A friend who is doing research into cycling cultures, Joanne Hollows, sent me the link to this clip from a US sketch comedy show broadcast around four years ago, featuring a self-important cyclist navigating the streets in Portland, Oregon.

Funnily enough, I came across this clip in the same week, a video – apparently serious – shot by a ‘bike vlogger’ of his ride across the Brooklyn Bridge.

Indirectly, both of them suggest that one of the fundamental problems over road-use, one that extends back at least to the 1870s (and the clashes between pedestrians, horse riders and cart drivers, and supposedly reckless cyclists, who were attacked in the UK as ‘scorchers’ and ‘cycling cads’), is the well-established sense of an individual’s entitlement to personal, independent mobility. This sense of an absolute ‘right’ to free movement demonstrated in these clips in similar ways is fundamental to modernity and, of course, has underpinned the development of the car, and so one of the questions posed by these clips is whether the crucial transport problem is not one of how to increase mobility but on the contrary how to decrease it – deceleration not acceleration.

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