Monday, 26 April 2010

Falling off workshop III

Today I had a nearly fall off the bike incident down to me forgetting that my feet were attached firmly to the bike. Low speed, lots of wobble, one profanity and I suppose you would like an explanation - cos the video doesn't make it very clear.
To begin with it is a normal day. Approach a queue forming behind the bus, the last vehicle in the queue being the tanker you can just see at the beginning of the clip. No problems so far. I point forward for the bus driver to carry on in front of me (I may be a bit optimistic that he can actually see me but I am fairly sure I could see his mirror)

Things now start to get interesting because it transpires that the tanker has failed to position himself in the road for the right filter lane in which he is parked, causing the bus to stop rather than proceed ahead through the green light as I expected it to.

I slow down to below walking speed but that isn't enough to avoid the rear of the bus; I try to put my foot down still clipped in to the clipless pedals (yes, apparently clipless pedals are attached to your feet by clipping in to them. Don't ask me why - I am as confused as you dear readers.) so I wobble madly and during the wobble manage to unclip my feet from the pedals.

So only a little falling off, not a spectacular all over the road version.

I must be getting more relaxed about the whole recumbent/clipless pedal thing if I can make a silly mistake like this... can't wait till it is all as much second nature as riding the upwrong.

Thursday, 22 April 2010

Fame at last

Well what have we today... I was cycling through Hope Square in Weymouth (not Melcombe Regis - that is the touristy part with the beach and the Georgian buildings) when I heard some hair driers following me - something must have amused the riders because they were laughing so much I could hear them above their machines.

I thought no more of it after they had passed and turned left at a roundabout that I go across... however as I was minding my own business hauling up the hill to the traffic light gnome I heard them again - as indeed you will dear reader (I know there is only one of you :) ). As they pass the lead hair drier pilot does nothing untoward, however I notice that his wing man is riding single handed and not looking where he is going because he is videoing me on his phone. I wonder if he noticed the head cam?

hey ho - I guess I will be all over Weymouth (and indeed Melcombe) via phone and perhaps even on YouTube. Such is the price of actually enjoying riding and being extremely laid back about the trip.

More tomorrow; I doubt you can bear the excitement or suspense until then but, pray, don't hold your breath else you may be an interesting shade of purple by the time I get around to posting.

Monday, 19 April 2010


By special request, a video containing knees! well not really - I suspect you, dear reader, are hoping for accidents, close calls and general falling off the Orca. Sadly, unless you really were hoping for knees you will be disappointed on all counts.

Today was uneventful, except for this minor queue of cars I encountered at probably the worst place possible on the commute route home. A queue of cars is not usually a problem (idiots aside of course - see videos past) however this queue of cars was on the steepest hill and was also completely stationary. Arrrgh! time to dismount - a task made slightly more difficult by the firm attachment of my feet to the bike by the SPD cleats.

Having ridden 10 miles in the cleats this lunchtime I figured a trip home couldn't be hard. To quote a famous program consisting of three blokes cocking about "How hard could it be?" and indeed it wasn't. As the pedals are set at almost the loosest release, I manage to release my left foot without much trouble and no trouble at all for the right. I hop off the Orca and push it up the hill - and take a new route home - on which nothing remarkable happened so I have no video of that.

Well that seems to be all for now dear reader, I hope for more mirth and hilarity tomorrow.

Sunday, 18 April 2010


Here is an image of my first race on the Orca as photographed by Rhiannon. us reckless high speed racers disdain the use of  helmets or even a race track - I was using the road and the lad was safe on the pavement - safe for whom I am not sure... anyway a delightful evening getting used to not worrying about what my feet were doing was had by me along with a couple of races up and down the road - even  when the lad had a head start I managed to scrape a win.

Clips - well cleats really. I get all these different terms mixed up in my head... toe clips we are all familiar with, indeed I used them for years until I moved to the dark side.

The Shimano MT42s are 'clipless' however attaching them to the bike requires clipping in so some people say the SPD system is a system of clips... oh dear... my head fair spins with the confusion. So some people when saying clips are referring to the SPD system and others to the traditional toe clips.

Never mind, what ever they are - clips or clipless or cleats - I am fairly sure I can arrange not to fall off too much and needless to say I will video my attempts at disaster and you, my dear reader, will be the first to know how I get on tomorrow whilst I commute.

Monday, 12 April 2010

12-16th April

The management would like to apologise to our readers for the lack of blog during this period.

This is a result of bikelessness induced by being in Salisbury, rather than cycling, digging out 46 years of rubbish from the parent's house to enable the creation of a downstairs bed-sit-bath for the aged father who is recovering from a stroke and currently entertaining staff at Salisbury District Hospital with his wit and repartee.

Regards until next week

Thursday, 8 April 2010

Traffic Management

Here we are making progress along North Quay in Weymouth... I travel this way every day, so why you may ask, is this video on the blog and not any others? Observe the left side of the picture and you can see the upright looming structures of Weymouth Town Bridge - a bascule bridge; the link provides more information than you may want but also a webcam mounted on the north quay offices of the local council.

Anyway, back to the point... I left work later than usual tonight and so caught the bridge lift. My initial reaction was 'oh no - a traffic queue!" but every cloud has a silver lining... with the bridge up it means that there is no traffic crossing it (if there is I would be in lots of trouble) and the right turn over the pedestrian crossing and down the harbour side is simple as opposed to a rather nervous wobble across the possible oncoming traffic hidden by the rise of the bridge on ramp.

Perhaps later is better? who knows... I am sure I will find out.

Tuesday, 6 April 2010


Back after Easter and a gentle cycle to work... more other users of the Rodwell trail than usual and I had a feeling that there was trouble ahead as I left the top of the embankment (just before the point at which "they" are sometime going to add a bridge and incidentally change my commute again) so I drifted down the steep slope wondering what was going to happen. I didn't have long to wait to find out.

The chap in black went on his way along the bottom of the embankment, all well and good. The woman in blue seemed to be on one side of the track whilst trying to control her dog by remote control or something. Lucky I was paying attention because, having seen me, she stood right in the middle of the tarmac for no apparent reason. Oh well, none so queer as folk as they say. A few yards further on there was a pedestrian and cyclist interview station which completely failed to stop me - perhaps they though that the Orca isn't a bike?

I think that 'they' are going to be rearranging the cycle paths etc. in Weymouth before 2012 so that there is at least a veneer of greenwash so that the local authority ticks the boxes for the Olympic Committee. We shall see... no doubt I will explore the new farcilities once they are in place - expect comments between now and then!

Thursday, 1 April 2010

Sunlight is bright

Stating that sunlight is bright may seem a bit obvious to most people but sometimes I forget. This morning the sun was particularly dazzling - and in the video you can see about as much as I could - the footage from the head cam reflects pretty much what I can see. You can see the car coming the other way just about as well as I could as well - which was a little unnerving to say the least as the descent to the Rodwell Trail was completed in double quick time today. Well not quite double quick but nearly.

For those that are interested, I join the path at the other end of Wyke Regis halt to the camera position for that link and cycle towards Weymouth (away from the camera).

Two things are apparent from today's experience....

1. I must get the sun glasses out of the car so that I can use them on the 'bent
2. On the upwrong I could move my head so that the visor for the helmet (camera mount) got in the way of the sun so sunglasses are not essential. On the Orca this dip of the head is not possible as I am lying back (well duh! it is a recumbent....) and my neck, in common with most humans, is not goose-like.

It is a long weekend so probably no blog tomorrow or Monday - too busy sorting things out and being dad.

A merry new Easter to all my readers! (yes, both of you. you know who you are!)