Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Cultural differences

A bike ride organised by ‘cycling campaigners’ in London will usually say something along the lines of:

Join us outside the post office at 10 a.m. for a fun ride to Blenkinsop House, with its interesting display of early twentieth century Latvian vases. It has a tea-room and a shop which sells some marvellous themed pencil sharpeners. If the weather is good we’ll be having a picnic in the park, so remember to pack some crisps. Fingers crossed that Timothy will be bringing along his harmonica to entertain us in traditional fashion! We will back by 4pm, and Nigel has invited anyone interested to come and see his very interesting collection of historic bicycle pumps.

Whereas in Los Angeles the invitation runs like this:

Like a tempest on the horizon, you can hear us approaching as you see our blinking bicycle lights in the distance. The hooting and hollering and the beat of the music seduces your psyche as the outlaw bicycle party passes you by. It is at that moment that you finally understand: your life shall have no meaning until you JOIN THE MOB!

Needless to say the infamous LAPD loathes cyclists having FUN and makes it its business to engage in harassment

One cyclist was in cuffs being cited for not having a bicycle license and an out of date address on his drivers license when blogger Alex Thompson began taking photos. Then Thompson was detained, cuffed and cited for allegedly crossing the street against the red flashing hand.