Not all bike things are fun

My significant other once dismissed my moaning at fixing her puncture as ‘but you love this’

Correction I don’t ….
So tonight I was on a repair mission. Jolene has had 3 punctures on the glass strewn streets of glasgow over the last two months – I would blame her not avoiding glass but that is difficult when it is winter and the lights don’t really pick out the debris. Also the Stelvio Lights are only really a choice if you have smooth pavement and no crap to deal with – the amount of glass i fished outof the treads during the last repair was scary ……
So last week I was in Istanbul working and she suffered yet again – but took my bike to work until an icy day where she lost the bike on a corner and went smack down badly bruising herself and snapping off the wee hook that hooks the front wheel onto the rear triangle when folding. So two bikes out of commission.
So ordered tubes and tyres from SJS – schwalbe marathon plus ouch they cost – and a replacement hook for me.

The bikes are filthy too so got well mucky although will give them a clean over the weekend and oil them again – only doing 50 miles a week but the bikes sure get messy.

So two bikes back folded and content ….. Must get out for a ride instead of just turbo action ….


The other lives of bikes #1

When bikes are retired but refuse to die

In glasgow this one suffers outside in an effort to draw people in for lunch. You can tell how well I have indoctrinated my daughters – ruby comments ‘look dad it’s got a brooks saddle’ Yes it has although in need of a little proofride TLC


Friday bike poster: Stolen bike poster 2

In light of yesterday’s post about James stolen bike I remembered this picture and it is so apt,honest and shares the hurt of loss. A place of worship and murder in the same place ….nice

Kona Rove

Love this film showing a wee adventure – makes one desire a one does it all steel bike until we really think about the weight / the components / the compromise. But the escape is always good.

Some spec on the Kona beast which follows in the footsteps of cyclocross, Salsa Surly and a few others ….

At Kona, we love building specific bikes for specific purposes. We see a cool niche, and we pool our collective creativity to come up with the perfect ride. Our all-new Rove is just that. Designed to be the ultimate cyclocross/gravel-grinding/commuting machine, the Kona Cromoly drop-bar Rove pulls in the utilitarian attributes from our best commuter models, spices it with the efficient and comfortable geometry of our long cyclocross heritage, and dashes it with the awesome compliancy and durability of steel tubing. Outfitted with large tire clearance, eyelets for racks, and disc brakes for great stopping power, the Rove will deliver you come dirt, gravel or asphalt for as many Long Sweet Rides as you dare imagine.



BBC in the dock again and this time over a sensational film about cyclists vs motorists

I havent seen it yet but will catch up once back in the UK – but it is stirring up some bile already

The MP who chairs the all-party cycling group writes to new BBC head to express his concerns over The War on Britain’s Roads


Tony Hall, the new BBC director general, has his first controversy on his hands, albeit a small one, a full three months before he officially arrives. Two surprises: firstly it’s not a row confected by the Daily Mail or Sun; second, it’s about cycling.


wrote at length about the many flaws of a documentary scheduled to go out at peak time on BBC1 this Wednesday, breathlessly-titled The War on Britain’s Roads. I realise I’m viewing it through the prism of being a keen cyclist, but even so it’s genuinely one of the more silly, badly-made BBC programmes I’ve seen in a long time.

The independent production house who made the programme sent me a CD of it, but when it emerged I had significant worries about it they suddenly decided they weren’t able to also send copies to cycling groups, even the CTC, who advised them on some things (advice which was clearly ignored). My singe disc was thus passed round like a Beatles album in late-60s East Germany: at one stage four people squeezed into a tiny room at the Guardian to watch it on the same computer.

I was able to pass the CD to Ian Austin, the Labour MP for Dudley North who co-chairs the increasingly influential all-party cycling committee, which recently announced plans for an inquiry into cycling and cycle safety. He was so shocked he’s written to the BBC, as announced in a press release this morning:

The War on Britain’s Roads claims to show” the battle that is raging between two-wheeled road users and their four-wheeled counterparts” but presents a commercially-produced film of reckless stunt cycling in London as ordinary footage as if it is normal behaviour by everyday cyclists.

It includes assaults on cyclists and arguments between them and car drivers. Cycling organisations who helped the programme makers say their advice has been ignored but the BBC has refused to let them see the programme in advance.

Ian Austin MP – who has seen the film – said it was “stupid, sensationalist, simplistic, irresponsible nonsense”.

He said it “was about as representative of ordinary cycling in Britain as a James Bond car chase is of ordinary driving”.

And he has written to Tony Hall demanding other BBC programmes “present the reality of cycling and driving in Britain in a much more sensible, considered and accurate way”.

The press release quotes him further thus:

I am not in favour of banning programmes, but I don’t see why garbage like this should be produced in the first place and if the BBC insists on showing it, they have a duty to ensure that it is placed in context and the real issues around cycling and driving in Britain are discussed properly on its other programmes.

I cycle in London every day I’m there and have cycled all over Britain and whilst I do see drivers and cyclists do things they shouldn’t, I have never seen some of the things they present as everyday occurrences.

Nine out of ten cyclists also drive cars, so it is not just dangerous and irresponsible to promote a culture of confrontation on the roads which will make cycling and driving both more dangerous, but also stupid and inaccurate.

All road users should obey the rules of the road and treat each other with consideration and respect. That’s the message we should be giving.

I think that sums it up pretty well. I’d expand on only a couple of things.

Austin’s mention of “commercially-produced film of reckless stunt cycling” refers to a sequence used in the documentary showing cycle couriers racing extremely recklessly through central London. It fails to mention that the footage is both six years old and shot by a professional filmmaker who sells DVDs of his footage.

For me that’s where the programme crosses the line from unbalanced to actively dishonest. A senior BBC press man badgered me at length on Friday evening over how I described the film in my story. “It really happened,” he insisted. “It’s not fake footage.” In which case, I asked, why not tell viewers where the sequence came from? No response.

Secondly, since I wrote the news story two of the cyclists who contributed helmet camera videos to the documentary and are interviewed as part of it have raised concerns about the tone. One has blogged about it here. That’s not much of a vote of confidence.

I’d argue everyone at Leopard Films and the BBC connected to this film should have a good think about what they’ve done. For a start, they’ve made an unbalanced and hysterical documentary.

But more than that, anyone who actively contributes to a mood of division, mistrust and hostility on the roads is being pretty irresponsible. Let’s just hope that none of the several million people who watch it on Wednesday evening drive to work the next day thinking, even unconsciously, “Cyclists are a pretty reckless, aggressive bunch. Why should I watch out for them?”

Website There is room on a bike for a code of conduct – An article so stupid it hurts

There is room on a bike for a code of conduct – Comment – Voices – The Independent

An article so stupid it hurts to read it