Monthly Archives: June 2012

Great Fettling Foul Ups

We’ve all been there – those times when you’ve been distracted while tinkering with your bike and then you step back – ta-da! – and discover that while you’ve been humming along to the radio or sorting out the world’s ills or rehashing the brilliantly clever bit of repartee you should have said the other…

The Morality of Cycling

I see BBC 4 Radio aired a program earlier this week called Thinking Allowed in which the ‘morality of cycling’ was given a thorough going over by the panel. At the heart of the discussion was a recent paper by sociologist Judith Green who explores the question of whether cyclists believe they are, by their actions, inherently morally superior to motorists. Her premise is that by choosing to ride bicycles instead of cars or public transport cyclists are making philosophical, ecological and political statements and that by their growing weight of numbers cyclists have turned the act of driving a car into, as one listener put it, ‘the new smoking’.

Freedoms and Responsibilities

There was a time when we were kids, back in 1960s America, when my brother and I both passionately wanted speedometers to put on our Stingray bicycles. Our mother was highly resistant to the idea, worried that we would become too preoccupied with going fast and hitting new speed records to pay full attention to…

Out of Office

My apologies to those who have been following this blog – or trying to – over the past ten days. Although I like to try to post daily (and ride daily, too!), my travel schedule this month has been such that I have not been able to. Yesterday was another such day – a day…

Romancing The Trail

Today’s post is going to be about romancing the trail and by that I don’t mean the lure of the open road; I mean the trail on your bicycle. Trail, if you haven’t heard the term before, is an aspect of bicycle frame geometry and refers specifically to the horizontal distance between the steering axis…

The Value of Smiles

A while ago I wrote a post about the merits of greeting fellow cyclists (and others!) on the road, saying hello in passing, and remarked on how such simple open-handed acts of courtesy and friendliness can set the tone for a ride, whether you are the giver or the recipient. One of my fondest memories…

Long Days, Long Rides

Today marks the June solstice, that day when the Earth has tilted far enough forward on its axis so that the sun’s noon rays fall vertically on the Tropic of Cancer. For those of us in the northern hemisphere it is the longest day of the year and for those of us of the cycling…

The Hour

One of the things I like about air travel these days – just about the only thing I like, I might say – is that it does give you a few undisturbed guilt-free hours during which you can catch up on your reading. Indeed there’s not much else to do while you’re hanging all that…

Innocence Abroad

In the interests of earning a living I’ve had to set aside my bicycle for a week and hop over to the other side of the Atlantic. So now here I am, late at night (my time) watching a ball game in a nice hotel room in Washington DC, marvelling that I should be back…

Other People’s Bicycles

I like looking at other people’s bicycles. It’s the writer in me. Like all writers I have an abiding curiosity about the world around me and the people in it and being a cyclist as well as a writer I suppose it’s only natural that I should take a heightened interest in their bicycles as…