Did you see them? Here you go...
- The young woman cycling appears to have not a care in the world; she is wearing an expression of mild serenity as she listens to the wailing wheech drone skirl of the bagpiper in the background. This is wrong; she should of course, be miserable, what with her not being in a nice car and all.
- She is occupying the Advanced Stop Box (or whatever it's called - you know, that red tarmac bit for the pole position driver at the lights, so that that driver can properly anticipate the changing of the lights and roar away at red-amber). She is there all by herself, it not being occupied by other more important ordinary people in their lovely cars. We ask why not? They paid for it with their extortionate road-tax after all!
- Her bike looks old, inexpensive, slow and comfortable. It has mudguards and a strong step-through frame. It's not a mountain bike (hardcore, dangerous, expensive) or a racer (hardcore, uncomfortable, expensive). Indeed, her bike looks ordinary, affordable, utilitarian and even a bit 'dowdy'. This does not fit with the aspiration agenda of Aberdeen "City and Shire". Don't get us wrong, we've got nothing against the right bicycle in the right place: We can understand that cycling in the summer is a nice, pleasant family pastime. In the public park, for instance, and well away from busy important traffic. You put your expensive clean (very important) mountain or racing bike on a rack on the tailgate of your Range Rover and drive to your chosen cycling recreational venue. Then you cycle round and round for a bit, then you put the bike back on the rack and drive home. A lovely day out, a holiday or weekend hobby. Cycling has no place in everyday life in the city centre.
- The young woman is dressed in a studenty bohemian style with an accent hat and idiosyncratic trouser/sock combination. She is drawing attention to herself and rubbing the noses of the beleaguered tax-farmed hard-pressed busy important motorists-in-a-hurry in her tax-free transport mode and care-free lifestyle. This is not right. She should be forced to conform,
- If she insists on not-driving, she should, of course be forced by mandatory compulsion to wear both a cycle helmet (very important - this is where they will display the registration numbers we want them to wear) and high-visibility day-glo plastic clothing. Only by putting all these subversive non-motoring elements into this humiliating and clownish uniform will we be able to identify them quickly and easily - to flush them out - when the time comes for their re-education. This re-education will usually take the form of peer-pressure insistence on getting a "nice wee car".
So yes, 5 things wrong. We're worried that things are not quite going the way they should in Aberdeen "City and Shire", photos like the one above send out all the wrong messages. We're worried that this photo might fall into the wrong hands and be used to promote some sort of old-fashioned idea of how attractive Aberdeen might be for tourists, students, artists, young people, bohemians, hippies, vegetarians and other weirdos; what with friendly non-motor accessibility to the city centre, the unique monumental granite statuary, our city centre's charming Victorian sunken park at Union Terrace Gardens, the busking piper etc.
That would be quite wrong. Everyone knows that what attracts tourists and creates economic growth is dual carriageways, like the one pictured below, which will soon extend all the way to where the photo of our bohemian cyclist above was taken:
In any case, we don't much like bagpipes anyway, and look forward to the day when the soothing roar of traffic, speeding on its way to create economic growth for Aberdeen "City and Shire" drowns out their hellish skirl.