Zipping around Ancoats and the Northern Quarter 1

I went out for a ride in the sun last Sunday, and recorded this trip through the back streets of the Northern Quarter and Ancoats. I’ve sped it up, to suit the bounce of the soundtrack I found for it.

Music- EDM Detection Mode by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution licence (

A wheeled wander past some Solstice locations

2015 isn’t likely to give us many more days as nice as today. So I got on the bike and went for a little ride- something I’ve consistently failed to do this year.

Weir on the Irwell

I followed a route I took several times last year- down to the Irwell, then upstream a way, freestyling the exact route on the many tracks available. If you’ve read Solstice, the weir above is the spot where the first body is found. In the story, it’s June, and the river is lower than this.

(If you haven’t read Solstice, you can get it from Amazon, Smashwords and several other online shops.)


This rather lovely location is just over two and a half miles from where I live. Two and a half miles in the other direction is Manchester city centre.

What path?

At one point, the track got a little crazy. Lacking Boudicca style scythes on the bike, I worked a little way back and crossed the river on an old canal bridge nerby.

Under the M60

Having taken a photo of the weir where the body was found, I had to make it far enough upstream to get a shot of the location of the first murder, and opening scene, of Solstice. This track runs under the M60. I turned around and headed back along trails I didn’t discover last year. The ride was just under ten miles long. I did much longer ones last year when I was in the habit of heading out for a random ride most weeks. I need to get on my bike more often.

Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a rat rod style scooter bike 1

Ratty Scooter

Ratty Scooter

I spotted this across the road whilst wandering around town, and just had to have a picture. How cool is this rat rod style scooter?

When I stop living in the sky and find somewhere with a garage (which won’t be for a while), I’d love to have something like this for the occasional cool buzz around town. Of course, I’ve heard that older scooter engines can be very polluting for their size, so it would have to have a newer motor fitted instead or, for the ultimate mod (but not Mod), it could go electric.

Cool lowrider

I also spotted this cool chopper. The riding position looks close to that of a recumbent, so it mightn’t be as hard to pedal as you’d first think. Steering could be tricky, though.

That back tyre is actually three mountain bike tyres fitted to some sort of custom rim, which is an interesting way of doing things.

Naked Bike Ride 2015

I nearly didn’t bother taking pictures at this year’s Naked Bike Ride. The first and second times I did the ride, it was a bit of a surprise to have photos taken from inside the pack, rather than by giggling folks on their mobiles. So I was getting something a bit special.

Yesterday, it seemed that every other rider had a camera, some of them had more than one, and there were GoPros in evidence. So I set off thinking that it would be okay, I’d let everyone else take photos.

But, I’d brought my camera, and then we stopped on Oxford Road and this was the view ahead-

Manchester World Naked Bike Ride 2015

And this was the view behind-

Manchester World Naked Bike Ride 2015

I knew I had to get a few.

Most of the shots came out dark or blurred because of the overcast, but there were a few more I liked.

These guys had issues. But they’re the sort of people who have issues with everything, and whatever the guy with the megaphone was saying was drowned out by the sarcastic cheering of a hundred or so naked folk.

Manchester World Naked Bike Ride 2015

On the left hand side of this shot, you’ll see the coolest rider of all of us, a three year old kid on a balance bike, who managed to keep up with us for nearly half the ride. He’s a star.

Manchester World Naked Bike Ride 2015

Obligatory Beetham Tower with naked riders in front of it picture.

Manchester World Naked Bike Ride 2015

‘Change the law so car-drivers are automatically blamed for cycling accidents – unless they can prove otherwise’ | Metro News

Dutch driving laws force motorists to play it safe. Isn’t it time we adopted strict liability to protect cyclists in Britain?

There’s a vote option at the bottom of the piece. The result won’t make a difference in the grand scheme, but I recommend clicking Yes for the benefit of Metro readers.

Source: ‘Change the law so car-drivers are automatically blamed for cycling accidents – unless they can prove otherwise’ | Metro News

The end of those stupid ‘Cyclists Stay Back’ stickers?

After lobbying by several cycling and road safety groups, TfL have agreed to phase out the yellow ‘Cyclists Stay Back’ stickers which were on their vehicles and those of their contractors. They’re going to work on something with better wording. And, hopefully, reminding their drivers how they should be behaving on the road.

Road safety organisations have for several months been pressuring TfL to act on the stickers, described as “offensive” by London Cycling Campaign (LCC). Evidence has mounted that drivers of stickered vehicles have acted as though the stickers gave them the right to harass and endanger cyclists.

If you are, or know, a driver who’d like to convey a more positive message, the website have some ‘Cyclists, Stay Awesome’ stickers.

via Transport for London agrees to scrap 'Stay Back' stickers |

Customising the Moulton Mini, phase one

Customising the Moulton Mini, phase one, originally uploaded by spinneyhead.

I’ve had the Mini for a while now, but it’s spent most of the time sitting in the living room whilst I waited for bits. I’m going for white trim, though that may only last until the end of Critical Mass. I got the Raleigh original white tyres from Ebay, along with the much longer seat post. The saddle came from what’s left of the HandI bikes stockpile and the larger, colour matching, pedals were picked up at a Pop Up Bikes jumble.

12″ tyres are a pain to remove and replace, so the tubes are full of sealant and optimism. I repacked both wheels while I was about it.

Future possibilities include a white chain and decoration with stickers and practice pinstriping. For now, riding around town in the rain and then off to the pub.