15 Sep 2014

15th September 2014 Darwin's theory of traffic evolution.

Monday 15th 60F, 16C, easterly gales, heavy overcast with showers. It is expected to blow up to 30mph later with only occasional showers. It was spitting with rain as I maneuvered around yesterday's puddles in the track up to the woods against a stiff headwind. I watched the nervous, scraggy, intensively reared pheasants for a few moments then began to walk back the same way. Bright stair rods were soon falling at 45 degrees as my clothing darkened rapidly. I cupped my hand over my binoculars and pressed on. The thin, Aldi's, polyester walking trousers clung coldly to my thighs as I climbed towards home and the oncoming traffic.

Is it really my duty, as a pedestrian, to have to hop onto the verge to avoid imminent collision with passing vehicles? 3 miles in an hour, with stops to try and capture the geometric forms of the newly sprouting crops. Sometimes an overcast provides an even light but it is hard to inject much life or excitement into the resulting image.

It's my blog and I'll laugh if I want to...

The supposed battle of wills between drivers and cyclists in Britain is nothing more than another tribal battle for scarce resources. In this case for dwindling road space. The two cannot easily mix. Any more than can oil and water. Though in this case the water is probably honest sweat diluted with lots of rain. Surely Goretex should be available on the National Health by now?

Cars mostly go along on oil-based products. The environmental and human cost of extraction and protection from later theft of those dwindling resources is the stuff of countless wars and more recent revolutions. The time of evil dictators, prepared to act as fences for their own nation's natural resources, is finally coming to an end. The hidden costs of which are all too obvious in the news headlines. The ordinary people have been deprived for too long and the resentment far too great to bear lightly. Nor to easily forgive.

Vast industries, right around the globe, toil to provide cheap vehicles, components and tasteless accessories for every deluded owner. Each seeking the illusion of individuality amongst hundreds of millions of all but identical vehicles. Cars have become far too affordable these days. Almost everybody owns one. Even the poor who can barely afford to smoke! While driving licenses offer the public absolutely no protection from drooling idiocy, physical and mental inadequacy, nor raving psychopaths.

Drivers have even gone into a pact with the banks to avoid all responsibility for causing hundreds of millions of so-called "accidents". Regardless of lack of skill or repeated bad behaviour, insurance against all responsibility for the deaths and carnage is readily available. Judges are rarely willing to take away the right to drive since it has become so "necessary" in today's so utterly dysfunctional, consumerist world. "See you at the pub, John?" "Nah, Mate, I have a meeting with the funny handshake gang!" 

The poor cyclist is at an immediate and obvious disadvantage. No billions are spent on advertising shiny new bicycles. As they are for the tin, identi-boxes selling to hundreds of millions of naive dullards. The winners of numerous Olympic gold medals, the Tour de France and Cycling World Championships are each as vulnerable as their next meeting with a [typically deranged] White Van Man.

Or some deluded, sociopathic, Audi cowboy. Who imagines himself on camera in the Top Gear studio."See me see my low profiles, Pal!" Thanks to their special number plate and exclusive, manufacturer's original, over-sized, exhaust tailpipe stub they imagine themselves as an outlaw of the road. Free of all regulations which apply to lesser drivers. Just because they have bought into the exclusive "racing" alloy rims and having the manufacturer's lettering removed from their tin, identi-boot. Let's not forget the genuine rally jacket emblazoned with the "works" factory logo and the crocheted back, classic, driver's mitts. With the subtle, but updated "factory" vinyl piping instead of real leather. Claimed to have had personal input from some has-been sports car racing driver whom nobody else remembers unless they look him up on Wacky-leaks.

All this, in a country with a 60mph maximum legal speed limit on most country roads and 30 or less in most towns and villages. Motorways don't count. On most roads the traffic normally drives nose-to-tail from morning rush hour to evening rush hour and often in between. Each driver growing ever more impatient with the "Sunday Bløødy Driver!" somewhere up at the front. Someone who must obviously be "some old fart" who is absolutely determined not to exceed the speed limit. At least not while their wife is back seat driving [from the passenger seat] as usual! You should see him go when the pubs are opening for a breakfast tipple!

Cars are very often sold on their "sporting pretensions" to countless, fat, deluded, desk jockeys with chronic immaturity. Each deliberately but slowly killing themselves with diabetes and heart disease. None of them with an ounce of road-craft skill or even the slightest grasp of corrupt, commercial reality in the real world.

