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 www.cyclingplus.co.uk 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.