Seven months ago I got run over on the streets of London for the second time.
Last week The Times launched a cycle safety campaign. Their Save Our Cyclists campaign has garnered plenty of support from cyclists including myself. I signed up and gave them a small summary of my experiences of cycling in London. They were nice enough to ask for more and ran the following paragraph as the experiences of one Alex Ingram of Hammersmith aged 30 who commutes daily to Kew Bridge:
In the seven years that I’ve been cycling in London I’ve been run over twice. My first accident was in 2007, at a T-junction. A young mother drove out of a side road and knocked me flying into the air. I was lucky — I was only bruised. My last accident was in July, when I was run over from behind by a pair on a stolen moped at a busy gyratory in Hammersmith. I’d been scraped across the road on my right-hand side. I was rather lucky.
Lucky, you might wonder? What’s lucky about being run over twice? Well, despite suffering pretty nasty road rash (which took months to heal and has left some scars) in July and awful bruising (which only healed after a few months) a few years back I’ve not broken anything worse than a front fork, some cranks and a pair of glasses. It could have been so much worse. The page my story was printed on shared its space with those of my fellow cyclists and that of James Cracknell. They had proper accidents, the changes they experienced were not just in the mind.
It’s time for my annual X (X being 5 this year!) years post in London post (well, almost a month over, but hey). This year I’ve made a Spotify playlist of music that I associate with London having listened to it whilst here, or as I’ve roughly titled it London’s Track Record.
The idea here is that these are the songs I most remember from the last 5 years, I’ve put it all in a rough order of when I listened to it first.
You can link straight to songs below, and I’ve whacked some comments alongside justifying my choices. Do please comment and nag if you need an invite for Spotify, I have some to spare.
Enjoy. I blame Pitchfork for making me get all musically retrospective with their P2K feature. Proper were the 00s a good decade for music posts to follow…
Ratatat – Spanish Armada
My main listenning on train south was Ratatat’s debut album which had obsessed me for a while, if I hear the last few songs I always feel like I’m heading south for some reason.
Fridge – Cut Up Piano and Xylophone
My initial commute to work was cross-town from my aunt’s house in Leytonstone. I found myself with a good hour or more to fill so would read and listen to music a lot in the mornings and evenings. One morning I was changing trains at Gospel Oak when I hit this track just as I descended the stairs to get the train. It felt weirdly apt and set me up for the day
Sufjan Stevens – John Wayne Gacy Jr
I doubt it’s possible to really have been an indie kid and missed Sufjan, but for a while I was rapt and remember spending a lot of my first London summer relaxing and listening to this whilst reading.
Ah, the joys of the Marylebone Farmers Market. Were I not cycling I’d be tempted by the verve cliquot awning on the pub to nip in for a glass!