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I can see and hear him now; even after all those years.

He was working up to his point; a verbal victory of wit. The delivery of a decisive score of intellectual perspicacity to be absorbed like water into a dehydrated sponge. His triple chins quivered in excitement. His rotund button-popping belly was thrust outwards towards us along the lines of a peacock’s tail flourish; at least to the delusions of his own mind’s self-attracted eye… His considerable bulk was, somehow, testimony to the weight of his authority.

‘No…you would never get me on one of those death traps…’ ‘Bicycles are the shortest path to suicide’.

Said and done with all the authority of one who had so very obviously never, ever, ridden a bike. Even in his porky play station stationary youth. And off he went on a rampage to recount every incident observed through his piggy windshield shielded eyes that could contribute to his cumulative log of irrefutable evidence.

‘Only yesterday I just managed to avoid hitting a cyclist. Riding along the road as though she owned it. How do those morons expect us to see them? Worse than kangaroos on the road. Just as dumb…’

Yes, cycling is deadly. We are temporary phenomena waiting in a queue headed Stage Left to an early death. Road Kill to dent the polish of car polished minds. Road kill that needs the inconvenience of Police to explain. Road kill that can put innocent car drivers in court; that can put them in jail! Nasty lycra loonies.

Yes indeed! We are hard to see. Then again, so is every thing else when so many car drivers drive with their eyes directed to anything and everything other than the road. Driving these days is such a busy chore. What with attending to the phone, dialling in the latest news, checking the GPS, checking speed to avoid a fine. All those buttons, dials, air conditioning controls – graphic equalisers, heads-up displays. Econo-meters, temperatures to check and calibrate, iPod controls, rear view cameras, radar displays. Nose hair or eyebrows to pluck in the rear view mirror. Lipstick to apply. Teeth to check. One finger on the wheel. One finger out the window to let them know your contempt; if only the control for that pesky electric window winder could be found… Burning cigarettes to find, lollies to unwrap. Rear seat conversations to conduct. Children to control. Five per cent attention on the road. Pot holes! Speed bumps. Old women wobble-driving off to bowls. Yes, it’s deadly out there… It’s amazing the road’s not painted red with cyclists’ blood.

They listen to the shock jocks jack up their contempt for the lycra loony crowd. A disease of the road! Should be banned. Make them pay to use the road. Keep them away. Psychopathically deranged. Who said they have rights?!

Ah, the challenges for moto-terranauts bravely directing 200 mechanical horses via the whims of a distracted finger; fired by chemistry and physics few if any motorists could ever comprehend. 200 mechanical horses under the control of arthritic or hormonally distracted fingers and high heeled fashion distracted feet. All kept under control via some painted lines on the road. Paint! Visual queues. Visual queues for those moments when the vision is directed at the road. Queue’s to be processed in a queue of discussion, musical entertainments, ringing phones, screaming kids, that sassy Holywood-voiced GPS… Hot babes to impress with the 200 horse power penis extension their cars are imagined to have become.

Road kill everywhere. Dead animals littering the road. Testimony to the safety of being in a car… Testimony to the stupidity of all animals that don’t get out of their way. Possums, kangaroos, cyclists. Road kill to litter their way. Death happens outside the car. Safety resides within. What happens outside is an abstraction from the reality of this modern mobile living room on wheels. Outside has become the virtual reality of a video game. Somehow, if something goes wrong, the game will reset and they can pick up a new life; take on new ammunition and an extra dose of health. Life outside has become unreal. Until they come up behind a lycra loonie meandering all over the road.

Yesssireeee. Bicycles are dangerous! Cyclists are crazy. They are not safe to be on the road. They get in the way of cars. One more distraction with which the poor driver must contend. Plucking nose hair. Avoiding cyclists. Watching that in-dash DVD. Life is such a chore… Clearly, cyclists should be pulled from the road. Licence them. Register them. Hell… just get them out of our way! Deadly Treadlies. The biggest danger on the road.

2 Responses to “Deadly Treadlies”
  1. Dee says:

    Honestly, I feel like Jesus sometimes. Will my death bring salvation to the masses?

  2. I reckon I’ve met that bloke. Although I don’t put much store by the risk estimation of someone who seems to have trouble assessing his own risk of heart disease, type II diabetes, lung cancer, emphysema and cirrhosis of the liver.

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