Bizarre Bicycle Blogging

By Hazel Last edited 112 months ago
Bizarre Bicycle Blogging
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Highly regarded cycle store Velorution has posted something bizarrely horrible and horribly bizarre on their widely-read Velorution cycling blog. It's a hard to follow rant that seems to be slamming immigrant communities for driving badly and not understanding cyclists, also slamming the traffic police for being from the Essex suburbs and not doing enough for those on two wheels.

Trying to sum it up to save Londonist's lovely readers from wading through the original on the Velorution blog, the quite shockingly bad prose is difficult: it starts off with observations about Euro 2008 becoming a beacon of international and diplomatic harmony, then veers off wobbling into denigrations of Africans, Jews, South Asians, Cockneys and anyone who drives a car with tinted windows (we know that doesn't exclude the Chinese entirely but we're kind of tickled to think that it's only the Chinese with tinted windows who are bringing down the country. Those with normal windows escape the incoherent wrath of the blogger). Australians and Poles are also somehow designated model drivers by omission.

Towards the end of the short but remarkably virulent blog post, the blogger then crashes spectacularly into a heap of 'go back to where you came from' sentiments, harnessing the gaffe-prone Mayor of London as mouthpiece, as if that makes comments like these acceptable. They're not, not when uttered by Boris Johnson, not when typed up for a shop's blog.

While we are avoiding any direct quotes from the blog post because we just don't want any here on our site, it's worth quoting this: "It is a matter of raising standards, by getting rid of those who lower them." We can't agree more: let's start with the world of blogging... time to take this down, no?

With thanks to our reader NS for the link. Image courtesy of ro_jo_sul from the Londonist Flickr pool.

Last Updated 16 July 2008

Amanda Farah

That is one very odd, very disappointing post. It's a lovely shop, but even if only one person working there feels that way, I wouldn't want to give my business if everyone agrees enough to leave that post up. Though it seems they wouldn't want an immigrant in their shop, even a bicycling one.

intrepidcommuter

Yeah, I saw this too. Its very strange coming from such a cool and liberal place as Velorution - their blog is usually the bastion of common sense when it comes to writing about cycling in the capital.
I've responded at my own blog - http://intrepidcommuter.wordpr... - but it is baffling.

rakan

I posted this here and it has got quite a few reactions : http://www.londonfgss.com/thre...

DeanN

Has the Mayor of London really suggested immigrants "go back where they came from"? I thought it was an adviser, and not Boz himself, who made that remark the other week.

cakehole

And the update says 'please don't call us racists'. It's hard to know what else to call it.

esotericbadger

DeanN, you're right, and it's odd that the article seems to suggest otherwise.

Strictly speaking, it was originally a suggestion made by Darcus Howe that older Caribbean people might feel more comfortable living in the Caribbean than in a London run by Boris Johnson. This was put to James McGrath, the Boris aide, by a blogger. McGrath said (and we can only speculate on the tone) "Well, let them go if they don't like it here". He was then sacked.

velorution

I have been taken aback by the reaction the post has generated. My surprise is probably due that as an immigrant myself, I have not understood the sensitivity English people have to matters of race; it is basically a taboo subject and one should be very careful in saying anything that may be misinterpreted.
The article was not about race but about behaviour on the road and police attitude towards it and resulted from my personal experience of several months of riding in several parts of London that I was not familiar with. I had observed that in areas where there is a predominance of people of certain ethnic/cultural background, respect for vulnerable road users is low. This after all is to be expected: if one comes from a culture where the bicycle is seen as a poor person's vehicle, one is not likely to change one's opinion overnight.
I then stated that unfortunately we are not going to see any leadership from the Police, who is rife with similar prejudices against bicycles.
My wish then is for the Mayor to apply UK legislation (expulsion of foreign criminals) to crimes on the road as well.
I stand behind the article but of course in future I will be more careful in the words I choose.