Monday, October 30, 2006

Back On The Road

First proper commute back on the bike today. Although both AM & PM rush hours seemed, well, not very rushed, and pretty quiet - traffic wise. I was under the impression the big-mac-through-railings brigade were going back to school today, after half term? Maybe I'm mis-informed.

I have to admit the knock on 09.10.06 has influenced my riding outlook a bit, in the sense that all the big scary cars, are viewed as big scary cars. Where previously they were viewed just as fellow road-users, mainly co-operative, but bumbling their way to work.

I recalled insignificant examples in the past where I might be waiting at a traffic light and a driver for example might poke their front bumper in a gap next to me, quite blatantly not suitable for the two of us (too narrow), it's just uncivilised. But the moral is you can't trust some drivers to wait patiently behind you, so I try not to offer them such a gap to even consider.

What I mean is my attitude has stepped up from "hmm, I'll just mind my own business & hope everyone else is a good driver". To: "My Lane! My Lane! It's All Mine!!!!!" i.e. Returning to the pretty assertive riding style, taking the whole lane - conspicuously, especially whenever 2 in to 1 won't go (safely).

PM ride was my first night time ride this winter, and actually it was very enjoyable. With several flashing LED's all set to "provoke epilepsy" mode, I had no incidents, was given adequate room when overtaken by vehicles, and generally felt very noticed. Perhaps more so than in daylight?

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Friday, October 27, 2006

Who Will Buy...?

My Scabs on ebay! Hahaha!

People have flogged worse.

Are you frickin serious!?!?!

Anyway this is frickin living-ART baby!
(Attentionseeking, & Ridiculously Tasteless)

I currently have baby-scabs underneath the friction burns (grazes) I received on 09.10.06. But the big protective scabs have finally just dropped off.

So naturally, rather than binning them like a sane human, I'm putting them on eBay, to let one lucky person, experience the dream, share the trials, feel the torment, and, err, chuck it in THEIR bin instead!

Things to do with your ebay scab!

  • Glue the scab to your own limbs, and invent your own imaginary anecdote to impress all your friends.

  • Steal my DNA, and get to work in your basement, creating a super-cycling Frankenstein.

  • Stick it in formaldehyde and sell it to Damian Hirst for £1million pounds.

  • Tossing a coin is SO last-year! Step out-of-the-box people, and flip THIS for heads or tails! Great for all those important yes / no decisions.

  • Go 'round the house of the woman who ran me over, and put it in her cornflakes.

  • Breed them, create scabettes, enough to pepper your driveway for that shingle effect.

Bids start (as they will probably end at) a bargain 1 penny!

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Got Me Bike Back!

Lunch time yesterday, I jumped on Ken's finest red and took a trip to collect my bike.

It actually looked better than I left it; visually obvious that it had received £100 of professional loving.

Got a bonus tip as well - apparently elastic bands tied on the brake levers, slowly bleeds the hydraulic system for air, when left for a few days. (This could also double as an elementary security device, for a really, REALLY dumb thief!)

I mounted the steed, and done some vigorous bouncing around, to convince myself it wasn't going to immediately fall apart - circus style.

I tentatively joined a busy main road, with cars passing by me. The first 10 seconds were spent thinking "please don't crash in to me, please don't crash in to me" and they didn't, so that was nice.

The ride felt a bit different to how I remember it; more squidgy and a bit wobbly, although that was probably more me than the bike.

Soon thought "this ain't so bad" as I rolled along, with the refreshing breeze caressing my face.

Further justification appeared ahead of me, and I rode straight past it. It was the first of many queuing traffic jams.

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Monday, October 23, 2006

Quick Update

Should be getting my bike back tomorrow. I've not been riding at all since 09.10.06 because the parts of my body affected were all mainly on moving joints - knee, hip, elbow.

The limping leg straight after the crash has faded away now, but I haven't given my legs a thorough physical grilling workout yet. I expect everything should be fine. Although I guess my fitness will be off-peak when I start cycling again. Bit pissed-off that I missed the last few weeks of daylight commutes home though!

