19 August 2011

Bloody daft idea

036 by cocosolis
036, a photo by cocosolis on Flickr.
... to cycle in jeans, in the pouring rain. Even the 15' journey to my friends flat left me feeling like I was lifting weights with my thighs, so soaked were my trousers. Ah yes, I had my Altura jacket on. And it wasn't cold. I hate to think what it would feel like in, say, January.

02 August 2011

Nailed it!

I have now worked out a good route to work.  Time this morning: 15’.  Time back this evening, 11’ - better than 60'!!  So far, the good news.  The bad news, of course, is that such a short journey is not what I am after.  In the old days back home in Manchester I used to do 45’ in the morning and 55’ in the evening – in other words, a good free workout.  Showers and storage room at work enabled me to keep some items (shoes, for instance, or a winter coat) in the office, while in the pannier I carried the clean clothes for the day.  It worked a treat – it became a well-oiled routine.

Now the future is uncertain and the present, well, the present is the future, if you’ll forgive the Orwellian tangent.  As I’m enjoying a temporary period of living quite close to work, which in a few weeks may be replaced with moving further afield or going back to the Rugby commute,  I don’t really feel like spending time exploring more leisurely routes to extend my cycle to anything approaching what I used to cycle before.  Also, now I work in a small office with only very basic facilities – so I’m cycling ‘a la Europea’, dressed as I intend to work.  It’s worked reasonably well on mild days, but this week there’s a heat wave (yes, really) and I just want to let go and put some power into my pedaling, sweat it out and enjoy the ride.  

Finally, there’s the bike.  The Ridgeback Attaché is great as fold-ups go – it is a million times better than my £30 contraption.  But it is still a fold-up – closer to the ground, the handling a little bit less stable.  How I would love to get on my trusty old Tourismo24!  Nostalgia, this is – of cycling to the hills on days bright and sunny or murky and foul, feeling that freedom for once is a place on earth, and that ‘beyond the horizon’ no longer means that it cannot be reached.


Driver admits hitting and killing cyclist while driving without licence in Eccles | Manchester Evening News - menmedia.co.uk

Justice done, at least. The fact the victim was a 'promising researcher' (and the perpetretor, it is implied, was not promising, in research or otherwise) is neither here nor there. The fact is, in this case it seems careless driving caused an unnecessary death - and it is motorists who cause most deaths on British roads, disproportionately so when compared to pedestrians, cyclists and other road users.