Monday, 6 August 2012

peddling ideas

the head of john hayes - photo by Ludo

I admit that sartorial awareness has never been a very strong feature of mine but I felt quite comfortable in the garb of the executioner pictured above. I think that is a bit of a disturbing thought but there you go. One has to try to get ahead ( aaaargh! SORRY )The pic is not a still from the film – The Head of John Hayes,  but is an off set photo.

Back when the 2012 Olympics was in its infancy Stella McCartney was pilloried by some for her Team GB strip designs. Actually I like the resulting uniform and its variations. Surely any one who didn’t like our Stella’s design loves it now after seeing the Russian strip. They do have the knack of making a vomit provoking pigs ear out of a silk purse don’t they?

The wonderful GB Cycling Team has reached its peak with performances that none of us who have followed cycling all our lives could have expected in this Olympics. I recently tweeted the question – Is Cycling now the new national sport? The logical answer is yes though I guess football fans everywhere will shake their heads in disagreement. The Team GB footballers should remain silent in the debate though. Their performance was awful. The extremely inarticulate Stuart Pearce should hang his head in shame. (" Until the games get underway we can't realise the magnitude of how its going to be") Lets not bother to enter a team next time if that is the best they can do.
Great English football is slowly becoming a thing of the past and is being strangled by the big money on offer to foreign players. Surely most of us think the fees for modern day footballers have got way out of line. Of course in a free market every one wants to get what they can. This applies to any one who generates money in this busted system.  For example any artiste/band wants a fair share of the gate, the record sales and merchandise. It doesn’t matter how ridiculously astronomical the amount is, most folk would want their share. How ever there is usually a simple arithmetic that this follows. Logically the share is based on the profit made but a footballer who is past his sell by date can still command silly money for doing nothing much at all at a club where there is no profit only debt. It is amazing that more clubs have not gone to the wall in the past season and it will not be surprising if more go next season. The money is not there. Even with TV money and overpriced merchandise most clubs in the Premier League are skint. If they were a small Engineering works in the north of England they would have already had their last meeting with their bank manager and their first with the liquidators.
So I suggest that when a club goes bust they should not be able to worm their way out of the reality of their situation by devious means that would not be tolerated anywhere else.
Perhaps we should turn those failing clubs into Velodromes so that the cycling renaissance can continue to flourish. Bikes are green so get on one and see what you have been missing. You don’t have to race or even go quickly. Getting from A to B by your own efforts is reward enough.
There has been a big debate about whether or not helmets should be compulsory for a long time. I’m with Bradley Wiggins on this one and think they should be a legal requirement for all cyclists. People say that people who wear helmets often take risks because they feel safe. I disagree. Any one that rides a bike in this country will be constantly reminded that they are not safe at all, even with a helmet, because many motorists take the view that we should not be on the roads at all. One has to learn to ride defensively especially in the urban environment. Are we in the way?
Mostly half assed attempts to build cycling networks has resulted in cycle paths that disappear frequently and make it necessary for a rider to join busy roads in the most extraordinary places. I am convinced that part of the plan was to create a way to force cyclists off the roads so I won’t ride on them. Fortunately the failure of the cycle path is such that I don’t have to ride off road ever. I have seen a motorist dumping the broken remnants of a front light from his car onto the cycle path adjacent to the road he was stationary on. When I pointed out that this was a hazard to cyclists and could cause punctures severe enough to leave a cyclist stranded his answer was “ Well it’s done now”.
I have also seen appalling riding by cyclists. No lights, dark clothes and no helmet often marks out the cyclist who always rides through a red light. So have a test for cyclists by all means and tax us like any other road user. Perhaps then the total disregard shown to cyclist by some motorists would abate. The cycling renaissance will bring about a better awareness for all road users and we cyclists will be safer and might be seen as making a necessary contribution to the Green movement instead of simply being in the way. After all it is the petrol fuelled combustion engine and those manufacturers with a vested interest in its continued use, that have stood in the way of progress to greener forms of propulsion not us.
Get pedalling folks. Cars are unnecessary for a lot of journeys and you don’t want to be left out of an important phase of THE NEW REALITY, do you?



Anonymous said...

thanks for the picture ! I opened the page to see if there was any more band names on the last blog and i got the shock of my life! how will i ever sleep again !
cheers tony

Anonymous said...

Big union march in London Oct 20.
See you there?

Tony & Karen

Innocent Bystander said...

As a person who cycles daily out of choice, though I have and also drive a car, I can only concur with your sentiments on the subject. As in life generally, safe co-existence on the road demands respect of and by other road users – but sadly, whilst that is something I expect, demand and give, it is demonstrated by all too few motorists. Although I wear high-vis clothing, obey traffic signals, and overtake on the right, people in their tin virility substitutes seem to take personal affront when a puny bicycle makes faster progress, or disregard completely the cyclist they have speeded up to overtake in order to negotiate an immediate left turn…

Anonymous said...

