‘So will you be able to get hold of a bike for the photo?’ the local reporter asked me on the phone
‘Erm, I’ll be coming on my bike,’ I said.
These past few weeks (indeed months…) I’ve been finding out the difference between talking about cycling policy on the internet and actually doing something about it. First there’s been the Cycling Embassy of Great Britain, with a meeting coming up on Manchester this weekend, which has meant doing such glamorous things as helping draft a constitution and adding material to a wiki (if only bike campaigning involved more bike rides, maybe more people would do it). And then, deciding I Wasn’t busy enough, I decided to get together with a few like minded souls and start (or revive) Bigtown’s cycling campaign which had gradually faded away in recent years (if only bike campaigning involved less banging of heads against brick walls, maybe more people would do it).
But that’s not really what I wanted to write about today. Today, I had to tackle the really important question all Bike Campaigners have to answer: what to wear for the photograph to go in the local paper. Obviously, I needed my bike, and I knew I didn’t want to be dressed up in hi-vis, lycra, tap shoes and a helmet, if only because I don’t own any of those things except the hi-vis and I won’t tell anyone that if you won’t. Cycle chic would be the answer, if only I did any actual chic. Wear what you’d ordinarily wear, Twitter suggested, but I’m a writer who works from home and gardens when she’s got a spare minute, and who’s long since stopped worrying what’s in fashion these days, and nobody wants to see that over their breakfast. So after careful consideration I got dressed this morning and asked the other half what he thought. ‘That’s a good shirt for radio,’ he said. Three changes later, and now running only slightly late, I was out the door looking, I hope, vaguely presentable, and without (as I found out later) my door keys…
Fortunately the shirt will still get an outing later, as we’re also going to be on the local radio station’s drivetime programme next week. And yes, the irony of that has not escaped me. Hopefully we won’t send too many drivers distracted enough to end up running some poor cyclist off the road.