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cyclists are foolish? raw rant…

Commuter cyclists are foolish?

Jules Richards  ******, when a car passes toooo close & tooo fast on a narrow country road and the potential circumstances flash through your mind, you stop at the lights and ask could you give me more room next time… a verbal slanging match ensues, culminating being told to sod off! You feel worse than ever and the week’s started well. ****ed off, feel like the crap in the road I have to ride through. Why do I ****ing bother?

[friend] I know how you feel, Jules!

Jules Richards  I feel awful! onward… I really don’t know why I am so stupid, just do what everyone else does… eh? “common”? sense. Or do what you feel like and ride against the wind – Sometime’s it’s invigorating but when challenged by other “travellers” often one feels on limb and a bit foolish. When you’re on a limb anyway it doesn’t take much for the limb to break. Cycling can be freedom, but also can be tense, dangerous and a stupid thing to do, given the circumstances. I’m not surprised people want to stay in their “auto”mobiles.

Arghijklmnopqrstuvw…x…y…. z.

[friend] I don’t cycle as much as you do, but sometimes circumstances lead me to realise the risks I’m taking and I wonder, if the worst happened, would I think it was worth it if I looked back? Think these things even more with two teenage boys cycling on the roads. The Big Picture: we can’t let fear drive cyclists off the road – there are so many reasons to cycle. But the Little Picture – with you and loved ones in the frame – sometimes doesn’t look as clear. Sorry this has happened to you today

Jules Richards on verge of giving in and buying a car.

[friend] A couple of weeks ago after being overtaken just before a blind corner I also asked a driver to be more careful. During the abuse he said that next time he would kill me. 

I do not understand why anyone would even think that let alone say it.

But I can’t afford to buy a 2nd car for health, wealth and environmental reasons. 

I am going to revisit cameras though and then report them all

[friend]  I haven’t really had any altercations with drivers, tho I did once shout at a bloke driving a Chelsea tractor and talking on his mobile. When he drew up later, he lent over and spat at me through his passenger window.

It is bizarre the amount of contempt/hatred British men feel for cyclists. In France, in my experience, you get only consideration from drivers and encouragement from pedestrians – because most of them cycle as well. In Britain, there still seems to be a deep-rooted attitude that the manly thing is to drive (ie sit in a comfy chair and let an engine do all the work) and only little boys and twats ride a bike.

Jules Richards seriously thinking of a camera, have been for a while. Not at ease about having to go that route though.

 

 

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Bit of this and that…

Satuarday morning round the block, 25 miles.

Over the last year I have slowly increased my 10mile spin to 25miles.

I don’t get much time to get out, what with little ladies to entertain, but when I get an hour or two this is the ’round’ I enjoy:

http://www.endomondo.com/workouts/user/1912852

It encompasses a bit of this… at Twyford

image

And a bit of that… at Baggrave Hall

20120805-001927.jpg

East Goscote, Rearsby, Gaddesby, Great Dalby, Thorp Satchville, Twyford, Hungarton, Keyham, Scraptoft, Barkby Thorpe, Thurmoland, Syston, East Goscote.

Back home for late 11sies.

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best cycle tyre for daily commuting use?

OK cycling fans… Nominations for the best tyre for daily commuting use?
I’m used to and very pleased with the stock Specialized Borough Xc Sport Tyre 700×45 that came with the bike. And to be honest they’ve been good but will need changing soon.
The tyres are for a hybrid styled specialised crosstrail sport disc 2011

So types for daily commuting use: ?
SUBURBAN ROADS; as commuters are aware too often suburban roads are fraught with off-road style obstacles, grit, debris, thorns and potholes.GOOD GRIP:

for the wet, oil and grit.
DURABLE: as used twice daily.
SPEED: good reasonable speed, not too much drag.
PUNCTURE RESISTANCE: The SBXc above only had one puncture in 14mths. But, do I have the tube to thank for that? The tyres are peppered with cuts after a year of suburban roads.

I’m told a wider tyre (a larger contact area) offers more comfort, are less prone to punctures(?), and will provide more grip. I do like the ‘idea’ of the semi slick(?) smooth in the centre with knobbed on the sides.

Nominations for the best tyre for daily commuting use?
What have you got?
What do you recommend?

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“ipad…” or “I bike…” ?

Sunday morning, cycle ’round the block, rural Leicestershire… some thoughts.

