Can’t go past a classic.
An ebike !
Get on with your badself !
Never give up a planned bike ride to go have dinner with someone; the restaurant will have closed down in the month since you were last there & loved it, there will be nowhere else in Sydney you both want to eat at where you can safely leave your bike, by the time all this comes to light and if you left now it would be 10pm by the time you arrived home on your bike, so instead you will be forced to take your bike on the train with all the angry peasants.
Today was a waste of an early mark and a good bike ride.
Stay true to your first love.
Remember to wait until you are an adult, and can drink responsibly, like these guys at the Tour de France after-party..
Looks like you're on your own, kids...
At this point I've had more triumphant returns to blogging than Dame Nellie Melba, and if you're too young to know what that means, I highly recommend you toddle off to Wikipedia. Just remember to come back because I need the reader numbers.
I read a rather inspiring book yesterday (although i'm not sure that's what the author was going for, but eh) and so here I am today, hunting and pecking on the keyboard and squinting at the blog menu trying to remember how to write a new post.
This most recent absence is explained by the recent merger of Spokes(wo)man Global Financial Industries and Reynholm Industries who do, I'm not sure exactly what yet, but they sure are creating a lot of havoc in the workplace, which is really interfering with my creative writing process.
I was farknarkling around last month and saw that Fat Cyclist had made his first two cycling books available for FREE on Kindle, so having piqued my curiosity (ie triggered my braincell that loves freebies of any kind) I downloaded them, which of course necessitated clicking on a link in a tweet which took me to Amazon on my iPad, which suddenly insisted it had never been to Amazon before (a filthy lie) and made me attest that I was not a robot, then reset my password and all sorts of sigh-inducing malarkey which made me wish I'd bought the things for actual money so that I had the right complain about all of this. But I thought Sprocketman might like them, so I carried on, in the sense that I persevered, not that I made a huge fuss. Isn't English confusing sometimes ?!
So, free books acquired for Sprocketman to read (I had no interest) I carried on with reading everything ever written by the Altered Carbon guy (fabulous) and then Ready Player One (eh, it'll make a good movie) dude and his entire oeuvre, and there I was a month later with nothing new to read and I thought I'd poke my nose into Fatty's book. Well, I came up for fresh cups of tea only and read the first book in a single sitting.
What really struck me was - it was a book about the sheer love of riding your bike, anywhere, for any reason, written by a really nice guy who loves riding his bike and telling stories about it. This is the sort of guy you'd like as a neighbour, that you'd wave at as you went past on your own bike and stop and chat with, later thinking how lucky you were in your choice of neighbour because he was nothing like that bitch you once lived next to you who well, you get the picture.
Why did I think bike books wouldn't appeal to me ? Because I'm a commuter cyclist, and i don't enjoy tech-heavy bike-bro articles. Those things aren't aimed at people like me so a book surely, would just be a lengthier version of same ?
Nah. it was anything but, and I loved it.
And reading it also reminded me of how I love riding my bike, and also how much I love writing; and how work had really got in the way of both of those things.
And so, here we are today. In looking for inspiration for Sprocketman (who is off riding a Zwift multi-day race in our spare room, and it's a bugger from the screams I can hear) I Instead managed to inspire myself back into writing, accompanied by a cup of tea and a pack of Jaffa Cakes. One step at a time Dear Reader.
Oh muh god, this is such classic Barry Larry Terry !
JFC though, is this the poster child for Fetal Alcohol Syndrome or what ?
"Unlawful possession of a racoon" ? Bloody cyclists.
But hey, been there, got the t-shirt.
My god, the cobbles were brutal ! Worse than last year !
As always, scouring the globe for tasteful presents for the cyclist in your life;
Why are big square-nosed SUVs everywhere? Because people love them and they sell.
Those front-end features that kill and maim pedestrians are, there's no other word for it, popular with consumers. The critical design factor of the high front end pushes people below the wheels instead of over the hood the way lower model cars do.
In 2015, researchers at the University of Michigan determined that pedestrians are more than three times as likely to be killed when struck by an SUV than when struck by a regular car. Researchers in pedestrian safety in SUV collisions have been warning about the front end design of SUVs since 2003.
