The crash at the Tour de France yesterday reminded me a little of what feels like every mother with a stroller I’ve ever encountered in a public place:
A female cycling fan faces up to a year in prison after causing one of the worst crashes the history of the Tour de France and then running away.
Prosecutors in Brittany, in the north of the country, on Sunday launched a criminal enquiry after the female suspect – who had not been identified and who is on the run – was filmed causing the chaos on Saturday.
She was smiling broadly as she held a carboard sign in front of the peloton riding from Brest to Landeneau on the first stage of this year’s world-famous race.
It read ‘Go! Gran, Grandad,’ in a combination of French and German, and was clearly aimed at millions of viewers from around the world.
The woman, who is said to be from Germany, was looking straight at the television motorbike cameras with her back turned to the speeding riders and one – the German Tony Martin – crashed into her.
Martin fell, causing a horrifying domino effect that ended in a tangle of bikes and bodies.
What was striking was the woman’s total lack of awareness that other people existed or the way in which her actions would inevitably affect them. At least mothers of young infants have a maternal excuse for their solipsism – which technically isn’t solipsism since the infant is a separate being – but what sort of moron doesn’t connect a) the motorbike with the television cameras pointing backward with b) the pelaton right behind it?
Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m very pro-young mother with stroller. They are a biological necessity, even an imperative, for the human race. But there are few things that fill me with the momentary desire to rid the entire planet of every bipedal species walking it than when a woman does the “stop without warning and adjust the infant’s blanket” smack dab in the middle of a entrance or exit. Actually, setting aside the element of solipsism for the moment, what is it about the mere existence of a portal from one space to another that inspires women with strollers with the urgent need to stop right in the middle of it?
I’m not saying women shouldn’t care for their infants as carefully as they see fit. Move two steps to one side or the other and you can park there all day long with no complaints from me. But for the love of all that is good and holy and true, do not ever stop to perform your maternal duties right in the middle of the damn doorway!