Musings, Riding

Slow Train

There’s not been a lot of time for two or three-wheeled ambling recently. Instead, a pretty solid wall of work-borne rush, stress and frustration has kept me off the bikes. So, with an unaccustomed free Sunday afternoon and some sun, I decided to stop beating my head against it, hoiked the keys off the peg and helmeted up.

The saddle of a motorcycle is not generally a place for wool-gathering.  Back lanes with no traffic and the Ural are fine though.  And soon, like most riders, in time with the clacking of the engine, I found myself humming contentedly.  All sorts of tunes seem to push themselves forwards as candidates when you’re on a bike.  There’s no knowing whether it’s going to be Bach or Bragg.

Today, it was Flanders and Swann’s Slow Train.  Fitting, with the 50th anniversary of Dr Beeching’s “The Reshaping of British Railways”No churns, no porter, no cat on a seat. Continue reading


What are speed limits for, Daddy?

What are speed limits for?

Depends who you ask.

Some people would stick up their middle finger and say “for ignoring”.  Others would treat them with the reverence of a holy relic and demand they’re never, ever broken.

A rather fundamentalist view of limits – and their enforcement – has driven road safety policy in the UK since 1992.  “Speed kills so kill your speed” has been the cornerstone of road safety.  And killing your speed has meant adhering, limpetlike and no matter what else, to the speed limit.  No ifs no buts.

It wasn’t always that way. Continue reading