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Friday, 22 May 2015
Blowingstone White Horse Audax

So on Sunday I did my third Audax of the year, again tackling about 100 km, starting at Uffington and looping out to Marlborough and back. It was a great day with most of the steep climbs in the first half of the ride, and the last quarter of the ride being a fast return to base. I rested a few times on the way, sometimes unintentionally such as when I stopped to assist another rider and I wasn’t very tired at the end of the ride. My stats were: distance - 108.3 km, time - 5:15, elevation gain - 1,185 metres.  Each minute on the video above represents about one hour of the event.

Posted by bigblue on 22/05/2015 at 09:56 AM
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Saturday, 16 May 2015
LC07XBJ - Dangerous Sevenoaks Driver

In a notoriously bad spot for cycling (see for example here) due to poor and impatient drivers, I had this run in yesterday.

Firstly the driver was tailgating and overtook me in “follow-the-leader” mode (seemingly not noticing that the car ahead was turning right). This resulted in the driver left hooking me. Then the driver tailgated me until just before the oncoming traffic cleared (and it would have been safe to overtake). At that point he/she “squeezed past” (overtook too close).  This was not necessary - the road widens a short distance ahead where it is safe to overtake.  Notice too that the driver triggered the speed sensor after overtaking.

Posted by bigblue on 16/05/2015 at 08:37 PM
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Friday, 15 May 2015
A stupid restriction on cycling

About a year ago, I was cycling through York when I discovered that there’s a pedestrian zone where cycling is prohibited during daytime over the weekend.  A police officer (or possibly a PCSO) called to me and informed me that I would need to push my bicycle through the town centre (or out of it, so that I could cycle round to the other side).  Less than a minute later a driver drove his car down the same street, “hooted” at me to get out of his way, and then rushed out of the zone (despite there being other pedestrians in the road ahead).  I was a bit miffed that the York policeman hadn’t warned the driver, as he warned me.  I was even more surprised when I reviewed the footage when I got home, and noticed in the rear footage that the policeman was right behind me when the car drove off dangerously.

Posted by bigblue on 15/05/2015 at 06:28 PM
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Monday, 04 May 2015
P750AWU - Dangerous Driver in Sundridge

Let me count the ways:

  1. Speeding;
  2. Doesn’t slow down despite cyclist and on-coming vehicle;
  3. Overtakes too close for that speed; and
  4. Should have moved into the oncoming lane to overtake.


Posted by bigblue on 04/05/2015 at 02:36 PM
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Sunday, 03 May 2015
In the belly of the beast


Another interesting sticker found on a lamppost in East London, which points to an anarchist blog, In The Belly Of The Beast. A nice name, and one that reminded me of an autobiography that I read a couple of decades ago about a prisoner in the USA who had been on death row (unfairly, he claimed) for a long time. It seems the revolution won’t be televised but it may be broadcast on a lamppost near you. If you are in London. However¬†I’m not convinced yet about the strategic imperatives of the anarchists.

Posted by bigblue on 03/05/2015 at 09:30 PM
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Saturday, 02 May 2015
Strange election literature


I assume this is election related (religious) material - I spotted this sticker on several East London lampposts on Thursday night.

Most of them had been vandalised and had much of the wording ripped off - presumably by the grammar nazis. 

Posted by bigblue on 02/05/2015 at 06:14 PM
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Thursday, 30 April 2015
A mystery,  puzzle or enigma?


Or is this something more banal? In any case this sticker in East London leads me to Draft Magazine, allegedly a literary magazine. 

Posted by bigblue on 30/04/2015 at 09:14 PM
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Saturday, 25 April 2015
The Caterham Election Hustings


So last night I accompanied some family members to the General Election hustings organised by Churches Together in Caterham, and which was held in the actual United Reform Church building (rather than a hall). I won’t give a full report because the hustings pretty much covered the same format and ground as in Oxted. 

Again we seemed to have more people concerned about equality, social justice and poverty (compared to five years ago) and I appreciated candidates being asked tricky questions by people whose support they are seeking. There were two or three questions directly or partly related to the use of charity food banks in Caterham. There was also concern voiced at the weakening of our public services: police, nurses and other public servants who were once held in high esteem and valued by our community and government. There was also a question about the human tragedy in Libya and North Africa with hundreds of migrants dying in the Mediterranean Ocean this week. Here the emphasis of the candidates are different, ranging from: we must act to stop Britain from being a soft touch for migrants and we must look after our “own” first, we should be prepared to take in some of the Christian migrants, we should act strongly against the people traffickers, we should address the causes of the conflict/deprivation in the countries that migrants are fleeing from, and (touchingly) from the Green Party candidate: “I see the migrants as my own”. These positions are all my own paraphrasing, and the candidates sometimes expressed more than one of these “positions” so I am avoiding ascribing them to individuals. 

There were a few questions that I found strange: most notably the one which expressed a concern about churches being “forced to conduct gay marriages”. Is that really an issue? I do know that some churches are prevented from doing so (by the government even, rather than their own powers-that-be) but am not aware of the reverse being the case.

The chair (a teacher at Caterham school) announced that this was the last hustings in the constituency. He had a habit of combining questions, which had to be pre-submitted, into composite questions. I decided that I didn’t appreciate that: the candidates had 90 seconds to answer and I would have preferred fewer good questions that the candidates were able to do justice to. I also understand that asking for questions in advance is useful for the chair to get a flavour of the topics people want to address (and for him/her to ensure these are fairly addressed) but I don’t see why the chair should restrict discussion to the canned topics. To be fair the chair did allow some questioners to respond to the candidates at the end but this was exceptional. It also worked well for those topics, so I am not negating that but asking for more.

Posted by bigblue on 25/04/2015 at 03:00 PM
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