News of the Tweet: On the Nature of Shame

Ridiculators, segways and the butt of every joke

By Seb Kemp

Riding bicycles is stupid. It’s only by some stroke of cosmic chance that no one laughs and points when they see an adult riding a bicycle down the road. I mean, come on, it really isn't that far from watching a clown in civvies riding a giant Ridiculator. However, the bicycle avoids the social stigma that it could so nearly be graced with. Look at all the other transport, exercise, and playthings that someone invented but were destined only to ever be the butt of society's jokes.

Maybe it is just me, but when I see cops, fatties and tourists jerking along on a Segway I chuckle and stare. Every time I see a grown man not so gracefully gliding along the walkway on rollerskates my chin hits the floor. I see someone on those summer skate skis sweating along the cycle lane and I can't help but think that there is a punchline waiting to happen.

However, every time H.G. Wells saw an adult on a bicycle he no longer despaired for the future of the human race. I don't get that deep, I just smile and something inside me knows that now I can see some sort of human connection with that person just because I too like to ride bicycles. Still, it doesn't stop me from thinking how lucky we are that bicycles don't make people look as stupid as Powerizer Leg Springs, snake boards, or scooters. Even if sometimes we do look a little stupid.

Sometimes getting moving is the hard thing.

Perhaps she was drinking to calm her nerves. In Whistler, the cycle path is known as the only true triple black diamond trail (caveats about weather conditions don't elevate trail statuses, FYI). It might be four metres wide and smooth as your average Ken doll's downstairs, but that path claims more flesh, limbs, and brain cells than any other trail in Whistler. The reason for this is the late-night ride home from the bar. The cocktail bar bike isn't a solution, but maybe an option.

It certainly looks like someone has been drinking with spanners in their hands.

Quad bikes aren't necessarily stupid. But quad bike riders who make a video about how stupid they think moto riders are is a little cretinous.

However, the most idiotic people of the week are most certainly the parents of this family who filmed the whole incident (probably on an I-Pad) while giggling like a schoolgirl.

At the other end of the spectrum, whoever came up with the idea of pairing Orbital with Stephen Hawking for the opening of the Paralympics opening ceremony.

The person behind that idea must have been as high as a kite when they came up with that.