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"We are not a nation of motorists": Led By Donkeys projects moving 20mph speed limit video onto Houses of Parliament, after PM's pledge to end "war" against drivers; Hi-vis victim-blaming; When you win a race without noticing + more on the live blog

Whisper it quietly... the site might be working normally again! Dan Alexander is on duty for a celebratory live blog this Wednesday

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04 October 2023, 13:39
"We are not a nation of motorists": Led By Donkeys projects moving 20mph speed limit video onto Houses of Parliament, after PM's pledge to end "war" against drivers

Several cycling campaign groups, including Cycling UK and the London Cycling Campaign have shared this work by Led By Donkeys on social media, a video projected onto the Houses of Parliament hearing the story of a mother who lost her son Bobby Colleran to a road traffic collision outside a school. 

During the video Joanne questions the prime minister and his government, who at this week's Conservative Party Conference further outlined their 'Plan for Motorists' to tackle the "war" against drivers, namely their plan to "update 20mph zone guidance" to prevent blanket measures...

"For you not to support it... Why? Why?" she asks. "Because our children should be safe and should be here. You're five times more likely to be killed when you're hit by a vehicle travelling at 30mph. Prime minister, we are not a nation of motorists, we are a nation of families."

The London Cycling Campaign shared the video, thanking Joanne and saying "we demand safe streets for our children". Head of campaigns at the LCC, Simon Munk commented, "When politicians pit 'drivers' against families, we all lose".

"The 'Plan for Drivers' is a plan for congestion, collisions, children maimed and killed, a plan for increasing emissions, pollution and inactivity. It's truly horrifying culture war rubbish to shill votes from idiots," he continued.

Cycling UK shared it too, earlier this week the charity accusing the Conservatives of an "ill-fated attempt to win" votes with pro-motoring policies that risk "undermining" active travel success.

Those comments came after transport secretary Mark Harper used his speech at his party's conference to build upon Rishi Sunak's pledge to end the "war on motorists". On Monday, Harper said the Conservatives are "proudly pro-car" and said the Department for Transport would review guidance on 20mph speed limits in England and opposes their blanket use, would continue the review into low-traffic neighbourhoods, and aims "to stop councils implementing 15-minute cities".

Cycling UK's chief executive Sarah Mitchell called on the government to instead come up with a "holistic plan", not one that "zooms in on one particular mode of transport".

> Rishi Sunak’s 'Plan for Motorists' will "rob people of choice" and force them to drive, say cycling and walking campaigners

She said: "A plan that gives us the freedom to choose how we travel, maximising our ability to opt for healthy, cheap and convenient options.

"Better public transport, and safer ways for people to cycle and walk are entirely compatible with driving. Focusing on one way of travelling is like trying to complete a jigsaw with half the pieces missing.

"No.10 seems intent on undermining some of the government's most successful transport policies of recent years. Ministers should be proud of their achievements on walking and cycling rather than ditching them in an ill-fated attempt to win support in advance of the general election."

04 October 2023, 15:49
Lee Williams sets new Pembroke to Great Yarmouth coast-to-coast record
Lee Williams (FTP Racing/Facebook)

Lee Williams of the FTP Racing team has set a new RRA record for the coast-to-coast Pembroke to Great Yarmouth, 350-mile course. From South Wales to Norfolk in 14 hours flat at an average speed of just under 25mph (40km/h), to take more than one hour 20 minutes off the previous best.

Chapeau...

04 October 2023, 15:40
A "war on motorists" triple header

That's a hat-trick. Elsewhere in the United Kingdom...

04 October 2023, 15:30
Protected cycle lane on busy city road could "unintentionally deliver a more dangerous environment" by creating rat runs, councillor warns
04 October 2023, 15:24
Bell helmets introduces 100 per cent crash replacement scheme
2023 Bell Falcon XR LED MIPS Road Helmet.jpg

Bell Helmets has introduced a 100 per cent crash replacement scheme... for all helmets bought during October and November. Sorry September 30th buyers, no replacement for you.

Oh, and you have to replace your helmet within 12 months of purchase. For the rest of you they've got the usual 40 per cent scheme "aimed to provide riders with support if they encounter unfortunate accidents".

