jobst brandt-ride bike! - isola press hardback 224pp illus.£40

jobst brandt - ride bike

cycling's heritage is bound up with the actions and careers of many individuals, a number of whom have become household names for most of us. depending on your perspicacity and preferences, the names of those individuals will vary; roadies will recognise bartali, coppi, anquetil, wiggins, roglic, van aert and many others. those with both feet in the mud will have a different list. and within that heritage, there are names considerably less well-known almost to the point of anonymity, but without whom cycling would not be what it is today.

jobst brandt fits into the latter category.

i recently reviewed the isola press replica edition of brandt's the bicycle wheel, a book that has achieved recognition as 'the bible' when it comes to bicycle wheels, dealing with their existence in empirical terms, and described throughout by a host of equations explaining just how the three components can be combined into a component capable of carrying cyclists at speed across all manner of terrain. the bicycle wheel is the very definition of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts.

jobst brandt - ride bike

i don't mind admitting that i think of myself as a bit of a wheelaholic, though, as with many personal ideals, more in thrall to the handbuilt versions than those constructed by machine. but following the publishing of my review of brandt's book, i discovered that those who comprise the sunday morning ride, were completely oblivious of the man's existence. he was, i think it fair to say, a cycling icon who remained something of a secret in plain sight throughout his eighty years on planet earth.

yet his influence on the cycling heritage mentioned above was considerable, even on those who remained oblivious to his existence. for instance, until the 1970s, every road tyre featured a tread of some description, but brandt changed what he thought of as an unfortunate misapprehension.

"So he [...] put ink on the bottom of the tire and put it onto a white piece of paper, and it created a little patch, about three and a half to four inches long, with points on both ends. A lttle oval shape of the tire contact patch. [...] And Jobst says, 'look at what areas are white, where there's no contact.' He said, 'if you fill those voids up with contact, you're going to get more traction." thus was born the treadless avocet road tyre, on which brandt was able to corner at a 43 degree angle.

jobst brandt - ride bike

jobst brandt was born in new york on 14 january, 1935, the son of german parents who had fled from europe two years earlier as a result of a growing nazi threat. in 1938, his father was offered a professorship at california's stanford university, and the family moved to palo alto. brandt had three brothers; klaus, goetz and ralph. "...(he) was always the most daring of the group [...] fearless, just totally fearless." in 1948, when jobst was 13, his father answered a call from the us government to help rebuild in europe and the family relocated to germany. with that country in post-war turmoil, the family found a home in switzerland. they returned to palo alto after a year abroad.

his brother goetz remembers him as having an engineering mind and remarkable mechanical aptitude, with his first mode of teenage transport being an abandoned motorcycle which jobst rebuilt from a boxful of parts, without so much as a manual. in a reversal of what might be thought of as normal progress, brandt moved on from motorcycles to bicycles. " day he just quit and he got on a bicycle." anecdotal evidence places this at the door of the police with whom brandt had become an irritation on his motorcycle. they reputedly told him that if he didn't rid himself of the motorbike, they'd put him in jail.

jobst brandt - ride bike

that first bike was reputedly a three-speed raleigh with flat bars, jobst berating his peers and insisting that he didn't "...need all that stuff like you guys." however after entering a few races, he capitulated and fitted drop bars. in 1958, he founded the mount hamilton road race, also designing the trophy. though apparently achieving average grades at school he was enrolled at stanford at the behest of his father - still a member of the faculty - to study mechanical engineering, studies that were followed by a stint in the army, during which he was posted to aschaffenburg in germany. that posting eventually led to the beginning of brandt's infamous bike rides across the alps.

