes. I came across one group of po-faced club riders who doubtless wouldn’t deign to acknowledge anyone at all, but everyone else was cheery – a mood buoyed up by the weather of course. I’m not misty eyed and romantic about it and ‘community’ is a word that’s knackered and meaningless these days, but I think it’s a positive thing if new riders feel welcomed by more experienced ones.

I don’t know if cycling is in any way intimidating to a newcomer and, obviously enough, I can’t put myself in that position. I fear it might be because it can easily seem to be getting more and more technical and there’s far more kit and clobber to go with it than there ever used to be. If there are barriers to riding, those with experience need to work to either demolish them or help others over them.