Monday, June 12, 2006


There is a feeling in my legs, at a certain high rpm, when the muscles are glowing and the heart is pumping, where I seem to be able to magic up a boost of energy from expended resources.

Perhaps it's like how an afterburner works on a jet? Something with lactic acid, who knows...

My powerband phenomenon only occurs rarely. Usually when energy supplies are starting to dwindle, & a last hard push, to get up a hill or such, suddenly rewards me with a band of power in my legs, spinning turbocharged as if I had an energy drink intravenously fed straight to the muscle!

I don't think I've experienced it for over a year or so, probably because my developments commuting are not in speed, but mental awareness & roadcraft.

Surprisingly I experienced the power band this morning, and went pelting up hill. However, I think I found out the source of my powerband: The wind. X-)

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beethoven writes said...

cycling in london is dangerous. if you have any doubt, read my blog.



beethoven writes said...

with all due respect, i think you haven't understood my point. i am not advocating the banning of cycling in london, although i admit that that would be an ideal. what i am concerned about is the promotion of cycling in london which would encourage unskilled riders to purchase a bicycle and risk life and limb on the roads in london.

if you want to start quoting statistics, i was reading an article on the web last week that showed potentially that statistically cycling is perhaps one of the most dangerous methods of transport known to man.

you mention pedestrians. half of those killed were probably intoxicated. have you ever been injured walking down the street? no, i haven't either. but i have had previous accidents on my bike. you are selective with your so called statistical evidence.

i wish you luck on your bike in london. you'll need it.

Urban Commuter said...

Thank you for your email,

Honestly, I think your idea to chart your recovery via a blog is a very good one, It must have positive therapeutic qualities for you. And I wish you every success with it.

I do genuinely think you are somewhat caught-up in all the emotion at the moment.

My detached perspective is as a car driver and cyclist. There are some points I'd like to make:

1) "my so-called statistical evidence" is not mine, it is the government's Department for Transport audited statistics for 2004.

2) All new road-users (be it drivers, cyclists, pedestrians, HGV drivers, horse-riders, motorcyclists, etc) begin using the road with little or no experience. Experience by-default, is gained by time spent using the roads. Everybody has to start somewhere. However...

3) Nobody is encouraging people to take risks beyond their skill level, in fact there are an increasing pool of cycling instructors offering adult coaching to build rider confidence and increase rider safety. Very many local councils are commonly providing primary school based cycle-coaching to ensure young riders are equipt with safe base riding skills from an early age.

4) The safety of a cyclist is very much in the hands of the rider in question. An experienced, competent cyclists who practices skilled road-craft and judgement of a similar standard to police traffic riders, is likely to experience a very safe cycling career indeed. Of course learning, experience, and practice are all required to achieve such a high skill-level.

5) As the number of cyclists on the road increases, the number of cyclists injured decreases. (Source: TFL) How does that make sense? Well a higher number of cyclists in the same area, means that drivers have the opportunity to gain experience of how best to interact around cyclists. Newer cyclists are more likely to witness how other experienced cyclists deal with hazards on their route, so have more opportunity to learn by observation. Drivers learn how much room is needed to overtake cyclists (a lot more than one may think), and drivers begin to learn the capability cycles can have (a lot faster than one may think). Drivers begin to understand that the many cyclists needs are not identical to a powered vehicle, and the drivers can then make allowances for this, thereby reducing the mis-understanding, ignorance, and assumption, which play a part in many accidents.

6) Life is not without risk. Random things can happen at any time - struck by lightning, victim of violent attack, puncture on motorway, tennis elbow, broken neck in rugby, etc, etc, Cycling is no exception. However there must be reasons why the number of cyclists on the road is mushrooming. Let's not forget that cycling can be great fun, even in the heaviest traffic- a rewarding challenge. The regular exercise benefiting many people's long-term health, and reducing associated threats from obesity, heart-disease (Britains number 1 killer), cancer, and improving general quality of life, are some of the many reasons cycling is booming in popularity this summer.

7) This trend is only likely to see increased rider numbers in future, given the volatility of world oil prices and thus UK forecourt fuel costs, which could spike alarmingly high at any point in the future, regarding the global politics surrounding energy security (oil). Provoking many people to review their transport mode options available. There is of course the environmentally-responsible characteristic of cycling, where people are consciously choosing not to pollute as much as they may have done in the past. Cycling has many benefits, which you have not balanced your argument with.

Kind Regards,


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