"The 1959 Alps ride remains in my memory as if it were yesterday, and I think that's why I enjoy going back every summer..."

jobst brandt - ride bike is a portrait of the man brought to life via interviews with friends and family, and at this point, the book enters the realm of cycling travelogue, with comprehensive details and superb illustration of those 1959 alpine rides. the book's designer, myfanwy vernon-hunt, is to be roundly congratulated for marrying the text and illustration in such an exemplary manner. if i might reference the recently reviewed book on the peugeot marque, its design did not allow for easy reading; this, on the other hand is excellent, as its its admirable typesetting.

jobst brandt - ride bike

the french alps were not the end of brandt's european cycle travels. still based in germany, he set his sights more widely, undertaking a tour of italy with three of his pedale alfini clubmates (for which he had designed the jerseys). he was a tall, hardy rider who could spend hours on the bike, seemingly oblivious not only to the option of slowing down occasionally, but also to the terrain over which he (on a large cinelli framed bicycle) and his colleagues pedalled. "You can do a lot more with a thin- and smooth tired bike than the MTB crowd believe."

while domiciled in germany, jobst brandt's mechanical aptitude took him into the realm of the motor car, pressing his skills upon the porsche motor company, by pointing out how badly their manuals had been translated into english. this led to time as a development engineer, working on steering gear, suspension, space frame and transmissions for porsche's race cars, before he moved onto production vehicles. but given his itinerant tendencies, it was only a matter of time before he returned to the usa. at this point, the book features what it refers to as The Jobst Rides Era of the 1970s and 80s. which may have been as a direct result of his having divorced from his german wife, helga and a desire to occupy his time and his mind.

jobst brandt - ride bike

one or two of those who accompanied him on these "jobst rides" will be well-known to many; joe breeze, tom ritchey (one of whose bicycles sits happily in thewashingmachinepost bikeshed), and gary fisher, all of whom became icons of the framebuilding world. those rides are copiously illustrated and provide an intriguing insight into just where these riders happily rode road bikes ahead of the soon to be realised mountain bike era. and jobst was keen to point out geographical features, animals and birds as they rode through forests, mud and gravel trails (several decades ahead of the gravel bike trend) "Anybody who rode with Jobst knows it wasn't about the ride a lot of the times, it was about the beauty of the outdoors and the environment."

jobst brandt was never much taken with the idea of the mountain bike, despite knowing many of those behind its creation. "Before MTBs we had dirt motorcyclists who tore up trails [...] Then came the MTB and the story started all over again."

despite my admission that my wheelaholicism was the sole reason i had previously heard of jobst brandt (i believe i may have a copy of his wheelbuilding book somewhere in the cupboard under the stairs), i always imagined him to be somewhat professorial in nature, but ultimately dispassionate about the bicycle. his book, at the time, came across as an engineering treatise on the subject. i imagine i'm not alone with that impression. so whether or not you've previously heard of jobst brandt, or have only come into contact with his wheelbuilding book, this is a marvellous and worthy tribute to an icon of the cycling world.

jobst brandt died on 15 may, 2015 at the age of 80.

at the risk of being guilty of overstatement, today's bicycles and bicycling would be very much the poorer without jobst brandt. i'd recommend you find out for yourself.

isola press - jobst brandt

monday 16 october 2023

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thus was

missed again

european bike

i am readily identifiable by my complete lack of political bias, predominantly on the basis that i think they're all as bad as each other. and i have found myself subscribing, on occasion, to the much derided epithet 'don't vote, it only encourages them.'. a sad state of affairs indeed.

however, even those who may find their allegiances aligned with my own, will surely have become aware of the policies recently introduced by uk prime minister, rishi sunak, where he knocked back by five years the directive to end production of petrol and diesel powered cars by 2030. this was perhaps the main talking point of a number of moves seemingly aimed directly at environmental issues, leading many commenters to query whether britain would now be able to meet its legal duties on climate change measures. i have previously highlighted the prime minister's inentions to limit the powers of local councils to instigate low traffic neighbourhoods, 20mph zones and low emission zones designed to exclude the most polluting of vehicles, all of which will potentially affect those who choose to cycle for leisure or for work purposes.

