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Why I hate cycling

Been a bit slack updating this blog but here’s a belated snippet of my most recent Spectator article…

However eco-friendly bikes are, and however much the Mayor approves, Venetia Thompson maintains that cycling is a hostile act, potentially lethal and deeply undignified

Just the idea of the Copenhagen summit is enough to fill me with dread. Not because I’m frightened of global warming or enforced vegetarianism, or because I’m worried that environmental evangelists are leading us up the garden path. But, truthfully, in case all the eco-awareness encourages more cyclists.

London is under siege. They can’t be seen until they’re on top of you, can’t be heard, and can kill you instantly: bicycles are taking over and it’s got to the point where just the squeal of a bike break can induce in me a moment of sudden, heart-stopping panic.

It’s difficult to trace the origins of my cyclophobia. My father insists he spent years trying to teach me, but that the narrow, winding, grass-covered lanes surrounding our house in Devon simply weren’t suitable terrain. I crashed in and out of the hedgerow, never managing to stay upright.

My relationship with bicycles didn’t improve, and I still cannot ride one, which never used to be a problem, but as London’s cycling revolution continues I am finding myself increasingly marginalised… more