04 October 2023, 14:11
CONFIRMED: Michael Mørkøv and Vasilis Anastopoulos join Astana Qazaqstan for Mark Cavendish's encore
Michael Mørkøv and Mark Cavendish, 2023 Tour de France (Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com)

[Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com]

In the last hour it's also been officially confirmed that Astana Qazaqstan will be bolstered by leadout king Michael Mørkøv and the coach, Vasilis Anastopoulos, who played a key part in Mark Cavendish's 2021 renaissance to win four Tour de France stage wins and equal Eddy Merckx's record.

Of course you all know by now that Cav is sticking around for another year, another Tour, and another shot at the record...

> "Just one more year": Mark Cavendish to continue racing in 2024 and target Tour de France record

Speaking about his transfer Mørkøv said "of course, I am happy to reunite with my former teammate Mark Cavendish to chase the new victories for him".

"Besides, the upcoming year is a year of the Olympics and I have a big ambition to fight again for the gold medal in Madison. The team is ready to provide me a good support in chasing this dream and I am really grateful for it. In general, I am happy and ready to provide all my experience in cycling to help the team to reach its biggest goals throughout the next season," he said.

You all better do your homework before next year...

> Mark Cavendish's top 10 greatest Tour de France stage wins

04 October 2023, 10:06
"Just one more year": Mark Cavendish to continue racing in 2024 and target Tour de France record
04 October 2023, 09:46
"It's down to us adults to enable more of this for more children"

Remember, kids, it doesn't get easier, you just go faster... 

04 October 2023, 08:55
Amusing cycling press releases #253: Ride the Maratona dles Dolomites where everything is... "Anatta, as taught by the Buddhist"
Maratona dles Dolomites - scenic

One of cycling's most iconic, bucket list events is back in 2024 — the Maratona dles Dolomites. Here's why, in the words of president of the organising committee Michil Costa, he thinks you should make it your goal for next year...

In the nocturnal silence of the Dolomites. Everything is Anatta, as taught by the Buddhist. The lack of a permanent self, of its independence. Nothing is self-sufficient, everything that exists lacks its own autonomy.

The body parts, even the legs that serve to push the pedals, the hands that grip the handlebars, the eyes that gaze at the Dolomites, are a non-self, and we humans can only exist when we are in relation. In relation to others and in relation to the non-human.

This is precisely the principle of 'mutatio', because everything changes continuously. Will the Maratona change? Certainly, it will change. Just as you change now, as you are reading this. Panta rei, everything flows...

Well, that's me sold...

Online pre-registration is open between October 10 and November 6 before the ballot in the second half of November. The 8,000 starting places will be split 50/50 between Italian and foreign cyclists.

Maratona-dles-Dolomites-2013-PassoSellaSunburst

'But what about the event's logo?' I hear you ask...

We began with artistic research, drawing on literature and art. Literature immediately makes us dream in the texts of Kafka and Ovid; visual art, on the other hand, is a journey into the world of Henry Matisse, Heronymus Bosch, up to the most modern artists of optical art, above all Victor Vasarely.

From this research, we first of all extrapolated the colour violet, the colour of metamorphosis, transformation and the union of opposites. Thanks to this colour, we developed the first concept we wanted to express, that of creating a lettering that is impalpable, ethereal, incomplete... mutable.

The result is an open form that has no boundaries, almost at the limit of legibility, because it is still alive and mutating.

04 October 2023, 08:37
Met Police victim-blaming storm over advice for cyclists and pedestrians to "be seen"... using discredited, edited picture

It's that time of year, with the nights drawing right in, for police force social media teams to earn a kicking by uploading something like this...

That photo in particular has been discredited by many, Fiets.UK doing an at-length run through of all the problems with it, primarily that it appears to have been edited with filter applied to reduce colour, high contrast levels to crush black colours, and is overall "not a realistic view; not what the eye would see in the real world", Fiets.UK concluded.

Then there is the victim-blaming accusations we all signed up for...

I think we can say we've all experienced first-hand and heard of enough riders hit by motorists, despite wearing hi-vis and having lights on their bike, to know it's not quite as simple as "be seen" and you'll be fine. Ahem...

