Thursday, December 09, 2004

Trailer Bike

I got my trailer bike this week and just finished putting it together last night. It was fairly straight forward till I read the last bit about removing the seat post! Having not removed the seat post since I bought the bike I thought I was going to be in for a hard time. But after a bit of welly with a hammer and a few twists for a good half hour it came out so i could fit the bracket. But it meant I had to take the mud guard off so i'm going to have to look for a mud guard that will fit on somewhere else.
Anyway I havent taken the kids out on it yet so i'm looking forward to the weekend so we can have a good go on it.
I got a bottle of lemonade chucked at me last night on the way home, they just missed with the liquid so threw the bottle aswell which hit the back wheel so I went after them - didnt catch them though - probably good job that I didnt, its difficult not to react to these things though.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

This has got to be the coolest bike i've seen in ages. I saw the kids version in a bike shop in Kilkeel on Saturday and when I checked the website it turns out they have an adult version aswell for about £600, cheap enough for a recumbent but a bit difficult to justify when I wouldnt be using it on the road - but then again I can get virtually the whole way to work by tow path so maybe in a couple of years time. I'm busy looking for a solution to getting the 2 kids to school by bike without 1 of them having to walk. I'd love to get a Bike Friday tandem (pictured on a previous post) but in the mean time I think I'll go for a trailer bike.
Posted by Dave

Monday, November 15, 2004


Went for a day trip to Dublin yesterday and noticed a big increase in cycle lanes since the last time I was there, didnt stop people riding on the pavement though or riding through red lights with their child sitting on the crossbar. Not surprisingly there were plenty of wrecked bikes attached to lamp posts and cycle stands.
When you ride in a city I think its important to dominate the traffic and stake your claim on the stretch of road you are using, but for me this doesnt include taking stupid risks - especially going through red lights.
Back to the commute this morning and someone pulled right in front of me without indicating, so I hammered on the window. Even when its blatantly their fault why do some motorists always assume its the cyclists fault. Maybe hammering on the window isnt the best option but what else can you do to make someone understand how dangerous a 2 tonne piece of metal can be. I think i'll hammer on the roof next time this happens - I think it'll make a more satisfying bang.

Friday, November 12, 2004

Fancy a bit of direct action, fed up of SUV's blocking your cycling route - why not give them a thinking ticket. Cant promise that it'll make them change their car but you never know - it might plant a seed of an idea in their head, maybe.
Posted by Dave

Friday, November 05, 2004

Well - how many months since my last post.
Nevermind, autumn is a lovely time to be on the bike - just cool enough to be comfortable and lots of nice trees to look at. People still cutting me up in cars though - i'm going to have to get one of those air horns.
3 other cyclists on my way in the other day, and not one of them stopped for red lights - sad.
I sent a couple of e-mails at work trying to find out wether we are running the tax break scheme for buying a bike through work and someone is looking in to it for me - so a new bike might be up for grabs, cant decide between the adaptability of a Brompton, the comfort of a hybrid, the speed of a racer or a recumbant. I think the recumbant can wait till i'm a bit better off.
I should really try and post more often.

Friday, August 06, 2004

Folding tandem in Waterford
Posted by Dave

Thursday, August 05, 2004

Mini Cycling Holiday

I've just spent the weekend in Waterford doing the show at the "Spraoi" (apparently it means "Fun" in Irish) and I managed to get the bike rack rigged up to Chris's car. So after 4 hours looking over my shoulder to make sure it wasnt falling off we got to Waterford and the Hotel owner was kind enough to let me lock it in the beer garden.
The next morning it was down for an early breakfast and then out towards Bunmahon on a glorious sunny day. It was such a joy to be cycling for pleasure rather than just commuting. From Bunmahon I came back along the copper coast through Annestown and on to Tramore before heading back to Waterford. A total of 37 miles.
The copper coast is lovely, and I was accompanied by swifts diving around the cliff edge. Unfortunatley I forgot to bring my camera with me so no picies i'm afraid. But the next day in Waterford I did see a foldable tandem which I took a picture of, unfortunatley the owners werent about so I couldnt ask them about it.
I'm bringing the bike over to Scotland at the end of the month when we go to stay in the wig wams in Dumfries, so hopefully I'll get a few more early morning rides in

Monday, July 19, 2004

2 Less Wheels

I've been off work for the last week so havent had much chance to be on the bike as I've been looking after the kids.
But on the plus side I finally got round to taking the stabalisers off my daughters bike. She learnt how to do it in a couple of hours! I dont know why I didnt take them off sooner - shes really in to cycling now and begs me to bring the bikes out every day, needless to say i'm a happy daddy.

