Friday, August 14, 2009

Take 5

I saw the aftermath of a crash this morning... the medics who are in the town hall (where i work) covering the new BBC production 'Streetdance', obviously bored with looking after the urban dance squad, were quickly on scene.

she looked shocking, but apparently she's fine.

she committed the cardinal sin of attempting to pass a stationary van on her near side. a motorist decided he couldn't be fucked for her to make this time consuming manoeuvre and went for the space...

sadly the space wasn't wide enough for him, the van, a street sweeper truck and yes, the little lady on her bike.

for... fuck's... sake...

i bore myself with this, but are you really that important? is your time so precious that 30 seconds will make all the difference? maybe someone's life is more important?

we need radical solutions to this, dangerous driving should be punished, i've been tempted to dispense retribution with my u-lock on many occasion, usually stopping due to the thought of bum rape at her majesty's pleasure or a sound beating from the 3 men in the van that just buzzed me.

but we need something, it all makes me sad, so sad, why don't people care that their anger born of frustration and manifested in stupid dangerous driving is life threatening? why?

the solution that they're all just cunts isn't enough.

Bike trains

I heard about these a little while ago, then they came to ground again during (another) tube strike.

Whilst i like the idea of encouraging folk, who are too scared to ride on London's roads... actually... hang on, no i don't. i don't like it at all. i encounter enough numpties on my ride in as it is. when they all turn out it's a fucking nightmare.

i can't help thinking the whole thing is flawed, i was listening to the train pimp on the radio this morning extolling the virtues of london's cycle routes. we're not in fucking holland, london's bike routes are shit, they're usually on crap side roads covered in glass and dog shit. they're not a good indication of what it's like to commute in london.

he continued to say that you can ride to most places in london, on bike routes, and hardly encounter any cars. i would abso-fucking-lutely love to see that route.

if i was slightly more christian, i could see the benefit of these trains, getting people out on their bikes, losing some of that fear. but ultimately, riding in london (and most cities i imagine) is scary, there are lots of big petrol powered idiots around with scant regard for your safety, poor surfaces with potholes big enough to swallow up a wheel, shocking traffic flow and yes, dog shit and glass everywhere.

teaching people to ride on the quiet roads could well be a good starting point, but it's only the beginning, you need to ride the rough bits, otherwise your bike isn't empowering, you can't go anywhere you like without consulting cycle maps. you're on rails effectively. it's like saying i will only use the number 12, 36 and 25 buses to get around london, i can get everywhere with those, it may take me 5 hours, but i can do it.

You can't get everywhere with those buses by the way. it's just a metaphor.

let's look at the real barriers to riding in london. i.e. all of the above...

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

I'm speechless...

... well, not quite.

Right, so there's this fella in the states, he sees a couple out on their bikes, he sees their 3 year old in a child seat.

He then decides to tell them he doesn't think it's safe for them to be doing that.

They discuss.

He then pulls a gun and shoots one of them in the head. Thankfully missing and just cracking open a helmet rather than a skull.

Fucking hell.

What makes it even scarier, he wasn't pissed, he wasn't high, but he was a fucking idiot.

The original article is here if you're interested, gleamed from urban velo, THE site for all your bicycle related news!

Make your own!

Great work from the bods at Make Magazine.

The lovely Keito bought me a sewing machine for my birthday and i'm itching to find a suitable project.

I realise the idea of my coveting such a home economics icon like the sewing machine, will be at odds with my public image of a bad tempered/mannered gruffin. But I'm going to use it to sew guns... or hate... or something...


Friday, July 24, 2009

The Global Pandemic

It's all over the news, everyone is scared, we're hearing about ‘it’ all the time.

Yes, I'm talking about the relentless spread of fixed gear bikes in London.

I blame this on Charge for making it all a lot more affordable. Not really. I blame it on Shoreditch and BLB. Not really.

I just want to be different at the end of the day. I want people to ask why i only have one gear, rather than ask what ratio I'm running. It's all vanity. I'm as guilty...

But, here's the killer, the death knoll, the dying gasp... I saw John Torode on a fixed gear. A Charge Freestyler.

