Wednesday 6th 43-52F, 6-11C, very heavy overcast, windy but still dry. Rain is forecast but the chart is completely different from the text. So we should probably look forwards to another heatwave, heavy snow and bright sunshine! Enjoyed my usual walk in cool, but dry, windy conditions. The fields were far too sticky to wander the spray tracks today.
The whole concept of our entire world being joined by the Internet is still very strange to one of my generation. I once exchanged occasional but regular letters [snail mail] with an American. He contacted me after a letter of mine was posted in a popular US based magazine. It seemed strange back then but these days I have readers and email and forum contacts from all over the world thanks to my multiple interests. I even have different personalities depending on the subject matter.
My sensitivity to criticism diminishes with each passing day. So I will cheerfully allude to my being "a clown on a tricycle." I do so because it is hard to be pompous when perched on a three wheeler with so many associations with childhood. Add in my habit of wearing brightly coloured "proper" cycling clothes for every ride and you may begin to see a pattern emerging. If I no longer see myself as a "serious cyclist" as I rapidly approach "three score years and ten" then why on earth should anybody else? However, if others denigrate me for my deliberate choice of an "extra" wheel then the ball is firmly in their court. If their judgement of human value relies only on their incredibly narrow prejudices then join the queue!
Several, but not very many, Danish children have felt it necessary to laugh at my passing on my trike. Usually when they were in the presence of others whom they meant to impress with their observational skills and ready sense of derogatory humour at other's expense. A common tactic for those uncertain of their own importance in the big bad world. Who am I to question their motives? I now smile to myself and carry on.
In the past I might well have taken umbrage. Why? Because I carried delusions of grandeur that tricycling delineated me as "rather special." Hmm? How does that work? Well, at least my pretense of "high visibility" was entirely successful. What is more worrying is seeing clear expressions of real fear or even disgust in the faces of oncoming pedestrians. Hello? I just have an extra wheel on my "bike." Whatever associations this produces in your addled noddle says infinitely more about yourself than of myself as a [mere?] "tricyclist."
The tricycle is almost as old as the bicycle and still much used internationally for low impact transport. Every trike is one less van, car or lorry on the heavily congested roads. The only CO2 produced is exhaled from the heavily labouring rider.
If you are going to have a car get a really nice one which you can't afford to run!
Why do the drivers of vehicles consider themselves superior to a cyclist of any kind? The driver is a burden on the planet and their local environment in very many ways. The old tricycle has long since repaid its CO2 footprint from being manufactured. It is so efficient at local transport that it could easily be considered a CO2 sink.
Meanwhile, the driver sits in a gridlock feeling smug but irritated by cyclists passing at speed. Average road speeds in towns and cities have been in favour of cycling for many decades. This has been true no matter how many historical city centers they knocked down to make more "car friendly" access roads. It was as true when I was a teenager as it is now I am nearly 70! I must have ridden past literally hundreds of miles of traffic queues on my cycling commutes and rides over the years.
As early as the 1950s Americans were being warned about obesity and total car dependence. This didn't stop the cynical from profiting [cough] hugely from building countless drive-ins and take-ways. Then exporting American obesity to the rest of the world by deliberately choosing dangerous [unhealthy] contents with large profit margins to manufacture a loyal clientele of fat, greedy barstewards.
Cyclists are the new "blacks" in some societies, including North America. It's the oldest trick in the book to blame everybody else for your own crippling inadequacies. Why do many drivers not remotely respect or admire cyclists for their selfless contribution to clearer roads and less smog? Have these drivers completely swallowed the oil industry propaganda and car manufacturing industry's transparent bullshit? The video adverts where some clever "trick" allows the "perfectly groomed model" to avoid the traffic jam must surely wear thin eventually? Why did they have to film the foolishly unrealistic adverts early on a Sunday morning, in a "3rd world" country, in a rural backwater on closed roads?
The real truth is that many commuting and city "drivers" spend far more time sitting completely still than actually moving forwards. The real truth is that if every cyclist travelled by car the entire world would choke on their exhausts and their expanded, physical presence would instantly mean completely gridlocked roads! Denmark and The Netherlands would literally grind to total halt in only one hour if one particular morning "the powers that be" went completely mad and suddenly banned bikes and insisted on universal car ownership. [No feelings were hurt during this thought experiment.]