> Near Miss of the Day 838: "Tell me again about hi-vis and lights!" — Cyclist narrowly avoids collision at mini roundabout

> Near Miss of the Day 850: "Lights, reflectors and hi-vis — if they ain't looking they won't see you"

Another respondent asked the force to "please don't use this fake image, and please don't blame children for existing when it's the car that poses the deadly threat." 

04 October 2023, 08:25
Jumbo-Visma pro wins race, doesn't realise, keeps riding

Per Strand Hagens of Jumbo-Visma's development team took another pro win yesterday, even if he didn't seem to know he had at the time...

The 20-year-old, born in... *checks notes*... 2003 (disgusting, I know), did eventually stop to take the rather amused acclaim of his team's staff...

04 October 2023, 07:39
"It's not over yet": Astana Qazaqstan confirms Mark Cavendish will continue racing in 2024

Good morning...

We'll bring you more as we get it, Cav's team dropping this hardly cryptic video as a way of announcing their star man will be hanging around for another season. Let's be honest, he was never going to go out like that, was he?

A mid-stage crash at the Tour de France was never the Hollywood ending the career of a 35-time stage winner deserved, and it seems we're going to get one final chapter in 2024.

> Mark Cavendish's Tour de France bikes through the years — from Scott to Specialized, every bike the Manx Missile won his 34 Tour stages on

Oh, and did I mention Astana have reportedly already secured the services of leadout extraordinaire Michael Mørkøv and Cav's 2021 coach Vasilis Anastopoulos for next season too? The pair who played major parts in the Manx Missile's quadruple stage haul two years ago. Yep, it's not over yet...

Dan joined road.cc in 2020, and spent most of his first year (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. At the start of 2022 he took on the role of news editor. Before joining road.cc, Dan wrote about various sports, including football and boxing for the Daily Express, and covered the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for The Non-League Paper. Part of the generation inspired by the 2012 Olympics, Dan has been 'enjoying' life on two wheels ever since and spends his weekends making bonk-induced trips to the petrol stations of the south of England.

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94 comments

Avatar
Simon E replied to perce | 4 months ago
2 likes

perce wrote:

Yes, yes it was. I didn't know he was also responsible for the Pontcysillte aqueduct, among his other great works.

Pontcysyllte, known locally as 'The Fron' and part of the Ellesmere canal, is an engineering marvel. Completed in 1805, it's the longest aqueduct in the UK and the highest in the world. It features at the start of this charming video of cycling NCN route 85 to Llangollen, which I found while researching routes from Chirk to Llangollen avoiding the A5. The nearby Chirk aqueduct and the A5 London-Holyhead (including the suspension bridge over the Menai Straits) are among Telford's many creations. CTC North Wales has a fascinating and detailed article about the history of the route here. The picturesque bay of Porthdinllaen on the Llŷn peninsula was in the running to be used as the departure point for Ireland but Holyhead was chosen instead.

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Rendel Harris replied to Simon E | 4 months ago
2 likes

Simon E wrote:

part of the Ellesmere canal

A pedant writes: it was intended to be part of the Ellesmere canal, but that was never completed - abandoned not long after the aqueduct was finished. It's now part of the Llangollen canal. I've driven (sailed?) a narrowboat over it and the drop on the non-towpath, non-guardrail side is quite vertigo inducing.

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perce replied to Simon E | 4 months ago
0 likes

Thanks for those links Simon, much appreciated. Great video and really interesting article about Telford (and Macadam). 

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Cugel replied to Left_is_for_Losers | 4 months ago
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Left_is_for_Losers wrote:

Simon E wrote:

GCN is fine, if you see it solely as light enterainment. The 'science' is suspect, it's about as deep as a toddler's paddling pool with a hole in the bottom and about as edgy or controversial as choosing magnolia wall paint.

Feel free to spend your time on GCN instead of here. wink

I think they're clear that the science is not necessarily the work of a professor. 

And yes thank you, since they have updated their website to be more relevant and include news etc, it's a lot better than here. Sorry to have been quieter here than usual.

Did you know that you can still buy old copies of The Hotspur, Rover & Adventure and even The Wizard comics for little boys? You can probably get Bunty too. 

These comiks would shirly shoot you as they tend to have big biffy Bwitish blokes in 'em, punching foreigners and generally being very Tory-like. Also, the girly comics keep the little rascals in their place, down in the makeup and dolly places. Gud ole Bwitish traditions you'd shirly find infotaining and not a drop of science in sight, just plenty of that by-jingo you seem to crave.

