: The overflow valve for my mind
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Well who am I and what am I doing here? A question asked many a time by homo-sapiens and answered by this individual, here. My name is Michael and I am hosting this web site.

My love of cycling comes about not because of its sport value nor because of its environmental friendliness. It comes about simply because to me it is the most sensible way to travel for the majority of journeys.

My earliest cycling memory goes back twenty five years to when I learnt. I realise that even then I was a cycling nut thanks to a memory of a Monday morning in infant school. Our teacher asked us to write about our weekend and finished her request with that wonderful statement “… and Michael maybe this week we could write something other than ‘I played on my bicycle’?” (Where are you now Miss Mitchell? Do you even remember me? I have other memories of you…)

Now though, I don’t play on my bicycle. I just reach for it without thinking whenever I leave the front door. If I am going to work or some other long journey I reach for my main bicycle. If I am visiting a friend, attending a local meeting or travelling a long distance that primarily involves a train or car I reach for my folding bike. If I am going to the shops I reach for an old bike I don’t mind leaving padlocked up outside and which I also know can easily carry my purchases home again.

In fact I know I am cycling obsessed when I am asked to go to a new destination and immediately work out whether I can cycle it, followed by a slow mental conversation along the lines of “yes 150 odd miles is rideable but why not consider the easier and more practical options?”

I campaign for cycling and for cyclists rights. I do not consider that as cyclists we are above the rules and regulations that tie down road users, but I am aware that we are seen as the minority group and so our needs are not always considered. I hope to change that.

As part of both my discussions on and as part of my campaigning I am aware that statistics are bandied about by both sides to make their own point. I personally detest and hate statistics. Anybody with a decent mathematical brain can take valid data and bend it to prove their own point. Cleverer people will find a way of swaying the base data to their own point of view in the first place, reducing the amount of mathematics required. A classic example is a cycle path, including an automatic cycle counter, in my local area. This proves to the council beyond a doubt that the cycle path is a success as the number of cyclists using it is increasing. What is not seen is the reduction in cyclists using the main carriageway at that point due to the increased danger that the cycle path has created!

This website is 100% (stats again!) my own views unless acknowledged otherwise, and completely ignores statistics on purpose. The reason for this is that most articles I have written are designed to make the reader think, rather than being told to do something. If you consider something I say to be incorrect then please let me know. If at first I disagree I will enter into an email conversation. If I subsequently change my mind I will change that article and willingly acknowledge the change, otherwise I will amend the article to ensure the misunderstanding does not arise again.

Outside of cycling what else do you want to know? I am happily married with no children yet. I am currently unhappily employed in the computer trade. I have a small interest in Bonsai. I attend church regularly. I enjoy the odd drink or few.

I enjoy walking in the countryside as well as cycling in it. One thing I really do enjoy is late night walks out in the countryside away from habitation and just simply merging with the wildlife. I enjoy nothing more than suddenly stopping and watching the rabbits feed or the badgers hunt for food. The only thing that spoils my enjoyment of these simple things is the knowledge that in today’s world a single adult male roaming the streets or footpaths and suddenly stopping and watching is highly suspicious and frames me as either a pervert, burglar or other criminal. That is why, although I am pet-less (I do not think it fair on the animal as both myself and my wife work full time) I am happy to walk my neighbours dog late at night, it gives me an excuse to be out watching what I enjoy.

I am worried about our environment and our way of life, but do not see what I can do about it other than carrying on in the way I do. I cycle rather than use the car whenever practical, I recycle where applicable. My garden plan (as yet uncompleted) considers solar power and 12V batteries rather than mains electricity and also centres around not only what I want but also what wildlife will find friendly. Beyond this what can I do without becoming a ridiculed hermit who refuses to buy goods because they have too much packaging or who requests to be cut off from the national grid because of nuclear power generation?

As for the rest you want to know about me, why not leave this page and get lost amongst the pages of this site. I am sure you will soon get to realise that my brain is always rambling and thinking. The more it rambles and thinks the more I type. The more you read I think the more you will come to understand me. If you still don’t, or I have confused you then why not drop me a mail and I’ll try to reply when I get the time.


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