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Ninja Cyclists

The clocks go back an hour this year on 29th October confirming the end of British Summer Time.

The weather has already begun signalling its intention to steal away daylight from some of our commuting journeys.

But you wouldn't have imagined it's getting darker earlier, judging by some of the idiot cyclists and their choice of attire.

I can understand the argument for cycling in ordinary clothes; it's not a sport, you don't have to push hard & sweat, the bicycle can be used as a convenient utility, riding short trips in normal clothes, and the Dutch give a great demonstration of this.

But come on; dark black sky, tarmac road (AKA "the black stuff"), and I've witnessed a cyclist, with no lights, (inherently disadvantaged by only having 20% of a car's width (mostly the rider's body), as a canvas to be visible), wearing... black trousers, and a black top! WTF!

Isn't the connection between lack of daylight and cyclist's visibility absolutely obvious?! No wonder we have labels on our coffee warning: "contents may be hot", and on packets of walnuts "not suitable for those with nut allergies". Has everybody turned sto0o0opiiiid?!?

Cyclist enjoying eating up miles of traffic jams,
but who will see him on his return journey this evening?

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Crap Driver Explains All

This stuff just writes itself!

I had to whip the camera-phone out when I saw this battered old car parked up.

I was first drawn to the dents, scratches and parking scrapes...

Then the bumper-sticker just cracked me up!...

Who needs driving skill, when you've got PRAYER POWER!!!

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Monday, October 16, 2006


Well, bike is in the shop, I should go & get it soon. About £100 worth of damage. Hopefully that should all be reimburesd through the driver's insurance in time.

I'm at work ok, but it's such a bore not cycling in! I'm driving in to work, which is just dull 1st-gear 1 mph traffic jam queuing, surrounded by equally bored drivers in our little isolated cages, breathing each others exhausts.

As soon as I try to connect with the outside world, and listen to the human voice of radio, I'm tormented by mind-bendingly cheesy and irritating adverts, for crappy products I'm never going to buy - especially not after hearing some smart-arse tagline which is void of the "still-funny-on the-15th-listen" factor.

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Friday, October 13, 2006

Contemplative Questions

I'm keen to get cycling again, but currently am having a contemplative period while I wait for my bike to be fixed, and my body to repair itself.

There are questions hovering around my brain, about what, if anything, might be different post-crash.

I mean this is my first ever road traffic accident I've been involved in. So if there will be any paradigm shift in outlook, now is when it's likely to occur I guess.

Abusing the dreaded "what if" thought process, I could go wild with dramatic-license and call it a "near-death-experience", which really; it wasn't.

But if the driver is dumb enough to hit a bright yellow cyclist from behind, who's to say she couldn't have rolled forward a few more meters, over my body?


  • How will it feel riding the same monstrous roundabout again?
  • Will I over-react to any little driver errors I witness?
  • Will I start smashing windscreens and hauling drivers out of their cars, when confronted in future with dangerous driving which threatens my safety?
  • Will I still have my rider confidence and assertiveness as it was, before the crash on Monday?
  • Will I now pessimistically "expect" cars to crash in to me?
  • Could it affect issues of trust with strangers generally?
  • How low shall my expectations sink to, for drivers with foreign registration plates?

I realise this is a really moody and pessimistic post, so I'm sorry for that.

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

RTA - After Effects

Still very stiff today, hobbling about as my right hip seemed take a solid knock when I was sent down on Monday. Compounded by the zip on the pocket of my shorts, which dug in to the hip leaving a noticeable gash. It was probably the point-load of the zip which caused the bruising around the hip area, making my walking speed now akin to a 90 year old man who just downed a bottle of whisky.

Bits of my body which seemed fine when checked over on adrenaline, are now deciding they want attention too. For example neck, ribs, abdomen, and both shoulders are all pretty achy, sensitive and stiff.

