driven out?

I thought I might
go for a ride;
a short, easy spin
to clear the head
remind legs, lungs and heart
what this is all about.

But now
this simple, innocent act
is made political
pitting me against
the full inchoate outraged weight
of hate and spite and bile;

a target painted on my back
fear following me like my shadow
and I wonder when and how and why
we found ourselves
heading down this road
and what could turn us round.

3 thoughts on “driven out?

  1. Partly yes, John; the changes have obviously stirred up the old debate yet again, replete with arguments, prejudices, claims and counterclaims I’ve seen endlessly rehashed and relitigated throughout my 30-odd years as a regular/frequent cyclist. But it’s also born of a basic weariness with the wider culture war we seem to be living through, and the tribalism, division and entrenched positions that seem to characterise so many of what should be normal relationships and modes of living in a civilised society.

    I still love the bike, of course; but to be honest, I’ve never felt so vulnerable on the road. And it saddens me that if my daughter, or anyone else, asked me for advice on getting into cycling, my first instinct would be to say: Don’t. After all these years, I keep going out of habit and a bloody-minded refusal to give in to the fear; but I’m not sure I’d start now. It’s tough out there. N.

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