Yesterday, while wrestling with the edit of my last chapter, I was disturbed by the sounds of whistles, merry cheering and the sounds of people having fun. Out on my balcony, I looked down to discover a sea of bottoms.
It was the Brighton Naked Bike Ride, one of a series of similar events that take place in cities around the world in June to alert motorists to the fragility of the human body and the vulnerability of cyclists.
A poignant and timely reminder as a colleague at work was very nearly killed a few weeks ago when he was knocked from his bike by a lorry at a roundabout and the rear wheels ran over him.
He has had several operations on his legs, his left in particular, and the consultant is hopeful that it will be capable of 'load bearing', in other words he will be able to walk but how well remains to be seen.
I used to cycle to work regularly when I worked in London - it is the quickest way to commute - and on most journeys there was a near incident of one kind or another, cars pulling across in front of you to turn left with no warning, people in parked cars throwing open their doors without looking - that kind of thing. It seems unnecessary to say cyclists need to keep their wits about them; however, the number of people I see on bikes wearing headphones is frightening. How can they concentrate on what is going on around them if they are listening to music. Hearing is a key sense when cycling, it acts as a form of rear view mirror in alerting you of any unusual activity behind you.
I hope my colleague makes a full recovery. No one from work has been allowed to see him as yet but it is hoped someone will be able to do so soon.