Should You Vote?

So, you ride a bike. Should you vote in the next election? Who for? So, you don’t ride a bike – the same questions apply. And the answer? After a few rides thinking about it, all I can say is that the answer isn’t straightforward.

This week’s seen just a couple of fairly desultory trips. Fog has made it hard to get out, and when it’s not been foggy it’s been pretty grim and grey. It ain’t enticing. And when you do go out, what do you find? The same ol’ same ol’.

I was on the A4 near Twyford this week and I was seriously squeezed by a lorry because of a) his bad driving but b) because of the traffic islands they’ve put in the middle there, with no thought to the consequences for anyone on two wheels. The same applies to some relatively new hatching they’ve put on the road, which plenty of drivers interpret as meaning they’re not allowed to cross over, which of course means they cut cyclists more closely. And there are all the pot-holes – now getting worse again; there are the meaningless ‘advisory’ cycle lanes which probably mean some local council wonk has got a bonus for box-ticking but achieve nothing positive … and so on.

I’ve pondered before on cycling not equating to any notions of left or right in politics.

Now I’m thinking that the very act of voting has to be open to question, whether you’re a cyclist or not. Whether you make your cross on the ballot paper on not probably is going to come down to whether you’re hoping for long- or short-term gains. For what it’s worth, I’ve tried to explain why I’m thinking that in another ‘openDemocracy’ article here: