Sunday, 13 July 2014

'To ride a bicycle

is in itself some protection against superstitious fears, since the bicycle is a product of pure reason applied to motion. Geometry at the service of man! Give me two spheres and a straight line and I will show you how far I can take them. Voltaire himself might have invented the bicycle, since it contributes so much to man's welfare and nothing at all to his bane. Beneficial to the health, it emits no harmful fumes and permits only the most decorous speeds. How can a bicycle ever be an implement of harm?' Angela Carter, The Lady of the House of Love

In reading the story collection The Bloody Chamber (which if you haven't read yet, I encourage you to do so!) I came across this extolment of the bicycle. My family and I go everywhere on our bikes, shopping school, work, swimming, basketball etc... If you haven't got a bike, buy, (beg, or borrow) one! (We all ride IDEAL bikes, mine is a Multigo, made in Greece - there's no better time than now to support local Industry.)
So leave your car at home, get off the bus or the tube and feel like you are flying! Cycling is the greatest pastime. It leaves you free to think, you are higher up than most cars so you get a better view, in the city you are certainly faster than any other means of transport and in the countryside you do not miss all the beauty around you. I must admit that where I live it is incredibly easy - there is relatively little pollution and virtually no hills - which is perhaps why Trikala has more bicycles per capita than any other in Greece (I surmise - I have no evidence but it seems that way when looking for a free bike stand).

That still leaves the question: Can a bicycle ever be an implement of harm? There is a story in there somewhere...

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