Thursday, 27 May 2010

Hazard Perception

First today I apologise for the quality of the above video - condensation on the camera owing to fog. As I was descending the ramp from the Rodwell Trail I noticed stored gas pipe so slowed to take evasive action. It transpires that I was wise to do so as the gas board have dug up the road and sealed one lane with traffic lights. I expect the dump truck driver was surprised by the 'bent and the snaking path I took to avoid everything was fun - even off road the Orca is OK!

Second, I present another video on the same subject... hazard perception. Luckily I had a hunch about this car as I saw it approaching the roundabout stop line, so was well prepared to avoid a collision and not use any expletives in my shout. The only slight mitigation in her favour was that the sun was almost directly behind me so I may have been a little difficult to see. Possibly. If you are feeling really generous. Oddly enough the other car at the give way failed completely to hit me or otherwise impede my progress.

For those who can't make out my shout I say "Get out of it! What are give way signs for!?" the latter referring to the lines on the road commonly found at traffic roundabouts. What are give way signs for? decoration? daft mare.

I am fairly confident she heard me because I shout loud anyway and she had her passenger side window open.

Oh well, no more cycling till Tuesday now. See you all (both of you, dear readers) then.

Monday, 24 May 2010

Shared path

As most of you know by now, I use a shared path for a length of my commute. The usual meaning of the word shared is "to use something with someone else"... so why on a shared path, do people consider standing in the middle of a junction to be sharing?

The Gent on the right notices me and winds back his hound on an extendible lead (black cord is just so visible and suitable for use on a path on which bikes are a common feature)the woman on the other hand - she of blog posts passim complete with skittish mad greyhound - is totally oblivious to the imminent arrival of a cetacean on the scene.

Oh look, the dog runs off and, rather sensibly for a greyhound, a breed not known for their smarts at the best of times, it hops off to one side of the track to let me past.

What was so important to talk about that the path had to be blocked, when a little bit of thought on the dog owners part would have rendered their conversation uninterrupted? why how to avoid the traffic chaos that is the roundabout outside ASDA and the edifying comment which I added as the title sceen of the clip...

Ah well - best wishes dear readers, until next time.

Thursday, 20 May 2010


Dear reader, it has been a while hasn't it? well here is a video to pass the time and I probably won't be posting another until Monday or Tuesday because I will be driving tomorrow.

Anyway, back to the video. You will remember that I ride along the Rodwell trail as part of my commute. In the last weeks I have met all sorts of other traffic - pedestrians (how dare they use my road?), joggers, school children, dog walkers, maintenance trucks, a grass mower and now, adding colour, a mountain bike actually riding up the steep path off the trail at the marsh.

I take my hat off to the gentleman - not only did he ride up the slope, he passed me almost casually. no fuss or bother!

Anyhow TTFN dear reader, more next week I hope.

Friday, 14 May 2010


Dear readers, today we have a longer than normal video (showing off my elite video editing skills..... or perhaps not!) which illustrates the thorny issue of overtaking on a bike, or scalping as it is called by the commuter racing fraternity.

Climbing up the hill by the Kingswood Hotel I wonder why my Orca is making unusual noises and, much to my surprise, a Brompton folding bike creaks past about 1 or 2 mph faster than I. Ho hum thinks I and pick up the pace, as I would do normally at that point on the hill, expecting the Brompton man to be streaking off into the distance.

I was mistaken. He pottered along about 5 mph slower than I normally cycle along that particular stretch of road... that is the boring bit of the video - which I took the liberty of speeding up to save you from terminal boredom.

As the traffic eased and the road widened I took my chance with a swift glance to the right I streak (yes ok... I know!) past the Brompton using the hill and my 120" top gear to my full advantage much to the disgust of the tendons behind my knee. I neither hear nor see Brompton man again.

Now I don't overtake unless I am sure I can stay well in front; this applies in my car as well as on the bikes - why should someone be slowed by my inability to keep up a reasonable pace? Surely I am not being unreasonable if I expect the same courtesy from other riders? Waiting behind till we got to the top of the hill wouldn't have killed Mr Brompton man would it?

Oh well - he better watch out if I catch him on the flat or down hill...

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Cycle cycle cycle cycle..... Junction junction... Aargh! Bus! a Buuuus!

