"I'm On The Bike!"

By Rob Last edited 169 months ago
"I'm On The Bike!"

Is the site of somebody cycling while talking on their mobile phone a common site in the capital?

Londonist can't remember having ever seen anyone even attempting such an audacious feat, but apparently it's so much of a problem that the Tories are tabling an amendment to the Road Safety Bill which would, "make cyclists liable for the same fines as drivers for using a mobile"

Can't disagree with that really. If you're stupid enough to have a conversation on a telephone while navigating the horrors of Vauxhall Cross or the death-trap that is Parliament Square then you probably deserve everything you get.

And anyway, whenever Londonist cycles we're too out of breath to even shout obscenities at car drivers, never mind have a civilised phone conversation.

Just who are these cretins who want the right to use their phone while cycling anyway? Oh...we could have guessed: Boris Johnson.

Two years ago Boris was " upbraided by a woman cyclist as he wobbled along an Islington street on his bike with a phone to his ear". He then used his newspaper column to call her "the kind of bossy Islingtonian female who becomes a health minister in the new Labour Government” (the woman turned out to be a Tory voter).

He also wrote (in the Johnson tradition of not using 3 words when 25 will do): "Just as I will never vote to ban hunting, so I will never vote to abolish the free-born Englishman’s timehallowed and immemorial custom, dating back as far as 1990 or so, of cycling while talking on a mobile."

In an interview with London Cyclist magazine earlier this month Johnson defended his viewpoint, saying, "If I was a one-armed cyclist you wouldn’t kick me off my bicycle, and I’m just doing something with my free arm, aren’t I?

Londonist hereby swears that if we ever see Johnson trundling around the streets of London we will do our very best to "kick him off his bicycle".

Last Updated 06 December 2004