Bicycle guy – better than Scooter Girl

A couple of days ago I wrote about Scooter Girl weaving all over the road carrying an enormous art folder, but actually this feat is nothing compared to what my Granddad used to do. He was a french polisher/carpenter in a small town in Lincolnshire, England. He didn’t have a car, so used to bike everywhere pulling a two-wheeled trailer. Onto the trailer would be loaded all manner of furniture that was to be delivered back to its owner – a three piece suite, an antique walnut sideboard, or perhaps a large oak bookcase – all of which had been lovingly restored. Wearing his Wellingtons he would light a cigarette, grab one handle of the trailer and set off, steering the bike with his other hand, occasionally attempting to get another drag on the cigarette. It was a common sight to see him wobbling along the road, trailer piled high. Fortunately the town was very flat – no hills. This sort of thing wouldn’t be allowed in our safety-conscious developed world, yet as far as I know my Granddad never had any major mishaps on the road. I’m not advocating a return to people balancing huge loads on a two-wheeled vehicle (my friend fell off his scooter while trying to balance a pizza on his knee, and ended up with his leg looking like pizza topping), but it’s amazingly quick how paradigms of road safety change. Which brings me to a news piece I found today about reflective vests increasing pedestrian visibility by four times. It’s like saying pedestrian audibility is four times greater if they shout.

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