Sunday, September 21, 2008

NY

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.

Friday, August 15, 2008

The Whole Shebang













I always feel as if I should care more about cycling as a whole, I mean I enjoy riding my bike, I like tinkering, I pour over bike mags, I check out bike porn on fixed gear gallery every day, I extol the virtues of riding every time I get chance...

BUT

and it feels like a relatively large but, I struggle to give one, never mind two, hoots about the larger cycle scene. It may be down to the fact I don't have many friends who are as committed (or obsessive) as I am to riding, maybe if I did, things would be different.

But I have found that things that are probably very good fun, smithfield nocturne for example, hold no draw to me and other 'important' events in the calendar, such as the tour leave me cold.

However, last weekend I found myself getting up early, well 9am, but it was a Sunday! to watch the women's Olympic road race.

After 30-40 minutes of archery, rowing and other such toff sports boring me shitless, I finally got to see some cycling. You're probably expecting me to say '... And it was shit', but it wasn't, I was completely mesmerized, I had to tell keito this was an 'ER' moment (her show, I'm not allowed to talk) and I was gripped, my heart was pounding and when I saw nicole cooke win, I felt overly emotional (which was a tad embarrassing).

Maybe this is the start of a new chapter and I'll care about time trials and pelatons, or maybe I'm just fair weather.

Either way, congratulations to nicole cooke, that was an awe-inspiring ride and to the other members of the GB team for some amazing tactics and complete and utter selflessness.

Oh, and with all those male riders dropping out because of the heat, it was impressive to see their female counterparts riding through some of the shittest riding conditions I've ever seen...

Friday, August 08, 2008

God did that















I took the piss out of neil for jumping a red, which resulted in him receiving a fine and some points on his license.

then i get stopped by 'community support' and fined £30 for riding on the pavement... there is some sort of divine intervention here.

they've got me 'bang to rights' it is indeed illegal to ride on the pavement, i know this, this doesn't annoy me, well... it does, but that's just because i've been caught.

however, i am annoyed by the following facts:

1. i did this to avoid 3 lanes of fast moving traffic which i don't particularly enjoy weaving across every night.
2. the 'officers' were hiding behind a tree, with the van parked out of site, very underhand that...
3. whilst filling in a ticket the length of my arm, 3 chavs deliberately ride past them, shouted at them and get away scot-free
4. i witness a ridiculously dangerous move by a van which stopped 2 lanes of traffic to pull into the afore mentioned fast moving traffic (I did actually point this out, to no avail)
5. the section of pavement i was on, had no pedestrians on it and is approximately 20 feet wide
6. we've had a a record number of shootings of late (the most recent 10 minutes from where i was stopped) and i can't help wondering if their time could be better spent

and FINALLY, i'm annoyed by the fact i saw the other couple of community support bods ticketing someone else, thought 'phew, missed that, let's get away quick'
and then ran straight into these other two numpties...

i guess at the end of the day, i'm just annoyed i got caught.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

The Long Arm (or shoulder) of the Law


I saw this and it really annoyed the fuck out of me and actually made me feel slightly sick...

Atleast all I have to deal with from london city police is condescension and a good patronizing, not a good drubbing.

This 'officer's' father was quoted as saying you 'have to do, what you got to do to make an arrest'

Fucking hell... He was riding a bike, that was his 'offence' he's not a rapist, a killer, a bank robber, that barge and subsequent fall could have easily killed him.

Jeez.

Much is being made of the fact the officer is a 'third generation cop' - frankly if new york has had 3 generations of this, I feel sorry for you.

On a more positive note, much props to bikecommuters where i found the news. Fantastic site, which i'm now checking daily.

The 'right' way



















This whole 'right of way' thing is tricky, to me, it means i follow the highway code, but to a taxi driver, it just means you put your indicator on and you can turn wherever you want, no matter who is in your way or where you are.

I saw it the other week on borough high street, it's the height of morning rush hour, there's a taxi indicating to do a u-turn across all the traffic. He's pointing indignantly at this indicator.

Just because your taxi has a famously small turning circle, doesn't make it okay for you to do a u-turn in the middle of traffic you fuckwit, and you certainly don't have the fucking right of way. In fact, I'm sure if the police had been around you wouldn't even be attempting it.

