Which wasnâ€™t as surreal as Iâ€™d first thought. Because it was acutally Piccadilly Circus. Let me explain, the underground strike drove many of the tube rats out of their tunnels and onto bikes of assorted vintages, ridden with skills blunted by twenty years neglect.
Glancing over my shoulder at a set of lights, I was presented with a rambling pantheon of two wheeled transport, 4 or 5 deep in places. Suits and trouser clips jockeyed for position with lycra and SPDs. It was a great experience as this critical mass took flight (pedal?) on the green light and the cars â€“ for once â€“ played second fiddle.
There are sure to be casualties though. Diffidence and stupidity in equal amounts created traffic havoc at every junction. Increasingly frustrated motorists sounded horns and waved clenched fists at wobbling and worried cyclists. If the strike does nothing else, my hope is it will educate those who rode today what itâ€™s like for the rest of us who ride every day.
But I say again, it was great to be part of a large cycling community today. Roll on summer and more of the same.
The internet has been described as all things to all (wo)men. It’s been rather better described as an enormous repositry for Porn interspersed with the deluded ramblings of a million conspiracy theorists. The truth – as with most of these things – is somewhere in the middle and my own personal shining light is the BBC website.
Occasionally though, an otherwise dull siding way off the information highway throws out a real gem. I give you this snippet from “The Northern Light” a electronic version of Montana’s newspaper.
Please transport that donkey to the middle of my office and let it admister its’ savage justice.
Ebay pulled a couple of my listings yesterday. Their grounds for doing so were mildly amusing insomuch as it is a transparent policy to increase their listing fees. Buried somewhere in Ebay T&Cs is the entertaining precept that the seller may not charge the buyer for PayPalâ€™s extortionate transaction fees because in some way this undermines trust in the seller?
How does that work then? As a seller, I offer the buyer many options to pay for the item. One of those attracts costs which I have no intention of paying. If the buyer feels the same way, fine â€“ send me a cheque, do a bank transfer, pay me in chickens, I care not. How can this in some way undermine trust in the seller? Beats me!
Continue reading EBAY – a shoddy place to do business.
It’s official. I am a proper mountain biker. Retro traditionalists may claim that 300 metres makes not a mountain, but this is nothing more than semantic pedantry. I’d further refute their laughable claims by offering this compelling and watertight evidence:
Impervious in the face of dampness. As the weather tended to the spectacularly moist, my riding buddy cluster compressed to five or less. Proper riders unearthed dusty waterproofs, traded race shoes for winter boots and, striking a heroic pose, manfully rode out into the driving rain. Frankly, it was pretty unpleasant – a flashback to November with greasy trails outing summer technique as overconfident ego-stroking rubbish which dissolved under sheets of the wet stuff. Although once I’d slid into a tree and suffered a two hour deluxe mud enema, it became strangely enjoyable. Especially at the end. That was the really good bit.
Continue reading Real Mountain Bikers
Itâ€™s the end of a long week â€“ pointless meetings punctuated by periods of intense activity, fitfully attempting to close the gap between glib promises and actual delivery. The house is full of shouting offspring annoying two generations of the Leigh family and ratcheting my stress levels ever higher. Havenâ€™t these kids heard of Chiltern Railways and their mythical timetable? Iâ€™m considering publishing a book â€œmy life on a platform” â€“ it wouldnâ€™t be interesting but itâ€™d be cheaper than therapy.
The school quiz night awaits. This is one of these dreadful group hugs that raises about 50p and attempts to unite a rambling pantheon of disparate individuals to a common cause. The strategy is excellent but the tactics are dreadful. 90% of those who occupy the hall could stay at home unwittingly donating 50 quid so by trebling the eveningâ€™s revenue without actually attending. But hey, I really had nothing better to do. Well I did but since there was a cheap bar, I could do it just as well in a drafty hall with a smell than shot me back in time thirty years.
Continue reading The dreaded school quiz night
Unbelievably “IWANTMYLIFEBACK.COM” was taken by some ‘get off your butt and start your own business’ website.
Rather than reaching for a beer and abandoning the project stillborn, I asked each of my kids for the first word that came into their head. “Pickled” grinned the 4 year old. “That’s a stupid word” retorted the lofty 6 year old – forehead creased in thought – before on came the mental light bulb and she seriously offered “Hedgehog”
We considered “Hedgehog pickle” but having plumbed the blogsphere to all the depth 10 drunken minutes can offer, there was more than a serious possibility that intensive goodling may drive extreme taxidurmists to the site. Now I’m up for spiking the hit counter as much as the next blogger but small truffling mammals and sticky preservatives is a line that not even I’m prepared to cross.
So “pickled hedgehog” it was and Lord save me from Meta Searches.
Apropo of bugger all, did you know that every three letter domain name has been taken from ‘aaa’ to ‘zzz’. No, really it has. One day I intend to methodically plough through the whole lot to cement or dispell this urban Internet Myth. Just not on my own time, I have all day at work for that kind of thing.