THE LAST DITCH An Englishman returned after twenty years abroad blogs about liberty in Britain
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The self-righteousness of cyclists knows no bounds


I have adequate self-esteem and a burning desire for justice but I just cannot compete in these respects with certain urban cyclists.

My brother-in-law got a £50 fine for parking outside a charity shop on Chiswick High Road for the few seconds it took him to run in a box of donated goods. Or as he might have put it (if he were a prig) "doing the world a favour." I read later the camera that snagged him is one of the highest-yielding bits of kit in the capital (congratulations, Hounslow Council). He paid up and moved on. I doubt he has thought about it since.

Casey Neistat likewise got a $50 fine for riding outside an available bike lane. But he didn't shrug his shoulders. Oh no! He got on his blazing white steed bike and rode into battle.

City bike lanes take up space that could otherwise be shared with other road users. This, in order to protect the smug, entitled "...I am doing the world a favor here..." asses of cyclists. Yet Niestat took offence on an epic scale. He is one of those people memorably dubbed by one of my favourite bloggers, Leg-iron, as "the Righteous".

The video is funny if you are not one of the people whose property he deliberately rides into to make his point. Mainly it's funny because of his incredible sense of grievance. Talk about #firstworldproblems. He's lucky he didn't hurt himself. He's even luckier he didn't get fined for some US equivalent of 'criminal damage.'

I don't always sympathise with policemen. Our own British "bobbies" have sold their souls to "the Righteous" and now seem engaged more in suppressing thought-crime than in anything actually useful. The officer at the beginning of the film however strikes me as a good guy doing his best. I certainly admire his restraint in the face of the whining of this major league prig.

4440588147_a4da68c573On my riverside walk last Sunday I discovered a sign almost as ignored as those that say "keep left" on the stairs in London's tube stations. It's also two words too long for London's literates, apparently. It reads "No cycling".

No laws kept those two-wheeled prigs out of the Thames that day. Only my sense of proportion. Mr Niestat could do with some of that. If you disagree with me, I shall cheerfully do that walk again with a video camera and an extra spoke for their wheels. It should make for every bit as amusing a film.