Friday, July 13, 2007

fired up on corned beef and anger

I had a bit of a frustrating day yesterday, subsequently i went home, bought beer and made corned beef hotpot.

for those of you that are interested, corned beef hotpot is simply layers of tinned corned beef (fray bentos obviously), sliced onion and potato, then you fill it up with hot water and whack it in the oven for an hour. the result (for me) is a big old bowl of comfort and reassurance... with the unfortunate side effect of a massive belly that makes it difficult to sleep.

anyways, this carbo overload made me rocket-propelled on the way in. or atleast i would have, if it wasn't for the 101 numpties that got in my way. now i'm not being selfish here, everyone has there place on the road, but why do people who are plainly taking it easy have to push past you in stationery traffic, then set off at round 2mph? or push their way in front when you're squeezing through traffic, before realising their shitback commuter handlebars won't allow them to squeeze through anything smaller than 6ft wide.


then there are the new fixed riders everywhere, one nearly edged me off the road, another nearly got whacked by a lorry...

anyway i'm going to blame some of this on brick lane bikes... only in that they sell some beautiful fixed bikes, amongst a plethora of other beautiful things.

so... i'm not really blaming them, atleast for that, but i will perhaps blame them for the uneccessary cool shit i'll be buying over the coming weeks...

Thursday, July 12, 2007


Once again, I'm speechless...

Jacobs engineering group, who advise TFL (for one) on the subject of sustainable transport have advised... no, 'ordered' their staff not to cycle to work as it's too dangerous.

you can read the full article here

surprisingly they weren't available for comment.

aside from the obvious, i.e. these people shouldn't be allowed to preach without practising, it does make me think that perhaps they're right... yes, I've read the facts that get trotted out by TFL at every chance, but i'm not convinced.

however, simply avoiding it is not the answer, I won't pretend i have a solution, but i do think the more of us doing it, the more we'll be taken seriously.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

SAVE Southsea...

Now i have to confess to not having skated since i was 20, i gave it up to follow my career... or i was shit or something...

anyway, i stil have a old man's longboard and as it involves something with wheels yet no engine, i can comment on these things.

my good friend at saftandboneless tells me portsmouth council are preparing to close down southsea skatepark, why? i know not, but it still stinks... especially (for me) considering tony hawk and lance mountain graced it's concrete curves at some point.

anyway, there's a petition here
so please sign it and let's try and stop this nonsense.


Tuesday, July 10, 2007


Fixed is an 'exhibition' at the design museum covering the whole fixed thing. well, when i say exhibition, it's a few bikes in a big glass tank... definitely worth seeing (especially as one of them is the beautiful AF1 bike), but i don't wish to mislead no-one...

you can read more here

or you can have a look at some of the beautiful work wilson has created here

Please stop

now i can't exaxctly complain about the sudden rise in fixies around these parts, after all, i'm not a courier, a pro or remotely hardcore, but i saw something i liked in it.

i can however complain about people adopting this because it's 'trendy'. Riding fixed isn't for the faint hearted (or the under-skilled for that matter) as i found out very quickly a couple of years back. Taking straight to the streets of London straight off could be the perfect way to conquer it, or the perfect way to end up under a bus. So, people, take your time, i'm seeing too many wobblers, it's scary.

And.. the quantity of people riding around on 'fixies' with the requisite goldfinger front (and no rear) and a big fat freewheel are scaring the shit out of me. when it's fixed fair enough, but please... freewheel with front and rear brakes. otherwise when 'that' cabby pulls out and you shit your pants, you also be doing a face plant

fair enough with fixed. but, please do it for me, stick a back brake on if you're freewheeling.

On a final note, i can't wait until all these trend-spotters move on to something else, i'm gonna mop up on ebay...

Friday, July 06, 2007

TFL (again...)

once again i felt inclined to talk to TFL regarding one of their drivers. i've resisted doing this as the last time i did, the complaints procedure made me more annoyed than the incident... but...

last week, i had the usual bus overtaking so that it can brake violently and stop at the bus stop 20 metres in front of me. but on this occasion the driver also decided to cut in and almost run me into the railings (no bail out pavement option here).

so, i went alongside, called him a wanker and took a note of his registration. when he noticed i was doing this, he proudly pointed out his driver ID number, smiled and gave me the thumbs up.

by this point i'm feeling very 'happy' that this fucking clown has almost wrecked me and my bike, yet he finds it funny... god, i still want to shout cunt now...

anyways, i complain again and get the same response as i did last time. something along the lines of 'sorry, but they information you supplied isn't enough to ID the driver'. In fact, i'll paste the mail below and let you know how the respond to my reply, as i'm keen to hear aside from actually following the driver home, noting his ad

ress, taking pictures, perhaps getting his national insurance number, how much fucking information i need to ID a driver. he was in a big fucking bus, on this street, at this time, here's his ID, how hard can it be?????

