Shortly after the service launched in Manchester, I took a Mobike hire bike out for a test ride. Whilst I was about it, I visited some of the locations of Northern Gorehouse (aka Zombies V Vampires). Here’s A Writer’s Life, episode 3.
I’ve been quite busy since the Naked Bike Ride, and only just managed to get a few images edited and uploaded. Unfortunately, Flickr won’t let me embed the gallery here, because of the flesh. But you can visit it here.
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 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)
I got a clip on wide angle lens for the phone, which will be good for photos and timelapse, but upsets the autofocus when there’s too much movement. I’ll know better next time.
Rather shaky. It’s not easy cycling whilst filming with your phone.
I found this whilst looking for something else completely. It looks awesome, though I imagine the weight of that hose so high up in the frame would make cornering scary.
Craziest Bike or Bike Parts!! in Bikes, Parts, and Gear
Police in America say veteran X Games biker Dave Mirra has died aged 41.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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-
And this was the view behind-
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.
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.
Obligatory Beetham Tower with naked riders in front of it picture.
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.
Berry and Bentley, originally uploaded by spinneyhead.
The other reason to visit the museum of science and industry today was to check out the small but interesting cycling exhibit. This particular bike was made in Rusholme.
Critical Mass, originally uploaded by spinneyhead.
Glorious weather, so a decent turnout. This was the queue as we waited for a tram to pass.
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 road.cc website have some ‘Cyclists, Stay Awesome’ stickers.
You should be able to scroll through them all using the arrows. There’s a Manchester Naked Bike Ride group on Flickr which has other people’s photos as well.
Not many photos, because the camera was shooting video for the first half of the ride and then the battery was near flat.
I need a proper bike cam setup (possibly a GoPro), because the best footage was from when I got off the bike and stood at the lights to watch the ride go past.
Ready for the #space4cycling ride, originally uploaded by spinneyhead.
Just around the lake from where I fell off a tandem yesterday. The last one of these was during the Tory conference. No Conservatives in town today, so it’s much brighter.
Key swap party!!!, originally uploaded by spinneyhead.
Bike key, that is. Take a key, find the bike it unlocks, then ride it around Platt Fields lake. I was on the back of this tandem for a short way. We fell off twice. It wasn’t so bad when I was on the front.
The Moulton, as is its way, has shown me up by having a shredded sidewall on the rear tyre. People are still riding it though.
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.
So, it seems that Top Gear did a piece about riding bikes. I’ve thought about watching it, but then I heard the news about anger being bad for your health. Other people have seen it, and it seems it may have had some nonsense about cyclists running red lights in it, if this response video is anything to go by.