Then I experienced it again this morning near liverpool street, I'm waiting at the lights with a taxi to my right, he starts to indicate left, then starts to move despite my presence (he has seen me).

I let him.

He doesn't have right of way, if there had been a car between him and the left he wouldn't have assumed as much, been as forceful or as ungrateful if they let him turn.

You have won nothing, my step down was self-preservation, not a victory to you.

Well, unless you count moving yourself further up the 'cock board' a victory.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Do it properly



















If you're going for the full fixed gear hipster look, i reckon you should take it to the logical extreme.

i've done you a pursuit version too. they seem very popular.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

THAT hand signal


I had another altercation with a bus driver this morning.

As I'm trying to be nicer, in light of yesterday's manners hiccup, when I saw the big red bus right on my ass, I moved over to let him through, admittedly, I did shake my head, but I made no attempts to raise a finger or shout obscenities.

However, as the bus passed me, I saw the driver ranting through the passenger door. I have no idea what he was saying, but he was plainly annoyed.

Then he cut me up.

So, as I come alongside the bus, I stop next to his window and say 'Was that really necessary?' to which he fires back expletives.

At this moment, I'm still beaming with pride that I didn't swear.

So I retort with 'so, as I annoyed you, you thought it was okay to drive dangerously?' and he says 'was I?'

Right, not the small grains of calm I'm grasping in my hands slip through and I reply 'yes you fucking were, you veered across the lane In a big fucking bus'

He goes mental at this point and starts shouting about 'reading the road' and something about the bus lane.

I say I wasn't in the bus lane and he shouts that I should have been.

Hang on, you're in the big fucking red thing with wheels that carries passengers, why should I be in the BUS lane.

I tell him that there is nothing in the highway code that states I HAVE to use a bus lane, it's my choice. I usually prefer not to, as it's full of cunts like him (I didn't say that bit btw, the cunt bit).

He really loses it now, so I tell him he's an idiot, a dangerous idiot who doesn't even know the highway code. Surprisingly, he doesn't respond well to this, so I push it and call him and idiot again.

He's puce now.

Then he does the naked sock puppet thing.

This is the point of this rant, what does the puppet mean? I mean, I know what it 'means' - I'm all mouth. But we both are, we've both been shouting at each other and neither of us made the offer to move this to queensbury rules.

Then I realise, I've seen this before, this is the last ditch effort of the puppeteer who has run out of expletives. My argument is you're being dangerous, you could kill someone and the highway code, that you're trying to use against me, has just bit you on the arse. Yours is... Ummm... Do you have one?

So, I tell him once more, he's an idiot and he's dangerous. So he drives off right next to me and my now shaking legs (with anger) wobble out of his way.
Are you trying to prove my point?

He does try and drive close me on the next turn, but he has to deal with traffic, I don't.

Two other minor points

1.
To that prick that was walking down the road with earphones in so that he couldn't hear me shouting 'excuse me'. I hope you get run over.

2.
I woke up this morning with an eye that looks like it's been punched. Great. Thanks. Not only do I have to deal with idiots, but with a disfigurement that makes me look like a circus act.

Function over form



















I'm confessed to a love of 'functional' bikes on this blog before, which thinking about it is a bit of ridiculous statement... surely all bikes are functional?

well, actually some of the gleaming show bikes that are tootling around shoreditch right now aren't.

anyway, i digress, i'm really digging bikes that look like they can handle shit, they're not all deep v's and track bars, but they're still mighty pretty. in fact, i've made my first move towards this... surly now has a rear rack fitted. the same tubus rack i'm removed from the box and looked at, only to put it back again, at least 20 times over the 9 months.

i took my first ride (to the supermarket) on saturday and it was a complete success, well aside from the first couple of near tips, it's mental how different the bike feels with panniers... but, i'm keen to prove i can manage without an engine.

back to other peoples bikes, lots of lovely examples of work bikes on cyclofiend
the rest of the site is awesome too btw.

i do think the american's are much better at this than us...