Keith Bradsher is the author of High and Mighty: The Dangerous Rise of the SUV - download your Kindle edition now, and see if you can tie in these statements with SUV drivers you know and possibly love.
SUV drivers are similar to minivan drivers demographically, but they are more “self-oriented” psychologically, Bradsher has written. They are more fearful of crime, less likely to be involved in their communities, and less committed to their families, he wrote.
Minivan buyers tend to be more comfortable than sport utility buyers with being married; sport utility buyers are more commonly concerned with still feeling sexy, and like the idea that they could use their vehicles to start dating again.
In 2000, DaimlerChrysler Director of Market Research David Bostwick told Bradsher (click through to full article) that for consumers, ”It’s not safety as the issue, it’s aggressiveness, it’s the ability to go off the road.” Research also showed that SUV owners drive faster and place a lower value on being courteous on the road.
SUVs are designed specifically to appeal to this psychological profile, executives admitted:
DaimlerChrysler has chosen high-riding designs even for the two-wheel-drive versions of its sport utilities, even though they are unlikely to be driven over rough terrain and are therefore unlikely to need to ride higher, said David C. McKinnon, DaimlerChrysler’s director of vehicle exterior design. Mr. McKinnon said the company’s highest executives had told him repeatedly to ‘get them up in the air and make them husky.’
Up in the air, where drivers can't see dogs, or little kids.
Just great isn't it ?
Feeling both crafty and the need to transport several baguettes ?
Et voila !
Another glorious ride home, another middle-aged man with an incipient heart-attack left in my wake.
I'm riding homewards, and it is just the nicest day to be out of the office a smidge early and on one's bicycle - not too hot, the wind is a tailwind or a sidewind, but thankfully never a headwind.
After a little rust-bucket tries to change lane on me; as in literally on me, and I direct a cheery little stream of profanity into their open passenger window, I shrug and give up on my fellow hoomins and pop on over to the adjacent bike lane. I'm pretty mellow this early in the cyclist hunting season.
Why was I not already in the bike lane, you may ask ? Because it is in absolute shit repair, it's a shared walking/cycling path, strewn with abandoned shopping trolleys, potholes, inexplicable drifts of sand and gravel and pedestrians who walk five abreast ignoring our mandatory bike bells - in other words it's a bloody disgrace. And also because it's not mandatory to ride in a bike lane.
So I bip on over and join this dude waiting at the lights on the bike path. I think I've seen him around, and I suspect from seeing him in passing he has an e-bike. I think not much more of him than that; lights change, off we go.
Of course I'm out in the lead, because my bike is awesome. I see an approaching pedestrian, walking on the wrong side of the lane naturally, and I go to change lane to allow them to pass without disturbing them, but I can't, because old mate from the lights is suddenly riding in parallel with me; he's in the wrong lane, huffing and puffing mightily and very red in the face, and more importantly boxing me in so I can't move for the walker. I look sideways at him in amazement, but he won't move.
The pedestrian steps off onto the grass, no doubt going home to write in their blog about "bloody cyclists" racing through Macquarie Uni.
Eh. Sometimes one races, and sometimes races are thrust upon one.
I SMH, and actually put some effort into it, and leave him and his red face and flying droplets of sweat behind. I don't mind chatting about my bike's capabilities, and I'll happily cop to it being electric, but don't try and shoulder me off a path and expect me to drop back to protect your ego. Yeah, c'mon, if you think you're good enough. Just don't be a dick about it.
He chased me all throughout Macquarie until I entered the National Park and he dropped further and further behind in my rear-view mirror. I vaguely hoped I wasn't leaving a corpse by the path side for the next cyclist to have to bunny-hop over.
I got home and patted my bike fondly.
Only 46; far too young and wonderful to be dead.
Bedwetters who probably still live at home with their parents have threatened violence against marchers in New Zealand's upcoming "Glitter Boob March".
But the trolls make a good point; any imbecile mouth-breather can take a car and murder a group of people.