Friday, July 09, 2004

Half a Century

I've done some miles this week.
On Wednesday I did 50 miles! All the way to Bangor with juggling stuff in my rucksack for a gig at the Bangor Market. I went over the Craigantlet hills which is a killer, but the pay off is the long descent in to Bangor on the other side.
Then coming in to Belfast I had the wind behind me all the way down the dual carriageway. Using the dual carriageway can be a bit scary but it's better than riding through all the glass and dog crap on the cycle path.
I really want to do a century before the end of the summer but I dont know when i'm going to fit it in.
The Tour de France is in full swing but itv1 seem to be giving it less coverage than last year unfortunatley. Oh well, i'll just have to follow it on the net.

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

BBC Bias

From BBC News - "A 72-year-old Teesside man has died following an accident with a cyclist who rode off before emergency services could get to the scene."

I first heard this news on Radio2. Very sad but why is it making national news when reports about hit and run accidents involving cars rarely make it out of the local rag?

Monday, June 28, 2004

Drugs Scandal

Just one week before the TDF and Drugs are making the headlines again. It makes you wonder how many of them are still at it, especially when someone like David Millar with a supposedly clean history is caught. Oh well - i'll still be watching Lance go for his 6th anyway.

David Millar
Posted by Dave

Saturday, June 19, 2004

The only way to travel!
Posted by Dave

Bike to Work Week

Well as Bike Week draws to a close I managed to double the amount of people cycling in to work! Doesn't sound quite as impressive when I tell you that just one other person bothered to get on their bike.
Out of an office of about 200 people you'd think that more than one person would cycle in on a regular basis. Most of them do live quite a distance from the office though, so you could blame the government for centralizing my particular branch of the civil service in Belfast, Whilst an old branch 2 miles from my house lies empty. So most of my colleagues would say their only option is bringing the car, which is probably true. Just another example of how the car is given priority in every detail of the planning of our lives. Whether it be going to work, doing our shopping..Everything is designed with the driver in mind.
I think people realize the damage that cars do but they just don't care. We live in very selfish times.

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Cameras save 100 lives a year

I know you can argue about statistics till your blue in the face, but its good to see speed cameras get positive press coverage for a change.
To say its not speed that kills but dangerous drivers misses the point. If you are driving fast you are a dangerous driver. The faster you go the worse the carnage if or when you do crash.
I've never understood why they allow the manufacture of cars capable of speeds over 70 when the speed limit is 70.
When are people going to realise that driving isnt a freedom, its a privelege and one that they frequently exercise at other peoples expense.

Thursday, June 10, 2004

Guess who I voted for

Having said I should remember to bring my camera out with me more often the next day I was cycling home and I heard a whirring noise over head. Now its not unusual to see helicopters in Northern Ireland but this one flew right over my head and landed right in the field next to me. I dont think I would of got the camera out quick enough for a good shot anyway.
I just nipped down to the polling station to cast my vote in the European elections. The Green Party obviously got my number one vote. The UUP and DUP both put me off by referring to Sinn Fein/IRA in their opening paragraphs - I hate negative campaigning. Most of the other candidates made some reference to environmental policys, but it just seemed like a token gesture that they were adding on as an extra vote grabber.
To be honest i'm not really interested in party politics but i'd rather the greens got a seat than any of the others.
By the way i've just started a photo blog aswell at not much on it at the moment but it will be a good place to stick my photos.

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

This is my first attempt at E-Mail Blogging so lets hope it works.
I wish I'd had a camera with me the other day. I saw a crusty cycling
in to Belfast the other day with a big flat basket on the front of
his bike. Nothing unusual in that, but in the basket were 2 dogs
- I think they were Terriers. Very cute, especially as one of the
dogs was wearing a scarf and the other had a pair of sunglasses.
Its definitely a step up from the dog on a string that was de rigueur
when I was inclined to wearing dreadlocks and washing infrequently.
I should remember to bring my camera out with me more often, you
never know what you'll come across.

