Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Random bike-spotting (2 in a series)

Like I said last time, I will be filling this series with random places I see references to bikes in the real world (read: anything not related to cycling pros, hipsters, or other aspects of bike culture.) Today: The Economist.

First, About the Economist for those who aren't familiar:
Established in 1843 to campaign on one of the great political issues of the day, The Economist remains, in the second half of its second century, true to the principles of its founder. James Wilson, a hat maker from the small Scottish town of Hawick, believed in free trade, internationalism and minimum interference by government, especially in the affairs of the market. Though the protectionist Corn Laws which inspired Wilson to start The Economist were repealed in 1846, the newspaper has lived on, never abandoning its commitment to the classical 19th-century Liberal ideas of its founder.
"Classical Liberal", for those unfamiliar with the term, is similar in many ways to Libertarianism, and I don't want to get diverted into an economic/political argument about differences between the two. Suffice to say, The Economist is not the sort of place that biking would be covered for the sake of "being green".

The point of that was to bring you this:
PEDALLING to work each day, I spend most of the journey looking out for London’s deadly, articulated “bendy buses”. The 60-foot beasts can happily scissor a cyclist while turning, so as I speed along High Holborn I have never given much of a second glance to the buildings that whizz past on each side. (Emphasis from the original, all articles in The Economist start with the first word capitalized).
This came from an article entitled "MI6's secret tunnels: A deep, dark secret", an article in the Correspondent's Diary. The article itself is about a bunker complex in London, dug during the German bombing of WWII as an air-raid shelter for 8,000. The article covers the history of the complex, but that's not what I am interested in. 

My interest was the nonchalant way the author mentions not once, but twice, cycling to work. The riding is only mentioned as a lead-in to the story which could have been done as simply by the author talking about walking down the same street. But because the author (all Economist articles are presented without an author credit, so I can't say he or she) rides to work the bike was used.

An excellent example of real-life cycling drifting into the mainstream.

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