I am sometimes wrong














I woke up yesterday with a banging head, complete lack of co-ordination and a sahara-esque mouth.

i only had 3 cans of kronenbourg to blame this on, that's not right or fair.

anyway, i set off after stumbling around and bashing my shins on the pedals/cranks atleast 3 times.

things are going okay, i'm riding through peckham park, there's another cyclist in front on an old peugeot mountain bike (with the coolest 80s graffiti style graphics), there's a guy in the path with his girlfriend (i assume) who moves out of the way.

so it's all good.

however, as i go past i hear him shouting something about '...our mother's not bringing us up properly...' i stop, i ask him who he's talking to, and he says both of us. he moved out of the way and we both went past without thanking him.

i'm tired, i can't be fucked, i'm certainly not going to jump through big hoops of gratitude, i tell him to get over it and say 'for fuck's sake' he shouts something else i don't hear/understand and i ride off.

i ride another couple of hundred metres and then i think... he's right, i should have said thanks. i was rude. i turn around, then i think if i go back now he'll probably think i'm taking the piss and ploat me.

I REALLY need to think a bit more... it's to easy to get caught up in a little fug of cycling self-righteousness...

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Utility















On a day-to-day basis i admire the flexibility of michelle's cycle helmet.
It was a cake tin last week, today a fruit bowl.

It all feels a little 'paddington bear'

Monday, June 30, 2008

And i thought I had it bad

Daily i deal with cunts. lot's of them.
On the upside, i don't have to deal with bears wandering into the road.

i have to confess that, at first, i was interested in the article gleamed from cyclelicio.us then i read it a bit more carefully.

‘and we went, 'aaaahhhhh.’ and i was like and he was a like... i think i may have worked out how this happened...

'Bags' of room... haha... haaa...

*sigh*

i bought a bagaboo and i have to say it's really rather ace.
it's a 'workhorse', which looks like this:










it's much bigger than the chrome that i use day-to-day and well... it feels more substantial. i may even do some kind of review on here i'm that enamoured.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Bikes and bus lanes

Boris is about to drop his first clanger with an ill informed plan to allow motorcycles into bus lanes.

On a personal note, i have enough problems trying to avoid motorcyclists as is, allowing them into one of the few sanctuaries we have left will only make matters worse. Although, it seems a lot of the bikers commuting along the old kent road seem to think they already have rights to use bus lanes… it's not illegal if you only use a foot of the lane…

On a less personal note, the facts on which this decision is being made are flakey to say the least.

If you're reading this, and would like to help either the cycle commuters of london or just little 'ol me, sign up! and let's try to stop this nonsense...

Sign the petition here!

Monday, June 09, 2008

Fixed is dead


Well... probably not... but these are cooler... really...

more here

Coasting


I read about the trek lime on treehugger a little while ago, and whilst the whole concept intrigues me - coast brakes whilst a seemingly common childhood experience in the states, are/were rare as hen's teeth here, strictly grifter myself (yes, mine was EXACTLY like that) - i found the actual bike to be a dissappointment, then i guess it's not aimed at me.

then i saw this on bikehugger, mathowie's sweet mod... i want one...

i'm constantly impressed with our overseas friends attitude to their bikes and i think that's the keyword 'their' - whilst day-to-day in london, i see lots of new shiny fixed gear wheels (in fact a little too shiny and new) i rarely see personal bikes. most fall into the afore mentioned 'fixed/shoreditch' bracket, which i (perhaps cynically) see as mostly trend driven, or the full on commuter with an off-the-shelf evans* special, which i see as practical/don't give a shit. i should add there are a handful of roadies thrown in the mix, but less so.

anyway, i digress... i rarely see a bike that i think 'whoa... i'll steal that idea... to add to the list of bikes i 'need''

yet on bikehugger, commute by bike, fixed gear gallery, etc. i fall in love daily with the niche...

i should add these aren't always single/fixed beauts either, i'm getting more and more drawn to the practical, i'm loving wood/metal front racks (that you simply can't get here) paul comp, (which you can get here, but only after you've paid an additional $60 to the post office and tax man) and of course, all things surly.

i salute you america! (in a top gun sort of way)

*evans - absolute spawn of the devil, please don't ever shop here, they need to be stopped...