Friday, June 04, 2004

Nail the danger drivers

It turns out that the road block I came across yesterday was because of a drug related shooting - it even made the national news! It's amazing the things you come across when you commute by bike.
Browsing through a colleagues copy of the sun yesterday I noticed they have launced a new campaign "Nail the danger drivers" after a driver got away with a 2 year ban and £83 fine for killing a pedestrian. All very commendable till you remember that they are also campaigning against speed cameras - have they not noticed the link between the two?
I'm sure i'll get on to speeding in later posts.

Thursday, June 03, 2004

I'm Flying

Had to be in work on time today so I put the bike rack on the car and left the car near the kids school. Usually I would bring the car back to the house and cycle from there, but this way I save about 10 minutes off the journey.
Hopefully after the summer I wont have to use the car at all as I'm planning to buy a double trailer bike. I hope the kids get as much fun out of it as I will, they certainly enjoy the bike seat, but one of them all ways has to walk and the school is a good 50 minute walk away but only 10 - 15 minutes by bike.
For some reason I felt full of energy this morning and all i'd had was a bowl of rice crispies. I wish i'd reset my bike computer as i'm sure it was a personal best and I must have been averaging about 18mph which is good for me. I had to take an alternative route because of a police road block and it meant going along a really smooth tarmaced bit of dual carriageway. And with a bit of light rain keeping me cool it was a really nice ride in and kept me buzzing all morning.

Sunday, May 30, 2004

Fuel Price Increases

Norman Baker - Liberal Democrat shadow environment secretary writes in yesterdays Guardian:

" driver welcomes price increases, but isnt this reaction a bit over the top. Since 1974 the cost of motoring has actually dropped by 5%, while its 84% more expensive to go by train and 70% more expensive to take the bus. Yet I don't here plans to blockade bus or train stations. It seems to me that car ownership can too often create a rather cocooned and unhealthy concentrtion on the self to the exclusion of others.....The car driver is not a victim. That mantle actually sits better on the shoulders of the public transport user."

It astounds me the lack of money that go's in to public transport. If we are going to tackle this culture of dependency on the car, alternatives have to be made available, cheap, and usable.
As much as I'd like it you couldn't expect everyone to ride a bike, but at the very least we need to get people using their cars less.

Saturday, May 29, 2004

Fun with one wheel

This week has been building up to the Lord Mayors show in Belfast. On Thursday night we had all the kids that were taking part practicing their unicycling skills in a local park. I arrived on my normal bike and at one point I had them all following behind me with one of them grabbing on to my mud guard, I felt like a mummy duck with all the baby ducklings behind. As usual at this type of event I was riding my giraffe unicycle. The parade route is quite uneven in parts, not so bad when you are on two wheels, but quite tricky to negotiate when you are on one. And I did come off once, which isn't usually too bad but this time the seat followed me to the ground and whacked me in the back of the calf muscle.
Its still quite sore, I hope its OK for Monday as its a bank holiday but the kids are at school and my wife will still be in college so it will the first opportunity I've had in a while to go out on a long ride.

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Well football may be the sport of choice this summer, but we cant forget the Tour De France. Last year was the first year i'd really watched it with interest and I was hooked. Can't wait for this years.
Posted by Dave

Monday, May 24, 2004

Summers here!

The weather this last couple of weeks has been glorious.
The long winter nights seem like an age ago.
When you've cycled all through the winter you forget what summer riding is like and its always a pleasent surprise when summer comes round again. Last week there was a gentle breeze behind me, just strong enough to give me a bit of a push and strong enough to blow the blossom off the trees. It was like riding through a snow storm - but a lot more pleasent obviously.
Hopefully over the next few weeks i'll sort out posting pictures to the site and things like that so if for some strange reason you have stumbled across this site in its infancy thank you for reading and check back soon.

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Another Bike Blog

I started this page with the intention of having somewhere to record the many interesting things I have come across to do with cycling on the net. As well as adding a few of my own thoughts on the subject.

Keep checking over the next few weeks and hopefully things will start to take shape.