Thursday, February 17, 2005

The Ghosts of Dead Cyclists

I was intending to turn up at the Urban75 book group at the Royal Festival Hall. I couldn;t find them, the place was so packed. I hung around for a bit with a pint, and as the place emptied I thought I'd find them, but no. A second pint came and went, and gave up. The bastards were hiding – I know they were. Quite enjoyed being in the RFH though.

I cycled in to Central London on the thoroughly nasty Tower Hill/ Byward Street/ Lower Thames St./ Upper Thames St./ Victoria Embankment road. The scariest bit was where Lower Thames Street links up with Byward St, and I suddenly found myself stuck out in between two lanes of fast moving fuckers – lorries, cars, taxis, etc. and no-one gives an inch on London Roads. I wasn’t expecting it at all, I’ll be ready next time, if there is one.

Cycling round London is not easy. If you do it properly it becomes quite risky. But I have a need to cycle and intend to be taken seriously as part of the traffic.
Vicki McCreery, a woman my age, was killed last year cycling across Blackfriars bridge as a result of a dodgy cycle lane put in by the government. It was a narrow lane that ran between two lanes of traffic used by buses. Now I know how bus drivers drive round here, and they don’t like cyclists much. So it should come as no surprise that Vicky McCreery was ran over and killed by some such fuckwit who wasn’t even looking where he was going. It is some justice that this man has gone to prison for manslaughter, but I’d rather these deaths didn’t happen in the first place.

Then when I got home S found this message on Urban75:
“apologies to anyone who tried to find us and failed last night.. the place was
rammed when we arrived so we ended up hidden in a far back corner behind a large
pillar and a small castle.I am happy to report we had a gay old time. With
Cocktails and canapes, witty banter and only a few accidental proposals of
marriage. we failed to think of a good irish book for st patricks day but I'm
open to persuasion that we take a swing at Flan O'Brien. we did decide that Amos
Oz will be one of the next few books. This one I think.we may have
thought of another book too but i forget what”

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