i'm going to start carrying a camera.

anyway, here's the mail and my response (mails have neen removed to protect the ignorant).

dear Jack

thanks for taking the time to respond to my mail.

this is the 2nd time i've reported what i consider to be extremely dangerous driving from TFL staff, and it's also the 2nd time I've been told that I haven't supplied the correct information. Last time i supplied a bus registration number and this time a driver number (which said driver pointed out to me proudly, after nearly running me off the road).

so... could you please tell me exactly what i need to make a note of next time this happens please? i'd like to see if you can restore my faith in TFL and prove that the complaints procedure isn't just a matter of 'going through the motions'.

andy horn

> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Van Der Waals Matthew \(ST\)"
> To:
> Subject: Case 485137
> Date: Mon, 2 Jul 2007 11:03:19 +0100
> Our Ref: 485137/2/JW
> Date: 02 July 2007
> Dear Mr Horn
> Incident on 18 June 2007 - Old Street
> Thank you for your recent email about the above. I am grateful for
> the time you have taken to get in touch.
> I am sorry you experienced a problem with the behaviour of a bus
> driver on this occasion. To ensure that our drivers are meeting
> our high standards we also regularly carry out a number of
> different monitoring exercises, including driver quality monitoring
> surveys conducted by the Driving Standards Agency.
> As a result, the majority of our drivers carry out their role in
> the way we would expect. I am sorry that this wasn't reflected in
> the behaviour of this driver.
> Unfortunately, from the information you have provided I am unable
> to identify the bus driver. If you are able to provide me with any
> additional details about the bus, such as the registration number
> or route number, I will ensure this is looked into further.
> However, I appreciate that during such an incident this isn't the
> first thing you would necessarily have thought to obtain.
> Once again, thank you for writing. If I can be of any help in the
> future, please feel free to contact me.
> Yours sincerely
> Jack Walters
> Customer Services
> **********************************************************************
> This email and any files transmitted with it are confidential and
> intended solely for the use of the individual or entity to whom they
> are addressed. If you have received this email in error please notify
> TfL IM Service Desk on 08452 340 017.
> This footnote also confirms that this email message has been swept by
> MIMEsweeper for the presence of computer viruses.
> Surface Transport
> Transport for London
> **********************************************************************



i don't talk much about green issues, mainly because being more environmentally friendly is a by product of my cycling rather than the initial goal.

and i'm a bit crap at saving all those little bottles.

anyway, i read an article about sustainable commuting in ottawa. with it's 170km of bike paths, you can cycle pretty much the whole river without crossing a road. they even close the one that runs alongside in the summer! it sounds like somekind of bike mecca... although the article didn't mention how far you had to ride without hitting someone meandering in the lane, some broken glass or dog shit...

if you don't wish to bike, you can canoe, rollerblade or ice skate (in the winter of course...)
ice skating vid

now i'm not suggesting you canoe to work in london (the canal rats would have you) but it does make you think that there is a hell of a lot more ken could be doing to make our commute a lot easier and a shitload more environmentally friendly.

currently i see little evidence of any kind of commitment to make life better for the very cyclists he encourages with his shitty poster campaigns. 'You're better off by bike' more to be written off by one of TFLs buses, but better off...

obviously i still enjoy riding anywhere i can, but it fucks me off when someone gets self righteous, then demonstrates very little commitment to practicing what they preach. it brings to mind an 'heated debate' i had with a girl regarding tattoos, she stated that if you get one it should be somewhere prominent, i pointed out that sadly society still makes the connection between criminality and ink (or atleast chav and ink) so i can understand why some people choose to have them somewhere personal (mine's a half sleeve BTW, so i'm sat on the fence so to speak). this went on for sometime, until i asked her if she actually had a tattoo, she didn't...

now i'm not saying you're not entitled to an opinion, i'm just asking you formulate said opinion based on perhaps some experience and/or facts... i.e. ride a bike in london before you tell me and thousands of others how to do it. perhaps even ask some of us cyclists what we need? maybe?

and no, it's not a free reflective yellow vest.

It's been a long time...

...Follow procedures the crowd couldn't wait to see this
Nobody been this long awaited since Jesus... [rakim]

well, not quite true... or at all true, except the long time bit...

I've been a having a bit of crisis of late, i got a bit bored with my own rants, then started to wonder if writing about the hate i sometimes feel on my rides was making things worse... and i should try and rise above it, hit somekind of enlightened peak.

then i got pushed by one bus too many, besides i like swearing and i've got lots of crap i'd like to share with the four or so people who check my blog sporadically.

so... ummmm... i'm back from my 'soul searching'