Website by Andy Preece

This is an occasional commentary on cycling and unrelated issues - 'blog' if you must - and will be updated from time to time.

Posted 5 December 2008:
Wogan's gone! Hoorah, hoorah, hoorah!

Posted 5 November 2008:
Remember remember the fifth of November, except when there is football on! Yes, here in Glasgow Guy Fauxes Night has been posponed due to clashing with a football match. It has been rescheduled for 6 November!

Posted 4 October 2008:
Notice to all taxi drivers (including Private Hire Car drivers):
It is ILLEGAL to overtake a cyclist on the right and then turn left across their path. This is Dangerous Driving. Don't do it! Quite why I take avoiding action to prevent a crash happening each time this happens I don't know. Perhaps it would be better if I let a few of these 'accidents' happen, to show these drivers how stupid and crazy they are.

Posted 13 September 2008:
In the supermarket today I stumbled across their stash of DAB radios. I picked up a couple of the boxes to look at them, and they were both covered in a thick layer of dust! I don't think they are among the fastest selling items in stock.

Posted 31 August 2008:
I had cause to go to the Forge Retail Park yesterday. When I got there imagine my surprise when I couldn't find a parking space. Loads of car park spaces but nowhere for bikes! So I locked to a trolley park instead. However, that required me to stand in a roadway with a continuous stream of cars going by (none of which left much room) while I locked my bike, then on my return, while I loaded and unlocked it. I thought councils were required to include things like bike parking provision in the planning consent for these places.

Posted 11 July 2008:
I was thinking: Wouldn't it be good if there was a pop equivalent of BBC Radio 3? Since Radio 3 is the only BBC UK radio network without its own DAB spin-off, then how about this - Radio 3 Pop Extra! Basically it would play records in full without talking over them, not use backing music whilst the presenter (or DJ) is speaking, not have a low-brow breakfast show with rubbish wind-ups and the like, no shouting (or even shout-outs for that matter), would play pop records from non-English speaking countries, play a mix of old and new, and generally treat the listener as an intelligent human being. I don't mean that this should play records by acts that think of themselves as important or clever such as that band that went onto Radio 4's arts programme only to walk out on it, just happy-goes-lucky proper pop. I'm sure this would be a hit!

Posted 30 May 2008:
I see Jill Ferguson, in her latest Letter from Partick, is attacking cyclists for going through red lights. However, she then goes on to suggest they dismount and wheel their bikes through the red lights instead! Now, as far as I know, there is nothing in traffic law to exempt a pushed bicycle from anything that applies to a ridden bicycle - they are still vehicles in the eyes of the law - so it is equally illegal to push a bike through a red light. The same applies with 'No Vehicles' and 'No Cycles' signs, and indeed I seem to remember that an MP tried to put forward an amendment to exempt cycles parked on cycle parking stands from waiting restrictions on adjacent roads (which ran out of parliamentary time so didn't become law).

And, Jill, what about motorists that go through red lights? Or ignore waiting restrictions, bus gates, speed limits, banned turns, drive onto and park on footways, restrictions on the use of horns, etc, etc?

Posted 27 May 2008:
The Eurovision Song Contest took place at the weekend, with the usual tired old calls of cheating and block voting. But when a proper popstar with a proper pop song is up against someone who once was a runner up in a talent contest, dressed as a holiday camp attendant, of course the proper popstar will win! Since I now have broadband I had the option to watch the contest online, without the witterings of Terry Wogan (or his Radio 2 alter-ego Ken Bruce), and this is what I did. So once I had rebooted the cable modem (and accidentally switched off the power to the computer!) this worked reasonably well.

So well done to Dima Bilan, who incidentally is getting a street named after him, for his empassioned winning performance. If Terry Wogan doesn't like the contest any more then there is one simple solution - don't turn up next year, let someone else do it! There are plenty people who do like it, and if it wasn't for his constant sniping maybe this country would put in a really good song, rather than some pleasant enough but ultimately forgettable effort, and sung by someone big enough to have fans in other countries. Sugababes anyone?

Posted 14 May 2008:
I just heard a politician on the radio say that although house repossessions had been rising, they are at a record low. The interviewer never questioned this illogical nonsense. How can they be at a record low if they were lower before? And these people are in government!

