Thursday, April 30, 2009

Cycling Proverbs

Born out of musings on avoiding slippy crisp packets, oddly enough, on this morning's ride, and mostly posted to Twitter.

Any person posting to a cycling message board asking for "which bike" advice as a new commuting cyclist MUST be recommended a hybrid costing not less than £700, and a further £200 worth of accessories by at least one respondent. The fact that the person asking is only commuting a 6 mile round trip shall not be taken into account.

The best time to realise that the rain *is* hard enough for you to need overtrousers is BEFORE you leave your house.

No matter what bike you have, or what kind of riding you do, someone, somewhere is waiting to tell you that it's the wrong bike.

No motorist's car is so old and rubbish that they won't say you'd be better off with one of those rather than your bike.

Most cyclists agree that taking up cycling to save money would probably be a good idea, in theory.

Surveys including the question "Why don't you cycle?" will never offer the answer "Because I'm too bloody lazy" as a possibility.

People who don't ride wonder why you'd want to on rainy days. People who do ride wonder why you wouldn't want to.

Junk food that you "earned" by riding all week tastes far better than junk food normally does. (Also applicable to beer, chocolates, takeaway curry, chinese food &c).

People will assume you're saving the planet and/or ridding the roads of Britain of cars even if all you want to do is enjoy riding in the sunshine.

No bike lane is so crap that motorists won't demand that you use it so that they don't have to reduce speed for half a second.

Riding your bicycle in ice is the best way of breaking your elbow and/or wrist (that doesn't involve interaction with other road users) yet discovered.

Whenever you decide to drive or take public transport, you will feel a deep sense of regret at the first cyclist you see enjoying their ride.

Anything shouted from a passing car will sound like "Blargh blah blaaaaargh" and is best not given too much thought.

Wearing any lycra at all allows people to jokingly call you "Lance Armstrong" and ask if you're off to the Tour De France.

Red light jumping, pavement riding cyclists allow any motorist to put your life at risk even if they've just watched you scrupulously obeying traffic law throughout your ride.

Injure any part of your body whilst cycling, and people will say that you should have been wearing a helmet.

Injure any part of your body whilst cycling, and people will say that it was good you were wearing a helmet.

The best day for a long ride will always be the day where you can't be out of the house for more than a couple of hours.

The further you are from your bicycle, the more ridiculous you look in lycra (unless you are a member of a glam rock band).

If you don't want to get wet, pack your waterproofs. Because then it won't rain.

No queue of stationary traffic is so close that a motorist won't overtake you to reach it.

The wet crisp packet is summer's equivalent of damp autumn leaves.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

In Which Rousing Tunes are Sung, for the Benefit of Mr. Gordon

A tweet from Evilgordon last night;
"Listening to the Lemonheads 'Shame about Ray'... This is not going to cheer me up! Suggestions please??"
alerted me to a freind in need, so I leapt into action, and tweeted some suggestions - as ever with twitter, there sometimes isn't enough room to post everything you're thinking of, so a blog post seemed in order.

This post was originally titled "Happy Songs", but on reflection I think "rousing" is a better description. Especially given the inclusion of the blood curdling "Mars Forevermore", which describes just what the crew of the "HMS Agamemnon", under the command of Nelson at the time, hoped to do to the Spanish.

Happy Days are Here Again - The Harry Reisman Orchestra (hosted at
Donkey Rhubarb
- The Aphex Twin (
The Boy With the Arab Strap - Belle and Sebastian (
Enjoy Yourself (It's later than you think) - Todd Snider (
Robots Need Love Too - Superpowerless (
Let's Play Video Games - Derek Williams ( - no preview)
Mars Forevermore - Holdstock and Macleod (Stumbleaudio)
Eyen - Plaid (
De Fiets Van Piet Van Pa - Henkie (

The selection is a quick, and very much off the top of my head set of choices, but on the day I chose them, these are what I'd listen to if I'd had a bad day. Incidentally, "Robots Need Love Too" now has a pleasingly bonkers video, a development I thoroughly approve of.

Note that the Aphex Twin and Plaid tunes can be bought from Warp Records' "Bleep" site (drm free too). "Happy Days are Here Again" is available as a no cost download from . "The Boy with the Arab Strap" is available on the album of the same name, and should be avilable on iTunes et al. Todd Snider's "Enjoy Yourself" is on eMusic, Derek Williams' "Let's Play Video Games" is on the "Music to Play Games By" cd available through Amazon, and Superpowerless' "Robots Need Love Too" is on his website. My favoured version of "Mars Forevermore" is by Johnny Collins, on his cd "Best of the Early Years" available from Amazon, although the version posted here is on iTunes. I can't find anywhere to buy Henkie's song, I'm afraid, although I first heard it on the Ruby's Chicky Boilups Tour De France special, which is available here.