Friday, February 17, 2012

Two Camps both Wrong

There has been a schism in the cycling world for some time now, which
I have fallen foul of a few times. It is between two sides who take an
opposite extreme view and who, in my opinion, are both wrong. I would
presume those who take up these extrmes are few in number, and yet, it
seems to be strangling debate between cyclists.

One side say we should have the safest of all possible worlds to cycle
in, nice segregated cycle lanes on every road, keep the cars out of
our world and we'll be nice and safe. The side say that cycle lanes
are dangerous and unwanted, that a proper cyclist (read: usually male
and into sports cycling) can have the confidence to take the road in
any situation, and if only all cyclists were confident and strong
minded, and understood the rules, everything would be lovely.

Why are they both wrong? they are both wrong firstly, because it is
impossible to cover the world in segregated cycle lanes. Even going a
couple of blocks across central London will take you into conflict
with traffic wanting to turn right or pull out onto your road. A
segregated lane will probably make things even worse, necessating
cyclists to give up their right of way or run the risk of being hit by
such a vehicle.

And in the overly regulated world of dutch cycling, where they do have
almost universal segreation now (smaller country, much lower volumes
of traffic, much smaller cities) journey times by bike are much slower
than they were a generation ago, making it more likely that someone
might decide to drive or take public transport if it's quite a long

The other camp are clearly wrong too. It should be safe enough for
anyone to get on a bike at whatever stage in their development as a
cyclist they are, and whatever their levels of confidence. Unless this
is the case, cycling numbers will always be low and always skewed
towards the macho-type male. But then sometimes I think this is what
people in that camo really want. They're happy wit their little camp
of brave little Indians doing battle witht he nasty traffic.

The answer?

More to come.....(i promise)

Wednesday, February 08, 2012


Every now and again I do one of these update type posts, which is really about me, but all sorts of stuff may well be included. They often go all over the place, and sometimes not. This might by the time I'm finished, or it might not.
So it's February. Wow! That was a quick month. I've been busy on the landlording front unfortunately. The house ran itself for a few years without much hassle, with the tenants struggling to pay the rent on occasion and me giving them more time when necessary, but they always paid up eventually.
Then everything in the house decided to collapse.To be honest I never expected to be letting the place for so long. I thought 2, maybe 3 years at the most, but here we are 4 years on, and I still expect them to be in there for another couple years. Though if they moved out tomorrow I'd cope. Financially I mean.
So last year was a new boiler, a new kitchen, a new bathroom. Then over Xmas the boiler kept shutting down. It was the old radiators. So I've now replaced all the old radiators upstairs. The ones downstairs will have to wait till later in the year!
As well as that there are 101 niggling problems with the place. nothing I couldn't live with, but when you let a place out there is a higher level of expectation, however, the fact that there are niggling problems is reflected in the amount I charge in rent, which is on the low side, and lower now than I charged at the start of the tenancy! how does that work?
I managed to get my bike mended over the weekend, after getting the all clear from the doctor regarding my knee injury. I think I just strained the ligaments (tendons?). Apparently the only thing the X ray showed was normal wear and tear for someone of my age. Phew!
So - apart from that - a new office: 55 Broadway; a dry month in January and a commitment to reduce my drinking substantially....i realised it interfered with just getting on with my life! Another diet - this one a long term attempt to genuinely change my habits, cutting out big portions, sugar, cheese, etc, combined with reducing the drink should get me where i want to be, 15 stone and under!
I had a lot of support on Twitter from people I now think of as my friends, is that sad? Yes? Well fuck you!!

So now I'm looking forward to 2012 ahead of me like a great shoe with its lights on (c/o Danny Baker). I have a few things in the pipeline for this year. I've been wanting to have a venus fly trap ever since I managed to kill the old one a few years ago......I've also put myself down to lead the Bexley cyclists rides, as per the last 2/3 years, I want to get all my blogs up to a decent standard, though this one is just fine as far as I'm concerned.

Have been using ebay to find things from my long lost childhood that my mother threw out - including Asterix books, comics, Top Trump cards, etc. all for a pound or two each.

I left a comment here about the Live at Thames Poly CD

Having a go at fixing the numerous problems that my blog suffers from - such as photos that have mysteriously dropped off and unfinished entries:
Must restore photos to this post - Budgieman
Finish entries about glastonbury 2004
Finish blog about Lee Valley & post pics