Monthly Archives: November 2010

Helmet ‘bits’ – where I can I get them?

I have several helmets but some of the clips have disappeared and I need to get some more.

I went to Evans and On Your Bike in London, but they didn’t sell any. You would think they would have a selection as these fall off all the time and you won’t want to keep buying helmets all the time.

I think some kind of shop that sells bags may give me some advice. I may just google them to see if I come across any clips. It tis a bit of a nuisance.

Aung Sang Syi Kyi is free!

I can’t believe it, brilliant news. Greetings from a fellow Buddhist supporter.

Cheap Christmas Lunch ideas: Cafe in the Crypt

Visit London have suggested this, like it very much. It will be fun, arty and noisy. Best idea so far.

“The atmospheric Café in the Crypt under St Martin-in-the-Fields church in Trafalgar Square is serving traditional Christmas lunch and dinner – turkey and all the trimmings – from 13 to 24 December. The famous Trafalgar Square Christmas tree is just outside, and all profits go to support the charitable work of St Martin’s.”

I think it is ‘self-service’ though which will be a little weird!

I want some Christmas Lunch ideas (London)

J and I never spend Christmas together so we thought it would be nice to have a proper Festive Lunch (albeit once again not on Christmas Day!) plus silly crackers. But as I have never had a festive lunch before in London I don’t have a clue where to go. I just want an inexpensive but cosy Christmas Lunch on a Saturday in December. I have thought of trying some gastro pubs, but not sure if they are wildly expensive. Are there any restaurants serving traditional food, that have good deals?

I like the idea of a boat cruise or the Icebar but that’s going to be too expensive.

And I saw one at The Berkeley in Knightsbridge offering a 7 course menu for £200 on Christmas Day. Good grief.

And the cheap


I had another puncture and so I had to faff round at the end of the day trying to fix it. It took me a lot longer than usual (probably as I was feeling impatient!). It was especially annoying as there were loads of traffic jams on the way back home and I like to gloat by cycling past them instead I had to walk. I suppose that’s karma for me!

On another point, nothing to do with cycling, but the recent news. I was interested to see the riot/protest going on in the Tory HQ. I think the Coalition really had this coming. The Government had completely underestimated how angry people are. They are on a different planet. The Coalition is robbing people of their futures, and there aren’t even enough jobs to go round to even think of a future. Having a debt round your neck for years on end and perhaps not being able to afford a house, is bloody ridiculous.

There were hardly any police about. What a farce. A shortage of police is bound to happen with the police cuts in the future so it may mean more protests like this and really nasty ones too. It will be so easy to riot in the future.

The thing is, if it was a quiet protest, nothing would be in the papers. The news made big headlines. It is a ‘media’ success. In this country, if you are angry, you have to smash ‘iconic’ things up. Some of the things they did was funny, though hurting police officers, even if they can be ‘Government puppets’ isn’t exactly a good idea, after all, sometimes they do some good stuff for us. The Government wants ‘softly softy’ but people are so angry now, it just won’t work.

I wish the same sort of thing would happen about in road safety. We have crap laws and too many fatalities. Trust people to riot over money.

History of Motor Insurance

Due to the appalling road skills and victims not being compensated, motorists had to start paying motor insurance:


“The Birth of the Motor Car
Motor vehicles made their first spluttering appearance at the turn of the 20th Century but during the first years there was no requirement or consideration for the need of Insurance in any form.

In the early years of motoring there seemed little need to consider the implications and requirements of insurance. In fact the first vehicles to hit the open road were so cumbersome and slow, the common horse and carriage was considered much more efficient and faster at the time.

As with any technology, interest soon developed and the motor vehicle was developed and improved at an alarming rate. Within a short space of time the future of the motor car was guaranteed and its future uses were being heavily considered.

Car Insurance During the First World War
By the time of the First World War in 1914 the motor car had developed dramatically and its role was considerable during the conflict.

As a result of the war, many people were trained to drive the vehicles used in action. The implications of this meant a dramatic increase of interest in the motor vehicle.

By the end of the First World War (1918) people were returning from the conflict with an interest to continue their driving experience.

Even at this stage in time, no compulsory requirement for motor insurance existed.

The price of a motor vehicle was certainly out the price range of the common man until the availability of hire purchase in the 1920’s.

Hire purchase suddenly opened the gateway for many to afford their own motor vehicles and within a short space of time; they became a common sight on the roads of Britain.

Road Traffic Accidents
Due to the poor standards of driving skills and little road discipline, accidents soon became a common sight on the roads of Britain.

A situation soon became apparent in the fact that many who had taken on the cost of buying their own vehicles were now finding themselves out of pocket if their vehicles were damaged or destroyed.

The other side to this was the total lack of compensation for those innocent victims involved in these road traffic accidents, this situation led to the introduction of the first ‘Road Traffic Act’.

By 1930 the situation had escalated to such proportions that the government of the time introduced the first ‘Road Traffic Act’.

In basic form the Road Traffic Act made it compulsory for vehicle owners and drivers to be insured for their liability for injury or death to third parties whilst their vehicle was being used on a public road.

Motor Insurance had appeared sometime before this but it had not been compulsory.

Composite Insurers
(beginning to mid 20th Century)

Large ‘Composite’ insurers were dealing with most of the motor insurance business being handled at his time.

During the 2nd World War there was a dramatic reduction in business due to the massive petrol shortages and the recruitment of so many into action.

Unlike the First World War, which saw a revolution in the development of the Motor industry, this War had an adverse effect on the motor industry and the motor insurance market, which established itself over the last 9 years.

The Second World War ended in 1945 and it appeared as though time had stopped because the motor insurance market picked up where it had left off in 1939.

Broking had become big business and the development of financial services allowed customers the simplicity of being able to spread their costs with easy payment schemes.

Insurance in the 1970’s
The expansion and growth of the motor insurance market seemed endless until a significant day in 1971.

On the 2nd of March 1971 the largest insurer of the day ‘Vehicle and General’, owned by Dr Emile Saundra, collapsed overnight. At this time there had been a severe winter and Vehicle and General endured massive claims as a result of the careless regard for the risks they were underwriting from all the High Street Brokers.

Suddenly the general public found themselves in an unbelievable situation. All those who had taken policies with the Vehicle and General were now without cover and the High Street Brokers were besieged with business to replace the cancelled policies. You might have expected the customer to take out their frustration on the Broker, but the Broker actually thrived from the situation. There were that many people insured with the Vehicle and General at the time it collapsed, that the 2nd of March became very significant for the insurance world. Customers taking out new policies besieged brokers and for many Years to come March became the busiest period of the year.

During the 70’ and 80’s the High Street Brokers thrived and many household names became well established, for instance, ‘Swintons’, who were originally started in Swinton, Manchester.”

Don’t forget it’s Road Safety Week Soon

This will be from 22-28th November.