By Linus Rees
I’ve seen this man cycling through Fitzrovia’s streets many times, all year round. I’d wanted to take a picture of him and his bike carrying his child. I got the opportunity on Thursday as he had stopped in Tottenham Street outside a computer repair shop.
It was a cold day and he was busy putting a homemade cloak over his daughter who was waiting to be seated in his Bakfiets cargo bike.
I asked him permission to take a photograph and he happily said “Yes, of course” and we got talking.
He told me he passes through Fitzrovia every weekday from his home in Somerstown. He said he always liked stopping in Fitzrovia because there’s a real good feeling about the neighbourhood. “Fitzrovia has something special about it and I always enjoy passing through and visiting the shops here,” he said.
He’d just got a computer printer repaired from the Micro Mend shop and was really pleased with the service.
A lovely piece, and what a community newspaper is all about. I’ve never seen this intrepid cyclist, but there are several interesting looking people that I do see frequently, and would love to know more about. I would describe them here, but fear that my unrelenting pen portraits may offend the individuals involved, if they read my post.
I doubt if you would offend, Clive. Your writings on Fitzrovia life are welcomed by the subjects and readers alike. Linus, assistant editor, FN.
It makes me sad this chap is described as ‘intrepid’ – wouldn’t it be great if everyone felt secure enough to transport their children in a bicycle?
I wonder how many of us would do this considering the unfriendliness of London’s roads?
(assuming it’s not the weather that makes him brave)
Lovely you made contact with him,Linus
I’ve seen him around too! And nice to highlight
the good work of Micro Mend. I have had
so much good help from Russell over the
years with my computers : great place!
Another unsung hero of mine is Junior,the
rasta,at Computer Exchange round the
corner in Tottenham Court Road
This is a lovely snapshot of one man’s journey to work through Fitzrovia, Linus. It makes me thankful that I live in a neighbourhood with a ‘good feeling’ about it.
I too can recommend MicroMend- Larry there has helped me a couple of times.
The gentleman, one of our customers at Velorution, writes for Radical Philosophy, http://www.radicalphilosophy.com ; I quote from a recent article:
“The bicycle signifies utopia as well as critique: ‘The white bicycle is a symbol of simplicity and cleanness in contrast to the vanity and foulness of the authoritarian car. In other words: A BIKE IS SOMETHING, BUT ALMOST NOTHING!’ ‘Simplicity’ connotes the alternative forms of pleasure that might flourish in a society no longer based on ever-growing levels of wasteful consumption. Cycling of course does not constitute anything like a total alternative: precisely in those social democracies which have been most imaginative in their embrace of the benefits it can confer, it proves for the time being altogether compatible with the motor car, and with consumer capitalism. Those of us who must take to the far less bike-friendly roads of Britain can console ourselves with the thought that adversity keeps our radicalism warm. But wherever people ride it, the bicycle is a powerful emblem of another way of being; more than an emblem, cycling enacts what it represents. At once utilitarian and ecstatic, it unsettles those distinctions between labour and pleasure which the present order polices and requires. In its intimate symbiosis with the rider’s body, this machine which makes no noise and burns no fuel can redress and reverse the mechanical colonization of soma and psyche that Marcuse wrote of:”
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