Friday, June 06, 2008

Oh the irony...

this is london posted an article claiming that 64% of motorists are 'too scared to cycle because of traffic'

am i the only one to see any irony here? umm... you are the 'traffic'

read the full (pretty short) article here

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Drivers, rage and real writers...














I've pontificated far too often on the subjects of road rage, inconsiderate drivers and downright dangerous behaviour. Then as is often the way, i find someone has done it a hell of a lot better than me.

drat.

and double drat.


'People, in general, want everything they do to be as easy as possible, and they never want to be to blame for anything bad...ever. People who drive cars are no exception to that rule. With the The Scofflaw Cyclist straw man in place, car driving people have a target for the frustration they feel over the situation THEY have created, but for which they are completely unable to accept the blame. Most motorist frustration seems to be the result of not being able to get from point A to point B easily, and that's simply the result of traffic congestion. Traffic congestion, one might be surprised to discover, is caused by one thing and one thing only - too many cars in one place at one time. Scofflaw cyclists have nothing to do with it. While it runs counter to human nature to sit in traffic and think "I can't really get frustrated with this since I am, after all, as much to blame as every other motorist out here for this traffic jam," blaming Scofflaw Cyclists for the frustration that driving seems to engender is a bit far-fetched.'

the full article is here

and i read it at bikefixation first

Saturday, May 31, 2008

That's plain wrong

Urban Velo have a theory, a theory that explains, or atleast justifies the demise of nishiki.

this picture.

that's it.

and they deserved it.

nice shades tho.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Laid back


I popped into bikefix today to pick up a spanner as my brooks is creaking like a good 'un. i couldn't even wait until i got home, the noise is just too much...

anyways, there was a very nice chap in there, we didn't get as far as shaking hands or exchanging names, but he was extolling the virtues of all things recumbent. he had his own machine in there, which looked far from my preconceived image of said machines, actually, he also broke that mental image.

basically, it was cool, i'm shocked to admit that, i've always admired the engineering (and the crazy chain length), but never, ever have i been tempted. until now.

i think it was the talk of hitting 30/40 mph that did it. but that was probably him more than the bike, i'm 'carrying' more...

it'll never wash with keito though.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

The youth of today tsk!

This was supposed to be the nice bit...

i'd negotiated cheapside, the idiot gauntlet, borough high street, the highest concentration of potholes this side of baghdad and the old kent road... which is... umm... 'shit'

i'm now cutting through peckham, along the cycle route, which weaves through parkland... ahh... i don't even need to hug the brakes.

now this is shared pavement, cycle and pedestrian, usually fine, not today.

i see bunch of teenage girls, 4 abreast, i slow down, i'm about to say 'excuse me' when i hear one say 'i bet he doesn't even say 'excuse me'

i should have been sensible (and polite) and done so, but i think 'fuck it' and go for a gap, plenty of room.

then i receive the most incredible shrieks, i turn and say 'it is half cycle path' - met by more shrieks and then i add 'what's with the attitude? i'm sharing, can't you?' - now everything goes crazy, you'd think i'd just popped one of them.

plainly the 'excuse me' had very little to do with this, this was more than that, i forget peckham thrives on attitude, i've been exposed to it enough, i should know better.

i ride away slowly with finger in the air, i don't feel better, i feel sad... i don't comprehend this, maybe i should have be more polite, but i suspect these demure teenagers wouldn't have been happy even if i had...

i'm scared. for teenage boys.

I like this a lot

Let's take it back...


Gleamed from Bikehugger

and in turn from flickr

I've been a bit busy...


... and other such excuses...


not only did the iro arrive, and boy what fun it's been, but so did my new airnimal and summer!

i can't begin to describe how nice it feels to be riding with warm toes and only two layers of clothing.

as for the airnimal, it's a strange beast, so completely different from any bike i've ever ridden. aside from the weirdness when you stop at lights and decide to let the bike rest against your thigh, then realise it doesn't have a top tube and watch it fall to earth... but, as much as it rides like the real deal compared to other folders, it's still a folder, and subsequently has all the flex of other folders.

i think it'll take some getting used to. but i'll enjoy it.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

On the upside


Zeus is dead! long live zeus!

the old zeus bike, after it's frame sadly passed away, has been reincarnated in the form of an iro.

i was worried that the smaller frame, a 53, would be too small after the surly which comes in at 56. well... to be honest, i was more worried i might look like a pea on a drum, and i still might, but i don't care, he flies... i was beaming when i got here, so fast...

the riding position is a little more 'aggressive' than i'm used to, but unless my shoulders pack in, i'm super happy.

thanks again to cycle team

sorry about the shitty pic, but i thought something was better than nothing.

