Even in rich countries, the cyclist has a greater liberty than any other traveller. She cruises up alongside traffic jams, as drivers fume. When the road is closed and screeching cars make angry U-turns, the cyclist picks up her bicycle, smugly wheels it along the pavement under the impotent glare of policemen, and nips back onto the road when their backs are turned. Visiting friends in the countryside, she hauls her bike onto the train and pedals off at the other end, along paths, through woods and up mountains. If either she or her bike is the worse for wear, most taxi-drivers, asked nicely, will carry them both home, where the bike may be tethered to the railings, left in the garage or parked in the hall.
· 5 years ago