start the way you mean to go on

earth with petrol hose

during my weekend perambulations, coupled with casual observation during the week, there are considerably more electric vehicles on the road than could be seen last year. as far as i'm aware, the price of such vehicles has not decreased by much in recent times, therefore i can only presume that not everyone is suffering badly at the hands of the much-vaunted cost-of-living-crisis. however, it could be that those in possession of battery power are intent on future-proofing their motoring activities in advance of the ban on petrol and diesel engines due to come into force by 2030.

however, my observations have come to a standstill as far as more folks on bicycles is concerned. granted, there are many to be seen on hired e-bikes, most of whom are of a foreign persuasion, and give the impression that this may be their first time on a bicycle. on thursday lunchtime, i observed what i took to be a group of scandinavians all over the road near bowmore distillery, one of whom subsequently crashed unceremoniously into one of his colleagues. though these are fairly sturdy items of machinery, i dread to think what state they're in by the end of the season.

however, as is my practice, i tend to ride my cyclocross bike on a saturday, partly because i'm flying solo without the need to keep up with anyone, and partly because it offers the opportunity to ride on the grassy dunes that sit between the road and loch indaal along the length of uiskentuie strand. that particular stretch of grassy ground is highly popular with walkers and dog walkers, some of whom trudge the sandy beach, while others stick to the grass. the disappointing factor is that many, if not all, find it necessary to leave the road and drive their cars on the grass to a point that suits their walking preferences.

but yesterday, as i bounced my merry way towards bruichladdich, along part of my route i noted a parked pickup with an attached trailer on which the tailgate lay open upon the grass. just ahead was a couple with a young child in a small replica audi which was either a pedal car, or one of those sporting an electric motor. at the time, i figured it a tad excessive to have transported said audi on such a large trailer. that was, however, until i came across a slightly older child aboard a scaled down, petrol-driven quad bike, full-face helmet on and flipping the throttle, and presumably waiting for me to pass.

though i've no doubt the mini-quad had been purchased at the behest of his parents, and apparently enjoyed by their eldest child, it does seem a bit of a disappointment that, rather than encourage the next generation to adopt a more environmentally friendly means of transport, or, indeed, means of leisure transport, they'd opted to help create a future petrol-head. no doubt, at some time in the future, if not already available, mini-quad bikes will lose the petrol engine and acquire an electric motor, but surely it would be altogether better to bring those kids up on mountain, gravel or cyclocross bicycles?

i realise that such a statement makes me seem something of a killjoy, particularly as the kid on the mini-quad is unlikely to have the faintest notion about climate change. but the fact that not only did that mini-quad require petrol to make it go, but in order to get it to a suitable place for use, a chunky pickup and trailer had to be employed.

having them ride a bicycle would have surely been more pragmatic?

monday 28 august 2023

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plot, the, lost

rapha + tekkerz

in the days when the mouse attached to your computer made its way in the world via a little ball visible in the base, its actions were performed atop the all but defunct mouse-mat. these varied in constitution from a formica-like surface to soft and cuddly. but either way, they saved many a desk from unsightly marks. though utilitarian in concept, the humble mouse-mat readily lent itself to the placement of company logos, of marketing sales pitches and pictures of charlie brown and snoopy. and then there was philosophy; rather than advertising the product sold by the business which owned the computers, mouse-mats provided an excellent platform for worthy aphorisms.

californian type foundry, emigre, began life as a much sought after graphic design magazine, before morphing into a supplier of digital type. originating in 1984, the same year that brought us the apple macintosh computer, emigre was the brainchild of rudy van der lans and suzana licko, sporting a cutting edge print magazine and a website somewhat ahead of its time. sadly, that website seems to have lost its je ne sais quoi, though it does offer an excellent selection of 79 digital fonts. however, when mouse-mats were a thing, messrs. van der lans and licko offered their own pronounced statement applied to just such an accessory, to wit:'design is a good idea', a phrase that resounds whichever definition you may wish to apply.

it's now available on a t-shirt.

at the risk of undermining the salient message, i'd be inclined to append the word simple, since it's possible to dilute the sentiment by complicating the original idea. for instance, campagnolo, to the best of my knowledge, were the originators of the single bolt seatpost clamp, a mechanism that works perfectly well with the utmost simplicity of operation. why, therefore, are there so many far fiddlier seat clamps on offer, using two vertical bolts, almost always of differing size and tool requirement, along with those that feature bolts that run at rght angles to the direction of travel?

