93-year old takes on ‘One Less Car’ task with gusto

Bravo to 93-year old Jack Higgs, a former Pentecostal minister, who lives next door to a car showroom in Penarth, Wales.

The BBC reports that Mr Higgs totalled his own car and two Porsche speedmobiles, worth £60,000.

“I just don’t know what happened except that I lost control as I was reversing and suddenly I had hit the cars.

“The next thing I knew I was hanging upside down in my car thanking my lucky stars I was still alive.”

And, thankfully for West Glamorgan’s cyclists, Mr Higgs has now decided to quit driving.

He may have been an exemplary driver – until now – but there’s got to be a case for restricting driving licences to certain age groups. At eighty and above you’ve got to wonder about reaction times.

“Sorry, mate, I didn’t see you…I’m 93, you know.”

SMIDSY from Quickrelease.tv on Vimeo.

Bell on bikes

Kinnell. Dunno a blind werd ‘e sez, but once you’ve got yer ‘ead round his Scouse dialect, you’ll find Tony Bell’s 2004 after dinner speech to a Welsh cycling club to be the gear. Rude, mind.

Use this Scouser dictionary to understand the former columnist for Cycling Weekly. Forgive the camera shakes, the videographer was probably on the scoop.

You learn something every day. For instance, I’ve learned that crogger is Scouse dialect for bagging a backie, ie cadging a lift on your mate’s bike saddle.

Quickrelease.tv through to judging process in digital awards

Thanks to all those who voted for Quickrelease.tv in the North East Digital Awards.

Quickrelease.tv is now through to the next stage of the competition, judging by experts.

The award scheme had a big response. There were 240 nominees from across the NE of England, a hotbed of digital creativity. The self-selected nominations came from 139 businesses across the region.

Short listing was based on the number of votes achieved in each category.

The winners will be announced at a posh – and free – awards ceremony on Thursday 15th May. The heavily-sponsored awards bash will be hosted by North East comedian Brendan Healy.


Best use of blogging
Graphicus Ltd
Latimer Hinks Solicitors

Best use of online film and video
Northern Film and Media

Ride Free

In 1994 I was the presenter of CHAIN GANG, a six part magazine series on cycling, produced for Tyne Tees TV and Yorkshire Television.

One of the show’s interviewees was Jason McRoy, Britain’s first truly global MTB superstar.

The video below contains footage – with permission of Tyne Tees and Rose McRoy – of Jason more than a year before he starred in the famous MBUK video, Dirt.

Jason McRoy – 1994 TV appearance from Quickrelease.tv on Vimeo.

Unbelievably, Jason died in 1995 but his memory lives on…

BikeRadar.com has just run an excellent two-part feature on Jason and his legacy:

Riders and journalists pay their tributes

Jim McRoy talks about his son, the first homegrown global superstar of British mountain biking

Video also available as a direct download via Libsyn or for Apple TV via iTunes.

Back from ski break

Sorry about the sparse updates this week.

Content may be king, but if I don’t get in at least one ski trip per year I get grumpy.

And so do the kids. That’s them above. We went to Voss in Norway. It was a green ski trip. Instead of flying to Geneva or all the way to the US – our usual ski destination – we took a ferry from Newcastle to Bergen, and a train from Bergen to Voss.

The weather gods – would that be Thor, then? – looked kindly on us. Loads of deep snow, and some beautiful Spring weather. As a bonus the slopes were virtually deserted.

John Burke to hold mystery meeting

Could be interesting. Check out this press release. I’ve never had one quite like it from Trek.

President of Trek Bicycle Corp. to Hold Employee Meeting Open to the Media

WHO: John Burke, President, Trek Bicycle Corporation

WHAT: A meeting of Trek employees, open to the media.

Members of the media who are unable to attend the event in person can dial into a conference call which will carry the
employee meeting.

WHEN: Tuesday, April 8, 2008
Employee Meeting — 10:00 am CDT
Media Q&A with John Burke — 10:45 am CDT

Trek Bicycle Corporation Headquarters
801 West Madison Street
Waterloo, WI 53594

Don’t cycle to work, it’s for dorks

That’s the message in this TV advert from State Farm, a US insurance company:

“To save money due to the rising cost of gasoline, a businessman rides his bicycle to work.”

Jim: “Oh, man I’m dead.”

Thanks to Spinopsys who got it from Streetsblog, which has this take on the ad:

The idea flickers across your medial prefrontal cortext, that part of the brain the neuromarketers are always trying to get to, Hey, maybe I could get fit and healthy by biking to work like Jim. For $369 a year and whatever gas money I’d save by not driving I could buy a really nice bike. Until this State Farm ad interrupted the ballgame I was watching on TV, it never even occurred to me that I could bike to the office park.

“Start saving your way.” And thus idea is implanted: I’m going to start saving by biking to work every once in a while. Thanks, State Farm.

Not all ad agencies are anti-bike, pay them and they’ll promote anything. Sometimes they come up with decent, pro-bike ads for their mainstream clients, such as:

What will Dick do now?

It’s surprising that Dick Pound failed in his attempt to become the boss of CAS, the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

I thought his colourful comments on Floyd Landis – Nazi frogmen, virgins, Harleys etc – would make him a shoe-in for the job.

POUND: “I don’t pre-judge cases. I’m enough of a lawyer to know that there’s a process. What I do react to is when you get all kinds of shit attacking the methods and saying that the system is biased against athletes. All those sorts of things were coming out of the Landis camp. I don’t sit back and turn the other cheek again and again and again. I say they’re talking bullshit and here’s why.”

Impartiality personified.

News of the weird: The top Google result for ‘dick virgins’ is Cyclingnews.com, with the rest not being quite so nice.

However, what’s really weird is that Pound is actually one of the foxes running the CAS henhouse. Judge Bill Hue on Trust But Verify wrote:

“Dick Pound IS a member of the CAS Court and has been for some time, including the time during which he was Chair of WADA.

“Richard Young [Outside counsel and lead attorney for USADA in the Landis case] is also a member of that court…CAS is hopelessly compromised.

“Their world is quite small. We have to accept their draftsmanship of rules, with their prosecution of cases they feel constitute a violation of rules they created and their judging of their own draftsmanship,decision to prosecute and application of ‘law’ they created to cases they deem a violation of those ‘laws’.

“Now we understand that they also and finally review their decisions as appellate judges of their own draftsmanship, prosecution, and application of their law to cases they prosecute as violations of that law.

“It is small wonder that Richard Young is so adamant about the ‘guilt’ of athletes he prosecutes to the point where he virtually testifies himself. He wrote the law. He knows the standards he wrote. He knows HIS laws and standards were violated.

“As judge, he would know much more about the subject matter than pesky things like presentation of evidence and cross examination and credibility of witnesses and impartial evaluation of science.

“[There’s] actual conflict of interest inherent in this bizarre adjudicative system.”

Bike2Oz is video series worth watching

Bike2Oz tells the story of Kevin Doye, a train worker, and Lowanna King, a school teacher, who chose to pedal to Australia rather than fly to highlight the damage created by aviation to the climate.

The couple filmed their 18-month adventure across the UK, Europe, Pakistan, India, Iran, Singapore and Australia.