Many countries would stay permanently gridlocked until all the cyclists returned to sanity and normality. Or started riding illegally! Whoohoo! Are cyclist subsidized for their unstinting kindness to the lazy, selfish, flabby motorists? No, the driver is heavily subsidized by the tax payer in countless different ways. Mind you, there are far more jobs relying on car ownership than with bicycles. There is more to go wrong when obsolescence is deliberately built in. BTW: How many managing directors were jailed for lying though their teeth about engine pollution levels? Not to mention the deliberate programming of their pollution to occur outside official analysis sessions? And you can still be fined for "misdemeanors" on a bicycle? Really? Isn't that called "offshore justice?" Or "justice laundering?" Or no justice at all!
The odd thing is that drivers "look down" on cyclists from a typically lower viewpoint. Usually about waist height or even lower. Let's stop pussyfooting about. If we were to be brutally honest we should start calling all cars DMDs: "Disability Mobility Devices." Sod the ridiculous advertising hype and this year's fancy styling. A car is mostly a costly, damaging device for carrying a lazy, antisocial person to work and back! Cars allow the vast majority of the deliberately disabled [i.e. The deliberately obese] to still function [fairly normally] in employment. That's about it, really.
Now there is over 50% obesity in many countries it would cripple the economy if they could no longer reach their place of employment by car. Will it now take international treaties to make obesity prejudice unlawful? Particularly when the robots start to take over many "ordinary" jobs. Or will employers ask themselves how the obese actually find time to work when they are walking around very slowly while "filling their faces" all day long? Or sucking constantly, like a giant baby, on a 2 liter bottle of highly concentrated sugar and gas with only a little water in there somewhere. There was something on the TV last week saying that teenagers are now using illegal drugs to come down from their highs on "energy drinks!"
One can't [easily] choose which racial type one belongs to nor the colour of one's skin. But, your habits at the supermarket are something over which you have unique, individual control. I don't personally care how heavy you are or even think you are. Take a few minutes to hover near the checkouts and watch the stereotypes roll along and past the conveyor belt. If the customer is obese then the belt is guaranteed to be over 90% full of dangerous and/or utterly superfluous crap. [Mostly containing high does of sugar and fats.] Don't just take my word for it. Watch the belt and the matching customer next time you are in the supermarket queue. Watch the multiple bottles of "soda" roll like oxygen tanks to the desperately needy and breathless "hospital patient waiting to happen." See the pudgy, shapeless arm go out to gather great armfuls of candy, crisps, biscuits, cakes, chocolates, quick meals, sickly sweet puddings, oven ready chips, sugar loaded bread rolls and sweets. Yesterday I watched a heavily pregnant and grossly overweight young women choosing sweets with as much rapt attention to detail as a billionaire's trophy bride in a "high end" jewellery shop. It was not a pretty sight!
The obese eat mostly crap and huge quantities of it. This is a known fact. I see it every single time I go to the supermarket and there is nothing wrong with my eyesight. Nor am I filtering the evidence of my eyes to make a point. Obesity is a deliberate life choice. Even if the obese person doesn't actually think about what they are doing to themselves.
Remember that colour and race cannot be altered. You are born with what you are. Picking on anyone for their "racial cosmetic appearance" is now rightly frowned upon or completely illegal in western society.
Now how would you feel if there were signs up at the supermarket? Segregating the OBESE ONLY to a particular, greatly widened checkout with an XXXL belt? Would you feel horribly humiliated if that meant you? Might you decide to change your lifestyle choices to avoid further humiliation? What if the checkout operator flatly refused to sell you all the complete crap you just piled high on the belt "for your own good?" Very unlikely to happen because supermarkets love fat people. Simply because they always buy great loads of their profitable crap. Isn't this precisely why the supermarkets are largely full of complete crap? Check out the relative areas of the vast sweet counters, the endless booze shelves, the multistory cake shelves and the wanton biscuit displays.
