Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Boris Bikes Review

Since they were introduced back in July last year 'Boris Bikes', or more properly the Barclays Cycle Hire scheme, have become a regular sight across the centre of London. With 6,000 distinctive bicycles at over 300 bike 'stations' across the capital they offer a viable option for getting around the city.

But what are they actually like to ride?!

'Boris Bikes' in action

I've been using the bikes for a while now, so here's my review:

Monday, 18 April 2011

A Ride Through History - Saracen's Head, King's Norton

Another in my irregular series to prove that the West Midlands isn't entirely devoid of culture and history, featuring notable points along my regular cycle routes around Birmingham.

This week a recently restored medieval treasure.

King's Norton is 6 miles or so south of Birmingham city centre. As the name suggests, it's a surprisingly old settlement - the church, St Nicolas', dates back to the 12th Century, although the spire is later and it was restored in the 19th Century.

In its shadow are two medieval buildings which were taken to the country's hearts five years ago when they won BBC's Restoration series.

The Saracen's Head

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Put A Lid On It - Should Helmets Be Compulsory For Cyclists?

Last week the Transport Minister responsible for cycle safety, Norman Baker MP, reignited a simmering argument about the wearing of helmets by cyclists.

"I don't wear a helmet when I cycle," he said.  "I don't want to wear something on my head. For me the joy of cycling is to have the wind in your hair, such as I have left...I'm not encouraging people not to do this, I'm just saying I make a decision not to."

The same libertarian sentiments were put forward by London Mayor Boris Johnson before he took office - and people say similar things about not wearing condoms because - 'It just doesn't feel the same'.

Going for the double - Boris Johnson minus helmet and on his mobile phone!

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

A Ride Through History - St Kenelm's Church

One of the joys of cycling is the pace at which the world goes by.  Faster than walking and slower than driving, you are travelling fast enough to see the landscape change around you, but slow enough to appreciate the sights, sounds and smells...

But even at that pace, it's possible to miss the history under your wheels, so to speak.  So I thought I should take a little time to explore the history of the roads I travel along.  Even in my modest part of the West Midlands there must be plenty to see...

St. Kenelm's Church, Romsley