Mind, only the bad-germans seemed to have bicycles. But it was so long ago that I read these Jingo-organs myself. Perhaps some other olephart can recall a Bwitish boys comic-character who rode a bike?

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perce replied to Cugel | 4 months ago
0 likes

Q bikes in the beano. Six of them there were, on a quest to fight crime before teatime.

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Cugel replied to perce | 4 months ago
0 likes

perce wrote:

Q bikes in the beano. Six of them there were, on a quest to fight crime before teatime.

Well, that's just typical!  What about those crimes perped by crims after the buns, scones and Earl Grey have been consumed?

I haf informed that Truss about this neglect, so she can add it to her Brittleania Unchained book describing the lazy Bwitish serfs and how she will have them whipped into action by a satanic miller or two. (Even The Famous Five may be slackers, perhaps).

No more apres-teatime crimes then (except those committed by new aristos, exempt because they're Toryspiv pals and bungers-to-the-party). Truss'll fix it.

But I digress.

Some years ago, a pal from the cycling club in NW England got a job as a cycling village bobby in the village where I lived. He was very pleased, getting lots of training opportunities as he cycled his ten-ton-tessie of a police bike here and there to check the theft of onions from the allotments or a break-in to the bowls shed to get the lignum vitae to make lathe-turned gew-gaws.

But they found out and cancelled such bobbies, spending the money on a large computer installation that constantly failed to do .... anything. Well, except make some privatisation Toryspiv bunger loadsa money. (They get a contract to supply the IT but also a contract to maintain it.  When it doesnae work, this generates more money for 'em than when it does work).

*********

But never mind that. Today I went for a nice hilly ride about the Welsh hinterlands in me shorts.  Nineteen whole degrees C and sunshine!  Eeee, reet gradely. No crimes were being committed and every driver (all 4 of them) were well-behaved, considerate and good-lookin'.

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quiff replied to Left_is_for_Losers | 4 months ago
9 likes

Yeah, but it's our never-ending rabbit hole of doom and gloom, and we like it here.

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Rich_cb replied to Trevor Anderson | 4 months ago
1 like

If you were correct and the road traffic statistics were being manipulated then the deaths would still be recorded elsewhere.

Any death in a traffic collision has to be reported to the coroner and the cause of death would be recorded at that point.

There should, therefore, be plenty of indisputable documentary evidence to back up your claim.

Can you provide a link to any of it?

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giff77 replied to Rich_cb | 4 months ago
9 likes

Pretty sure that Trevor was highlighting that there's a fair number of collisions that go unreported as opposed to actual KSIs  

I know several individuals who have been knocked over or had a spill due to oil/gravel/pothole and not attended hospital or informed the police. I also know of people who when calling police have been told that if the road isn't blocked or an ambulance not required to treat the matter as a civil case. I dryly commented to someone once that if hit to stay lying on the ground and the police would have to attend. 

A clearer figure would be to establish from the insurance companies claims made without police in attendance as well as those with police in attendance. 

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Trevor Anderson replied to Rich_cb | 4 months ago
2 likes

Firstly, in edition of the RRCGB reflected on the large disparity between the reported casualties and hospital admissions data.
Secondly, my neighbour's son was injured in a PI RTC, the Police did not attend, therefore, this incident was not reported to Stats 19. I was in email contact with a cyclist who was hit by a car and suffered a broken leg. The Police were called but didn't attend. Again, this would not have been reported on the RRCGB stats. A pedestrian was seriously injured in a collision on my road. An FOI to the Police revealed this was not recorded on the Stats 19 database. The incident I referenced in a previous post, Essex Police did not attend because the injuries were not serious enough. That collision will not have been reported on the casualty stats. I could go on.......

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Trevor Anderson | 4 months ago
5 likes

Do my eyes deceive me?  Was Tim Vine a cycling activist long before his brother Jeremy?

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HoldingOn replied to Trevor Anderson | 4 months ago
0 likes

Things I Learned Today: Tim Vine and Jeremy Vine are brothers.

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Left_is_for_Losers replied to HoldingOn | 4 months ago
10 likes

Ah, but have you heard about their older brother, Grape?