Posted 3 May 2008:
What is it with journalists and politicians claiming the 10% (or 10p as they tend to call it) tax band has been scrapped? It hasn't - it has been doubled! If it had been scrapped, and the minimum tax threshold raised to the level of the former 10%/22% threshold, then there wouldn't be a problem with poor people paying more tax. So the politicians have ended up getting a kicking at the polls, even though the local council elections are nothing to do with setting national taxation.

Will the BBC ever report on science without "dumbing it down"? Has it ever occurred to them that most listeners have been through the British education system and in the process been exposed to at least two years of general science with many even going on to get O-Grade/Level or higher qualifications. Some listeners and viewers even have degrees in scientific subjects! But whenever a science story comes up in the news or as a subject for a programme, it is reported in such a simplistic way that anyone who is actually interested in the subject ends up getting little or no information out of it. Hoorah for Radiofax!

Posted 24 April 2008:
So the train fares are being simplified. From what I can gather, the Open tickets are to be replaced with Anytime tickets, the Saver tickets with Off-peak tickets, and the Apex tickets with Advance tickets. What could be simpler? Wait a minute - isn't that just a rebranding? And yes, the other day the local paper did scream "SHOCK TRAIN FARE HIKE" about the local train fares going up in May (as they usually do). I have been doing this page for a year now!

Also today I hear that MPs are getting upset about people complaining that they employ their partners and children as secretaries and researchers. I don't doubt that many are hard workers, although we know that some have been found to be just working the system, but what other job can you get without filling in an application, attending an interview, and competing with other well-qualified candidates, all funded by the tax-payer? And do these "employees" have periodic appraisals, and have to prove their worth? Anyone else wanting public money has to jump through all the appropriate hoops to get at it, such as psychometric testing or a competitive tendering process. Why should it be any different for them?

Posted 15 April 2008:
Today I waited for a bus outside Central Station. However, a lorry driver decided to park illegally outside a shop (and not in the loading bay nearby), which combined with the illegally parked lorry on the opposite side of the road, totally blocked the road for large vehicles, including the coach which turned into Gordon Street shortly behind the lorry. My bus then came along, and had to sit behind the coach, blocking the junction with Renfield Street. After a few minutes, the other lorry finished its deliveries and drove off, allowing the coach driver to try and get past the lorry in front of it. However, it parked up with its tail sticking out, preventing the bus from getting past. Eventually when some taxis had got out of the way, the bus driver managed to get around the coach and to a position near the bus stop.

During the time that the lorries were blocking the road, two traffic wardens walked past and did nothing. So much for my Council Tax funding the employment of these traffic wardens.

Posted 31 March 2008:
Trouble at the T5 Airport? Hehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehe!!!!!

Posted 29 March 2008:
What muppet invented the car-alarm? This morning I was rudely awoken by such a device. After it had been going off repeatedly for about 10 minutes I looked out my window and was there anyone breaking into it? No. Was the owner dealing with the problem? No. Ban them!

Posted 15 March 2008:
The supermarket had a product demonstration today. "Come and see the world's sharpest knife in action". In Glasgow. How ironic!

I never thought I'd see the day when newspapers were shrink-wrapped. However, the person in front of me in the checkout queue had a copy of The Daily Mail and it was indeed wrapped in clear plastic. What makes the situation even more dire is this Mail reader then needed to take a plastic carrier bag to put the thing in, and indeed struggled to get it in the bag since the paper didn't come ready-folded!

Posted 8 March 2008:
What are people like? Today I was overtaken on the approach to a roundabout by a motorist turning left at that roundabout. The car didn't even draw clear of my front wheel, so I was nearly squashed as the car made the left turn. The motorist then stopped to argue, claiming she hadn't seen me (why then did she not hit me in the rear rather than overtaking me on the outside?) and was most rude, refusing to accept she was in the wrong.

The situation above is bad enough, but the road surface at that roundabout includes a strip of block-paving across the entrance to the left turn, edged by kerbs with vertical up-stand, making it an extra hazard for cyclists.

Posted 18 January 2008:
This week has been an unusual one. Last weekend I travelled to London for the Russian Winter Festival, at which Fabrika were playing. After the concert I even got to speak (briefly) to Ira and Sasha from the band. However, during the course of the week there have been a number of strange coincidences and occurrences.

Website by Andy Preece