Time Out!

Time out ran a few articles this month on the subject of London's peculiar relationship with the bicycle.

inevitably there was a 'for' and 'against' spread... 'Don't pity the cyclist, snarls Michael Hodges' being the latter.

i realise (of just 'hope') that this is all tongue in cheek, but hell...

the 'argument' seemed to centre around us hooligans riding on the pavement, which to me was a bit of a non-starter anyway, as of all the things we get blamed for that one is the most ridiculous. i see very few dedicated commuters carrying out such an act.

but the main thrust of the discourse was how london was a city to wander around in and 'think'.

it seems 'thinking' involves carelessly stepping out into the road with scant regard for your own of others safety. 'London is also a city for nipping across the road and between cars; impossible when silent bicyclists come charging through the gaps at speed.' well.. pardon me, but ummmm... couldn't you use your eyes? and perhaps demonstrate some of that great london thinking and exercise common sense?

in fact, the bit that got me the most, was this little gem... 'the worship of the body rather than the brain, which is fundamental to cycling'. i should start by saying that i'm by no means an athlete, i like lager, lager likes making big bellies, i should stop smoking, i eat too much, i don't give a hoot about my optimum heart rate (unless it reaches my 'optimum' and results in death) but most of all, the big bug... it does exercise my brain, continually, from when i climb on to when i arrive at my destination, i never feel as awake and aware as when i'm on my bike. i have to be, to avoid pricks like you Mr Hodges.

p.s. the comments section is the most heartening read...

too cool...


in a mr men sort of way.

Monday, April 14, 2008

A different place for both of us


I had another run in with a taxi driver, nothing usual there, but noteworthy, just for the following.

as i ride down gray's inn road, i need to take a right across oncoming traffic, it's tight, but not normally too scary. then someone honks behind me.

i turn around and there's a private taxi behind me, as he comes past he says 'where are your hand signals' and waves his arm like he's trying to fly in circles.

i tell him that sadly, we're not living in the 40s and when i have some prick right behind me and oncoming traffic to my right, i don't really feel like taking a hand off the bars. i kinda thought the fact i was in front of you and going very slow, with one foot down may indicate my intention to stop some time soon.

the only reason you couldn't fit past was you were in a fucking massive car and in the wrong lane.

I'm sorry, but hand signals? for fucks sake, these people really need to try riding in london...

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Nice pics...

... and some really rather lovely machines. all from the man that makes those really rather lovely mudguards that i want.

sorry 'fenders'

sadly i can't lift a pic to show you as flickr won't let me, but it's worth a look, honest...

go here

i'm digging this one the most...

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

A break from the norm


Well... this is weird... i don't have a rant to expel...

thanks to the whole daylight saving thing, i got to ride home in daylight for the first time in months.

don't get me wrong, i had occasion to call various motorists a 'cock', 'nob', 'twat' and even a 'plank'... yeh that one surprised me... but all of it was over shadowed by the absolute elation of spring's arrival.

normal service will be resumed very soon...

Monday, March 31, 2008

Big bikes...


I've had an interest in so called 'utility' bikes since i saw the xtracycle, but said interest has been tempered by how many flights of stairs i'd have to carry it up or how i'd convince my lovely girlfriend that a huge bike in the house was a good idea...

however, there is a possibility that i'll have a garage soon and subsequently all the space i need to indulge my wildest bike dreams (maybe not the funds tho...). dreams that could also include a 'real' road bike with gears and EVERYTHING and save my karate monkey from it's 'for sale' status at my LBS...

anyway, as i don't drive (and don't wish to) i think the whole utility thing is a viable option (if you have space) and the inclination.

i was impressed with the kona ute on first view - now i'm not so sure, i love the surly big dummy - but perhaps not the price and the grandaddy of them all the xtracycle is always worth consideration...

so, i have found some amazing info at 'out there biking' but i'm wondering if anyone out there reading this (if in fact anyone is reading) has an opinion...

