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September 2, 2009
The road to Biking Fun

The road to Biking Fun

Aviemore, Scotland – Great story from France this week with the Mayors of the Parisian suburbs of Levallois-Perret and the neighbouring town of Clichy-la-Garenne fighting it out over the car commuters heading back and forth from Paris.

The mayor of Levallois-Perret thought that route D909 was bringing his town too much traffic so he turned it into a one-way street sending all the traffic into Clichy. This annoyed the Clichy mayor. So in response he turned his town’s stretch of the D909 into a one-way street in the opposite direction, sending all the traffic directly into Levallois-Perret.

The ensuing chaos caused the deployment of municipal and national police, the closure of the road, the redirection of huge amounts of traffic onto inadequate suburban side streets, and some bitter, public arguments voiced by representative from both sides of the battle. Who by strange coincidence represent different political parties. Still as a colleague of mine said on the subject of riding in France ‘It’s a bit like Russian roulette but with all six bullets in the revolver’.

All this fun in France caused me to muse on biking and fun and ask are UK bikers getting enough, fun that is, from their biking. I’m wondering if the fun’s going out of it you see. Is there a funometer somewhere that measures biking fun on a sort of Richter scaled o enjoyment, fun and happiness.

I tend to use the biker to biker wave as my measure of fun and if the last few days are an indicator bike wise fun seems to be at all time low. Perhaps it’s the fact that people simple don’t want to remove a hand from the grip in response. I suppose balancing on a GS worrying about the cost of falling off or hanging onto an R1, designed for an Italian jockey, in full race leathers with temperatures at 35C you would be more concerned about bike control than waving back at a loon like me.

Of course it could be that the funs been beaten out of biking by all the black propaganda on safety. Its hard to avoid the constant stream of stuff on visibility, what gear to wear, how to improve ones riding, life skills, speeding, do do this but don’t do do that, don’t do as I do do as I say. Let’s face it it’s the oldest propaganda trick in the book, Peter Mandelsons made a career out of it, if you tell someone something often enough they will believe it and perhaps we do.

Yep there’s nothing from a road safety officers point of view like a nice motorcycle safety campaign. Keeps the councillors happy, keeps the Department of Transport happy, gets you out of the office on nice warm summer days, looks like you are doing something, nice pic in the local paper and enhances things on the good ole career prospects CV front.

That last paragraph is not true of course, no no really it isn’t.

So please just for me next time you are out on the bike don’t grimace just grin. You are supposed to enjoy this biking thing you know. Oh and wave back, even two fingers up would do, just an acknowledgement that you have seen the mad person waving like crazy coming in the opposite direction. At least then he, or she, will have some confidence that in the last life skills riding course you took the bit about forward observation actually sunk in!!

Have fun and ride safe.

© Back Roads Rider 2009

One Comment leave one →
  1. Dave permalink
    October 1, 2009 3:27 pm

    I’m a road safety officer, I am a biker, I have a lot of fun getting out of the office on sunny days for a ride and hopefully doing things to keep other riders from having crashes. What’s wrong with that?
    I also try to get my employer to encourage people to ride motorcycles. I believe people should enjoy riding too.

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