Subcultures don't get more mainstream than this! you have to imagine Greg shouting that.

Oh yeh

and i'm not bored with the sound of my own voice anymore.

On the subject of the ASL

The ASL, the advance stop line, the bike box, it's there for a reason.

It's so that ‘we’ the vulnerable cyclists, can get a bit of a head start from you chaps in the petrol powered lumps of metal. They’re in place so that YOU can see us.

If you push to the front, and yes, all you scooter/motorbike riders are the worst, then we can't fit in the fucking box. Which leaves us rammed down the side of a car/van/idiot.

This is dangerous. This is why we have ASLs.

I had an argument just the other day... as I realise sometimes people will enter by accident, say if you're trying to dangerously jump through the light as it turns to red, rather than slow down, for example.

Anyway, I came upon someone parked in the ASL, I said nothing, it could ‘innocent’. We both pulled away, only to come to another ASL, where he did it again.

I said to him 'This is a BIKE box. For BIKES.'

He holds his hands up and says 'and?' (I think he said that, he wasn't kind enough to wind his window down).

I tell him it's illegal.

He holds his hands together and says 'sorry' with a big shit eating grin on his face.

Amazingly, I didn't just start swearing at him profusely. I held back and told him he was a 'funny man', real funny 'really clever. very witty' - i kept going with it, not really sure where i was going to be honest. But i kept doing it.

Eventually we both pulled off again and i smiled at him again and pointed at my teeth, mouthing 'funny man'

He held his hand out of this window and flicked me the bird.

I'm taking that as a win. When you stoop to the finger, you're out. You LOSE.

But let's consider this for a moment, he had a passenger, a young(ish) girl, which I'm going to assume is his daughter. Now if she were riding through London, wouldn’t he want her to have a little headstart and visibility? maybe?

Just think about it for a fucking second, it's illegal, it's dangerous, you gain a millisecond.
Stop doing it you cunts.

Let me introduce you to the concept of people in glass houses...

Right, here's how it goes...

Naughty man in car, using phone. BAD.

Motorcyclist tells man in car to stop using his phone, 'it's illegal' he shouts. GOOD.

Motorcyclist shouting at man in car is parked in the ASL (or bike box). BAD.

Right gents, both of you are in the wrong here, by no means do two wrongs make a right.
You're both pricks and I'm angry with you both equally.

People in glass houses shouldn't throw stones, and yes, I told him that.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009


... with the sound of my own voice. ranting on and on about the same things, day in, day out...
so i stopped bothering with this blog, if i was bored with me, then surely anyone who stumbled across my blog would be too.

but, today, 3 things happened that made me want to write/rant.

the first
i had to take the train today, i congratulated myself on two wins, one i missed a soaking this morning and two, i'd avoided the inevitable influx of numpties onto london's roads thanks to the RMT and yet another strike.

well, within 5 minutes i was already hacked off with the train and wishing i was soaked (on a bike), then keito pointed out the strike is tomorrow... when i'm biking...

now, i should be happy with more cyclists on the road, i really should... but i'm not... as most of them will be a fucking liability to me and themselves.

the second
after getting off the train, i had to take a bus up to shoreditch. whilst on said bus, i noticed a cyclist riding fixed, nothing unusual about that around those parts these days, i only noticed as he had a bagaboo that looked a bit like mine...

anyways, as he rides up, i see a youth crossing the road, quite young, full nike regalia, hood up, etc. now, whilst he wasn't exactly hurrying across the road, he certainly wasn't taking the piss (like a lot of dicks i seem to encounter in the city).

he's pretty much on the pavement by now, he's about two feet away, stopped only by a fence around some roadworks, i think 'fuck, he's cutting it close'. i have to be honest at this point, i have ran rather close to pedestrians in the past, it's fucking annoying when they step out, so i do have a tendency to try and intimidate... sometimes...

but this guy is close, very close... then i watch him shoulder the youth, sending him spinning back... youth obviously looks stunned (and a little upset) and mr bagaboo spins around to say something to him.

from here on in, this is pure conjecture, he may have turned around and apologised, if this is the case, then i'm very sorry. but if it's not and it's what i suspect, in that this was a deliberate move, then i'm also sorry... sorry, that you're such an utter, petty, self righteous, cunt.

i mean really, what did you get from that? you scared (and hurt) a 14 year old, well done Mr Billy Big Balls. No, really, well done, you really are hard, you've defended your 'turf' and advanced the image of the cyclist light years.

i won't go as far as saying i hope you die, but i will say i hope you have a nasty incident with a dirty glass and a lack of toilet facilities.

and finally...

the third
i was reminded of this:

Oh sweet joy!