The pictured beauty by Tony Pereira is from here btw.

The end of the war

i've always found bike snob humourous, i don't necessarily agree all the time, but i guess that's the point...

i did find this one particularly funny though...

Friday, March 28, 2008

Ah... spring is here...


or it was yesterday morning, bright blue skies, crisp air... i beamed all the way in.

we're back to rain and grey now. but hey, it perked me up no end, made me realize that cycling home in daylight is only around the corner!

i did have one 'hiccup' yesterday though, a bit of a run in with a taxi driver, in that he was determined to run in to me. i had made the mistake of being in the right lane, but sadly the same lane as the taxi which wanted to turn left into london bridge station. he couldn't wait a couple of seconds, hell no, he sat on my tail, quite literally.

so, as you can imagine, i kept peering over my shoulder.

as he turned, he shouted 'you got a problem?'

i have quite a few, i need to stop smoking, i perhaps drink too much, i like chocolate and pretty much anything that's bad for me... and i hate the way donkeys like you treat cyclists.

sadly, i didn't have much time, so i just shouted 'yeh, why are you driving so fucking close to me?'

to much his witty rebuke was a muppet-esque hand movement, i believe suggesting i was 'all mouth'.

this got my goat somewhat (and to be honest i had a bit of a shitty day) so i got off my bike and waited on the road i knew he'd come down after dropping his passenger. sure enough, he comes down the road a few minutes later, sees me, smiles and drives straight past.

okay, let me get this straight, i'm all mouth, so here i am, let's discuss why you feel the need to push us into the margins, why
you feel the need to drive so dangerously, what you think your passenger is thinking of you right now...

now i'm no fighter and i wasn't looking for any kind of comeback further than a few well chosen words, or badly chosen obscenities. but you didn't provide any, you scuttled off in your metal cage. well done big man... full of the joys of spring...

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Pedestrians


please stop (and look and listen for that matter).

twice today, yes, twice, i narrowly avoided hitting people. the first, at london bridge decided to run across the road as the lights changed. i foolishly thought they'd stop when they saw me, no, they ran, panicked a bit, froze, then had another pop... cue screeching of brakes, sliding and a glancing blow. nothing to hurt, but enough to scare the shit out of me (and them).

then tonight, 50M from the same spot, a bunch of people decide to cross after the cars in front of me (oh yeah, the wait for them). they don't rush, they dawdle, now what am i supposed to do? this is downhill, the road is wet, i brake, slide (again) and slow... what do i get? vacant, empty, dead eyes...

PLEASE stop doing this it's fucking dangerous for both of us (believe me it will hurt if hit you, i'll make sure of it), just treat me like a car, i'm supposed to be there, you're not.

The tabloids...


... had a field day with the whole cameron thing. don't get me wrong, i think the guy is a prick and the whole ride a bike with a car behind is indefensible...

BUT

and it's a reasonably large but, i won't condemn his actions on his route in. fuck, i would have jumped the light he stopped at.

i think people need to realise that you have to ride aggressively, or is that defensively, in london.

pushing yourself to the front is the only way to avoid the inevitable scrum that has no thought for your safety.

anyway, velorution as always hasve a very informed take on this.

oh...and please, you've got money, get a decent ride.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Top tips

yet more top tips from the wonderful commute by bike site

It's spring


so why, when we're eating easter eggs, is it snowing,hailing and generally being weird?

i got caught in a biblical hailstorm on friday after stopping off to buy chocolate products, then it's snowed pretty much all weekend. i'm not going to bang on about global warming and perhaps suggest that you all use bikes more than your 'gas guzzlers' - but - i will say 'this is weird...'

and i didn't get to clean surly (again)

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Be aggressive


I always thought aggressive riding made sense, not in the traditonal fitness rider sense where you career past everyone (in your football socks and massive white trainers) in a reckless fashion...

no, something more sensible, taking control, trying to remove dangers... anyways, commute by bike have done a very good job of explaining what i mean... so, i can duck out and get a beer now... cheers to Tim Grahl!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

how many fucking times...

i know you hate me.

i know you think i'm dangerous.

