Traffic Life : Passionate Tales and Exit Strategies
Edited by Stephan Wehner
An Anthology
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 68                 Unemployment is Rising  days but those facts won't put me off the roads, even after losing some old friends to such incidents recently.       Until last year I doubt you could have found a happier employee. The work is rewarding, the benefits were top- notch and the Boss never pushed me too hard. But then He came along. It's always a man, isn't it? He was pleasant enough initially. He even gave me a lift home to my tiny cottage after a long work-day. But gradually it dawned on me, I was barely seeing her anymore. If she needed to get groceries he would drive her there. If she was going out for the night he would accompany her in a taxicab. He was coming between us and it broke my heart.       Things got serious when they started the weekends away. Suddenly I was never needed at weekends because they were off petrol-burning their merry way across the coun- tryside. She started to tell me about how free it felt to throw a bag in the car (this was said with a pitying look at my own luggage capacity) and just 'take off on the open road'.       After that I wasn't surprised when they moved in to- gether. My role was gradually diminished and my job-linked cottage was downgraded to a wet and draughty tent! I could hardly believe it. The final straw, however, was the day I saw her with her driving license application form, all filled in and ready to submit. I knew then that I was about to become unemployed.       I tried to put my spoke in about it. I tried to squeak a protest but the rust had already taken hold. This will probably be the last year I will survive the neglect under the tarpaulin in the back garden. But hey, that's life in the cycle lane for you.
 Henry Ford's Bicycle  Michael Burton   'Henry Ford's bicycle,'  I overheard someone say last night, while waiting in line at Lounge Ax.  Which makes me wonder: Could one bicycle have saved us from him?  Like the red Raleigh that provided escape from my awkward adolescence.  Like the purple Schwinn that delivered me from the fucked-up job and crumbling relationship to a summer of European back-roads.  Like the grey Trek that everyday liberates my lethargic body and mind from desk-job doldrums, providing street level inspiration for a struggle of mighty purpose.  Henry Ford's bicycle did not him take to a higher place,                              69

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