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...


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.


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.