we have also discussed at length the frequent favouring of e-bikes as a specific means of increasing low-pollution transport, despite the blatantly obvious state of affairs that shows the acoustic bicycle as even more environmentally favourable. however, as mrs washingmachinepost is keen to point out, one has to choose one's battles, and i figure i've already lost that one, if only on humanity's desire to find the path of least resistance.

brexit was a distinctly bad idea from all manner of perspectives, with even government figures demonstrating the economic folly of legally distancing ourselves from our largest trading partner. however, on a more particular level, separating from europe has caused consternation for those previously involved in european-based research projects, both scientific and engineering. and now it seems entirely possible, given the predilections of our state leader and concomitantly, those of the party currently in power, that cyclists and those who hold aspirations to join the happy throng, are about to miss out big time.

earlier this year, the former eu commission executive vice-president, frans timmermans, pledged to boost cycling throughout the union. this was underlined by a february 2023 eu parliamentary resolution and begian-led member state declaration to which a majority of countries were happy to sign up. the intention is to employ cycling as a means of supporting the delivery of climate targets and objectives of the european green deal. and at an event held in seville, spain last week, the european commissioner for transport, adina valean, announced the european cycling declaration intended to "...unleash the full potential of cycling across the european union."

except, britain is no longer a part of that union and thus the directive can be safely ignored by any political party that chooses to do so.

aside from discussing the subject of safe and coherent cycling infrastructures, the implementation of which has long been recognised as a means of encouraging more people to cycle rather than drive, the directive apparently intends to make cycling affordable irrespective of an individual's income level. this section portends that member states (not us) will be given the power to reduce the rate of vat on bicycles, cycle hire and cycle repairs. additionally, there exists the likelihood of altering planning regulations to require the installation of e-bike charging points both indoors and outdoors and the increased availability of bike parking.

this latter point is absent from current planning regulations in the uk, where, at least in argyll & bute, any new housing must provide at least two car parking spaces per residence, but there is no current requirement to consider the humble bicycle or its possible charging needs.

this eu directive is expected to be ratified before the year is out. "this declaration recognises cycling as one of the most sustainable, accessible and inclusive, low-cost and healthy forms of transport and recreation, and its key importance for european society and economy." substitute the word 'british' for 'european' and one can only imagine the benefits that would accrue to britain's cycling community and for those who might wish to join.

just remember that when time comes for the next general election.

sunday 15 october 2023

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when worlds collide

zwift hub one

the tail end of one season and the beginning of the next has tended to focus the velocipedinal mind on the realities of cycle racing, with the giro lombardia and paris-tours controversially taking place on the same weekend. still, this perhaps belies the common accusation that you can have "too much of a good thing." but that selfsame weekend also paid host to the first round of the exact cross trophy series in beringen, belgium.

the weekend also demonstrated that the new guard, so to speak, may be on the cusp of upsetting the venerable apple cart. paris tours was won by 23 year-old american israel-premier tech stagiare, riley sheehan, while the cyclocross event in beringen went, by a hairs-breadth, to thibau nys, the 20 year-old son of 'cross legend, sven nys, riding for baloise trek lions.

as a last hurrah for cycling's 'real' season, it saw a trio of whirlwind rides, particularly in the light of slovenian wunderkind, tadej pogacar, taking a hat trick of wins in lombardy. it's what makes cycling one of the greatest sports in the world, well ahead of simon mottram's attempts to achieve the same result.

however, there's no denying that, in the northern hemisphere at least, the weather has apparently by-passed autumn and headed straight to winter. i had no need of full-finger gloves last weekend, but they have now become a permanent accessory, both on and off the bike. couple that with an atrocious bout of inclement weather that, for once, left the hallowed isle all but untouched. right at the start of the october school holiday, the a83, rest and be thankful was blocked by seven separate landslides, the weather even taking the alternative route along the old military road out of the equation and ruining several autumn holiday plans.

the road between lochgilphead and oban was hit with a 6,500 tonne landslide that, according to the council, "may take weeks to clear".