i know you won't believe we don't all wear luminous lycra whilst fantasizing that we're ascending that col...

but please do believe this:

I AM NOT THE DANGER. YOU HAVE SEVERAL TONS OF METAL, AN ENGINE AND AN ATTITUDE. STOP IT.

we're not all smug, believe it or not, i ride my bike because i enjoy it, not because i have swampy/eco warrior fantasies. i don't set out to annoy motorists, i do enjoy passing them, but hey! you could do that too if you ditched the car. i don't take risks, but i do make moves to get me out of your way.

stop this shit, there is no reason for motorists to hate cyclists and constantly bleat about them, we jump the odd red light, we push to the front (for our own safety) and some of us *gulp* wear lycra.

get a grip, you're driving a polluting, lethal, hunk of metal with scant regard for your own or other's safety. let's think about this one.

oh! and the article that prompted this is here

gleamed from cyclelicio.us

Day 1

well... day 1 of the experiment didn't go too well, i chose not to document this morning's journey foolishly thinking my puny mind would remember this evening... on the sofa... with a beer...

don't get me wrong, i remember bits, i remember the bus on commercial street that sped past so close that i'm sure it nearly clipped my ear, i remember the pedestrian... oh, hang on was that yesterday...

on the way home similar happened, i got in, had a shower, opened a beer, had my chicken noodle soup that the lovely keito kindly made... watched millionaire... now my mind is peppered, rather than rammed.

i do remember the woman who pulled out in front of me, who i cussed and then realised she had plenty time, it was just the way she toyed with her hair whilst driving that annoyed...

anyway, what i'm getting to is...

i think this day-to-day annoyance, frustration and general cussing is becoming just that, day-to-day and subsequently instantly forgettable. this does make me sad, i have moments (on velo) where i become deeply, deeply depressed by the inconsideration, the lack of care, the desire to maim because you're simply 'in the way' but i also have moments where i'm deliriously happy to be on two wheels, not four, or more,or tracks... which i have to do tomorrow, i'm already dreading it, the £7.80 charge and the angry commuters...

so, what i'm saying is, does the annoyance cancel out the joy? or do they create a weird equilibrium? i dunno... i'm just a cyclist...

i still plan to make a 'cock chart' and i still plan to document this... i guess i just need to... umm... plan things a little better...

Monday, March 17, 2008

This is a test

Gleamed from velorution (again) very nice bit of work...

Stop, look AND listen

mr pedestrian, you hate us, we're dangerous, we jump red lights... we're evil... you're innocent, blameless... now please climb down from your ivory tower...

when you cause a pile up with two cyclists (my workmate and her partner), please have the common decency to stop, perhaps see if everyone is okay and maybe even help them lift themselves and their mangled steeds out of the danger zone.

you caused it, have some decency you steaming pile of shit.

then you can climb back up and start raving about the biggest threat to streets of london... ummm... the cyclist... grrrr... or something scary... like rrraahhhh....

I appreciate the sentiment...


.. and the beautiful artwork.

insightful and often profound strips at yehuda moon

Real Statisics & Facts (Idiot Percentiles)

once again i find myself apologizing to the ether (and perhaps one or two people who MIGHT still check my blog...). i've been slack with this blog...

i have a home with the lovely keito, i'm taking legal action against the kind person who owned my last one and trying to gather some cash (to replace the ridiculous amounts i've spent finding said home).

all my other big priorities have taken a back seat, with the exception of beer and cigarettes - they've become close friends, especially bikes, they've fallen by the wayside (no pun intended). Zeus (as you may have seen) has moved on to the great velodrome in the sky, karate monkey is about to go on ebay and hopefully to new owner who can do him justice...

this leaves me and cross check... he's in a new mode, as my only bike he has to be more comfortable, he's flexing some straight bar action and some rather lovely new levers from paul comp.

we're quite happy together... but we'll be happier when my new airnimal arrives and zeus gets reincarnated (he's more of a donor) :-)

anyway, i've got some big plans this year to document the high concentration of dicks on the roads. ultimately i'd like to take some video footage of the worst i see, but in the meantime i plan to create some cock charts, i.e. capture with graphic devices the number of times i feel the need to say 'cock' on my commute, then offset it against the percentages... i.e whether it was deserved or was i just being plain mardy (this will be judged after the ride, coffee (or beer) in hand),

so, check back, we'll see what the stats say...

oh! i used it a lot today, especially at the taxi driver, who turned in on me, then indicated, then looked... i'm sure that's the wrong way round...

