Archive for October, 2011

As I alluded to in my helmet hair post, there is more than just a battered barnet to contend with on arrival at work. With any exercise, there’s always the side effect of sweat. And let’s be honest, ladies do it too. Men sweat women perspire and horse glow, goes the saying*.

*possibly in a different order

So do you shower when you get to work?

I don’t because it’s a 20 minute ride with only one hill and I trust my deodorant so I only arrive at work a little damp. But with winter and the need for sweltering waterproofs fast approaching, I’m pondering a post cycle trip to the mildew infested waters of the office shower.

I’m not sure what length of cycle would precipitate a need to wash on arrival (WOA). After all, I used to get more hot and bothered on the tube. But one day in the future my commute may lengthen and my job grow in importance and I might have to WOA.

But this would mean carrying a towel. Its a hard life with many difficult decisions that I live.


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Drunken cycling

This is a post I’ve been meaning to write for a while. One should not cycle when drunk.
drunken cyclist
That’s all there is to say really. Next post!

Except that it does happen. Sometimes. By accident. And it’s very bad. I cycle everywhere because it’s quicker and door to door. So when I cycle somewhere after work for a quiet drink and it turns into an loud number of drinks, I’m in trouble. Usually because, like all drunks, I don’t think I’m that drunk.

I always wear my lights, front and back and in each of the wheels, and my reflective hi vis. But that’s not really good enough, is it? And while it may not be technically illegal**, it’s bloody dangerous.

Cycling feels easier when you’re drunk. You’re apt to at least think you’re going faster. I tend not to feel how much effort I’m putting in and, as with any other activity, it goes faster when you’re a bit tiddled.

The only time I’ve ever fallen off my bike when I was drunk was when I arrived at my old Bethnal Green flat (while I still lived there, otherwise this would be a much better story) and while trying to dismount, promptly tripped over the bike and landed in a steely mess next to the estate lift. It wasn’t graceful but fortunately it was dark and deserted.

I’m not sure how to conclude this post. Every time I cycle home tipsy, I say I will never do it again. And I always do. So I’m a terrible role model and I must just suggest you do as I say, not as I do. Sorry.

**Here’s the legal bit (pinched from Bike Hub):

The Licensing Act 1872 makes it an offence to be drunk in charge of a bicycle (or any other vehicle or carriage, or cattle) on a highway or in a public place but this old law also forbids any public drunkenness – even in a pub – so is clearly never enforced.

In law a bicycle is defined as a carriage for use on the highway but cyclists are not in charge of ‘mechanically propelled’ vehicles so, in law, do not have to adhere to exactly the same ‘drink drive’ rules as motorists.

Section 30 Road Traffic Act 1988 says: “It is an offence for a person to ride a cycle on a road or other public place when unfit to ride through drink or drugs – that is to say – is under the influence of a drink or a drug to such an extent as to be incapable of having proper control of the cycle.

I would say at this point, I always have proper control of my bicycle. Always.

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