Category: Video

What Did You Do During Lockdown, Sir?

When I woke up this morning I noticed a report on the BBC website titled ‘I’ve been listening to 300 vinyl records to get me through lockdown’. That’s an impressive achievement, I’m sure, and probably a very enjoyable one. On Monday March 8th I return to work after having spent most of the last twelve months on lockdown. It’s been a mixture of furlough from my job at a local arts centre combined with on-off periods of working in local schools as a teacher but that has only amounted to three months out of the twelve. So basically, like many others across the world, I’ve had a lot of time on my hands. Lots of walking, a fair bit of cycling (including the trip around the UK of course and a few days up in the Yorkshire Dales), reading, TV, films… the usual stuff. Ah yes! There’s also been The Cycling Europe Podcast. On that score, it has been a very productive year…

Cycling Films At The Cycle Touring Festival

The virtual Cycle Touring Festival has got off to a good start – perhaps you have already ‘attended’ some of the events – and the programme continues throughout this week. There’s a full run-down of the live events in this post on CyclingEurope.org in which I made a passing reference to the ‘other events’ that form part of the festival. One of those is a programme of films and I’m slowly making my way through the listings. So far I’ve watched the following three films, each of which are very different in their style.

Helmets: Cracking Open A New Kask

I tread wearily when broaching the subject of cycling helmets as I know what contentious / passionate debates they can provoke. Some hate them and will never wear them; others love them and would never not wear one. I stand somewhere in between; I have one and wear it when it’s appropriate to do so. I accept the argument that if you are run over by a truck whilst cycling, there is little that a bit of plastic and foam is going to do to save you, irrespective of how highly engineered that plastic and foam might be. That’s not why I choose to wear a helmet when I do wear a helmet. I wear a helmet when the conditions would suggest that it is prudent to do so. This is not an exhaustive list but I usually do so when it is raining, when it’s windy, when I am going downhill fast or when I feel the traffic is somewhat intimidating. If I’m on a short journey – usually when I am commuting – I tend to wear the helmet as I don’t want to stop to put it on if I need to. Not doing so also requires you to find somewhere else to put the helmet. Your head, apart from anything else, is a convenient place to store a helmet, even if it’s not needed. And why do I choose to wear a helmet when it’s raining etc…? Because I think that it’s at those times when there is the greatest chance of me skidding off the bike and hitting my head on the floor. In that respect, a helmet might save my life.