in 2004, rapha founder, simon mottram claimed himself unable to find the sort of cycle jersey that he desired to wear, subsequently taking space in kentish town's imperial works to create jerseys of such stunning simplicity, that the velocipedinal world could do little but sit up and take note. for several years, those jerseys, shorts, casquettes and other sartorial items made extensive use of black, white and pink to great effect, even on the jerseys of the rapha condor cycle team. while others were concocting brightly coloured, sponsor inflected, dye-sublimated polyester, rapha was screen-printing white logos onto black sportwool to great effect.

this simplicity of design persisted until the company opted to become clothing sponsor of team sky, at which point, professional demand led to the pro-team range of clothing that eschewed the use of any sportwool whatsoever. depending on your point of view, that was the beginning of the end for (rapha's) design being a good idea.

many of you will be in receipt of rapha's almost daily e-mails espousing the benefits and qualities of their current range, a large majority of which would appear to bear the very jersey designs to which mr mottram originally provided a welcome alternative. but with this week's release, it appears they may just have hit rock bottom with a gratuitous jersey design by an outfit by the name of tekkerz.

the accompanying animated graphic (see above) appears to show a chequered rapha polyester jersey being dripped with garish shades of paint, the result of which can be seen here. it would appear that there is solely the women's jersey left, and only in size small. i do believe there was originally a men's version too, but disappointingly, that appears to have sold out already, perhaps demonstrating that bad taste is alive and well and living on a bicycle.

i'm all in favour of good design, and by that i mean to imply this isn't it. however, if the limited edition has all but sold out, maybe it's me who's lost the plot?

sunday 27 august 2023

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oh no it doesn't

lotus + hope track bike

this week's comic tells the tale of woe being experienced by britain's track cycling empire over their reputedly super-duper track bicycle developed between hope components and lotus. the latter were the curators behind the mike burrows designed lotus superbike on which chris boardman took olympic gold. in a radical departure from the smooth lines of boardman's medal-winning machine, the current track bike features a fork on which the blades are well away from the wheel, providing, as i understand it, superior aerodynamics to the more usual style of fork.

the latest revisions to this machine have seen the rear forks similarly extended laterally, and apparently precisely in line with the front fork blades to encourage the airflow away from the riders spinning legs. additionally, the seat post is now vertically slotted, presumably in an attempt to achieve similar improved airflow, as encouraged by the forks. so far, so good.

however, at the recently completed track championships in the chris hoy velodrome in glasgow, lo and behold, the french and the japanese arrived with approved prototypes that employ remarkably similar features to that of the hope+lotus bicycle. there is nothing particularly unusual about circumstances such as this; witness the wholesale adoption of dropped seatstays amongst the bicycle sponsors of the professional peloton. the difference in the case of the track bike is that british cycling apprently filed a patent on all the above mentioned aspects and are now in a quandary as to whether they ought to take probably expensive legal action against the two countries reputedly infringing those patents.

if you fancy reading more on the subject, i suggest you acquire a copy of this week's vuelta special edition of cycling weekly. it would surely be plagiarism on my part, were i to write further on the subject. my attempt at discussion revolves around a comment made within the article concerning a different kettle of fish.

aside from the probably inordinate amounts of cash employed to develop such an ungainly looking bicycle, it strikes me as a bit sad that any manufacturer or national cycling body would take this particular route towards winning medals. certain countries have, in the past, come under scrutiny for alleged 'cheating' for the manner in which they provide nutrition for their riders. the accusations have included the assumption that such measures have been designed to bolster their national reputations by placing riders on the podium at all costs. nations such as japan, britain, france et al are at strenuous pains to deny any similar measures within their own camps, yet don't seem to see the extravagant development costs of their bicycles in a similar light.

should britain return from next year's olympic games with more than just a handful of track medals, british cycling and the national press will laud their exploits to the moon and back, taking care to mention only the riders and not the thousands, if not millions of pounds spent on trying to give them a mechanical edge over their competitors. personally, i see little difference between the two means of getting there, other than the fact that only one of them is legal.

however, it is worth wondering whether all those pound notes are truly worth spending? according to the selfsame article in the comic, individual pursuit silver medallist, dan bigham is not a part of the british cycling track programme and therefore does not have access to one of the hope+lotus superbikes. as a member of the ineos world tour team, bigham does, however, have an inside track (pardon the pun) to the finest of machinery to emanate from pinarello, competing at the glasgow world championships aboard one of their track bikes.

