Singlespeed bikes, Japan, getting out of Streatham, trying not to bang on about multiple sclerosis

Monday, June 04, 2012

Into the abyss

I'm sitting at my desk, half an hour shy of noon on a super-patriotic Monday: since I subscribe to George Bernard Shaw's view that patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel, it should be obvious that I have no interest at all in the fact that the queen has done the best part of 60 years as an unelected head of state.

So enough republicanism. Others can do it better. What I actually want to get down is this link, which I lifted from a comment on the exalted Bike Snob NYC blog. - it's a speech from the TED gathering (and guess what? I have no idea what TED even stands for) that does an excellent job of debunking the myth of  the mortal danger of riding a bike, as put about by the forces of darkness (the car manufacturers), who have led us all to believe that you can't ride a  bike without a helment. Yeah, helment. Ask the Snob.

So I'm shortly about to get on my trusty steel steed,  which has been gathering dust in a shed for a goodly while, with the intention of riding it for several miles - which is to say, several times as far as the last time I rode it. I'm still 300km short of the 10,000km I was heading for on this bike in 2006, when my riding career took a vicious kick in the nuts from MS, and hasn't really gone far since. This being a pleasantly sunny day, and cool, and a bank holiday to boot, the motor traffic ought to be very light, and perhaps less perilous than usual, though of course the holiday driver is a notorious peril. I reckon a modest little anticlockwise circuit, going down to Uxbridge Road, along to Shepherd's Bush and turning left onto Wood Lane, up that over the Westway (or rather, under it) to turn left into Du Cane Road, which cruises along to Old Oak Common Lane, off which Hemlock Road takes me most of the way home. Not just me, but Sachiko too. This being a bravely unhelmented venture, I think I really ought to post as soon as I get back. Could be a few hours, because Sachiko is keen on lunch, and who's to say that some fuel wouldn't be a good thing?

Cars suck. Thatcher extolled the "great car-owning democracy," and she also thought the poll tax was a good idea. Enough of words. I've pumped the tyres, there's food to get to grips with, and the open road is beckoning. In Arnie's words: I'll be Bach.


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