Slowly making my way to work yesterday on foot, I could not believe it as I was OVERTAKEN by a pedestrian who looked genuinely disabled, with his legs pointing in random directions, kind of dragging them inelegantly but effectively past me at speed. I'm not competitive - it's not like I was desperate for some impromptu Special-Olympics race or something. It just put in to perspective my current temporary situation.

On the positive side, it is exactly because of my regular cycling exercise that my immune system and general health is pretty strong, meaning that friction grazes from the tarmac are already starting to scab over, and heal.

Making sure I continue to eat healthily, take multivitamins, cod liver oil, giving my body the building blocks to work its clever stuff and get me back on my bike ASAP. Particularly, I’m taking in lots and lots of citrusy vitamin C, which is crucial for the collagen-related wound-healing process.

Technorati Tags: /

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Tuesday, October 10, 2006


Think you're quite good at balancing on your bike?

Well I adjusted my opinion after watching this!

Crazy Bike

Of which, 1.2 million other people have watched so far.

Wow, just amazing skills!

Technorati Tags:

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Monday, October 09, 2006

How Does It Feel To Be Run Over?

Worried Passenger runs to see if I'm ok / dead / whatever.  After her mum driving her to school rammed me off my bike hitting my left / rear side. Click for bigger image: Note the scratches and tyre marks on the Mercedes front right bumper, from the impact.     Image Hosted by

Like this. ^

Statistics, don't you just love 'em. I read somewhere that on average a regular cyclist only has an accident once in 20 years. So in fairness I was overdue my statistical obligation for a while now.

What Happened?

There is a monstrous roundabout on my way to work, it is challenging enough in a car, so needs rider confidence and road presence to ride it well on a bike. I've ridden the same roundabout nearly every day, worked out what to do and what not to do, and seen a lot of things occur on it. Never anything like this though...

So as usual I'm in the correct lane for my exit, about 8:20am today, when I see a silver Mercedes Viano people carrier pull out on to the roundabout, when me and a bunch of cars are baring down on the Mercedes, all fairly shifting, on this large roundabout at about 20mph.

That was her first mistake, flouting rule 161 of the Highway Code:

Give priority to traffic approaching from your right, unless directed otherwise by signs, road markings or traffic lights.

Which is scarily basic stuff not to know...

So with priority and a turn of speed I bank right around the curve of the roundabout, and I sense the silver Mercedes getting closer and closer from behind.

This part happened in slow motion, as she steadily gained on me, I began to get concerned. She closed in from behind, although only a few meters were shared with this vehicle, each foot she gained took minutes in my mind, until things changed dramatically, unfolding very quickly and harshly.

Blam! She's rammed the rear of my bike from the left side, with the front right of her 2+ tonne people carrier. This wriggle was totally un-saveable, as I was basically knocked from behind with a lot of force straight down in to the abrasive tarmac.

More later... I gotta have my salt-bath now. Yay :-(

Technorati Tags: / /

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Spyware Baddies

Where have you been!?!?

Well, unfortunately, I've been having a bit of trouble with some spyware / malware / trojan / general baddies infecting my PC.

After a week of scanning, and techie advice, I think the threat is now gone, which is a relief because like most people I rely on internet services quite a lot, e.g. banking, shopping, etc.

So I can't recommend highly enough investing some time to install some free protection against these threats, if not already done so.

Advice here:

Vulnerabilities I learnt about were :

  • Older Java versions are exposed, and the latest version needs to be downloaded at
  • AND once the latest version of Java is installed, REMOVE the older versions in control panel - Add / Remove.
  • Internet Explorer seems more susceptible to browser hijacks, its firefox competitor appears much more secure.
  • Any baddies dealt with, still may be backed up in the windows restore facility. This requires System Restore to be turned off, and back on again, in order to clear the old files.

So anyway, nothing to do with cycling, but that's why I haven't been able to post lately.

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Google Search