Cycling With Headphones

Let’s discuss another article from the BBC on cycling safety:

“Headphones dilemma for cyclists”.

Anyone watching the video must come to the same conclusion as i do.   Why are you taking calls on your mobile phone while cycling?   I’m not sure what’s worse, waiting for calls on your mobile phone without music playing, or just listening to your MP3 player.   Then there’s obviously the third option, listening to MP3’s on your mobile phone while waiting for calls and texts while cycling.

Personally, i can’t think of an easier way to get yourself killed.

Please see earlier post on cycling where i put forth my top ten tips on keeping safe while cycling.   The very first one is “Do not wear headphones.”   The reasons are very clearly stated.

You ears are as important as your eyes while you are cycling.   They really are.

Now i do accept the argument that deaf people should be allowed to cycle as well, that may be so, but it’s their risk to do so with limited senses.   But we should also consider that deaf people will probably be much more acutely tuned to vibrations in their environment and also have a heightened use of their sight to compensate for what they don’t hear.   They most certainly aren’t off in la-la-land listening to the latest beats on headphones or answering a phone call.   As a life long cyclist with many years of Urban Combat Cycling experience in London, i absolutely stand by my point that listening to your environment while cycling is without a doubt one of the biggest safety measures you can take on a bicycle.

Your ears are really — really — important when cycling.   They allow you to sense things that your eyes cannot see.   You do not have 360 degree vision, but you do have 360 degree hearing.   It’s simply one of the best weapons in your “keep you safe” arsenal.   Why would any cyclist willingly want to destroy this valuable sense?

Should it be illegal?

No, i don’t think so.   If people wish to cycle with headphones then that should be their choice, but it should be made very clear in statistics which cyclists involved in accidents were wearing headphones at the time and then cyclists can make an informed choice of their own.   And any cyclist causing an accident who is wearing headphones should be prosecuted fully.

But my personal stance is that my first and foremost rule for cycling is: DON’T WEAR HEADPHONES!!!!

And don’t be taking calls on your mobile phone while cycling.   The calls will log themselves without your intervention and you can ring them back later, and texts will also be waiting for you when you stop somewhere safe.

The only thing i use my phone for when cycling is for running IBike, which logs my heart rate, cadence, speed and maps my route while i cycle.   Other than that, you don’t need your phone!

Nuff said.

#bicycles #bikes #cycling #fitness #gettingfitter #growingyoung #health #roads #transport

My Breakfast

A really healthy and energising way to start your day.   Get off the junk food cereals and animal nasties.   Do your health some good and feed up a happy, healthy microbiome instead.

It’s way better than coffee.

Into a blender:

15g dried fig
15g currants
dried fruit
14g blueberriesfrozen blueberries are really cheap
28g summer fruit mixraspberries, blackberries, black currants & red currants
1 apple
50g orange
peel an orange and keep remainder in container in fridge
50g raw broccolichop up a whole head of broccoli and freeze it
100g celery
fresh ginger
50g Beetrootchop up fresh beetroot and freeze, leaves and stems included if they’re healthy
30g white mushroomsimportant for b vitamins
50g carrots
70g red cabbage
peel off outer leaves and keep in bag in chill drawer
20g fresh or 2g dried nettle
20g fresh or 2g dried dandelion
1/8 tsp ground ginger
ground ginger has different healthy nutrients to fresh ginger so we always use both
1/8 tsp ground turmeric
1/8 tsp ground amla
amla is Indian gooseberry
.4g dried chiliwhole dried chili is better than pre-ground
0.15g dried kelpfor iodine, absolutely “do not” consume more kelp than 0.15g in a day
.25ml Viridian Liquid D = 1000iu. — add the same to your evening meal to allow better absorption of your 2000iu a day
2.1g flax seeds
2.1g chia seeds
270g boiling water

6g green teaoptional caffeine hit instead of that morning coffee

Blend to smooth and pour into a bowl, then stir in:

27g cooked soya beans
27g cooked chickpeas
27g cooked adzuki beans

…or 80g of any mixed beans cooked in water without salt

Cronometer json file for use in Cronometer.   Click on the three dots to the right of New Recipe title.

492 calories with great levels of nutrition and some delightful caffeine and theophylline to get you going in the mornings.

If you want more calories then add 50g rye flakes or oat flakes soaked in 200g boiling water and a banana or two.

#smoothie #wfpb #vegan #health #food #recipes #breakfastrecipes #microbiome

Zwift — Level 50

I finally reached Level 50 on Zwift and got a nice colourful shirt for all my troubles, and as a treat i bought myself a brand new Tarmac SL7 from the Drop Shop:

I do think that Zwift could have made a bit more effort on ones Level 50 bonus than just awarding me that shirt: it’s quite disappointing.

The other thing that’s disappointing is that at the moment Zwift only goes up to Level 50, so once again i’m maxed out, just like it used to be when i reached Level 25.   It took Zwift a very long time to finally cave into customer demand and give us more levels from 26 to 50, but now what?   Do we have to wait for another 3 years for Zwift to get their shit together on this?   In the meanwhile i have all the route badges to collect, which is fairly new-ish thing Zwift introduced a while ago: so that’ll keep me busy for a couple of months.

#bicycles #bikes #cycling #fitness #gettingfitter #gozwift #growingyoung #health #lovezwift #trophies #vegan #wfpb

Tomato Ketchup Recipe

My most favourite accompaniment to air fried chips made with chunky cut Maris Piper potatoes sprayed with a very light coating of cold pressed rape seed oil.   Yes, you can have healthy chips, only use cold pressed rape and don’t go overboard with it, you only need a very light sprayed coating if you use an air fryer.

A super delicious, super healthy, tomato ketchup.