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HoldingOn replied to Left_is_for_Losers | 4 months ago
4 likes

I think Tim referenced him in one of his sets - so I Heard It Through the TimVine....

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Steve K replied to HoldingOn | 4 months ago
1 like
HoldingOn wrote:

Things I Learned Today: Tim Vine and Jeremy Vine are brothers.

And they come from where I live (Cheam).

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eburtthebike replied to Steve K | 4 months ago
1 like

Steve K wrote:
HoldingOn wrote:

Things I Learned Today: Tim Vine and Jeremy Vine are brothers.

And they come from where I live (Cheam).

So not Tony Hancock territory then?  East Cheam.

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hawkinspeter replied to eburtthebike | 4 months ago
2 likes
eburtthebike wrote:

So not Tony Hancock territory then?  East Cheam.

"This radio lark's a wonderful hobby, y'know. I've got friends all over the world, all over the world . . . none in this country, but friends all over the world."

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Car Delenda Est | 4 months ago
5 likes
Sunak wrote:

For those in rural areas, it is a lifeline

One wonders how people in rural areas survived until the car was invented.
It must have been absolutely grueling doing the 5+ mile journey to the nearest supermarket...

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chrisonabike replied to Car Delenda Est | 4 months ago
6 likes

"Ah... but before the car they only survived in rural areas because they couldn't get into town!"

If you go back say 100 years plus it turns out that quite a few people still spend a lot of time commuting (e.g. maybe walking an hour to the mine before you even started your shift).  The expansion of mass cycling (around say the 1920s on) may have represented a rare drop in enforced commuting time - until it started to go back up when the roads got busier with cars / it became "normal" to drive an hour or so to access better work opportunities.

(It was never planned, but replacing the "freedom to breathe and not get run over, but at the same time possibly starve / not be able to access amenities / get bored" with the "freedom to travel ... for hours a day and spend a long time in queues, while also paying a chunk of money for the priveledge" has actually turned out to be a genius move in keeping the peasants from revolt while still extracting money from them.  Unfortunately it turns out that there's been an explosion in the peasant population AND all the peasants want a car now which has caused some small additional issues)

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momove replied to Car Delenda Est | 4 months ago
17 likes

It's almost as if it would be better that people had what they needed within a 15 min walk...

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Trevor Anderson replied to Car Delenda Est | 4 months ago
9 likes

Before widespread car ownership, the "15 minute city "already existed, even in rural locations, when there were local shops, rural buses, local post offices, banks etc.

Today, High streets have suffered due to large out-of-town supermarkets, banks are online, rural bus services are no longer economic, and children can no longer walk or cycle to school on their own, because the roads are too dangerous, full of speeding motorists due to the lack of Policing.

To the majority of voters, the car is now the essential and only form of transport [well, that is how they perceive it!!!!].

Labour are also chasing the same voters, so don't hold your breath for any radical policies from them.

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chrisonabike replied to Trevor Anderson | 4 months ago
2 likes

Trevor Anderson wrote:

Labour are also chasing the same voters, so don't hold your breath for any radical policies from them.

Yep - all the vox pops I've heard / read recently simply have the government doing the usual polical "say things which you can't actually pin us on" (like "baying packs of cyclists dragging drivers from their cars and setting about them has got to stop!" or "Some Local Authorities seem to think that they should have the power to ban motorists from driving for longer than they can hold their breath - we fundamentally disagree")

So irrelevant stuff but they have been flirting with lending support to complete lies.

However Labour is not challenging or disagreeing with these - they're actually tacitly accepting the arguments but just responding "... but the government's response is too little, too late - this government has so far done nothing to protect motorists from these lycra louts".  Or "well a Conservative government has presided over there being speed limits for the last 12 years - and you shouldn't hold your breath if you think they will address the fact that working people pay for their cars, whereas Mr. Sunak gets his limo for free..."

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Cugel replied to Car Delenda Est | 4 months ago
8 likes

Car Delenda Est wrote:
Sunak wrote:

For those in rural areas, it is a lifeline

One wonders how people in rural areas survived until the car was invented. It must have been absolutely grueling doing the 5+ mile journey to the nearest supermarket...

