10 Oct 2016

10th October 2016 Just call me "FLASH!"


Monday 10th 45F, 7C, rather cloudy, almost still. I had a quiet walk down the lanes to capture a few pictures of impressive clouds on the horizon.  Though my pictures sadly lacked the contrast and drama of reality. The human eye has the ability to focus and instantly zoom in on distant detail. I thought they looked like a snow-covered mountain range but a zoomed camera softens the detail and robs the image of impact. Going for a ride before the rain arrives at lunch time.

Rode into a cross headwind going.  Steady rain all the way back. The Danish experiment in allowing cyclist to pass a red traffic light when turning right continues. This would be the equivalent of turning left in Gravely Blighted and Down Under. I believe Japan also drives on the left side of the road. I wish one could say that Danish cyclists would not normally turn right against the lights anyway but it would be untrue. Nor would they bother to indicate in most cases.

I was overtaken by an old fart, of my own age, while climbing quite a steep hill. I had just overtaken a younger women at about 5mph faster despite the trike being heavily laden with shopping. Battery Boy steamed past me on his electric bike at nearly 10mph faster than my breathless 10-12mph. He was managing quite a decent cadence which was obviously helping his progress.

These chickens had taken to exploring a roadside field. They covered an amazing area in no time at all. Perhaps the recently seeded field held no wildlife for them? Free running chickens are a far cry from the demand that all bird enclosures be covered by netting during the bird flu' scare. I like the timeless quality of outdoor chickens.

Much as I'd enjoy having some help on the hills I'm not sure I'd invest in a new electric bike while I can still manage without. They have to improve quite considerably before they get away from the staid and rather old fashioned, get-up-and-beg image of most of them. I really haven't seen much in the way of electric bikes to excite the sporting taste buds. Motorcycles were already sporty looking quite early on in their development. Vespa-style, electric scooters simply don't interest me.

I'm not sure an electric sporting [upright] trike would be a good idea at all. Stability is so marginal that it might take ages for a beginner to ride safely at the speeds most electric bikes can easily reach. Help climbing the hills is not the same thing as adding potentially dangerous speeds everywhere you go. The statistics bear this out with electric bikes far too prominent in cycling related accidents. This is despite the small take-up and ridiculously high price of commercial products.

Most drivers will glance up the road see an old fart, in a fawn polyester jacket, on an upright, pre-war-styled, steam pipe bike and dismiss it as a typically slow pensioner. When the cyclist could easily be doing 20mph or the equivalent of a serious racing cyclist's speed! The regulations suggest lower maximum speeds but I rarely see electric bikes pottering at my own, more typical, 12-15mph. The riders of electric bikes are apt to have the reactions of a typically slow old cyclist too. A lose-lose situation all around!

Perhaps electric bikes need a mandatory, identifying "uniform?" A very large, florescent day-glo lightning flash on a bright, lightweight waistcoat perhaps? Something really needs to be done before electric bikes get a very bad name for safety. They have the potential to revolutionize mobility for many potential owners if only to reduce car dependence. A serious carrier for shopping should be absolutely mandatory. The cycle manufacturing industry has completely ignored baggage handling for nearly a century and half!

Nobody can seriously cycle shop on a standard bike. It takes all the space at the rear between the wheels of of my my trike. With the largest Carradice "Camper Longflap" saddle bag on the carrier. And, a very large sports bag resting on top of that just to keep the house stocked on a daily basis. A rest day makes it even more difficult to keep up with the shopping. It's not as if we eat bulky, pre-packed crap. Bicycles are simply not up to the task of regular shopping unless you walk the bike with the handlebars adorned with multiple carrier bags. Though a few locals do use a rack and two large rear panniers. One even uses a posh, one wheeled, expedition trailer. It all makes rural car ownership even more necessary. Only 12 miles today.

Click on any image for an enlargement.

No comments:

Post a Comment