in the course of its paragraphs, the cycling weekly article points out that, aboard that pinarello, bigham was not under any extra duress to keep pace with his team pursuit colleagues, all of whom were to be seen riding the hope+lotus bike. since the pinarello track bike appears largely conventional in its construction, you do have to wonder if there's really any point to it all. it's not so many years ago that uci banned graeme obree's washing machine bicycle, made at a cost of around £50, on the principle that it was not commercially available. it then subsequently banned his superman position on the grounds that it detracted from the power of the individual athlete by providing an aerodynamic advantage.

one can only assume that the uci have very short memories and that british cycling is keen to exploit that fact by spending probably far too much money.

whatever happened to simply being competitive aboard normal bikes? does track cycling really become exponentially more exciting the more money that's spent?

saturday 26 august 2023

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what's wrong with this picture?

road racing

there have apparently been calls for the lionesses to be given national honours of some sort or other for their performances in the recently ended women's soccer world cup won by spain. quite what form those honours might take is open to conjecture, but it would be a brave individual who bet against that actually happening. however, at the risk of incurring the ire of their fanatical supporters, it's worth remembering, i believe, that in essence, it is only a game.

scotland's bill shankly, one-time manager of liverpool football club, has been quoted as saying, "some people think football is a matter of life and death. i assure you, it's much more serious than that.", a remark that i certainly hope he made with tongue firmly planted in cheek. in fairness, i once received a birthday card on which were the words, 'cycling is life; the rest is mere detail', and while that might be the aspiration of many, heaven forfend that it turn out to be true.

and before you point out that both prince bradley and chris hoy were knighted for their 'contributions to the sport of cycling', let me say that i find both those honours to have been unwarranted. i don't disagree that both were paragons of the sport, but let's not forget that cycling is something that both undertook voluntarily, and for which they both appear to have been particularly well remunerated during their professional careers. the fact that they won stuff is surely testament to their acquired skills, ambition, and dedication, along with adherence to strict training regimes. but being knighted for succeeding at something they always wanted to do seems designed to call into serious question the value of the honours system in the first place.

however, those are undoubtedly arguable opinions and somewhat disaffected from the inherent nature of sporting activity in the first place. though soccer may have skewed the aspirations of many a youthful footballer with the promise of untold riches for the particularly gifted, the majority of sporting adherents travel the path at the behest of enjoyment and the thrill of the competitive chase. for many, participation is key, during which they hope to acquire a greater skill set allowing them to improve. bear in mind there are far more amateur sportspeople than there are professionals, with the latter often acting (willingly or otherwise) as inspiration for the former.

though schoolkids are mostly happy to place woolly jumpers on the playground as makeshift goalposts, or to place a substitute marker in a field to practice golf, the majority of sporting activities require customised facilities. yes, you can swim in the sea, but the majority do so in swimming pools where coaching is more easily accessed, water conditions are generally warmer and more amenable, and distances more measurable.

cycling, other than track or bmx, is something of an exception; roadies can pretty much set out over a measured distance to ascertain a quantifiable average speed. add a few more friends and you can learn to sprint, how to draft, or form even a modest echelon. locate a steep enough hill, and you can possibly learn to climb. but when it comes to actual racing, there might be a bit of a problem. early morning time-trials over obscurely numbered routes are rather a testament to that fact.

around the time of prince bradley's tour and olympic successes, britain's road-racing scene was possibly at the best it had ever been, havng fostered several home-grown continental level teams, and placing an admirable number of successful brits in the world tour peloton. yet, while mainland european countries like italy, france and belgium still seem to have little trouble encouraging youngsters into the sport by way of regular road races over closed roads without difficulty, britain, by comparison, now lags far behind. and, word on the street would advise, that lag appears to be on the increase.

as pointed out in yesterday's monologue, despite a reputed rise in cycling's profile by comparison with other sports, cycling continues to be seen as a minority activity. if you are a regular reader of the comic, it would have been hard not to read almost weekly features on the demise of yet another race or domestic team, the consequence of which is a distinct lack of opportunities for aspiring future british tour de france participants. and, as the national body for britain's racing cyclings, british cycling has long been on the receiving end of complaints that, in this regard, it has abjectly failed its membership.

it may be a bit late to accuse the national body of resting on its laurels, since those have long since faded away, but at last, it appears that british cycling has decided to act, forming a possibly belated elite road racing task force to "...energise the domestic (racing) scene." the task force has been instituted to complement the work of the existing road commission, with the express aim of growing the number of participants and events.

