With so many cyclists in Cambridge, you might think the city would be a friendly haven for people travelling on two wheels. In fact, it sometimes feels like a case of familiarity breeds contempt. I recently had to mount the pavement to avoid a bus travelling head on towards me, down my side of the road, whilst it overtook a parked car. Equally of course, there are some selfish cyclists in Cambridge, (for whom ploughing down pavements at high speed in the dark with no lights seems to be a favourite pastime). That kind of thing’s a nightmare for pedestrians but they have their rogue element too. Anyone who’s tried to cycle through town in the height of the tourist season will know that the roads are no longer the preserve of those on wheels. Pedestrians spill out into the street at random, challenging the reactions of even the sharpest cyclist. And now to confess: I drive, walk and cycle in Cambridge and am quite capable of causing little hotspots of chaos about the place myself.
Anyway, the upshot of driver/pedestrian/cyclist-induced mayhem is that there’s a critical mass of malcontents roaming the city and cyclists in particular aren’t greeted with unmixed delight.
But now, thanks to Trotify I think there may be an answer. What better way to make people smile rather than curse as you round the corner? And you get to give pedestrians a gentle reminder of your approach at the same time. I’m not sure how well the device would stand up to the elements or vandals, but I refuse to get bogged down with practicalities when an idea’s as funny and beautifully crafted as this… (On Trotify’s website you can hear what the clip-clopping actually sounds like, and the reactions of passersby on London’s Brick Lane.)