I was pleased to see in the London Cyclist a two page-spread of Urban Cycling Fashion .. without all that lycra! About time too. I think Fashion really got has to improve.
I haven’t haven’t been updating this blog lately mostly as I have been writing cycling articles on a website elsewhere. It’s actually been quite successful and I’ve had a lot of positive feedback. Even more importantly, I think I’ve encouraged ‘slothful’ Americans to get off their vehicles onto bicycles. Ha! I have never cycled in the US, ironically, but maybe one day I would like to. It would be interesting to compare the US with Britain. Maybe when I am rich and retired I can afford to do that!
I have now over 4000 people listening to my podcast ‘Tales from the Gutter’ which is still very weird. Even though it feels like I am the only person who cycles round here, I have more cycling listeners round me than cyclists!
Boris J has been in London for a while but from a cyclist point of view, I haven’t noticed anything different. I believe he has buggered off to some jaunt in the Med. Fat lot of use that is to Londoners! It’s too late now, he’s in.
The sun is out and so is the Pollution.. gusts of it again as I cycled through Tower Hamlets. Whether I like or not, I really ought to wear that Pollution Mask!
Today I went to The Palm Tree pub and we had Picnic & Pimms by the Canal. This is The Life. I think it is some of East London’s secrets.
Later I cycled to Roman Road and bought a strawberry plant and later, as I cycled along Whitechapel said strawberry plant bag fell on the road and a muslim bloke picked it up for me. Awww!
Then I notched up another motorist who was driving on the Bus Lane.. it’s not on! So yet another rotten driver – REPORTED WITH GUSTO on betterdrivingplease.co.uk
I ended up with my pannier full of heavy drawing books at the South Bank.
There was a ‘nude’ statue by the London Eye which I thought would be fairly easy but there were too many tourists in the way. So I sat down opposite the Royal Festival Hall and sketched the side of it as it ‘looked interesting’. I quite like horrible urban architecture to draw, probably because they ‘are boxy’ and ‘curious’. However, the roof was a nightmare to draw and so were the railway tunnel areas and some of the bridge. I think the only bits I liked was the grass and trees. However, as I want to do more ‘urban sprawl’, I need to learn more about how to do concrete and bricks, and perhaps the odd horrid petrol station. In art, they can be very beautiful!
I cycled with J who bravely tacked the building too… though he said ‘he is hopeless’.. but I don’t think he was too bad.. he just need a little confidence. It was nice to sketch with someone. Being interested in art AND cycling can be a lonely business.. I mean you never near of cyclists sketching in Cycling Weekly.. sod it, we have to go against the norm again!
Either way it was fun to do. I bought a stool I can take with me when I do ‘some sketching’ (as well as for cycling picnics).
I am looking for an artist to give me some private lessons.. as I think it looks really flat but I was really impressed it at least looks like a building.
I’m having problems upload the pic on here though.. it just goes blank!
I thought I would bring out the dusty sketchbook again and do some sketching on Bank Holiday afternoon in West London. I am a bit nervous as I haven’t sketched for over a year and that was a an introductory lesson. I just about handle cartoons but this scares the pants off me! It will be fun though. I will take a crate of drawing skills books with me on my bike. I am not sure whether I will be brave enough to show them on here though.
The May Run is today, which means a host of motorcyclists will be cycling from Orpington to Hastings. I better get out of their way.
<There is a small London cycling accident map in the Green Festival (see my links on the right).
Scary how many there are
Firstly, Boris Johnson, a Tory, wins the Election.
This isn’t exactly a good thing for me, I preferred Sian Berry for the Greens.
On the plus side, I read somewhere that he will get rid of ‘bendy buses’, that will be a good thing, but when will he do this? Who will have them after this, some poor third world country;cyclists will be squashed by them there too.
I think he also needs a haircut.
Today I refreshed myself with the Highway Code, every so often it’s good to get aquainted so that if you are caught in an accident then the judge is more likely to be on your side if you do the things in the book. That’s the theory anyway, even though I expect most judges are motorists. My relative is a judge and I can’t imagine him cycling to work! In fact, I can’t imagine any of my family on a bicycle.
One of the things I noticed were the cycling fines:-
Dangerous cycling Max Fine £2000
Careless cycling Max Fine £1,000
Cycling on the Pavement £500
The fines seem to be more expensive than the bike!
Sometimes I think bad cyclists should have Penalty Points and then they are banned from cycling. Well, if motorists are banned, so should cyclists (even though I am cyclist myself). It works both ways. Being soft doesn’t seem to register with some.