East Goscote, Barkby Thorpe, Scraptoft,  Beeby, South Croxton, Twyford, Thorp Satchville, Great Dalby, Gaddesby, Rearsby, East Goscote.

http://www.endomondo.com/embed/workouts?w=mSsn0c7g3ls&width=580&height=600&width=950&height=600
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Toyah the Toyota is gone…

Toyah  the Toyota has served us very well since 2000 – 12 years of reliable motoring.

But I have just sold her to a new owner. We are a one car (one bike) family.

I bought my first car in the late 1980’s- A 1963 Volkswagen Beetle called Beatrix. (You never forget your first!)

Beatrix the VW Beetle
Beatrix the VW Beetle

I bought a second VDub Beetle called Lemon a few years later. (yes she was Yellow)
A few years later, I thought I was a bit more grown up with a Ford Orion (no name).
And then a Mazda 626 – great car! If a but ropey!
I think I had a few carless  (and careless!) student years.
I then bought a Ford Escort, called Freddy.
And then in 2000 I bought  Toyah the Toyota…

Toyah in the NewForest
Toyah in the NewForest

And then last February (2011) I started riding my bike to work and Toyah was a once a week affair, usually Emma taking her to work.

We’ve put it off for 6 months, but over the winter she was used less than once a week and we have finally said goodbye.

For the next year I will hopefully save:
Insurance £210, Tax £125, and MOT £40: that’s £375 over the year.
By cycling to work I will not buy £50+ worth of petrol a month: that’s >£600 over the year.
Of course there’s servicing  and wear and tear which with a car can be considerable – but the ancillary costs for a bike are less.

But let’s just say I hope to save £900 over the coming 12 months.

And then there’s the exercise and perhaps immeasurable health benefits: a good aerobic activity twice a day.
The daily endorphin hits are invaluable. Read more here 

Happy daze?

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It’s been a year… 3051 miles recorded over 12 months

Life was somewhat different 12 months ago. 27th Feb 2011. The I had not been on my bike for more than 6 years. Generally I encountered minimal exercise. The prospect of cycling 7 miles each way to work once a week was not an option, it was not gonna happen.

But then one Sunday I just got my old bike out from under the kids trampoline, play pool and nursery boxes and went round the block, about 9 miles.

{GOOGLE MAP}

After a few more weekend jaunts, and then some test rides to work! (what was I thinking?) It’s now been a year since that key decision to get back on my bike.

Now that I cycle, I see good aerobic activity twice a day. The daily endorphin hits are invaluable. The daily experience is arguably also more constructive than a similar trip in a car/bus and cerebrally, thoughts and feelings get a more intense workout. The experience is arguably exhilarating and elevating, depending on your psychological position/attitude in the road-space, social-class struggle – this does need to be kept in check.

At rough tally, I guess I’ve saved 14 miles of fuel a day, that’s ~£1.35×2 for a 7mpl car. That’s ~£54 a month… a nice monthly fuel saving, and extra exercise costs (time & money) not are required.

A nice few hours out on a Sun Mon:

{GOOGLE MAP}

And so, just for the record, since last Feb 27th 2011 through Feb 27th 2012:

Cardio Trainer, recorded: 27 Feb – 4 July = 851.71miles
Endomondo, clocked: 5 July – 22 Dec = 1636.93 miles
3 Jan through 27 Feb 2012 = 563 miles

So that’s = 3051 miles recorded over 12 months… and relax!

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A good old crusty loaf!!

With the challenge set after tweeting GBBO’s Holly a fellow Leicestershirianite(?), I set to bashing some dough round!

A good old crusty loaf!
As I pummelled the dough I was reminded of the muppet in the white van that terrorised me on the way home the other day.
I was in ‘my space’ on the road, with a car in front of me, and they (the white van) seemed to have had a bad day and were not happy (i guess) that I was in front of them? Sor-rry! Revving their engine and blasting their horn behind me, they followed me for a good 900 yards unable to get by. They did eventually overtake me when there was room, and broke infront of me as if to make a point. It left me a tad shaken and seriously wondering if all this cycling malarky was worth it!?
Yes, on the way home a few dozen drivers race-off accelerating away like missled lemmings after being inconvenienced for 10 seconds! Oh I do hope they get there in time!!
But cycling IS worth the occasional encounter with a ready-sliced roadster! Life is worth living. Breath is worth breathing! Time is worth spending! Bread is worth cutting!
I do wonder why so many people are in such a rush to get somewhere? Life’s too short to get their early!
Driving home from work used to take me 25 minutes. Riding takes me 35.
OK some may think I’m a bit of a crusty old loaf for cycling to work but take if from me – it tastes good!!!
Ta Holly!