Wednesday, 24 November 2010


it isn't quite what nature intended
the regular four-in-the-bar plod of shanks' pony
the skip in the step
the opportunity for conversation and banter
the 'good morning mrs brown - how are you?'
the 'bit chilly today, isn't it'
the absent-minded daydream
the steady contemplation
the close-up and personal
the neck-craning
the head-turning
the jaw-dropping
the stop to stand and stare or admire...
but neither is it the dull antiseptic air-conditioned monotony
the alienating misery of steel-and-glass-caged isolation
a stale tomtom-assisted exercise in convoluted route-planning
a frustration-inducing
act of all-out warfare
a noisy
insurance company-subsidising
modern nightmare...

all things considered it's a pretty good compromise
of course you need to keep your wits about you when not off-road
develop a decent road sense
concentrate at least some of the time
watch out for the nutters
get yourself seen
but there's plenty of time for thinking
taking in the scenery and the fast-changing images
there's a certain rhythm in peddling
which has something in common with walking
and offers definite poetry-songwriting potential
you are like a boxer
you can duck and dive
weave in and out of the stream of traffic
act on impulse
nip down a side street
cut through a park
join up a couple of cul-de-sacs with a short pedestrian path
follow your nose
bend the rules a bit
jump the lights without anyone noticing
fly near enough as the crow flies
indulge in at least some conversation
(limited mainly by the level of traffic din)
shout a hello and flash a smile at an acquaintance
get by with affordable and simple diy maintenance
do your own route-planning
get some exercise
and get 'out there'

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