Yesterday I was cycling in SW7 and went down a fairly quiet road which acted as a short cut to where I was heading. As I cycled down this road the little football knowledge I possessed informed me that several Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool football supporters were squaring up to each other. I presumed that their respective teams must be playing a football match later that day but for the moment at least they were shouting, swearing and spoiling for any excuse to throttle each other. It was at this moment yours truly came waltzing down the road between them.
My bicycle and to some extent me, became the object of their attention and all hostilities between the two opposing football supporters came to an end. It was as if the 'Pipes of Peace' by Paul McCartney was being played at full volume.
My bicycle and its small wheels, its colour, and its suitability to be ridden on the open road were all quite loudly discussed by both sides of the football divide - now united as one. Once this was discussed the attention turned to the type of person who would actually ride down the street on such a contraption. It was then the ensemble started to sing 'who are you' at such a volume I felt I was somehow standing on the terraces with at least 10 thousand other supporters!
Riding a Brompton in London over the years does mean that you have to have a fairly thick skin but the language, which was rare to say the least, reached new heights. Thankfully, I am a quick rider and upping my cadence I rode at speed towards safety.
The only consolation to this this all too brief encounter was that like a UN envoy I managed to broker a lasting peace as I could hear different ascents still talking - in friendly terms - about someone cycling down the road on 'that bike!'