Today I rode my bike, check it out, I even managed to put it on Strava. Sadly it does not contain the whole ride as my Garmin switched itself off in protest at the fact I kept stopping to take photos. Which led to me suffering from the smug cyclist syndrome, whereby I completely ignored the fact that come tomorrow I will no doubt be sitting in traffic around Glasgow.
So as I had the roads to myself, whilst cars sat in traffic going nowhere I returned my thoughts to what I felt about the Marin Nicasio SS, my main thought being why do I always have to check the spelling of Nicasio?
Well, the Schwalbe Spicer tires appear to have worn in, they actually provided more grip than on the last ride and in worse conditions. So I may have to rethink my hatred of them. The Promax Render R brakes are also working, not as spectacularly as a TRP Spyre but they do slow me down, just not as fast I would have liked but they do offer a little modulation. So after some thought I can say they are better than canti brakes, so for cross riders, I would say it is time to ditch the cantis and get discs, you have nothing to lose but the inability to stop.
The rest of the bike does its job, it is nice to ride and it is comfortable and as I get older that is what I look for in a bike. Remember a carbon bike may be lighter but what use is that if you are never comfortable on it, a nice steel bike can then be faster and that is before we talk about the fact that some steels now are more advanced than many carbon frames, they just do not market them that way. The other peculiar thing I find about cycling is that we are supposed to be green sport but we want to buy bikes that can not be recycled, ignoring the bikes that can be. Seems crazy to me.
I was also pondering Scottish drivers, as a bin lorry driver had stopped at the top of a small incline, stopping traffic and allowing me to make the climb without having to cede to oncoming traffic. This set a little song off in my heart and made me a happy man. Then a nice little black Range Rover decided to make a pretty close call on a blind corner, certainly got my heart going again and made me realize some things will never change. Nicely breaking rule 162 and 163 of the Highway Code but remember although he did that at some point in time, a random cyclist may run a red light. An argument I am now calling Boardman’s principle.
Fair enough some may say but think if that cyclist gets hit by a car making such a move they are probably dead or seriously injured. That may well be their own fault but apart from a damaged car, the car driver will be OK. Now in this maneuver, the car driver risked my life and the life of anyone coming round that corner on a narrow road, there could have been people on horseback or other cyclists and this would have been called an accident. An accident that implies there is no one at fault, whereas the person behind the wheel is entirely at fault and this is something you will hear over and over again.
A car driver killing people due to negligent driving had an accident, a cyclist is a menace, though. Think of the language.The cyclist is written or talked about negatively, the driver merely had bad luck. Driving a couple of tons of instant death should not be talked about in such a way. A driver running someone over nearly always gets away with using the excuse ‘I never saw them’. This surely is a statement that proves their guilt, if you are driving a vehicle you should be vigilant, other people depend upon you being vigilant. The excuse of ‘I never saw them’, should instantly find them guilty of manslaughter and not a couple of points on a license, they should lose their license indefinitely and then we would see a change of attitude. A prison sentence and no license, would be a huge deterrent and cause people to drive a vehicle correctly.
Look at mainland Europe I can ride there with no stress and not a care. I need not worry about a helmet or wearing ridiculous hi-viz clothing, I can just get on a bike and pedal and know that I am pretty safe. Presumed liability is the way to go, this includes presumed liability if a cyclist knocks down a pedestrian. Anyway, I have digressed, the Range Rover then nicely turned around 50 yards down the road. This had me thinking he was coming in for another go, I may be becoming paranoid here. As he grew closer though I realized that the driver had a plastic seat cover on and was wearing mechanic’s overalls. It was at this point I worked out that he was a mechanic from the nearby Morrison’s Garage.So not only was he risking life and limb but he was doing it in a vehicle that probably did not belong to him, you have to marvel at that level of staff training.
Looking at Twitter may also not have been the best idea before going out, especially as I had been thinking about how well my brakes would work.
So maybe brakes just never work, perhaps I may have to rethink this whole cycling pursuit? Thankfully my brakes were never fully tested on this ride but I did finish a lap earlier than I expected to. I did this to show solidarity with the pros having to face high temperatures in the Tour Down Under. In our unseasonable January weather I had a dilemma on taps oan or aff before I left today, thankfully for humanity I went with oan.