Riding back in familiar territory: today it was a spin in the South Oxon lanes. Just outside of one village there was what seemed a quite old chap, smartly dressed in a tweed suit, walking with some difficulty with the aid of two sticks and, quite incongruously, wearing a high visibility waistcoat.
I wondered why.
Perhaps it was a ‘health and safety’ thing: his wife perhaps, or his kids, insisting he wears it because the lanes are dangerous and there aren’t any paths. Perhaps he actually felt safer wearing it; perhaps it was his choice. Whatever the reason, surely it’s sad if anyone is feeling such measures are as necessary. That suggests a simple act like walking down an ostensibly quiet lane in daylight is accompanied by real fear, and that cannot be right.
Even if he’s doddering on his walking sticks, too slow to get out of the way quickly and that’s what’s prompted the safety garb, that’s still a horrible indictment of the way we live. It’s a sick society that can’t find the time or make the room for its less able members.