Friday, June 27, 2008

Boris on helmets, terrorists and liberty

As you may know, the new mayor of London is a cyclist, but doesn't much like helmets. This causes great consternation to a lot of people (setting a bad example to children, etc. etc). Here he attempts to address the issue in his usual "bumbling" way. Clear a couple of days in your diary if you intend to read all the comments that follow it.

By the way, does anyone really think that kids are going influenced by the behaviour of Boris "Cool" Johnson ?

Pic from the Telegraph.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

New Bike Mag

The Ride

The website makes it look quite trendy, but according to the creators:

"The journal is our stab at capturing the soul of cycling. Sod the reviews and route guides, we're about passion in riding, whatever bike its on. We're track, mountain bike, bmx, road, commuting, racing, free-ride. As long as people have a love for bikes then we're interested."

Be interesting to see what it's like.

Incidentally, if you're after a trendy bike mag, then you could do worse than check out Rouleur. I'm sure it's creators wouldn't mind me describing it as "coffee-table" (a polite way of saying 9 quid an issue), but if you like classic photography of epic Tour De France stages, you'll probably like it.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Sometimes you just need a new tyre

After 5 punctures in as many days (and an evening where three of us pored over the tyre looking for sub-atomic embedded bits of glass/stone/etc) I finally gave up and bought a new tyre. It was only 20 quid and if it means I don't have to use a cycle-pump or puncture repair kit this week it will have been worth it.

(picture of funky no-cycle sign taken in Barbican centre)

Friday, June 13, 2008

How Very Dare They

I've just noticed that at the bottom of my last receipt for some repairs at Brixton Cycles, under "Notes and Recommendations" it says

"Recommend cleaning your bike. It will work better"

They're right though,

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

If you find modern cycling...

...a little bit uncivilised, perhaps you'd care to check these people out, The Tweed Cycle Club. Apparently they organise rides from London.

I particularly like the following advice:

If the barometer forecasts rain, the cyclist is wise to remain in bed or repair to a hostelry for refreshment. Should there be no alternative to riding through a downpour, a fisherman's so'wester will keep the head dry allowing the cyclist to face into the heart of storm and push on with resolve and determination, remembering that moral fibre is the sturdiest of fabrics.

Monday, June 09, 2008

A Weekend of Cycling

On Saturday, Jen and I headed up to Smithfields to watch the Smithfields Nocturne. If you don't know this is an evening of cycle racing including some pretty big names (Geraint Thomas, Ed Clancy, Rob Hayles) as well as some more fun races including the infamous Folding Bike Race, in which competitors have to wear business attire. The whole thing was very enjoyable (helped by the plethora of nice pubs in the vicinity) in an impressive setting with the opportunity to be alarmed at just how fast pro-cyclists go (they barely came out in my photos in the evening light)

On Sunday we headed down to picture-postcard Sussex to do the Rye - Camber - Lydd route from the Sustrans website. If you've not been to this part of world before, it has quite an odd landscape: flat as a pancake, dotted with holiday homes and Dungeness dimly visible in the distance. The only problem with the actual cycle route is that large parts of it are on a rough track, next to the road. This is great if you're a family with kids who want to be safe, but for everyone else it limits your speed and you don't feel particularly removed from the noise and pollution from the cars.

On the way back we took the road, which is actually nicer - you can get a decent speed up and the traffic is reasonably light. It also meant we got back to Camber in time for quick dip in the sea.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Motorbikes in Bus Lanes

Allowing motorbikes in bus lanes is a contentious issue. Ken trialled a couple of schemes which showed a reduction in accidents, but then allegedly (according to the Evening BorisStandard ) the report was suppressed to avoid antagonising cyclists. Now Boris is in office he is planning on pressing ahead with it

Personally I've not had a problem with motorcyclists in bus lanes, but, it would be nice if motorbikes could be kept out of the cycle boxes at junctions a bit more effectively.

If you feel inclined, here's the LCC anti-motorbikes in bus lanes petition

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Easy Rides in the South East

A useful link if, like me, you are planning some short cycling trips in the South East. Also they will hopefully be well signposted. Signage on Sustrans routes can be variable in quality. For instance, NCN1 from London to Brighton starts off brilliantly, however by the time you're cycling across Tilgate golf course (an official part of the route!) without a sign in sight, you may be doubting your own sanity.