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Chris Slatter

My Blog


The Silent Menace

Tags: cyclists lyon 


Rune of the Day: Ansuz reversed, Futility
There are groups of people in society which it is extremely inadvisable to
criticise. Even to mention them is often construed as criticism, so I won’t refer to them, but you know of whom I write. Now a new politically correct group is emerging, so before it becomes a capital offense to criticise them, I’d like to offer my jaundiced view of cyclists.
No other group of road users enjoys the privileges that have been awarded to cyclists.
Motorists pay road and fuel taxes, are subject to draconian fines for minor rule infringements and are under-represented in most of society’s forums. Cyclists pay nothing. Neither do they observe traffic regulations, road signs and traffic lights. Cyclists sail through intersections with the insouciance of the truly elite, ride on pavements, bowl over pedestrians who stray into their paths, all without raising a single eyebrow. Cyclists have considerable political clout because they have captured the moral high ground of the environmental debate.
Spare a thought for Ricardo Neis who now faces  multiple counts of attempted murder after he ploughed through a gang of cyclists in Porto Alegre,  Brazil in February. Investigate the story and you’ll discover that he had been caught up in a mass demonstration by the international biking pressure group Critical Mass whose aim is to bring traffic to a halt in cities around the world by swamping the streets with bicycles. Pressure and intimidation are the twin weapons of these anarchists. Senhor Neis was reportedly subjected to harassment which included having his car thumped by cyclists when he had the temerity to try and drive down the street. He fled, knocking over the cyclists who were attempting to impede his progress.
If you think that someone banging on your car roof is scarcely something to get in a lather about, try it yourself some time. Sit in your car and allow your friends and family to slap, kick and punch the bodywork. It’s like being trapped in a drum.
A couple of decades ago when there were many fewer cyclists, those that did take to
the two wheeled life were considered charmingly eccentric. Unlike the current crop, they were generally peaceful, observed traffic regulations and all without the benefit
of dedicated cycle lanes. That was before cyclists discovered the environmental gambit. In Lyon where I live, the city council is engaged in a frenzy of cycle lane creation. One quarter of the roads are now delineated as cycle lanes and woe betide you if you stray into one either as a motorist or a pedestrian.
Cyclists really have become the silent menace and their encroachment on our civil
liberties is real and a little disturbing.
I now await the 3am squeak of tyres and the tap, tap, tap of a tyre lever on the door.

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About Me

I have been an advertising copywriter, film director, teacher of screenwriting and a television producer. I have worked for some of the world's largest advertising agencies in Australia and the UK before attending the London Film School for two years.

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