“What is striking about biking is not that it solves any particular problem but, instead, that it is part of the solution to several.” —

J. Harry Wray

Wednesday, 30 December 2009

There's No Such Thing as Bad Weather...

...just the wrong clothing.
So said the Great Sage himself, Billy Connolly.

In pretty foul, cold and wet weather, a group of Somer Valley Wheels hardcore stalwarts turned out on 29th December for the "Turkey Burn-off Ride".

They set off from the Tea & Trade Tearooms in Radstock for a brisk ride to the Mells Village Shop for a welcoming coffee before returning to Radstock.

The picture shows the gang by the village pond at Mells:

Keith, Matthew, Eugene and his son, Jos, Les & Maureen with their offspring, and Alison.

Sorry I missed the ride, folks, but hoping to get out with you all, soon.

Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Waltzing Bicycles!

One word.
No... two words.
Organized chaos.
No... three words.
Absolutely friggin' brilliant.

Mike Rubbo - you are a genius!

(Thanks to Mikael at Copenhagen Cycle Chic, once again

Monday, 28 December 2009

Yet another city administration wakes up...

"Riding a bike in communities and especially in cities significantly reduces traffic congestion, parking difficulties, air pollution and accidents."
This is part of a statement from the Israeli government repealing part of its recent helmet law. It's good to see yet another administration waking up to the benefits of actually encouraging bikes as urban transport.

More detail at Copenhagenize

And, in Britain? Well, give them time. They're still busy organising talking shops and "focus groups" (a marvellous way of giving the illusion of progress while procrastinating and wasting public money).

Thursday, 24 December 2009

Monday's cycle paths - mostly snow free

Whilst here in car-obsessed Britain, where unless you've got four wheels and an engine you can go hang, across the water in a civilised country where there's obviously civic leadership worthy of the name cycle paths are mostly snow free.

Nothing new there, I know.
Just a last rant before Xmas hits.
Have a good one, my faithful reader.

Monday, 14 December 2009

Somer Valley Wheels Mileage Awards

At the Somer Valley Wheels Christmas bash at the Tea & Trade Tea Rooms in Radstock last Friday, Scheme Co-ordinator Eugene Kertzman handed out awards to the cyclists who attained the highest bike mileage for 2009. To all you athletes out there, bear in mind that most of these folk are, shall we say, not in the first flush of youth, nor had most of them even sat on a bike for anything up to forty years before they joined the scheme after it started about two and a half years ago. Anyway, we were told that the total mileage of the 40 or so regular riders amounted to some 25,000 miles for the year.
Individual top milers are as follows:
Senior Ladies
Cherie Challenger 466 miles
Maureen Debenham 443
Diane Spellward 433

Senior Men
Rod Cole 768
Trevor Lenton 500
Terry Spellward 489

Junior Ladies ('junior' in this context means under the age of 60 years)
Alison Britton 1006
Debbie Yarlett 539
Karen James 508

Junior Men
Gary Mclellan 382
Matt Britton 374
Glenn Smith 304

Mr & Mrs Teams
The Spellward's 922
The Debenhams 898
The Mclellan's 764

Well done all! You're all living proof that it's never too late.

Take a bow, folks! A fine example of the resurgence of cycling in Britain.
Copenhagenize !

Controlling Dangerous Traffic - A Little Girl's Perspective.

This little set of sketches by my daughter were rediscovered today whilst she was sorting out a pile of course artwork returned from her old school.
I don't recall seeing these pictures before, but we think that they were done during her early years at secondary school.
Since starting reception class we have always walked to school as it's only about a mile away, but due to a lack of continuous footway we have to cross a busy main road twice to get there. The footways are quite narrow in places which makes the passing traffic quite scary to a young child; we experienced near misses on a zebra crossing pretty well on a weekly basis when dozy motorists drove through whilst we we were on it. Things were much the same on the light controlled crossing outside the school. You would have thought that a light controlled crossing PLUS a uniformed 'lollypop man' would be enough to attract your typical idiot motorist's attention. Not a bit of it!
The bit of main road by the entrance to our cul-de-sac is nominally a 30 limit. Yeah. Right. Even with regular mobile speed camera blitzes by the local plod the local knuckleheads tend to regard the '30' as a minimum speed.
The pictures in this little set indicate possible solutions to these problems as imagined by a little girl who grew up to hate cars.

Monday, 7 December 2009

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Licensed to cycle – I Pay Road Tax

This is probably the best reasoned article I've seen on the famous old chestnut about cyclists road tax/insurance/licence. Says it all for me, but that's just because it's 'preaching to the converted'. However it's unlikely to have much effect on the 'redneck' element of the car obsessives who would never allow reason and facts get in the way of a good prejudice.

Licensed to cycle – I Pay Road Tax