On London’s Brick Lane there’s a parking bay reserved for motorbikes and scooters, complete with a handy metal bar to lock your bike to for added security. The bar’s a small detail but an important one to remember, lest you try to ride off while your trusty steed is still locked to it – a spectacle bound to cause embarrassment, broken bones, or an unhealthy mix of the two.
At lunchtime today I walked past just as this hapless scene was primed to unfold. Wandering along with my head in the clouds, I came to just as a scooterist began to pull away beside me, his back wheel still locked to the bar…
Now, there’s no scoffing from me here. I’m a motorcyclist, and have managed something pretty similar myself – most recently during a beautiful dusk near Mont St Michel last summer. Keen to race along to the famous spot before the sun set, my girlfriend and I jumped on the bike, pulled away, and very swiftly remembered the lock was still on the front wheel. Cue another 10 minutes of gingerly unwinding the chain from the front fork, before finally getting on our way in time for a few shots.
Happily, I still managed to make it along in time for a shot or two.
And today’s unattentive rider? Thankfully, I managed to get his attention before he pulled away, saving him a spill and providing me with an answer to the question I’d been mulling as I walked along just seconds before – what nonsense could I write today?