And to make a no-doubt empty brag that that's what you're going to do to a group of women ?
Pathetic waste of human skin.
I'm all for finding you, locking you in your beloved car, and sending it off to the crushers.
Well, the Gumeracha medical centre is ready for Stage One of the Santos Women’s Tour Down Under.
Shame they couldn't get their hands on one of these in time for their montage...
After a recent survey finding that Queensland cyclists were terrified of local motorists, the PR-disaster is that is Anne (not-so) Savage of Bicycle Queensland came up with this little gem for the ages;
Where to start !? So many wrong wrong wrong concepts in one statement.
Oh, okay, let's unpack "Ride White". Obvs no-one at Bicycle Queensland read the news in 2017, because this campaign went soooo well for Nivea last year;
So thanks BQ, for associating cyclists with White Supremacist hate groups, like we don't have enough problems already. Good work !
"Fly the White Flag". Why stop there ? Why not suggest we all wear "The White Feather" ? Again, no students of history at BQ, or are there ? Are we just dealing with a bunch of white-shoe-wearing, Mango-eating, Toad-licking surrender monkeys ? Bah. A pox on the lot of you.
And the classiest move of all, the appropriation of the hashtag #WhiteHelmets ?
The White Helmets, officially known as Syria Civil Defence is a volunteer organisation that operates in parts of rebel-controlled Syria and in Turkey. The majority of their activity in Syria consists of urban search and rescue in response to bombing, medical evacuation, evacuation of civilians from danger areas, and essential service delivery. 159 White Helmets have been killed since the organisation's inception.
So yeah, steal the name of some of the bravest volunteers the human race has to offer for your shitty victim-blaming bike campaign. Anything other than demand better enforcement of road rules by our police forces and legal system.
Seriously Bicycle Queensland, rethink your life choices.
During Sprocketman's month off, which intersected quite nicely with the maximum two days running without interruption I managed from Spokes(wo)man Global Financial Industries; we went and had lunch together.
This is quite the novelty for us. We sat at an outdoor table at one of our favourite Thai restaurants, which sadly borders on the carpark for that strip of restaurants and shops. But, still school holidays so the carpark was practically empty, and certainly the twenty or so spaces in front of the restaurant, next to our table, were.
Until. A big ute arrived, parked right in front of our table and left the engine running. And running. And running. Aaaand running.
Finally we looked through the cloud of exhaust to see what the wanker from "Jamie's Gardens" was actually doing. Reading his phone. Great.
Just as we were about to walk over, tap on the window and ask him to switch his engine off or hey, just piss off, he jumped out of the cab and collected his takeaway, then drove away, no doubt to blight someone else's life.
Ten minutes later a woman with kids came and did the same thing - this time we made a few gestures, apparently the right ones because she drove off much faster.
But seriously, who does that ? Parks next to an outdoor restaurant table and leaves their engine running.
Love it. This is what we need - some pretty blunt talking.
But goldarn it, it's [only] a clever PSA. No, Wathan Funeral Home isn't real. But it does have a website, so that triggered snowflake motorists with opposable thumbs capable of Google-ing are confronted with this message:
If you're here, you've probably seen our "Text and Drive" billboard. And if you have, you probably came to this website to tell us what horrible people we are for running an ad like that. And you'd be right.
It is a horrible thing for a funeral home to do. But we're not a funeral home.
We're just trying to get Canadians to stop texting and driving, which is projected to kill more people in Ontario this year than drinking and driving. That's right. More. And while most people wouldn't even think about drinking and driving, over half of Ontario drivers admit to reading texts while behind the wheel. That's more than half of the drivers on the road today risking their lives, their passengers' lives and the lives of their fellow motorists and pedestrians.
Which should make you even madder than our billboard did.
Cieslok Media designed the ad to get people thinking about the real consequences of texting and driving.
"People see and hear the words 'Don't text and drive' almost every day, but the number of people doing it keeps going up and up. So we wanted to think of a different way of saying it that would make people think about the real consequences. Which is where 'Text and drive' came from."
Bugger it. We need these for real.