The Uneducated

Quick story from this week. Wednesday and Thursday I was at the Royal Welsh Show at Builth Wells. Not a jolly, I was working on our stand preaching ebikes. My first time at this show, in fact, and for a small town it’s a massive, massive event. Huge. Apparently the biggest show on farmers’ calendars in the UK. Some were there on holiday for the week and we had a guy tell us he had been going there on his holibobs for the last 23 years. Mental. Anyway I digress.

Yesterday, a ‘mature’ lady walked onto our stand amongst the bikes and I did my usual ‘hello’, ‘do you need any help, got any questions?’ gambit and she proceeded to let me know she preferred walking everywhere. Then amongst the statutory small talk she let me know how frustrated she got with cyclists around Hay-on-Wye (where she lived). ‘….MAMILs they are. They think they own the road and you know the one thing that really irks me about them…….they don’t pay tax!’

MAMIL = Middle-Aged Men in Lycra

Now, in 0.00001 secs I obviously saw red. My knuckles went snow white as I clenched my fists. I wanted to respond but my professional hat was still on, very tight and I just said, nothing. It was deliberate. This prompted a look from her that demanded a response but I didn’t want to play. I smirked uncomfortably but her eyes were fixed on me. I had to say something. So I did.

‘Do you mean road tax?’


‘Doesn’t exist. It was abolished in 1937’

I would pay a years salary to relive that moment. She took her eyes off me, stared at the ground and you could hear the cogs whirring around in her head trying to work out a response.

‘…but we have a disc in the windscreen’

‘Not anymore. I think you mean VED. That’s a tax on emissions. Bikes don’t pollute that’s why they are exempt like electric cars.’

‘…but they get in the way, 5 abreast. They think they own the road’

At this point her husband interjected and asked me if I was being ‘…lectured about cyclists’ with a wry smile on his face.

I’m glad he spoke up. As polite as I was trying to be, the conversation was going south. She basically wanted to drive unimpeded. Cyclists doing nothing illegal, enjoying themselves shouldn’t be allowed in her narrow-minded bubble. Five abreast? LOL, that’s bollox luv. It would have been interesting to hear her thoughts on horse riders and tractors knocking about the same, rural lanes she wants to herself and her wankpanzer but sadly we didn’t get that opportunity.

These people are as thick as mince and can fuck off.

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