Monthly Archives: March 2012

Dream On

You’d have thought the petrol stations were giving the stuff away this week, with all the mad rush and the jostling at the bowsers, and the spectacle of long queues of cars stretching down the street at our local Sainsbury’s and the nearby Esso station having to shut down temporarily because its pumps had run…

Telling Weather

Small wonder the weather is such a big topic of conversation here in Britain – there is just so much of it to talk about. With their sceptred isle situated at the crossroads of several North Atlantic storm tracks, subject to the whims of both the Azores Highs and the Icelandic Lows and with the Gulf Stream handy to add its bit of variety to the show, a body simply never knows what’s going to happen next and it’s seldom any good asking the Met Office or checking in with the BBC’s weather page, because they generally don’t know either – it is just kind of a guessing game, a national pastime to rank with cricket: lick your finger, hold it in the air and say the first thing that pops into your mind.

Three’s The Charm

Henri Desgrange, the stubborn, dictatorial founder of the Tour de France, was famously scornful of variable gears on bicycles, seeing them as a sign of weakness in body and character and for many years – as long as he was in charge of the event – he forbade the use of derailleurs in the Tour.…

Man’s Best Friend?

Long ago when we were kids and pedalling our bikes the five miles down to the rural New England village that formed the centre of our world, we used to have to ride past the summer house of a wealthy Boston cardiologist. We didn’t know him or any of his family, except by sight, but…

Daylight Savings – What Is It Good For?

No sooner do I return to England and get back in the saddle again than it’s time to turn the clocks forward to Daylight Savings Time, plunging me back into darkness once more when I go out for my early morning rides. It just seems so unfair. For the past few weeks I’ve been enjoying the earlier and earlier sunrises, to the point where it would be broad daylight by the time I rocked up back home again. Now its dark again. So although the clocks might have sprung forward an hour, it felt to me when I went out this morning like the calendar has sprung backwards a whole month. Now I have to watch the sunrise creep forward over the same ground all over again.

My Invisibility Cloak

There is something marvellously therapeutic about that first bicycle ride after coming home from a long flight – and it isn’t just because all that pedalling and fresh air clears away the jet-lag induced cobwebs from your brain and gets your circulation moving again after all those hours spent cramped in a cattle-class seat, trying to elbow your neighbour’s love handles from the armrest without provoking a turf war. It restores your dignity and sense of self as well. You’re back in charge of your life, captaining body and soul wherever it is you want to go, without reference to procedures, protocol, security or schedules. You can go where you please, as you please. Best of all you become invisible to all that overweening authority that monitors, taxes and surcharges our every movement these days.

I’m Back!

I’m back from the wilds – well, not actually back in England yet and aboard my bicycle, but back within the cosy sphere of the Internet, able once again to post on my blog, respond to e-mails and generally rejoin the workaday fray. I left camp early yesterday morning and arrived here last night after…

Constant Reader

  As anyone who has read many of my posts would gathered by now, I am hardly a weight weenie when it comes to my bicycles, and while I naturally prefer to travel light when I am touring – or travelling on business for that matter – that doesn’t mean I want to do without…

On The Road Again

What a glorious spring day it is here in Sussex, all hazy blue skies, daffodils in bloom, the air soft and balmy with the soporific drone of a neighbour’s lawn mower coming to me through the open window – just the sort of morning to be out on your bike, cruising the lanes, with your…

Phases of The Moon

I set off down the road on my bicycle this morning at just on a quarter to five, spinning down to the seafront beneath a luminous cream-coloured gibbous moon floating dreamily in the southwestern sky. It was a waning moon, about two-thirds full, and the halo around it, formed by a gauzy layer of cloud,…