So, this week the Rood Fair has come to Bigtown – as it has done since 1592, apparently, although I suspect back then there were fewer waltzers and candyfloss stalls and more cattle sales and witch burnings. And, as has happened every year since almost 1592, I have found my path along the river blocked by assorted lorries, generators, rides and fair equipment, despite it being part of the National Cycling Network and nothing in the way of complaining to the council, asking the fair or sending sarcastic tweets made a blind bit of difference. However this year, for the first time in 426 years, I have discovered the secret weapon in getting a route cleared through all the paraphernalia: these guys
One of the many great things about the Buddies, is that, stick them on a trike or their newly acquired side-by-side pedal go kart (I hesitate to call it a tandem; tank would be nearer the mark) and they have magical leave to go anywhere. We wanted to get to the park, and so generators got moved, rides got repositioned, and barriers shoved out even if that meant narrowing the road so we could pass. Indeed, even when the fair is not on, not only are they entirely welcome on the pavement – but the few times we’ve ventured onto the road, white vans have driven at walking pace behind us with perfect patience, and we’ve been waved through junctions with a smile. It’s like riding in another country, and if only the pedal-powered go kart could cope with even the slightest incline, I’d never cycle anywhere without them. It’s bloody magic.