Home Is Where …

Home Is Where … … the pot holes are.

Back on ‘home turf’ again. Devon might have had major drawbacks from a cyclist’s point of view but at least the road surfaces were half-decent. Riding around Berkshire again and you realise what a dismal job the local councils are doing maintaining the infrastructure. It is criminal – figuratively and one suspects literally, if only you could find out who ultimately benefits from the mis-spending of all the money that goes on the roads.

Perhaps that’s unnecessarily cynical but the trouble with British politics, local and national, is that the chickens have come home to roost. We, the ordinary people, are presumed guilty unless proven otherwise in manifestations of the state (policing, tax and pretty well any other regulation you care to name) and now we, the ordinary people, are far more inclined to repay that attitude in kind.

Add all the scandals and proven corruption at local and national level, add all the graft and sleaze and the lousy duplicitous behaviour of those in public office, and the assumption of guilt on the part of everyone in politics unless they’re publicly proved to be squeaky clean is a sensible and natural one. Yes, home, Britain: well on the way to being as rotten as ‘Johnny Foreigner’, if not more so, despite what the popular media in Britain would have us all believe.

And it’s also all very unhealthy for democracy, and horribly depressing.

Today was very much the first ride of autumn. No, it wasn’t freezing cold and yes, it will surely get windier and wetter. But it was pretty hard going into the headwinds today and for the first time in a few months the air felt thick. That probably sounds like nonsense to a non-cyclist but trust me, it’s true. A windy day in autumn is far harder to push through than a windy day in summer. And for the first time for a long time I was cold for some of the trip too – under-dressed. I did warm up but my feet were a lost cause by then.