Category: random stuff

Cycling Etiquette: Let down by my fellow roadies!

The back had been playing up again over the weekend so I took Sunday off, but felt better today so I decided to take it for a spin to see how it fared. I headed up into the hills nearby, enjoying the return to the bike and the rather haunting mist that shrouded the valleys.

'Turneresque', I thought, having just watched the excellent Mr. Turner the night before!

‘Turneresque’, I thought, having just watched the excellent Mr. Turner the night before…

I dilly-dallied a bit, poked and a-pottered a tad, and sniffed the odd tree and maybe possibly had a pee here and there, as is my wont, and was just having a fine old time all told, spinning around and messing about with the camera on my phone.



Taiwan is a stunning place to ride it really is, with fantastic year-round weather. This time of year is my favorite in fact, with perfect riding weather (17 degrees today) just about daily.


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After riding for 45 minutes on the plateau I headed back down the hill to town, and psssssssst – no, I didn’t encounter a seedy dude wearing a trench coat trying to sell me watches, but I did get a flat, front tire. No worries, I didn’t crash and I did have a brand new spare – which wouldn’t inflate. Grrrrr. Something wrong with the valve! Well, ok no problem, I’ve got the old puncture kit…. ah, yes, the one with all the patches dried up and useless. Great.

I realised I’d have to just walk down the steep bits and on the corners and drift down the straights, unless a biker came down or up the hill, a real possibility seeing as I was on one of the most popular hills in the area. Not more than a  minute after thinking that, a guy whizzed by me on a road bike, all kitted up, obviously someone who’d have a spare tube or a repair kit.

Did he stop? Did he balls! I shouted after him once, twice, but still he never looked back. As he rounded the bend I shouted ‘YOU F%&$@R!’ definitely loud enough for him to hear because I saw him turning around as he slipped out of sight round the bend. A pox on his head, be damned him!

Honestly, how could you see a fellow roadie walking his bike on a damp descent, a good 5km from the nearest town of any note, and not wonder if he or she had a problem? I always slow down and ask people if they are OK even if I see them only fixing a flat, just in case. It’s just common courtesy, right?

Well, apparently not.

As I was still cursing the guy and his bike in my head, another guy flew past me! He didn’t even get a hopeful ‘Hey!‘ from me, just a mouthful of curses that’d make a sailor blush. I was spitting feathers. The absolute arse.

Finally after a good 25 minutes of walking, slipping and drifting on far too expensive carbon rims (sorry Blk Tec), I came to a 7-11. They had, as many 7s here do, a pump for all to use, and, amazingly, a tool kit too!



Brilliant! Surely it’d have a puncture kit in it!

Well, it had some weird stuff in it but a puncture kit? Erm, no.


And that’s why I’ll never ride a Merida.

And I’ll STILL stop next time I see someone by the side of the road. Why? Cos you should. It could be you some day.

Just don’t stop if it’s a fat bloke in a pink Giro jersey or a skinny arsed munter in a BMC kit….


The world’s first 3-D printed bike goes SNAP…

These are coming, they must be, there will be some freaky time ahead when you buy a plan from Pinarello or whoever and then print your bike in your office. But, judging by this amusing video, not quite yet.

Here some students from Carleton University do a first time ever! test-ride of their plastic bike, or rather, they don’t. Still, kudos to them for suffering through the shutter clicks as the assembled media hone in on their acute embarrassment.

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They might have suspected something like this would happen though – here’s a quote from one of the lads after the press conference:

“Once we had attached wheels and a seat, we were ready to sit on the final product to see if it could withstand the weight of a person,” he said. “Ignoring the known weaknesses, like the part where the printer had run out of plastic and not finished the print or the one with a small crack, we decided to go for it.”

Crank on regardless fellas…

Harry Kramer, the Bearded Wonder Kid

Sweet little video here about an old boy ‘doing a Sagan’ (no not pinching a backside but doing wheelies).

The commentator pulls out some deadly jokes, such as: “The only thing Harry said he can’t balance is his wife’s bank account.”


Harry’s looks a bit mad to be fair, but then, aren’t we all?

Best line of the lot is: “Harry said he’d rather be up there any day, than sitting in an easy-chair listening to his arteries harden.”

Crank on Harry.

Bike music

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This is pretty good, a tune made entirely from bike noises. This is a tune called Bespoken by Johhnrandom, a guy who males music from everyday things and has a particular love for the humble bike.

The first video shows how he made the music, the second is a video someone made featuring the whole track.

crankpunk’s first proper bike features on GCN

Well it’s not actually my bike, it’s Stephen Roche’s, but it is exactly the same, down to the groupset and even the saddle, that I had when I was 17 – my first proper, proper bike. Every penny of pocket money I had went into this machine. That I sold it for 400 quid to my mate’s little brother a few years after i quit cycling at 18 breaks my heart even now, but there you have it.

I’ll never forgive myself.

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Ain’t she a beauty? And after you’ve watched the video you can read my article on Old Bikes vs. New, and on why Stephen let me down.



Balls Out: naked cyclist fined for not wearing a helmet


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well, this certainly brings new meaning to that phrase.

wonder if he was on the rivet?

ah the pedantry of The Law. some dude in New Zealand is caught under the influence of alcohol and naked, whilst riding a bike. and is charge not with indecent exposure but with riding without a helmet.

reminds me of the English couple having sex on a packed train whilst all the other passengers pretend nothing is happening. when the couple had finished their tryst and lit up cigarettes, however, a gent looks over and says ‘Excuse me, but this is a no smoking car.’

reminded me also of the Swedish guy who was caught having sex with a bike. he punctures the tyre than er, takes care of himself. i told this story to a bike buddy of mine last week and he didn’t believe me. here is the video evidence:

back to the naked NZ guy. not sure if didn’t get busted for indecency on the grounds that the cops just couldn’t be bothered or if it was just too cold for the biker to actually offend anyone:

‘Timaru police Senior Sergeant Randel Tikitiki told that the man was not charged for indecent exposure because that would “depend on what could be seen.”‘


cycling posters! thanks Liz!

what a find, and thanks to Liz Newbery for this.

a bicycle posters page on FB. one of the best things i’ve seen on FB, in all honesty!

that’s the great, truly great thing about the bike – it just makes you smile, and there’s plenty in these beauties to smile about.


crankpunk to take up triathlon… but could i pull off a belly top and speedos?


i woke up this morning with the strangest desire careening around my loins, stranger than that time i almost got arrested for taking single bites out of a a good 7 or 8 dried sea sponges all those years ago in Boots pharmacy on Norwich High Street.

yes, it is – turn away now if you are squeamish – THE DESIRE TO DO A TRIATHLON.

my head is so full of questions.

1. can i get treatment for this? is electrotherapy a real option still these days or would it be easier if i just black up and walk up to an American cop?

2. do Speedo still make speedos, or have they been banned by the Obama government? #obamabansspeedoscosheisaterrorist




3. will i have to unlearn the art of cornering, braking, going uphill and riding in a bunch of more than one?

4. will i really lose all of my friends?

5. where can i buy a brick?


6. will i have to tape 55 assorted gels on my top tube every time i ride? even to the shop? is it REALLY more aero than a friggin’ pocket?


7. is it true that i’ll have to wear the bellytop/speedo/compression sock combo uniform at ALL TIMES even whilst sleeping?

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he was later DQd for not wearing compression socks

8. can i really get my number burned into my skin? #trinumberburntintoskinisCOOL

9. do i really have to wear iridium glasses with the iridium on the inside too?

10. will i really have to lose my sense of humor?

…so many, many questions…