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Cycling to work | by Sibad
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Cycling to work

I don't even feel I'm wearing 'a hair shirt' because on a bicycle you thread the motorised traffic, shift to parks and canal towpaths, hop off and walk, stop where you like, unrestrained by clamps, meters, cameras and the paperwork and cash that goes with owning an automobile. I enjoy the smells and sounds and sights in a way that makes the inside of a car seem enclosing. I get many a wave and nod and chance conversations with strangers. Cycling makes me feel healthier. Because my bicycle folds I can keep it with me - so have little worry about thieves, who don't understand how it works (except in London). I live in a famous inner city area, but I find my oddity (bloke in suit on folding contraption) earns curiosity, amusement, even respect so long as I return it. I'm known.


See the British novelist Will Self writing about the Brompton folder in September 08:

".... if you feel tempted at this point to cast my piece aside, unread, on the quite reasonable grounds that not only do you not like bicycles, or cycling, but you especially revile the ghastly middle-aged-mannish gadget obsession that you already feel emanating from my prose in great waves, then I say: desist! Give me a chance! Read on, and if I can't convince you by the end of these 2,000 words that a Brompton folding bicycle is not only a superior means of locomotion, and a perfect antidote to the stresses of the modern world, but also a means of achieving a deeper harmony with place and culture than you've hitherto achieved, then I personally guarantee to come round to your house and sort out your old Allen keys – or something like that. ....."

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Taken in December 2005