Dear Innocent, we don't have that problem round here. Most cyclists use the pavements, as I found to my horror at the weekend when I walked a friend's dog. One tried to cycle between me & the aforementioned dog, even though it was on a leash.
It's always the few that ruin it for the majority.
I still cycle occasionally, having been a keen club member in my teens. My pride & joy was a 1930s Dayton 8 speed which I fitted with sprints & tubs. Nowadays at over 20stone I ride a heavy duty mountain bike.
Well done Team GB cyclists! It's just a shame that every man & his granny will now buy a bike & hit the road (or pavement) with little or no road sense.

Tony H

Anonymous said...

Great photo. Bloody evil though _ dark as night ha ha!
Im a big boy too but I aint giving up my bike and ur right its a jungle out there. Got to admit GB cycle team is top. What a system they got!

Anonymous said...

Hi Folks
Just seen the pic. Its horrible but cool if you know what I mean. The things you get into!
Will be on the march Tony and I am sure lots of Supperists will be.
Its a big one and extra important. Got to get back to reality after Olympic circus.
Mary and Bob xx

Anonymous said...

Well, I Live in Milton Keynes and we have excellent cycle routes, I can cycle to work along canal paths and river side walks and across parkland, don't have to go near a road, It's a very safe environment, which is more than can be said of Milton Keynes roads, all of the grid roads have 60 and 70 mph limits and these are often exceeded, it scares the life out of me when I am driving and see a cyclist on the road, when there is a purpose built cycle route not 5 yards away running along side the road surely it would be a more sensible option to ride in safety. I know cyclists have the right to ride on the highway, but to me it seems that some of them do it out of arrogance or just to prove a point. Me, no way would I cycle on a 70 mph road, it's dangerous enough in a car let alone on a cycle!!!


Lily said...

How about cyclists donning executioners masks as modelled by the fulsome gentleman, that would give careless motorists a few nightmares. In all seriousness though, I believe this subject is again down to education. More instruction needs to be taught to learner drivers on basic consideration and courtesy to vulnerable road users. Interesting to see such increased coverage in a sport that has been largely overlooked for years in this country, would love to see the average overpaid footballer attempt some of the major climbs in the Tour! Looking forward to your upcoming gigs, always a delight.

Anonymous said...

I have a sticker in the back window o my car; it reads 'think bike, think twat'. Nuff said!

edgar broughton said...

I detest the use of the word twat in your nasty sticker. It's even sadder when women use it in a similiar context.

They say the pen is mightier than the sword. As it happens I am quite adept with both. That could not be said of you though, could it prat?

Notice how my use of the word prat is intended as a personal insult to you specifically and does not have any origin in misogyny.

Linguistics aside, if I ever see your car I will autograph it with a special message just for you. Nuff said?

Anonymous said...

As a non-driver cycling in and around Wolverhampton - as much out of necessity as for pleasure - I agree with you totally about those cyclists who do the rest of us no favours, and probably encourage drivers to treat the rest of us less than courteously. As for football, why not try Liverpool's near neighbours, my beloved Crewe Alexandra? Lovely football, lovely atmosphere and not as pricey as the top table. And we survive financially, subsidised by a relative lack of ambition.

And, as a ps, did you get my email about a possible interview for my mate's new mag?


Innocent Bystander said...

To "Anonymous" writing on 12th August, if Edgar hadn't made his response I had been going to suggest that if meant as an insut to people who ride bikes you should have the dedency to withdraw your contribution with an apology.

However, should the sticker somehow have made it into your back window through no action of yours, and prove difficult to remove, let me reassure you that should you be fortunate enough to meet up with some of those most friendly biker chaps with death heads on the backs of their denim jackets who used to frequent a town where I once lived (and ran a rock disco playing EBB music among other things!)they will gladly assist you by removing it, and won't even charge for the resultant improvements to ventilation...

John said...

Cycling on roads is not an intrinsically dangerous activity. It is made dangerous by the aggression, stupidity and incompetence of a relatively small, but significant number of car, bus and lorry drivers. I have powerful lights, used even in the daytime in poor visibility, always wear a high-vis jacket, and never jump red lights or ride on pavements, In spite of this I am cut up by idiotic motorists several times each week, and only avoid accidents due to experience, anticipation and excellent road sense.
What I don't do is wear a helmet. I like the freedom of not wearing one, and I don't see why I should wear one to protect myself from the criminal behaviour of others, any more than a woman's mode of dress should be governed by fear of assault.
And yes, I am happy to be taxed like other road users. I'm happy to pay exactly what the drivers of the "greenest" cars pay. Nothing.
Great blog, though Rob. I admire you and your music immensely and hardly ever disagree with anything you post, just this!