those constituting the task force include individuals from a variety of disciplines, including ed clancy, john herety, former manager of jlt condor, and rapha's uk marketing manager, jess morgan, amongst others. here's hoping their efforts meet with the success for which many are hoping.

friday 25 august 2023

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minority report


when i was at primary school, the option not to participate in lunch-break football (soccer) matches, was one which rarely existed. the ignominy of this inevitably, in my case at least, revolved around the knowledge that i would be either last, or second-last to be chosen for either team. both my father and brother were committed football fans, though notably, of different teams. that fact appeared to work in their favour, given that their respective team choices within the same council region tended to play at home on alternative saturdays.

in those far-gone days, football took place almost exclusively on saturdays, unless a re-match was scheduled for midweek. thus, on saturday lunchtimes, we were compelled to watch grandstand, where pundits would outline who would win and who would be defeated. then, at around 4pm, we'd again have to watch the day's results (my mother had to check her weekly choices on littlewoods pools), following which those lunchtime pundits explained how they'd got it all so horribly wrong. the longer this situation prevailed, the more i found myself disliking soccer.

that cultivated dislike was underlined around 9pm of a saturday eve, when, through my bedroom wall, i'd have to endure persistent crowd noises and my father and brother taking it in turns to shout at the tv during match of the day.

the secondary school which followed primary was more in thrall to rugby, adherence to which i temporarily enjoined, principally at the behest of my circle of school-friends. they, however, were generally far better built to endure the weekly batterings i tended to experience at wednesday evening practices. the team coach would allow me one saturday game each year, purely on the basis of my regular attendance at weekly practices. i was worse than useless and too lightweight to achieve anything against the bruisers who enjoyed despatching anyone who got in their way.

in principle, i have nothing against anyone's enjoyment of whichever sport they deem of interest, but the incredible popularity of some sporting activities, such as soccer, has me thoroughly confounded. it's a sport that seems to have gained far more approbation, tv coverage and money, than its simplicity would suggest is appropriate. there are others, such as cricket, golf, motor racing and tennis, which i'd place in a similar category, but paying £111 million for a single player seems to be verging on the obscene, particularly during the current cost-of-living-crisis.

this state of affairs also seems to pervade the women's side of the game (though allegedly, not the money part of the equation). while i hold my daily newspaper in great respect, the whole of the front page and another four inside the main section (never mind the sports section), given over to the england team's loss in the world cup final seems particularly inequitable. where the losing team garnered pages and pages, ten days of world championship cycling in glasgow resulted only in paragraphs and paragraphs.

however, far from being a grumble about football versus cycling, it is, i believe, a question of perspective.

there were few british participants entered in any of the world championship events held in scotland, leaving little opportunity for the fanaticism displayed in favour of the so-called lionesses. had that journalistic fanaticism been confined to the sports sections, i would have fully understood; but to impose so many column inches and images of a team that lost a high profile game of football upon a possibly disinterested readership, strikes me as somewhat prejudicial. those of a scottish indpendence persuasion have attempted to frame the inequity as being typical of those south of the border. (ie, the world championships were held north of the border, while the losing football team were from farther south).

i am not of that mind. nor do i necessarily subscribe to a nationalistic point of view. but over the course of a weekend when there were far more important and, in some cases, life-threatening occurrences across the world, shifting news of those so far back in the paper seemed a tad irresponsible. and yes, i'd have felt exactly the same had those pages been filled with cycling.

i think we're all well aware that, despite the occasional bradley bubble, cycling remains a distinctly minority sport. such a categorisation appears not to have had any notable impact on its popularity midst the cognoscenti at large, though it does seem to have suffered within the uk, there being few professional teams left on the domestic scene. i'm sure many can recall the halcyon days of rapha condor, endura, and many others bolstering home racing. and rapha founder, simon mottram's professed ambition to make road-racing into the most popular sport in the world, seems no closer to achieving its aim than when first announced. (rapha's dilution into the world of offroad could reasonably be regarded as a contributing factor).

a bit like the forlorn hope that the nation's motorists will leave the car in the driveway and commute by bicycle, on this side of the channel, there is very little possibility that cycle sport will ever approach the popularity reserved for the likes of soccer, golf, tennis and formula one motor racing. but that doesn't mean that cycle sport isn't as good as it's ever been, that we can't enjoy emulating our heroes, buying their replica bikes and watching them participate in the classics and grand tours.