this is the time of year when, apparently, the intrepid cyclist becomes less intrepid in the face of an onslaught of 'proper' weather. temerity and timidity will now have many reaching for the safety of the garage or spare bedroom aboard a bicycle fastened to an allegedly smart turbo trainer. there is, of course a plethora of choice when it comes to choosing on which road you intend to apply your summer-honed physique, from mywhoosh, all the way to the ubiquitous and much maligned by yours truly, zwift.

but while on-the-road competition attempts to separate the men from the boys (or vice versa), it appears that the online competition might be practicing the same function. just as zwift announced a new version of its zwift hub smart trainer rather overbearingly entitled hub one, a device that replaces the standard cassette with (how could it be otherwise?) the zwift cog. (and you wonder why i hold them in such low esteem.) another appears to be heading in the opposite direction.

zwift's single cog, in tandem with everything else in the indoor world, subscribes wholesale to virtuality, allowing for virtual shifting via the included zwift click (i wish i was making this up). at point of release, the combination of cog and shifting offers a virtual twenty-four gears. and though i may be stifling both yawns and giggles, it would appear that rival turbo provider, wahoo, is set to close its recently purchased virtual cycling app, wahoo rgt which it subsequently combined with its systm to create wahoo x. (aside from its title, wahoo seems never to have got the hang of including vowels in its product names). justifying this retrenchment, wahoo informed its wahoo x (nothing to do with twitter) customers that the change would allow it to deliver "...more immersive, integrated, structured workouts designed by world-class coaches using cutting-edge sports science to use indoors or outdoors."

it seems that in order to achieve the latter, it has opted to close down wahoo rgt after barely a year of ownership and provide its subscribers with complimentary zwift memberships. the jury is out on whether zwifties will opt to remain with wahoo or avail themselves of hub one, which is presumably already virtually well-integrated with watopia.

the mud of belgian cyclocross simply cannot come soon enough.

saturday 14 october 2023

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so what do i do now?

automobile association

i believe i mentioned, at the weekend, having suffered a puncture while apparently enjoying the sunday morning ride. hopefully, such a malfeasance is, for the intrepid velocipedinist, part and parcel of the cycling experience, though preferably rare, but the same cannot readily be claimed for the cycling newbie, or leisure cyclist aboard a recently purchased and alarmingly heavy e-bike. local e-bike provider, islay e-wheels offers a recovery service as they are aware most of their customers are unable to replace an inner tube, should they suffer a puncture while wending their merry way between islay's nine distilleries. however, gordon macaffer, owner of the business is happy to provide a spare inner tube for those with more faith in their mechanical abilities.

personally, i have a small saddle pack containing a spare inner tube, tyre lever, chunk of soap (because inevitably the tyre lever will rarely move around the rim due to accumulated crud) and a piece of cut-up inner tube to block any hole that may have been gouged out the tyre by something i failed to notice on the road. in one of my three rear pockets, i carry a mini-pump and a tyre jack, since so many modern-day tyres are a remarkably tight fit on the wheel rim.

the majority of my colleagues do likewise (though perhaps minus the soap and tyre jack), and most, if not all, are perfectly capable of replacing an inner tube. none of us would consider carrying a puncture repair kit, since the likelihood of finding the hole on the roadside in driving rain is remote to say the least. and should fortune have favoured the brave, there's precious little chance of getting a patch to stick under such meteorological circumstances. better to replace the tube and attempt to fix the affected one in the relative warmth of your kitchen.

however, i am aware that many part-time cyclists, or cycle commuters, perhaps less familiar with the vicissitudes of the contemporary bicycle, and particularly those who have opted for battery power, will possess neither the material wherewithal or the knowledge to achieve that described above. if you add e-cargo bikes to the equation, i'm pretty sure that most of us would be more likely to offer supplication to a deity, than attempt to fix a puncture or mechanical aberration en-route.

