THE Danes have a saying that "You're safer on the bicycle than on the sofa" – the suggestion being that a sedentary lifestyle is a potentially greater threat to longevity than hopping in the saddle.
Before I put fingers to keyboard I already had this column written in my head. Then on the way to work yesterday I was given a deliberate thump by a man who seemed to take exception to the fact he thought I was going to cycle past him on the pavement (I wasn't, I was actually in the process of getting off to wheel my bike the remaining 20 metres to the entrance to the office when he body checked me so hard it knocked the wind out of me).
The irony that yesterday was National Ride to Work Day was not lost. So as I write this with a stiff shoulder and sore arm it may not be the cheery endorsement I had hoped;, but rather an ode to a fantasy utopia I wish existed.
In that world there is no "them and us", between cyclists and other road users.
Rather those with bikes, cars, white vans, or who commute to work on foot co-exist easily and without animosity.
Don't get me wrong, I appreciate both sides of the argument.
I know there are cyclists whose abysmal and dangerous bike-handling skills should see them kicked off the roads, just as there are car drivers whose licence must surely have come out of a box of cornflakes.
This isn't some woolly, bleeding-heart liberal bleating about how I'm saving the environment. I'm not asking for a medal for cycling to work each day.
The facts are these: I love my bike and I love being on it. All I'm looking for is a little live and let live respect. And, maybe some strong painkillers for my shoulder.
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