Thursday, 29 July 2010

"Wish I'd started earlier..."

Nice comment in the showers at work (sorry for putting that image into your heads) - colleague in his 40's, after we'd had a bit of a chat about our cycle in and compared notes on bikes (God we're dull aren't we?!), he said:  "I only wish I'd started biking to work years ago". I assumed he was talking about physique. "You mean - in terms of fitness?" I asked. "No", he said, "so I wouldn't have had so many miserable years on the tube".

Sort of know what he means. Once you're out there above ground it seems inconceivable to be forced to go under there every day.

And it made me think - it's never too late to start. Then I had my shower. The shower room was so hot, by the way, that I think (again, forgive the unpleasant image) I was more sweaty after it than before.

Friday, 23 July 2010

I've biked too much in London recently ... is it OK to have a break from 2 wheels?

I'm wondering if it's just a sign of old age, or whether a commuter can occasionally get "bike fatigue". I've been deligently cycling back and forth across what feels like most of London for weeks, and I just feel knackered.

This is about how tired I feel ...
I was going up a pretty long and steep hill behind a fellow cyclist yesterday. When we got to the top I said "Wow, that was some good excercise!" She said "yes, and I just feel fed up with cycling at the end of a long day". I kind of knew exactly what she meant.

Anyway, I decided to take the tube this morning, something I probably haven't done for about 4 weeks. I actually rather enjoyed the journey (I know, heresy) and I'm looking forward to being whisked home without me having to make an effort tonight.

BTW - the old Giant Seek Zero is due for its 3 month service. I'm beginning to worry that it's rather a slowpoke. That might just be me feeling ... tired (is there a theme developing here?!).

Friday, 2 July 2010

Man gives car driver a sound ticking off. He deserves a medal.

This isn't strictly bike related, but I did see the incident while on my bike, and is also about road users, so indulge me, please.

The road I live on has a 20 MPH speed limit. It has a sign which flashes "20!" when people go over 20. But probably more often than not, it's ignored. Some motorbikes (sorry fellow 2-wheelers, I know most of you are very decent!) seem to see it as a challenge to accelerate as fast as they can when they see that sign and try to achieve 50, 60 MPH.

I was getting on to my bike just outside the door. There's normally just enough time to get on and head off at a reasonable speed before a car comes round the bend. This morning I had just got on when a very noisy car sped round the bend. I had to pull in to the side of the road again and wait til he had gone past as I hadn't picked up enough speed to feel confident. I thought nothing of it as I'm used to cars speeding.

Cut to the traffic lights at the end of my road. I'm waiting at the lights when I hear a raised voice behind me. It's a pedestrian and he's leaning over the railings telling the driver of the above-mentioned car off - pretty firmly. Not shouty, but assertively. He's saying that the driver should slow down. That there are children all over the place (true). That he'll "quite happily report you to the police, my friend".

I felt like prostrating myself on the road in admiration and respect (though of course that would be dangerous). How many of us actually dare nowadays to say something to a driver who's going well over the speed limit? The road really does have loads of schoolchildren crossing all over the place at that time of morning, and cars really do need to go carefully. But how many of us say anything?

OK, I've made my point. I'm a coward, and there's someone brave and decent out there. I salute you. Enough said.