Hell on Wheels

“Outside Olympic Park, the most cutthroat, reckless, competitive race of 2012 is already underway…” – by Lionel Shriver – The Atlantic

… YOU’VE TAKEN A BREAK from the 2012 Olympics to wend along the Embankment on one of London’s “Boris Bikes,” a public rental fleet nicknamed for Boris Johnson, the boisterous, flop-haired Conservative mayor who introduced them. Be forewarned: the moment you straddle the chunky frame and broad saddle—the bicycle equivalent of a dray horse—you’re no longer a spectator. You’ve joined the Games.

Members of London’s cycling “community” despise one another, almost as much as they disdain visitors on Boris Bikes, whom they delight in leaving behind in a muddy splatter.

. They resent that civic energies were squandered on a fleet for tourists, while so many of the sporadic “bike lanes” along London’s narrow, parked-up roads stop cold mid-block. Whenever a resource is scarce—in this case, space—Darwinism prevails, and only the fittest survive.

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