People these days, they confuse me. People, it would appear, have no literal understanding of the meaning of the word citizen. Let alone a concept of what it takes to be a member of society. I give a simple example.
I was riding home from work in the normal blissful state that comes with leaving the city as I start onto the “nicer” parts of the canal drag home, when I get my front wheel kicked out from under me by a “citizen” on an illegally petrol converted pedal bike. A few seconds later I’m lying on the ground having my head kicked in after being sucker punched to the ground.
My bike was fine – thanks.
As I was sat on the lock gate, bleeding like it was going out of fashion, all I could think of was, “Why?” Why would you go out of your way to assault someone who you’d never met, never talked to, knew nothing about? At what point did you step out of the chain of citizenship and become, for all intents and purposes, no longer a member of society.
Riding 5km to the nearest train station, wondering these things I couldn’t help but apologise to the people that I passed for the state I was in – sorry for the blood, sorry for what their kids were seeing, sorry that a single citizen can be something so aggrieved with our way that they act like this.
Mostly it came out as *bloody snot bubble* “sorry, for…gjomhong” *bloody spittle* . You get the idea, I’m sure.
But then I found myself thinking more about how this happens in other, minor ways. The amount of discarded litter I see at bike races – assuming the organisers will clear up. The hateful, sometimes vicious slurs that people shout at marshals who dare slow a rider down at a dangerous road crossing. The blatant disregard for other peoples bikes even if they are significantly less prestigious than yours.
It’s a slope with a steep decline rate, and now I find myself assessing my actions as a citizen of our cycling society. Am I that person, willing to snap at any moment? How do I step back from the brink and make sure it never happens.
Beer of the Week
Triple Chocoholic – Saltaire Brewery 4.8% ABV
‘Chocolate malts, cocoa, chocolate essence combines to provide a strong chocolate bouquet and a rich chocolate flavour. Good hopping provides a balancing bitterness.’
I spent this weekend with Jeff (all hail the editor) up at the Dirty Reiver gravel race. We drank a lot of beer, talked a lot of crap, and spoke at length about why some people should really not be in society. He also kept me awake to check if I had any head injuries after my pasting. It may have involved a few bottles of what my slightly scrambled brain translated into a very tasty beverage. Send more.