In Wales they have the various T or Trans bus services.  They go about through many, many villages and towns, typically between the larger towns.

The Carmarthen to Aberystwyth T1 service goes past our front door every two hours, each way. (It's an hourly service but varies parts of its route to serve even more villages). It takes about ten minutes longer (50 rather than 40 minutes) than it does to drive the same route to Carmarthen from our front door. Free to we pensioners and (as I recall) still a max fare of £2. No parking fee or fuel costs.

At Carmarthen and Aberystwyth, one may get off the bus and walk straight into the railway station.

There are several such T bus services about Wales hinterlands. Just lately, the buses have gone electric.

For those who like local shopping services, several vendors of essentials such as meat, milk, fruit & veg, mixed groceries and fish bring their goods to your door or very near it. If you must, you can also get stuff delivered by the supermarkets (spit) but they charge and are expensive.

********

I also recall a youth (Tyneside) in which council and private-firm buses went all over; and were inexpensive. Several different buses to all sorts of places near and far were just a 2-5 minute walk away for most people and, on average, departed every 7 minutes to here, there and everywhere.

Good public transport can be done. It just takes political will, to provide such services and to curtail the preda-tory money-wasting polluting murder machine that is the car.

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brooksby replied to Car Delenda Est | 4 months ago
9 likes

Car Delenda Est wrote:
Sunak wrote:

For those in rural areas, it is a lifeline

One wonders how people in rural areas survived until the car was invented. It must have been absolutely grueling doing the 5+ mile journey to the nearest supermarket...

I wanna tell you a story:

I threw my back out as I was leaving work on Monday night.  Tried riding home, and got to that point where you are sitting on your bike, can't pedal, can't lift your leg to dismount and you think, "Shall I just fall over and crawl out from under it?".  Managed to get home, anyway.  Eventually.  Pedalling veeeerrrrryyy slowly...  Couldn't even roll over in bed: just sank into the memory foam mattress like Uncle Fester.

By the next day, it was fine when standing up or walking but terrible if I'm sitting (especially on low furniture like bus seats) and I didn't want to risk mounting/dismounting my bike.

So I walked.  Six miles.  Took me an hour and half.  Left home a bit earlier than I usually would, and arrived later than I usually would, but still in time.  Walked home again too.

Anyway, my point: I wonder how many people nowadays would have just stayed at home, thinking that six miles along tarmacced footpaths was an insurmountable distance...?

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chrisonabike replied to brooksby | 4 months ago
4 likes

brooksby wrote:

By the next day, it was fine when standing up or walking but terrible if I'm sitting (especially on low furniture like bus seats) and I didn't want to risk mounting/dismounting my bike.

I'm sorry to hear about your injury.  But ... your effort was unnecessary.

(Apologies, for full points I would have needed a petrol-powered Segway pic, I know...)

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I love my bike replied to chrisonabike | 4 months ago
1 like

An ElliptiGO might be the legal alternative (I doubt even the King has a 6mi private driveway?)

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chrisonabike replied to I love my bike | 4 months ago
1 like

I love my bike wrote:

An ElliptiGO might be the legal alternative (I doubt even the King has a 6mi private driveway?)

Keep It Simple, Stoopid.  (Per my username I can't really quibble the extra wheel though).

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Hirsute replied to brooksby | 4 months ago
3 likes

handy you have a stand up desk !

 

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brooksby replied to Hirsute | 4 months ago
2 likes

I think I've spent more time fiddling with my office chair to try and get comfortable, than I have actually doing work...

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essexian replied to brooksby | 4 months ago
3 likes

You walked....six miles.....!

Actually, as I am sure you knew, you were doing just what most people from the 12th C onwards would do to get to market. As outlined in this webpage: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Market_town most markets were placed 12 to 13 miles apart this meaning no one lived more than a reasonable six mile walk from one.

Indeed, walking to market was still a thing when the railways were built. In the town I know live, there was a line built in the mid 1850's which went via a small village 2 miles from the market town. Given how little distance there was between the two places, no station was built as the company felt that people would prefer to walk rather than spend money on the train fare. No one from the village now walks to town...apart from the EU national field workers who can often be seen striding away carrying their shopping while the fat and unfit locally born individuals sit in the kiddy killing car. 

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