several of my e-bike owning acquaintances have averred that they would likely phone for their partners or other family member to come pick them up. that option is not, however, one that is available to everyone. personally, i do not own a mobile phone and thus unable to complete the first line of communication, but given that mrs washingmachinepost and i do not own a motor vehicle, and even if we did, she does not drive, it is incumbent on yours truly to be self-sufficient in such matters. thankfully, i am well-versed in the majority of mechanical matters relating to a wide range of bicycles, but should a happenstance fall outside my capabilities, islay is one of those friendly places where there's inevitably someone who would take pity on a bedraggled cyclist, and at least take me home.

islay is also one of those friendly places where a bicycle left all alone in the countryside is more than likely to still be there the following day.

but it is not uncommon for the average motorist to be in charge of a vehicle about which they know remarkably little. a school friend of mine who once owned a repair garage in my former home town, told me that he was summoned by an elderly lady whose car was stuck at a nearby road junction unable to start. having attended said vehicle, he reported to her that the battery appeared to be flat, to which she replied "and what shape should it be? (true story). there was also the fellow who stopped for petrol at the selfsame garage and while there, purchased a can of motor oil to top up the engine. when he returned minutes later to purchase a second can, my school friend decided to check, only to discover the gent attempting to pour the oil into the dipstick hole, having spilt most of it on the garage forecourt (another true story).

however, though many repair garages offer 24 hour recovery services, and there are several breakdown services of which it is possible to become a member (the aa, rac etc.,) cyclists in distress are mostly left to their own devices. but with the reputed rise and rise of e-bike ownership in germany, allegedly one of the largest markets for e-bike sales, it's possible to be a paid up member of allgemeiner deutscher automobil club (adac). according to the latter, in the past year, they have provided roadside assistance to more than 18,500 bicycle users (note the use of language differentiating from cyclists). in parts of the uk (london and bristol), kwik fit have already announced a partnership with fettle to support fleets using e-bikes and e-cargo bikes.

it's true to say that both cities are some considerable distance from the hebrides, but it's early days yet. with wiggle and chain reaction's parent company signa about to delist from the stock market and implement restructuring to improve its liquidity and the bottom line, perhaps their first move ought to be the removal of tyre levers and puncture repair kits from their respective websites, in favour of corporate assistance?

the velo club is saving up for a neutral service skoda to follow the sunday ride.

islay e-wheels

friday 13 october 2023

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the end of print once again

printing press

as the week rolls by, i have been concentrating my efforts on the design and production of a few additional pages of islay's local newspaper to celebrate the publication's 50th anniversary as of the next edition on 21 october. beginning as the newsletter of the islay council of social service (icss) in october 1973, the first issue cost a paltry three pence. originally intended to be a monthly publication, it was already being published fortnightly by the time january 1974 hoved into view, a similar schedule as its distant predecessor, the islander, which survived only one summer of the 1960s and was distributed across islay and arran.

because there is no central register of community newspapers in scotland, verification is difficult to acquire, but we believe it to be the oldest, continuously published community newspaper north of the border, having become independent of the icss around 2003 (which itself had become the islay and jura council of voluntary service (i&jcvs) sometime in the 1980s). this allowed the addition to the masthead of the claim 'the independent newspaper for islay and jura', to which we have now appended 'since 1973'

at one time there were small community newspapers and newsletters throughout the highlands and islands (jura jottings from our neighbouring isle, celebrated its 30th anniversay earlier this year) but many have since fallen by the wayside, both before and during covid, and several during the 2008 financial crash. social media has undoubtedly created less than favourable circumstances for the continuation of any print publication. islay, for instance, has a community facebook page on which many individuals and businesses place advertisements free of charge which once would have added to the newspaper's revenue stream. and though there is no charge for the inclusion of editorial and contributions, many are posted on social media, while the newspaper, which currently offers a fifty-year summary of happenings on the islands, is seemingly ignored.

go figure.

