Motorcycle emptiness/learning to ride a bike

I was sitting at my desk yesterday doing some accountancy stuff* when I heard the loud WHUP-WHUP-WHUP of a helicopter. I assumed it was looking for a little old lady with dementia who had escaped from a carehome. I saw it mentioned by one of our local councillors on twitter, so it made sense to me. That’s a slight lie, my first initial thought was “maybe it’s Blue Thunder!”, how cool would that be?! But anyway, I looked out of the window in time to see a bright yellow air ambulance landing on the playing field of the local girls school. Lacrosse match gone wrong? But no, I could hear sirens and motor vehicle activity outside. I tweeted the editor of the Herts Advertiser to let him know something was going down and got back to work.

The story is now on the Herts Ad website. Given how many emergency vehicles were at the scene, it didn’t look good either. Even as recently as last week when I was walking to the Chamber of Commerce breakfast in town I saw a moped driver knocked off his bike by a taxi just pulling out into him.

In my youth I used to be a keen cyclist but I haven’t been out on my bike since the boy was born. The roads are different now and I honestly don’t think I’d feel safe cycling a lot of them. As a motorist I notice car drivers are a lot more aggressive than they used to be. Every time I stop at an amber set of lights, I get tooted for not following the St Albans Highway Code. I can’t help but think if everybody left ten minutes earlier, they wouldn’t be in such an angry rush to get everywhere.

The boy is sort of learning to ride his bike without the stabilisers at the moment. I say sort of because the horrendously wet weather is hampering the efforts somewhat. I’m torn really. I had so much joy out of cycling when I was younger. It was a solitary hobby and I was a solitary kid. I saw some beautiful countryside and it kept me fit. But that was almost twenty years ago now and I can count the number of times I was buzzed by a madman doing 70 on a country lane on the fingers of one hand. Every time I drive down a country lane now I seem to be tailgated by a manman hell-bent on doing 70.

Unless I’m going to commit him to a life on the pavement, I have to consider that I’ll probably spend a fair chunk of my life worrying about him getting run over. At least he’s fastidious about wearing his helmet.

To paraphrase one of the farmyard animals from Orwell’s Animal Farm, “Two wheels bad, 4 wheels good!” at least when it comes to safety anyway.

*if you must know, I was reviewing some trade creditor supplier statement reconciliations. How exciting is my day?