Tag Archives: cyclist

What I Saw on my Way to Work

This morning’s journey was like a scene from a sci-fi film. It’s the second time it’s happened, but last Monday we put it down to school holidays.

Image result for post apocalypse movies

We found ourselves in the middle of an eerie situation where there were hardly any cars about, and no buses. There weren’t even many cyclists or walkers about, so it isn’t as if everyone has changed from cars to other sorts of transport. It was just like one of those films where everyone has fallen victim to a virus and the streets are empty apart from a little litter (which is the post-apocalyptic version of tumbleweed in a black and white western).

(That’s actually a picture from the web, not an accurate representation of Nottingham this morning. Just in case you were wondering.)

It built up a little as we drove through town but even so it was companionable rather than crowded.

I had the time to observe several strange sights, such as a cyclist dressed in purple and pink. Those seem to be the colours of Nottingham Trent University sports teams these days, but you don’t see many adults wearing it. He’s either an ex-student, a man of low sartorial standards, or an early riser who dressed in the dark.

Despite his dress sense he’s clearly a decent cyclist as we passed him within the first 500 yards of the journey and, ten minutes later, he passed us as we sat at traffic lights in the centre of town.

If I was going to breed a race of supercyclists I’d certainly be happy to include him in the programme, though he’d have to be paired up with a woman of highly developed fashion sense in order to breed out his unfortunate tendency to garishness.

We also saw one of the strangest sights I’ve ever seen.

As we approached the Goose Fair roundabout (a term which may mystify those of you who don’t know about the Goose Fair, or about British traffic systems – I was told, years ago, that they don’t have roundabouts in Canada, though this may not be true) I saw a youngish, though bulky woman, on the pavement. She had thighs that were probably twice the size of mine (and mine are ample) and just as white, though I relieve the whiteness of mine with a filigree effect of varicose veins.

I also keep mine decently covered with trousers.

The woman on the footpath didn’t conceal much at all. She may well have been on her way back from a night working as a burlesque dancer, or she may have been on her way to a superhero convention, but her outfit was definitely on the skimpy side.

I don’t remember much about the costume, because I mostly remember the beaming smile.

She may have been deliriously happy, demented or drugged to the eyeballs, but, whatever the cause, she was definitely smiling.

She cheered my day up. By the end of the day she will, I suspect have done more for the cause of normal women than all the female athletes and supermodels combined. She’s certainly advanced the case for plus-sized women more than any dry, thin academic talking on TV.

And so, I will now start work with a smile on my face and a song in my heart…

No photos for this, apart from the one from the web, but I’ll try harder for the rest of the week.

A Tale of Two Cyclists

Second post of the day!

I’ve already written about the Ospreys, in an effort to catch up from last week, and now I’m going to write about bad weather and bicycles because that was the story of the morning.

On the way into town we came to the junction where a bus lane and two lanes of traffic squeeze into two lanes. It’s where I lost my mirror to a badly driven bus a few months ago. It’s also near where the town gallows used to stand and conveniently close to a cemetery. A couple of years ago I was caught on camera there and fined £30 for transferring to a bus lane five car lengths too early. All in all it’s a junction of ill-omen.

On the approach to the junction we had to stop when a cyclist pressed the button to stop traffic at a pedestrian crossing before riding across.

Highway Code Rule 79:  Do not ride across a pelican, puffin or zebra crossing.

Once across the road he proceeded to ride on the pavement, forcing several pedestrians out of his way.

Highway Code Rule 64: You MUST NOT cycle on a pavement.  (Their bold capitals, not mine).

Fortunately, just when this was in danger of becoming a discussion about the lawless ways of two-wheeled reprobates, we spotted a second cyclist.

He was struggling in the rain and traffic and just missed being clipped by a bus mirror as he pulled out of the bus lane in front of me. After stopping he failed to get his shoe clipped back on the pedal and lurched in front of a second bus. As an encore he then repeated the manoeuvre and lurched the other way. Fortunately I was far enough back for it not to be an issue.

I have seldom seen such fortitude displayed in the face of  adversity. In the old days he would have been leading a bayonet charge or discovering the source of an exotic river. Modern life is short on bayonets and undiscovered rivers, so it’s nice to see an area of everyday life where fortitude can still be displayed.


Fifty minutes

This morning I dropped Julia at work and, fifty minutes later, was back at home.

In the garden I listened to the faulty strimmer and revealed a basic difference between the sexes, before taking some more flower photos.

Julia has many talents. She could probably, if her ambition lay in that direction, do a better job of running the country than Theresa May. I, on the other hand, have to plan in advance just to get my socks on. However, when called upon to diagnose the problem with the strimmer in the Mencap garden, I was able to spot the problem straight away.

I’m not an expert on strimmers but I could spot that the high-pitched grinding sound was a bad sign.

To be fair, Julia, who is completely deaf to the sound of mechanical agony, doesn’t need to know this as she has me for all that technical stuff.

I, in turn, use a mower shop for repairs as my efforts usually end up with a puzzled look and a tin of leftover bits.

Most of the rest of the journey home involved traffic and queues. One hold up was caused by an ambulance parked across the road as the crew treated a man lying on the road. I took some photos as we waited because  I had the camera handy.

I could see his feet moving so I didn’t feel too intrusive. Anyway, there were a lot of people hanging round so I wasn’t the only voyeur. As I drove past, I noted he was wearing a helmet and a bicycle was propped up against a tree. That is the price of reducing traffic and pollution.

I’m happy to report that he seemed quite lively, and hope he wasn’t badly hurt.

There is a question, though, about the ethics of taking pictures of accidents. There’s a long tradition of postcards showing various disasters including train crashes, mining disasters and fires, but does that make it right?

Is the picture journalism, local history or just intrusive?

It took me back 40 years to a Sunday lunchtime (the accident, not the photography) when the driver of a red Austin Maxi overtook me on my Vespa 200 (yes, I had a scooter at one time) and pulled over before passing me properly. Result – me in gutter with the knee injury that still bothers me today.

Accident on Woodborough Road , Nottingham


It’s amazing what you can pack into less than an hour.