however, it's still a bit disappointing that some sections of our national press see things differently.

thursday 24 august 2023

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a question of balance

balance scales

my three year-old grand-daughter has taken to her balance bike in precisely the manner its inventor had probably hoped for. she races up and down the footpath outside the croft at speeds i always think are a hairsbreadth from disaster, yet she herself displays little concern for any untoward happenstances, apparently in total command of her fate. it's a far cry from those kids who had to endure the mortifying process of learning to ride a bicycle outfitted with rear stabilisers. though the latter are designed not to touch the ground simultaneously, hopefully to encourage internal balance, observations would adjudge that this is a hopeless pose.

i have, in the past, received children's bicycles for repair on which it is obvious that well-meaning and presumably uncomprehending parents had adjusted the stabilisers to ensure their permanent contact with the ground. so doing effectively rendered them totally ineffective; where, then, was the possibility of the child learning to balance naturally? most kids on stabiliser augmented bicycles ride while listing to one side, graphically demonstrating the pointless nature of those auxiliary wheels.

if, however, you are of a certain age, you almost certainly began your velocipedinal career on a stabilised bike. it was once the only method du jour, but you probably learned to ride a bicycle in spite of, rather than at the behest of rear-mounted stabilisers. which sort of beggars the question very few of us ever ask, 'how is it possible to ride a machine which features only two in-line wheels, and which cannot remain upright on its own? by and large, we take the act of riding a bicycle for granted.

i did teach my own children to ride a bicycle by holding onto the rear of the saddle while they pedalled, and subsequently simply pressing my thumb into the small of their backs to convince that i was still holding on. by the time they realised the subterfuge, they were already well on their way to becoming confident, if occasionally wobbly cyclists. it's a method with which i have had considerable experience; with mrs washingmachinepost having been a childminder for over twenty years, there was an almost pressing annual need to educate another generation to the joys of the bicycle.

but if those kids were unable to properly balance when they began, what had changed by the time i'd all but removed my hand from the saddle?

it appears that the mechanics of what often seems to be a fairly effortless process, are still shrouded in mystery. mathematicians can explain the factors required for a bicycle to run true, but quite how the alliance of human and bicycle achieves mobile stability is a tad more difficult to quantify.

many years ago, a local cycle retailer had had a bicycle returned as quite impossible to ride in a straight line. thinking this to be a case of someone without the skills to ride properly, i was asked to make my own judgment. as it transpired, the customer was entirely right. despite being of a reputable make, the head tube and seat tube had been welded at opposing angles, making it completely impossible to ride in a straight line. however, the fact that the bicycle could be ridden at all was certainly at the behest of the inherent and apparently inexplicable sense of stability provided by the human rider.

a major part of balancing a bicycle is maintaining a centre of mass over and between the two wheels; this consists of an invisible polygon that connects the two wheels with the ground. but how many of us are aware of this, and how often is it discussed in the sunday morning peloton? as it turns out, the two principal methods of remaining balanced are steering and shifting your honed-physique relative to the bicycle's movement. it could be seen as comparable to those united states air force flying wing stealth bombers which, i'm led to believe, are too ungainly to actually fly, and rely almost entirely on a constant stream of computer adjustments to keep them in the air.

that process of learning to ride while dad or mum incur back strain, is apparently designed to cultivate the tiny, unconscious movements required to counteract the bicycle's inherent desire to fall over. a combination of steering movements and body movements are required to keep both bicycle and rider heading in the desired direction. to a certain extent, that's comprehensible, even if still largely inexplicable; but how come i can ride my bike in 70kph crosswinds, where it's not only the bicycle that has designs on throwing itself to the ground?

achievements such as the above tend to be acquired through time, practice and, it would seem, aptitude. for instance, as a drumset player, i have acquired sufficient co-ordination skills to achieve the majority of sound and movement that either i, or the music, require. yet there are far more who can't than can. riding a bicycle is, allegedly, just like riding a bike; a skill once acquired that tends not to disappear. this allows many an adult individual to hire a bicycle while on holiday, despite possibly not having ridden since the age of ten.

and apparently our accumulated experience enables us to ride more quickly with greater panache. beginners and expert riders, according to laboratory tests, fare very similarly at slow speeds, but our superior speed and bike handling seems to rely on increasingly more subtle steering and movements as the speed increases, largely unconscious attributes not on display by novice cyclists.

