What a difference a day makes


I am sneakily becoming a full-time 2-wheel commuter, though riding an adventure-touring motorcycle with powder-coated aluminium panniers 6 miles to the office feels a little bit like pony-trekking on Red Rum.

Yesterday was stressful. Today I decided to go Easy Listening (helped by the fact that I am hoping for an early departure north for RBR camping in the High Peak, so we are sat-navved and duffled up and ready to roll once the sun hits the yardarm) and roll with the flow instead of trying to outrace the waves. Much more cheerful, much less risky, and – as could have been entirely predicted – quicker (though I think it’s an unfair comparison, most of London seems to shirk from home on Fridays.)

My beatific mood was only broken by a tale of two cyclists. I want to be able to use bus lanes, but the CTC believes that I present an “actual and perceived threat” to pedestrians and seeks to change Boris’s mind. I accept we all have bad days and don’t always ride the way we would wish ourselves to. And I have had the arguments about conserving momentum by riding through red lights if it’s safe to proceed explained to me. But I don’t think any of that makes it OK to ignore the red light at a pedestrian crossing, bomb across at full speed, and cause an 8 year-old boy and his mum to leap back out of your way – Mr Stripey Shirt, serious helmet and thousand-yard stare, I’m talking to you.

Karmic harmony was restored by a gentle “ting ting” from another cyclist catching me on my off-side (this is the point at which I decided I was proceeding a little too peacefully). He came past me, indicated left with his arm, cut in leaving lots of room, and pedalled serenely on down the Caledonian Road. No aggro, no conflict – and no lycra. Maybe it’s lack of blood flow to their manly parts that puts them in such a bad mood…

3 Comments

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3 responses to “What a difference a day makes

  1. A 6 mile commute is no good for the bike, either! Cold engine, cold oil, condensation forming in the exhaust, not even enough time to recharge the battery from what you took out of it starting it, it’s bad for the poor old bike. Obviously you treat poor old Ruby to regular high mileage blasts all through the summer by way of balance, but if you are still doing a six mile commute come the winter, it may be time to seriously consider a winter rat. Or a specialised urban commuter. A scooter would be ideal for the job, obviously, but having to wear a bag over your head might impede safety slightly, so perhaps a small trail bike would be the ideal commuter ticket? Except that they are the most stolen bikes in the UK and your NCB will surely suffer… so it’s a rat bike then.So come the winter, you need an ex-dispatch CB-1 or Bros, a half tidy looking one in keeping with your professional image rather than a vision in brush hammerite with an estate-agent-board fairing, but a bike that you don’t mind abusing on a 6 mile commute and using around town during the day…

  2. Nothing wrong with Hammerite….though purple metalflake might be the way forward. And flames….

  3. Bravo – now you may be able to tell us all whether Ms E B really exists!I’m putting this Blog forward for the most hyper links per inch award – truly impressive. Reminds me of speed cameras in Staffordshire……

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