Last week Jeremy Corbyn was elected the new leader of the British Labour Party. This election has occupied the nation for months. It is of course an internal matter, but Labour is the largest opposition party, so the outcome determines who will be the leader of the opposition. It turned out to be Corbyn, a veteran leftwinger who makes no secret of his socialist ideals.
But however good his ideas about the distribution of wealth, however heartening his speech about refugees, I only became a fan when I saw him strapping on his helmet after an interview and then cycle away on a patchy asphalt road with faint traces of a bicycle lane. It turns out that Corbyn has no car, but two bicycles.
In Dutch politics, you often see men in suits biking towards Parliament. That is not remarkable in a country where you can find two-lane bicycle paths, special traffic lights and most importantly social acceptance of cycling. When I cycle to work, I have the choice between annoying car drivers and running over pedestrians. People stepping out of their cars only watch out for cars, so before you know it you are folded around a car door.
I recently received an email about the Cycle to Work Day where you could pledge to cycle to work on that day. This solemnity is very appropriate, because cycling should not be taken lightly here in England. When you get on your bike, there is no telling in what state you will ever get off it.
Daily using a bike in these circumstances is nothing less than heroic. It shows dedication to the good cause; improving the world regardless of personal risk. So I can only say: Go Corbyn. And if he makes it until 2020 and wins the election, my hopes are on a bicycle path in Gillingham!