If you've ever wanted to go to jail – perhaps so you could write a blog that briefly becomes a best-selling book with some risqué play on the word 'soap' in the title - it's no use trying to get there through a motoring offence. Drink-driving, speeding without insurance, even running over and killing one of those dangerous pavement cyclists - none of these are remotely likely to get you a custodial sentence.
No. A much more effective way of seeing the inside of a cell is to do something which genuinely threatens human life, such as taking a photo of cycle path or building site.
Tory MP Andrew Pelling was hauled in by vigilant local police while doing a bit of bike-facility reconnaissance on 30 December last year; at around the same time, but on a different point of the political compass, south London artist Reuben Powell was handcuffed and imprisoned while going about his job which involved photographically recording the changes taking place in the Elephant and Castle. (We chatted to Reuben about it later at one of his exhibitions, and his side of the story is very sobering stuff for those of who grew up with reassuring images of the trusty-local-bobby.)
Or you could try cycling along a deserted Bournemouth seafront - that seems pretty effective for getting free mailbag-sewing lessons too.
I did have a brush with the law while taking snaps of Rotherhithe Tunnel earlier this year. I was clearly planning to hijack it armed with a D-lock and bungees, and fly it into the Houses of Parliament. The process for avoiding going to jail in such circumstances is detailed in my post of 13 May.
I escaped with my DNA untaken. Which in a way was a shame, as it would have been nice to resolve that age-old query about my facial resemblance to mum's old driving instructor.
Obviously I can't publish any of the photos of Rotherhithe Tunnel that I took because they might help all those terrorists that subscribe to this blog. So instead, the picture above right is of a police car going about its duties of blocking a bike path to discourage cycling suicide bombers.
Google Maps must improve if it wants cyclists to use it - Cyclists don’t just want the fastest route they want the safest or quietest – and information on bike parking would be a bonus We all have different ways...
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