i very much doubt that my grand-daughter has even the faintest notion that her balancing achievements so far, are worthy of so much admiration, and i tend to think that it's probably just as well. who amongst us can imagine riding in the sunday peloton, all the while observing our steering and balancing movements? that said, mathieu van der poel may have had just cause to query his own on that damp glasgow city corner, despite being renowned as an expert bike handler from his seasons of cyclocross.

some things, however, are perhaps better left incomprehensible; there are a number of drum co-ordination exercises that are well-nigh impossible when broken down into their component parts, and i tend to think the same may well be true if applied to cycling.

innocent until proved unstable.

wednesday 23 august 2023

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probably wrong again

three distilleries path

during the ride of the falling rain earlier this month, one of the gents with whom i was cycling attempted to padlock his bicycle in the cycle racks at ardbeg distillery. though such a practice may be commonplace on the mainland, by and large, securing a bicycle in such a manner on islay is, dare i say it, largely unnecessary. by way of justification, i pointed out to the said gentleman, that i had tried for years to get islanders to cycle and failed miserably. the chances, therefore, of someone stealing his bicycle were remarkably slim.

however, it doubtless makes some degree of sense for visitors to do so, on the off-chance that the habit disappears during their visit and on return from civilisation, they forget. aside from anything else, not only can the bicycles be seen from the tables adjacent to the the ardstream trailer, but the distillery is situated some three miles from the nearest village, along which, any purloined bicycle would surely need to be ridden to make good their escape?

and, alongside those three miles of roadway, is the so-named, three distilleries path a mixed-use path leading from port ellen village past laphroaig and lagavulin distilleries and ending at the aforementioned ardbeg. within a few years, however, it will require to be re-named as the four distilleries path, passing as it does, the new portintruan distillery currently under construction. still, considering our bicycles were outfitted with contemporary gearing and clipless pedals, there's a better than evens chance that any would-be thief would be unable to ride them anyway.

the path itself, constructed several years ago, was the predecessor to a similar path linking the villages of bruichladdich and port charlotte on the western side of the island. while port ellen's three distilleries path was always likely to be a great success, i confess to being startlingly surprised at the substantial foot and tyre fall that frequents lochindaal way as the more westerly route has been named.

with the three distilleries near port ellen, there was always a perennial problem with visitors walking along the main road to any one, or all three of the adjacent distilleries. by the time a tour and tasting had been completed at the third, many of those visitors were having substantial difficulty walking in a straight line, making them a danger not only to themselves, but to motor and cycle traffic. the path has effectively nullified that danger.

the bruichladdich-port charlotte path, however seemed likely to be a white elephant, for in all the years i have travelled the road between those two villages, i have rarely met anyone walking or cycling. however, it seems to be very much a case of 'build it and they will come', for currently the path is made use of by dog walkers, leisure cyclists and those commuting from port charlotte to work at the distillery in bruichladdich.

and, currently sitting patiently in the offices of argyll & bute council's planning department, is a planning application to create a mixed use path from bowmore to bridgend square, around five kilometres distant. this, in essence, seemed likely to solve at least one transport problem; that of walking to the gaelic college around a kilometre from bowmore village along a busy road (for islay) with no footpath. this makes it especially treacherous after dark, following a concert, exhibition or meeting at the college. however, despite having been proved wrong over the use of lochindaal way, i harbour little confidence that, when the bowmore-bridgend path is finally complete, it will see the sort of traffic levels it is designed to accept.

i base this supposition on the knowledge that residents of bowmore seem highly averse to walking anywhere other than to their cars parked at the edge of the pavement. it's a small village and very easy to reach both schools and shops on foot, particularly in the light of very restricted parking. that, however, does not seem to stop folks driving everywhere, and i think it more than likely that particular means of transport will continue to hold sway when time comes to get to bridgend.

however, perhaps, yet again, i will be proved wrong. a customer in the office yesterday was overheard to mention that they expected, when complete, that folks at both ends of the path would welcome the route and how nice it would be to see folks cycling and walking between the villages. i remain unconvinced, but perhaps, as we reputedly head towards net-zero, the bicycle will be seen as a viable alternative to even electric cars, and there will be a modest display of velocipedinal activity in the coming years.

i'm also led to believe that there are plans to join up with a less pristine path that ends at ballygrant village, some eight kilometres from bridgend, meaning it would be possible to walk or cycle from bowmore all the way to the ferry terminal at port askaig.

now that would be worth seeing

tuesday 22 august 2023

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