however, though the newspaper has offered a pdf digital edition since the early 2000s, at a lower price than the printed edition, it is the latter that continues to prove more popular, even with those who are saddled with the rising cost of postage on mainland print subscriptions. that, however, would appear to buck the national trend, with the circulation of daily newspapers decreasing year on year. it's likely that some will soon find the numbers no longer sustainable, bringing even the survival of independent newsagents into question. that's a future that is borne in mind on islay.

last year, i was invited to assist with the teaching of a journalism class at the local secondary school, and the first question i asked on my first day, was how many of those taking the class, read a daily newspaper? not a single hand was raised. and, as it transpired, at the beginning of the course at least, none had any intention of becoming journalists.

so what, i hear you ask, has this got to do with cycling?

well, though hardly within my jurisdiction, it appears that, following the current issue of mountain bike rider 's (mbr) arrival on the shelves yesterday, every subsequent issue will appear online. though i do not pertain sufficient interest in the springy farm gate brigade, i do rather bemoan the disappearance of yet another print publication.

the reasons for its tangible demise have been blamed on increasing paper and distribution costs, the latter which have also been proving something of a challenge for islay's local newespaper, though obviously at far smaller scale. however the ignominy of this situation is that there are still many of us who prefer either not to own a phone or tablet, or simply put them down of an evening and read ink on paper. i spend five days a week staring at the screen of an imac before coming home and staring at the smaller screen of my macbook air for long enough to type these words. so when it comes to reading material, i like to change media and read the printed word, whether in the form of a book, magazine or newspaper.

i would be more than happy to agree that there is a certain level of routine involved in settling down after a hard day's desktop publishing and turning the pages of real paper. when discussing road-based publications, the old skool roadie has a choice between cyclist, cycling weekly, or rouleur but i have heard rumours that the comic only survives because future do not wish to be the publisher that pulls the plug on britain's oldest and most iconic cycling publication.

yes, pretty much everything you can read in any of the foregoing can be found online, but eggs and baskets are often dangerous when combined.

thursday 12 october 2023

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happy days are here again

exact cross - beringen

it obviously can't just be me, because i wasn't the only member of the velo club to have been caught on the hop by this year's tour of lombardy, taking place as it did on saturday 7 october. for starters, lombardy was supposed to be the final race of the professional road season, gaining the moniker 'ride of the falling leaves' due to its location on the calendar well into the season of autumn. i confess i thought the event was staged on a sunday, though i did learn early enough to watch the bulk of the racing on saturday afternoon. sadly, one of my colleagues only found out on sunday 8 october, that he'd missed it on the previous day.

however, while i did wonder whatever had happened to paris-tours, imagine my concern on learning on sunday evening, that the latter was over and done with on sunday pm. what is wrong with the world? for decades, paris-tours always preceded lombardy by one or two weekends; that is the natural turn of events. you can't just upset the apple cart on a whim, featuring both races on the same weekend and in the wrong order. we deserve better than this.

exact cross - beringen

yet, distraught as i may have been, imagine my unbridled joy on discovering on monday evening, while perusing youtube, that the first 'proper' cyclocross race, round one of the exact cross series, had taken place in beringen, featuring all the usual suspects: meeusen, sweeck iserbyt, vantourenhout, van der haar and the rest of the boys in the band. granted, there was little in the way of mud, the parcours sporting predominantly dry passage, but it proved that the participants may have endured both spring and summer, as did i, eagerly awaiting the onset of autumn to once again, clamber up steep hills, jump the boards (which, i'll admit, were conspicuous by their absence), and undertake a couple of heavy-looking face-plants along the way.

if this is a race that you have yet to witness at first hand, then as a spoiler alert, i would do so now, just before i point out that the victor by a tiny, yet hard-won distance was twenty year-old, baloise-trek lions rider, thibau nys, son of one of the most popular and successful cyclocross riders of his generation, sven nys. it transpires that he has occupied his non-cross season, riding on the road for lidl trek, so perhaps he is poised to emulate mathieu van der poel and wout van aert in future years.