Dear readers, remember back in the mists of time, when being taught the green cross code, the admonishment to look right, look left, look right again?

This video shows just why that is important. As I was approaching the junction I looked right, then left then right again just as the bus miraculously appeared out of the morning sun. I didn't fall off either.

This morning was an unsettling commute - nothing went wrong as such but things just didn't flow - by the time the bus turned up I was ready for anything to go not quite right.

What went not quite right? all sorts of things, listed here in no particular order...
There were pedestrians using the shared path (how very dare they!) in clumps so I had to use my bell;
Said pedestrians were accompanied by loose dogs;
I had a bit of a wobble at the end of my road for no apparent reason;
The traffic lights on Portland road started changing when I was 2 meters from the line travelling at 30mph or so.

That sort of thing - nothing major yet the whole was greater than the sum of the parts

I hope that my journey home will be even less eventful and more relaxed - if it isn't you will be the first to know.

p.s. in case you didn't realise the title of this post pays homage to Weebl's Badgers
p.p.s. Yes I know that isn't the original; it is the new live action version and no Weebl hasn't fixed the synch issue!

Monday, 10 May 2010

Mirror, Signal, Manoeuvre

Well dear readers, here we have Weymouth's first example of someone who didn't listen to his driving instructor. There I was minding my own business, about to join the inside left turn lane, for a left turn surprisingly enough, and R832FKN decided to join me - without waiting for me to get past or even indicating his intention.

This driver isn't, I am glad to say, typical of Weymouth - else you would be watching more similar videos - however he does illustrate the reason why I treat all drivers with suspicion when I am on any bike and especially the Orca.

Oh well - it looks like being a nice day tomorrow so perhaps the traffic will be worse! I have to say that the morning traffic is much better behaved than the homeward bound stuff; must be something they eat during the day I guess.

On a slightly sombre note - whilst out in the car (yeuck!) this evening, on my way along part of my commute, I noticed an ambulance parked outside the house of a couple of elderly eccentrics who greet me enthusiastically every day I cycle past them. I do hope nothing has happened to the one who wasn't outside the ambulance. If there is only one of them on the road tomorrow I will stop and find out what was going on.

Thursday, 6 May 2010

They will never catch on

This morning's commute was full of the usual mundaneness... as I was riding I was thinking that the novelty of the recumbent has worn off for me and it is almost like riding an upwrong in as far as it seems normal. Obviously that doesn't hold true for the other inhabitants of sunny Weymouth; the other day, whilst out on a ride with Morgwen, I heard someone saying "Look dad, that bike comes past my bus stop every morning!" anyway back on track as it were...

I am descending the hill towards the cycle path when I notice a member of the local constabulary (PCSO or PC I am not sure which) approaching the on/off ramp... and holding his position to the right of the track (I always thought we cycled on the left in this country but never mind). I slow right down - because it is a fast descent - and join the path narrowly missing said upstanding member of the community and as I pass he chuckles and says "they will never catch on!" I reply "they will eventually" and proceed on my way.

If that is as exciting as it gets on my commute I may have to find a more interesting route to work, however that is probably tempting fate. So far I have had few mishaps though yesterday on the way to the locksmith shop in park street I did manage to lock up the rear wheel and slide to a halt by some traffic lights - it should have been on film but the Muvi was discharged or having a bit of a paddy for some reason and so the most exciting thing to happen in a week of cycling was lost for ever.

As always, dear readers (all two of you), I must leave and hopefully have an eventful ride home.

Tuesday, 4 May 2010


The most exciting bit of my commute today - a really slow speed 'Sorry Mate, I didn't See You' incident. Riding up the road the White Van man probably has his mind on other things when he starts his 3(ish) point turn manoeuvre. If I had been a car he wouldn't have pulled out from the kerb however I am 'only a bike' I guess, so should expect to give way to everything else on the road - luckily the gearing on the Orca is very low so I can quite easily cycle slowly.

If he had waited for me to pass, the total delay to his journey would have been just less than the length of the video - possibly 30s in all but, as we have seen previously, 30s is a really long time when you are waiting for it.

Aside from the white van man the commute toady was uneventful - even though I started out rather later than usual due to a dose of fail last thing last night when switching off the phone - I forgot to switch on the alarm!