Friday, 11 September 2009

Idiots out of the woods

Until travelling through Leeds 'Kirkstall' was just a name on Test Match Special when Headingley bowlers came in from 'the Kirkstall Lane end'.
Now I know it's the spot where "all the idiots congregate" in the words of a BW lockie - one of the gang who ride shotgun to all who take the canal out of the city. There's a 40-minute lock-free stretch after the city centre locks which runs through delightful tree-lined scenery then opens up to reveal views of the ruined Kirkstall Abbey – but you're told that thought it looks lovely, danger lurks. "Keep the front doors shut and don't stop."
Is it really the wild west? I don't know. Tearaways don't get up much before lunch even on a sunny day so we saw just a few early risers at about 11.30 hurtling down the towpath on BMX bikes. Just as well; Starwoman's trained in dealing with hooligans (she used to work with them) but the bloke we were sharing the locks with looked like he could easily make a drama out of a minor crisis.

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