If they beat their offspring black and blue the kids would be taken away from them for physical and psychological abuse. But they can make their own kids into a spherical blob and give them cancer, heart disease and diabetes, make them breathless, a social outcast at school, unable to do sports, can't find nice clothes that fit and drastically shorten their lives. Then we mustn't talk about this horror story as abuse? Huh? Are you serious? Would the same hold true if these same abusive parents fed their children only on bottles of whiskey and cigarettes? Just asking.
For a while at work I drank milk instead of the coffee machine tar. The industrially strength coffee did not agree with me and gave me stomach aches and constant heartburn. Then management started buying sticky cakes almost daily for the staff. This was a deliberate sweetener for thinning out the staff for exportation of our jobs [and eventually the entire factory] to China. I loved all the free cakes and the milk certainly wasn't helping. Then I started complaining to my wife that my meals were too large and I felt constantly full. Then I started regurgitating when I lay down at bedtime. I had to add pillows and lie on my left side. Yet still I stuffed the cakes down.
I was definitely getting fat, as some of my collages gently pointed out my growing pot belly in kindly jest. They were absolutely right of course. I was just over 13 stone for the first time in my life! It had sneaked up on me almost without my even noticing. I had not equated the cakes and pastries with my own shape and weight and condition.
Fortunately I was saved by becoming literally one of the "thinned out." Finding myself unexpectedly unemployed at 63 I chose to cycle to find work instead of riding in the car. Despite all the miles it took a while to burn off the parallel-sided me with the spare tyre hanging over my hips. I actually overshot into "too skinny" for a short while but soon recovered.
In retrospect I was very lucky indeed. I could easily have gone on to become seriously obese had my poor eating habits not been unexpectedly interrupted and brought to my attention. Not having to carry the equivalent of a young and fit marine's huge rucksack everywhere allows me to walk up and down steep tracks in the forest without effort, injury or breathlessness even at my [foolishly immature] age of 69.
As a formerly "fat person" I claim it my absolute right to point out that obesity is completely under the control of the fat person. All it takes is a wake-up call to change your own eating habits and to start getting some real exercise. Only an "N-word" is allowed to call others the "N-word" these days. So as a formerly fat person I claim the right to call other people fat. I am an unashamed fat-ist, if you like. Perhaps it is my job to hand out wake-up calls? Let's stop calling it "obesity" to hide glutton's blushes. You're FAT. Live with it! Or die trying?
Carrying your extra stones of flab out to the car and back doesn't count as exercise! Nor does carrying several carrier bags full of worthless crap back to the car boot at the supermarket. Stop exercising the springs in your car and get some self respect! Get a proper life! Get a proper diet! Not some latest slimming fad but just good quality tasty salad, fruit, vegetables and fish. It could, and probably will, literally save your life. Or make your remaining years a lot less like hard work!
What amazing thing did you do today that you deserved to treat yourself to snacks between meals? 60 years ago, when I was a child, there were hardly any fat people or fat kids in school. The only really fat kid I remember had a "feeder." His own mother gave him a bag of sweets to eat at school each and every day. I also remember he was very poor at sharing.
Drinking fizzy sugar "lemonade" was something you did on special occasions. Like an annual trip to the beach. Now the obese have "special treats" every hour of every day. Because they deserve it? Is Coca-Cola really a "soft" drink if it kills countless more than "hard" drugs? You can't buy hard drugs at the supermarket. You can buy enough Coca-Cola to kill an elephant any time you like as often as you like wherever you like. Fat people prefer the "Real Thing?" Watch the checkout belts like I do. I believe they obscenely fat do prefer the "Real Thing".
Lemmings are rarely compared to humans and tend to only have similar habits when both highly stressed by an overabundance of bods. Then a nice little war helps to thin out the human population. A jolly nice pandemic often helps too. Is the present wave of obesity and the resulting ill health, nature's response to an excess of unwanted bods on planet Earth? Just a thought.
One in 11 of the global population now have diabetes.
More people die from the results of being fat than die from malnutrition.
DEADLY DIABETES IN 'UNRELENTING MARCH' - BBC News
WHO | OBESITY and OVERWEIGHT
A short afternoon ride to the shops. My legs are still very tired and aching. It turned black overhead leading to speculation that it might tip down. A few spots but it came to nothing. A strong crosswind going both ways. Only 14 miles.