Posts Tagged ‘Bikes’

“I knew that I liked this bicycle more than I had ever liked any other bicycle, better even than I had liked some people with two legs. I liked her unassuming competence, her docility, the simple dignity of her quiet way. “
-Flann O’ Brien.

I’ve a habit of not checking my Facebook event invites often enough. Being 80% nightclub spam, I don’t tend to miss too much. When I do go for a quick glance, I normally spot a gem. This could well be one.

One Less Car
is a DCTV documentary on cycling in Dublin. Long, long before the ‘Corpo Bikes’ arrived and every office highflyer got back on their rothar, there were cyclists in Dublin. Sometimes it was just for the views, sometimes for the costs, sometimes for the excercise and sometimes for the politics of it all. Like any European city, Dublin has always had people in it who choose two wheels over four. There is a special place in hell for people who steal bicycles however, and I know more than one person who has been turned off city cycling by that old Dublin motto: “Unless it’s nailed to the ground, I’m taking it home”

“Despite being fast paced and entertaining One Less Car doesn’t shy away from complex topics and, sometimes ambiguous or contradictory viewpoints. What emerges is the feel of a groundswell, of a phase transition as the act of re-imagining our city starts to see actual impact and gain critical mass. If anything convinces you that cycling is todays most relevant transport issue, it’ll be One Less Car.”

One Less Car will be screened by Rothar at The Cobblestone Pub (Smithfield) on Wednesday,March 24th, starting at 7pm.

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Right… Before we get anyone on mumbling about “waste of tax payers money… etc,” we really didn’t expect what happened to happen… The following is the work of DMcHugh, and is a quick anecdote about what happened last Friday. My additions are in italics!

Yes, a fire engine just like this

Feet are shit. They’re slow, they’re tender and if they pick up even a slight injury and then you’re stranded; marooned. Which is why I love my bike. Not in the ostentatious, fixed gear and no brakes way, but as an indispensable part of my life. So when I don’t have my bike, because of puncture or more serious damage, I’m pretty upset. But I wouldn’t call it an emergency. And I definitely wouldn’t expect anyone else to to call it that either. But that’s what happened on Friday night…

It was a crap lock. A 30 euro one I got because it looked tough and was cheaper than most. But like so many other locks, the real catch is the lock itself- does it jam, does it twist, does it break the key off? Which is exactly what happened. A few beers and a night in the cold left my patience thin and the metal sluggish. hXci’s patience was
thinner still and he took the keys off me, to loose the bloody thing. The keys came back but the lock stayed put, half the key stuck in there, and my bike was left to wait out the cold night on its own.

Before and after work, we plied it with pliers and pared away two hacksaw blades, transforming them into toothless breadknives, but it was stubborn, not moved by clumsy grabs or sharp words. A tip from Google Buzz (thanks Andrew!) had suggested the fire brigade, and I called them up. They didn’t just cut it for me, (we expected one man in a jeep to show up with a pair of boltcutters;) they sent a whole bloody fire-engine along, flashing siren and stocked with four big fellas and all manners of equipment. They cut the thing there and then, hopped back into the wagon and chased off into the sunset, off to do proper fireman work, or maybe just back to the station for a cup of tea.

So hot tip, buy a proper lock, with a solid mechanism and strong keys. And should the worst happen anyway, you can ring the fire department office to come and rescue you, if you can live with the embarassment and the joke (I-hope-it’s-a-joke-) 500 yos call out charge.

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