Monday, January 21, 2008

R.I.P ZEUS


Poor Zeus is dead...

he snapped his 5th and final seat pin on friday.

I could no longer deal with losing an inch on every bike ride and snapping two pins a week. He will be retired.

I was quite sad actually, that bike certainly made up in riding fun for lack of good looks. Zeus was a blast.

Now this leaves me with the pressing question of how to fill such a gaping cycling hole... oh dear...

and us doing something right...

in a recent article in the mail (i found it on a blog, honest) there's a claim that a 20% increase in cycling could result in saving £500 million by 2012.

that's (as they also state) £400 a cyclist

old news, but interesting none-the-less...

here it is

Oh... it's our fault again...


Now I've had a few dealings with the city of london cycle police, they've been pleasant and condascending in equal measure.

However, i do find their presence on the city streets to be more about raking in cash than actually doing much about the law.

it's interesting to find that they're now spreading false propaganda...

after the beeb documentary about road rage it seems the city police were out in force charging £40 a pop without any discretion. then city chief Aspinall states 'the ‘number of casualties of cyclists’ in the City is ‘mainly due to cyclist behaviour'.

I'm sorry, but this is a crock of shit, as proved in last year's investigation, reckless driving of cars and lorries is much further up the city casualty list than jumping red lights.

Personally i see this as another example of the demonisation of the city's cyclists. to the general public/commuter, once again we deserve the title 'lycra lout' - who came up with that BTW? have they ever looked at the average commuter? lycra doesn't come into it...

Back to my point, the dangerous driving i encounter everyday is down to my reckless riding, like the time the driver in peckham cut directly across my path to take a left, the time the driver in honor oak pulled out in front of me, the time the lorry drove at me... oh yes, all my fault, i was being 'reckless'

for fuck's sake...

anyway, you can read more about it on the CTC site

Thursday, January 10, 2008

2. Stoking the hate...

i realise it's a tricky one, it is about freedom of speech after all. but i do think we have to exercise a degree of personal responsibility. as much as i find some materials online abhorrent, i also find it impossible to accept any kind of censorship of the internet as acceptable or indeed workable. so, i guess... hmmm... i'm not sure what i'm saying...

anyway's, i read about this on the velorution blog and i felt the mist descend.

i realise cyclists are seen to be pretty much enemy number one on the UK's streets. I'm not sure why, yes, some are incosiderate, a lot jump red lights, but that's it really. It's not like there's some kind of gang of rampant commuters raping and pillaging their way across the country.

so why do i (and any one else on 2 wheels) become a target for such hate? if i posted a blog about how to knock over prams or stories about pushing grannies down stairs i'm sure it wouldn't go down well (well... if anyone was actually reading this).

But, a professional writes a story that talks about decapitating cyclists and it gets published. whether i find it funny or not (i don't) this is about far more than that... i really don't think all the haters and twats out there need any more ideas, they consistently step out in front of me, cut me up in their cars, dangerously pass me in the buses, debate legality with me, then jump reds themselves (it's okay, they're not jumping a red, just 'edging through')... really, they've got enough.

I'm not even going to comment anymore, as it's been handled much more eloquently (and from a better informed mind) by andrea at velorution and on Treadly & Me

1. Hmmmm...


Not sure how i feel about chain guards, but i am starting to love the practical in my old age and these are purty.

would stop me getting oil on my tweed.

from the soma blog

Well... I'm back blogging...

I've been super slack of late, even by my standards...

I spent most of November trying to find somewhere to live, then most of december picking up the pieces when it all fell apart.

nearly £5K down and with a lovely new bike stand, but nowhere to put it, i wasn't feeling up to much... except perhaps causing (financial) harm to my landlord...

anyways, hopefully i have a new home, sadly with less bike space, but on the upside it should have heating, no mice and a landlord with an ounce of decency.

so, to set things up for the new year and all the rants it will definitely inspire, i have two vastly different posts...