exact cross - beringen

however, the main thrust of the point i am attempting to make is that cyclocross is back. though i do rather enjoy the spring classics at least until the peloton reaches the ardennes, everything else simply gets in the way of cyclocross. i now look forward to the sunday ride and even weekly office hours, when it will be possible to regale all and sundry with tales of derring-do, interspersed with achtervolgers, kop van de westrijd, x2o badkamers, exact cross and super-prestige. these will be accompanied by discussion surrounding the wide choice of 'cross tyres, brands and pressures, about which i know remarkably little.

the oddity, following a brief web search, is that it seems well nigh impossible to find any leisure clothing bearing the logos of any of the proscribed trophies outlined above. how is any self-respecting cross obsessive to underline the latter in polite company, when the world is bereft of such branded clothing? even willy naessens for whom i would happily vote at the next general election, seems in possession of no more than advertising banners to be placed around the field of battle. what is the point of producing a logo for any cyclocross trophy series, if you're not going to screen print it on a hooded sweatshirt?

exact cross - beringen

at least i have my uci rainbow hooped big bobble hat. happy days have indeed returned.

exact cross beringen

wednesday 11 october 2023

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lies, damn lies and those other numbers

inner-city transport

continuity is something of a practised art, and one in which i fail regularly. in a brazen example of the latter, in a post from several decades ago, i recall commencing dubious instruction on how brake cables were best replaced, a feature that really ought to have been continued on the following day. to the best of my knowledge, that has yet to be achieved. and, in the light of modernity's obsession with hydraulic disc brakes, there's probably very little point in my reprising the situation nowadays.

in order not to make a thing of either continuity or lack of same, each day's post is generally considered in isolation, bereft of any attempt to remain consequentially relevant. that way, goes my internal argument, there's less chance of my being abraided for failing in my literary ministrations. the fact that probably no-one actually cares does not enter into the equation. however, it appears that i might now be guilty of appearing to foster a relevant degree of continuity and thus be seen to be open to accusations on that basis. believe me, this current state of affairs is entirely serendipitous, as opposed to contrived logic.

on saturday past, i was moved to point out what appeared to be an incongruity of reasoning behind a noted drop in cycle sales below those of the pre-covid era. and in highlighting this potentially despondent situation, cycle organisation, cycling uk, squarely laid the blame upon the much-vaunted cost-of-living-crisis, a reputedly independent situation affecting all but the richest of britain's population. the incongruity of the above knowledge was compounded by statistics from the motor trade, propounding that, during the same period, new car registrations had shown notable increase and had allegedly done so for an unbroken period of years.

the demonstrable oddity of the above would surely be the apparent lack of spending restraint on automobiles priced considerably above that of the average bicycle, including on consistently more expensive electric cars. yet even sales of e-bikes have noticeably decreased. should you be wondering quite why i am repeating information disseminated only a few days ago, i have now been provided with a set of statistics that only confuse the issue further.

according to a survey by bicycle insurers quotezone, the aforementioned cost-of-living-crisis has persuaded 35% of the uk population to swap their cars for bicycles. were that to be true, then increasing car sales would seem to be somewhat inexplicable, and one can only assume that those 35% are now riding bicycles already in their possession, as opposed to visiting the nearest local bike shop. otherwise, how is it possible to reconcile distinctly opposed and contrary information?

however, the true reason behind quotezone's promulgations was to advise of the cities regarded as the best for cycling. and rather than adopt subjective terminology, they have qualified the criteria by which they reached their conclusions. in this case, their objectivity concerns the number of mapped ways within the city boundaries for pushbikes, though i believe they ought to be soundly censured for their archaic classification of contemporary velocipedinal technology.

for those of us north of the border, we should perhaps be praiseworthy of the three scottish cities included in the top ten (edinburgh, inverness and glasgow, now that you ask), but from the posts' point of view, some consolidation of what appears to be controversially contrary appraisal of personal british transport trends would be of far greater interest.

for the present, i confess i'm somewhat confused.

tuesday 10 october 2023

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