They are so unbelievably daft as to be completely convinced by car advertising videos filmed on quiet Sunday mornings, on closed roads, in "backward" countries. Anything goes to avoid all sign of potential traffic jams or parking problems in this all too perfect, but completely unrealistic, advertising fantasy world. Remember that most [all?] TV adverts are aimed squarely at the sub-80 IQ band. So you may well find yourself amongst the target audience most of the time.

Every TV car advert is crammed with subtitles telling you [the speed reader] that the actual model shown costs three times as much as the more "humble" model. The price is flashed up in large [lying through the teeth] digits beside the be-stubbled, male model. Obviously chosen for his rugged look in a good [studio] light while wearing [very unlikely] violet contact lenses. Or you are [subtly] placed intimately alongside the digitally painted metro-slut. Chosen for her Photo-shopped, plastic-enhanced cleavage, impossibly shrunken waist and unnaturally flawless face and skin. You are obviously supposed to believe that your daily partner/mistress in your very own identi-car is this lanky supermodel. Yeah, right! Check your [vanity] mirror, sunshine! [I wouldn't!]

All this, so buyers of the filthy identi-boxes can sit comfortably, but often at a complete standstill, for the majority of their [supposed] driving hours. Usually in the same filthy traffic jam going absolutely nowhere. And, normally while on a ridiculously short journey. Easily able to be walked both ways in well under half an hour! You really couldn't make it up!

It's no wonder drivers don't like cyclists! Only the cyclist seems to have the freedom of the road the driver was falsely promised by the transparently dishonest, car sales hype. Only cyclists seem to be out in the fresh air with the sun shining in their hair. Just like in the car adverts. Instead of the hideous reality of being strapped down into a sub-tropical, sauna cabin. Usually immobile, ridiculously expensive to own and maintain, sensory deprivation tank! One which hasn't moved for at least 3 minutes and counting!!!

"Dad? Are we there yet, Dad?" "No, there's no ******* parking!! Again!!"

Cyclists glide past queuing vehicles all the time in town and city. Just as they have done routinely for nearly a century. Except where drivers cheat and exceed the speed limit to show who's boss, of course. It was always thus and forever shall be. A-bløødy-men.

Cyclists are very likely to be more fit, have fewer visits to the doctor and suffer far fewer chronic and terminal illnesses. Despite the energy poured into their pedals (and often their grimaces too) the cyclist usually has absolutely no need of 2 liters of Croke per hour. Nor the sickly sweet [or just sickly greasy] drive-in snacks. Which the average driver so desperately needs "just to keep going". Isn't it odd how they'll queue patiently at a drive-in, grease bucket but go absolutely ballistic if a cyclist causes them 0.02 nanoseconds of delay? It's that hierarchy thing they learnt at the feet of St.Jeremy.[Clarkson].

"Cyclists don't pay to use the bløødy roads!!" A favourite excuse for bad tempers and even poorer driving behaviour. Safely ignoring the fact that only a fraction of "road taxes" actually end up being spent on real tarmac to fill the countless potholes. The ones "they" apparently can't afford to fill despite the outrageous car tax. Moreover, many adult cyclists are also drivers and income tax payers. Do you stop them and ask, [just to make sure] before [or after] viciously cutting them off? Always a difficult choice.

The endlessly moaning driver could also have walked, or cycled(??) to their destination. And back again in far less time than the entire car journey [including searching for their car keys and wallet.]

All drivers are safely ignoring the vast cost to the taxpayer in propping up all "those other people" in a hospital bed in middle age. Thanks to a life completely devoid of any form of useful exercise. But then, you always fancied yourself as "idle rich" or even remotely related to royalty, didn't you? It's really quite amazing you don't have gout!

Driving is always a deliberate choice. Even if you don't usually bother to think about it. Just as walking and cycling are deliberate choices. Are you scared to let your kids walk or (gasp!) cycle to school? Then perhaps it is because you harbour deep-seated guilt about the way you often have to brush past that child on her bright pink bike outside the local school. Just so you could park your bus illegally (but briefly) on the double lines. Just as another, illegally parked "people carrier" [overweight family mini-bus] moved away in the nick of time to let you nip in! Thank god, for that! You'd already been around the block twice and you don't need the stress before your day has even started!

Of course you had to dash off again to avoid the glares. So you had no time to watch your child amble off, like some tubby, cartoon, Shrek Jnr. No doubt to be bullied [unfairly!] by their, far more slender, cycling and walking classmates. But then it's not your fault your child never gets any exercise and still has an amazing appetite for crisps, burgers and [so-called] "soft" drinks. Is it? After all, when all is said and done, they are just "big boned." It must run in your family.

Meanwhile, back at the trike: 21 miles on a hilly route. It's amazing I have enough wind left to type so furiously! 


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