Private transport users of the world unite!
26 November 2007 14:40
Gavin Green says it's about time we all get along, for the greater good
For too long it’s been cyclists versus drivers versus motorcyclists and honestly chaps (and girls) it’s getting us nowhere. We all – and I speak as a London commuting cyclist and a recently lapsed motorcyclist, as well as a keen driver – have one over-arching quality in common. We hate being horded into a tube or train or bus like sheep on the way to the abattoir. We hate subscribing to someone else’s timetables, someone else’s mechanical problems, someone else’s snow on the line.
But every day I witness the road warfare between cyclists and drivers, drivers and motorcyclists, motorcyclists and pedal cyclists, and I feel as impotent as Gandhi trying to appease post partition India. Except that my passive resistance is even more passive than Gandhi’s (I do nothing but write a blog). Come on guys and girls! Get a life (before one of those horrid bendy buses takes it away from us). Let us share the road in peace! It’s time for mellow motoring and serene cycling.
Let’s face it: we’re all as bad (and as good) as each other. Cyclists have the foulest mouths, the worst dress sense, are unbearably sanctimonious and have the scantiest knowledge of the Highway Code. Car drivers, especially when one up, are the most selfish, the most absent-minded, the most dangerous and generally the least skilled. Motorcyclists are the most aggressive and have the worst haircuts. But, hey, we’re all different. Let’s acknowledge our disparities and move on! Besides compared with the sworn enemies – black cabs, white vans and red buses – we’re all saints, right?
Remember what Gandhi said: ‘Always aim at complete harmony of thought and word and deed. Always aim at purifying your thoughts and everything will be well.’ Next time I see a cyclist screaming ‘f*** off’ to an innocent driver remonstrating as they jump red; next time I see a driver force a pedal pusher to change direction or die; next time I see a hairy biker in a studded leather jacket terrorising a little old lady on a nurse’s bike, I will voice that Gandhi aphorism. And remind them of my Gandhian commitment to non-violence before they deck me.
Do you agree with Gavin and Gandhi, or will you be waving your fist tomorrow morning in traffic. Tell us what you think about Gavin's point view by clicking the 'Add Comment' button below…