Sunday, September 21, 2008


I've been lucky enough to enjoy 3 days in New York, it's been cool and shit in equal measure.

high points being the amazing mexican food we had in the east village, cheetos and coney island beer.

low points being how fucking rude some people are and being asked for ID when trying to buy two bottles of becks.

anyway, the point of this post is, I'm shocked by the traffic, it's nasty, maybe fun, but deffo nasty.

anyone who rides here is hard, and the couriers are something else, they look like the bastard child of madmax (first film), James Caan in rollerball and Fields of the Nephelim... if two men and a band could mate...

i'd post a pic, but quite frankly, i was too scared to take one.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Can't do right for doing wrong...

I seem to be stumbling from one social faux pas to another at the moment.

after last week's infamous law busting pavement joyride, i've:

1. annoyed an old lady by riding down a one way street. even though i stopped to let her and another gent across the road. it's worth noting she declined, most probably so that she could bitch about the one way street issue, if she'd crossed when i invited her too, it would have been null and void.

2. angered another bus driver by not being in a bus lane (perversely, they're normally annoyed when you are)

3. caused white van man to throw hate at me after i stopped him tearing through an amber teetering on red.

i don't know what the fuck i'm supposed to do here, when i break the law, jumping a red for example, there's no discretion, everyone hates me, i'm dangerous, i'm a law breaker, i should be hung (and probably drawn and quartered for good measure).

when i try and stick to the law and more, i.e. making room for buses, stopping at lights, everyone hates me too.

it's a lost cause.

it does however bring me to an interesting discussion i had some time ago about how it's okay if a car 'edges' through a red, but not if a cyclist cycles through when it's been on red for a while... i realise the original conversatin was a wind up from a mate of mine, but i think there's some truth in here... this is how the motorist (and everyone in the world, except cyclists, the naughty kind) see it.

in my eyes, the tearing through a light as it's changing to red is fucking dangerous. there is no discretion here, amber has come to mean 'accelerate' rather than slow down to perhaps stop before the red. i realise the irony BTW - when i jump reds, but people in glass houses and all that...

this is the bit that angers me, the times i've had dealings with the police (with one exception, i posted about that though, so i'll leave it), they've had no interest (or answer) for my question of when are you going to do something about the bad driving i see every day?

i'm not stupid, i do realise it's the equivalent of 'haven't you got anything better to do?' but it warrants an answer. all you need to do is employ the same sneaky mother fuckers who jump out from behind trees or ride bikes, in plain clothes, to ride up and down the old kent road making a note of anyone driving like a dick.

you'd make lots of money... sorry, you'd 'enforce the law' and make it all much safer and cosier for all of us.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Absolute helmets

Please. Think about it. Perhaps look in the mirror. I'm not suggesting you need to study a instruction manual (or perhaps you do). But wearing a helmet incorrectly makes the whole act rather pointless.

I've created an illustration above to show some do’s and don’ts.

fig 1.0
The classic jaunty angled ‘Dandy’. Sadly this helmet will do fuck all when it comes to protecting the front of your noggin. The same front that will scrape along the ground after you’ve gone over the handlebars.

fig 2.0
The 'Push me. Pull me’. At a distance it's hard to tell if this rider is coming or going. Wearing the helmet back-to-front will add a greater degree of protection to the front of your bean brain (See above) but it will offer very little to the squishy rear. oh, and you'll look like an absolute cock.

fig 3.0
The 'Shit for brains'. Perhaps the most useful for wearers on either on the afore mentioned styles.

fig 4.0
The ‘Right way’. Simple, helmet on top of head, right way round, sweet. It's NOT hard.