Into a 900ml blender cup place:

80g     Filtered or Bottled Spring Water
250g     Tomatoes (replace 150g with tinned toms for a more tommy taste)
10g     Apple Cider Vinegar
30g     Currants
50g     Celery
20g     Onion
10g     Fresh Ginger
10g     Garlic
50g     Orange
0.7g     Black Peppercorns
0.7g     Whole Dried Chilli
2g     Coriander Seeds
1g     Cumin Seeds
2g     Dried Sage
0.5g     Dried Thyme
1.2g     Star Anise
1.2g     Fennel Seeds
3g     Smoked Paprika
1.5g     Paprika
2.5g     Whole Flax Seeds
2.5g     Whole Chia Seeds

Wherever possible always use whole spices as they’re living seeds and super healthy, the blender will take care of them.   For making good home mixed herb and spice recipes you’ll need something to weigh 0.1g increments.

If you use standard mains water it’s not gonna taste as good.   Seriously people, stop drinking mains water and using it in cooking, it isn’t healthy and tastes shite.

Give it all a good whizz around.

Sooooo much nicer tasting and infinitely more healthy than bottled junk-food ketchup.

Cronometer json file for use in Cronometer.   Click on the three dots to the right of “New Recipe” title to upload.

268 calories with great levels of nutrition:

#ketchup #tomatoketchup #wfpb #vegan #health #food #recipes #microbiome #growingyoung

Zwift — Level 49

I reached Level 49 on Zwift and got a Giro helmet for all my troubles:

So one more level to go until level 50 and that will be it until Zwift decide to add some more levels.

#bicycles #bikes #cycling #fitness #gettingfitter #gozwift #growingyoung #health #lovezwift #trophies #vegan #wfpb


One can oft times despair at the general level of journalism in the UK but if looking for a level of journalism to really deeply despair at then you need look no further than The Daily Mail.

A while ago the great god Google took me to The Daily Mail where i came across this article: “So that’s why your feet are giving you grief!   Simple steps you can take to beat the toll of ageing”.

It states that the writer had the help of leading experts to write the article — experts in what may i ask?   Nowhere does Diana mention who these experts are or what their speciality is.   However, one thing is clearly obvious and that is that none of them know anything about feet and foot health because not one of them suggests going barefoot as a solution.

All the problems in the article are caused by wearing shoes — all of them.   So obviously the solution to all of them is to not wear shoes.

I started living my life barefoot in 2004.   The excruciating pain of osteoarthritis that i used to suffer (which i developed in my mid thirties) disappeared almost instantly.   I went from not being able to walk to town to being able to go hill walking like i used to when i was 20, simply by stopping wearing shoes.   Yes, i do go hill walking barefoot.

But alas, our society expects people to wear shoes.   Why?

We have a similar fixation within our society for making people wear shoes that other societies have for making women wear head-scarves.   Why?   It’s utterly ridiculous for people in the UK to eagerly criticise other societies and cultures for their dress codes while never considering their own blind obedience to the absurd dress codes that our own culture promotes, shoes, neck ties, etc..

Had i continued wearing shoes when the osteoarthritis set in and went down the standard medical route of painkillers and anti-inflammatories that are commonly prescribed for this condition, i would have had knee replacement surgery by now.   The cost to the economy caused by sickness and time off work, the cost to the NHS for knee and hip replacements and the cost of all the other medical help and prescriptions that go along with this debilitating medical condition is astronomical.   Yet the doctors — the drug pushers for Big Pharma — continue this treatment practice: why?   Because doctors get paid lots and lots of money to keep treating people like this and Big Pharma makes obscene amounts of profit every year from osteoarthritis medication and operations.   The damage done by wearing shoes is big business and in a capitalist society — where the sole goal of all corporate entities and their representatives is to maximise profits — the wearing of shoes must be actively encouraged and made a requirement.

I found this from 2012: “The Global Economic Cost of Osteoarthritis: How the UK Compares”.

To put it simply:

Shoes are a tax on walking!

Now i’m not saying that everyone should just throw their shoes away.   There are times when footwear is necessary — like clearing brambles — but footwear isn’t necessary every moment of the day.   If you work in an office then there really is no need to wear shoes.   If you’re at home then there really is no need to wear shoes.   If you’re going to the newsagent to buy your copy of The Daily Mail

…i hope you get my point.

Give your feet a chance to be feet for as many minutes in the day as you can, else you’ll pay for it when you get older.

#bigpharma #health #barefoot #feet

Sporting Futures

I was reading this: “Gene doping: Sport’s biggest battle?”

It does raise some good points.   I especially liked the last paragraph:

It seems, though, that the nature of gene doping will make drawing that line technically difficult and ethically awkward.   The authorities, the athletes, the fans may need to agree a whole new definition of what we want sport to mean.

My thoughts are that if one looks back over time, even without doping drugs, athletes have been using any science that could potentially enhance their performance to do just that.   Synthetic vitamins and minerals, and/or isolated natural ones, could be considered doping by some, but not by others.   Some people freak out at the idea of taking vitamin & mineral supplements while others embrace them — should those that embrace them be excluded from any competitive endeavour partaken by those that eschew them just to level the playing field?   Why do we draw a line between artificially raising your testosterone levels with a natural testosterone supplement and artificially raising your levels of vitamins and minerals through artificial supplements?   Both can be extremely detrimental to health.

So where do we draw the line on genetic enhancement?

People are already selecting babies from IVF embryos for different genetic traits: “IVF baby born using revolutionary genetic-screening process”, which begs the question (which the useless BBC journalism doesn’t even mention), should babies born from IVF genetic screening be allowed to compete in sports?

Some might think that this is taking things a little too far, but is it?   What difference between gene doping and IVF gene selection?   If you allow one then you have a huge ethical argument on your hands to allow the other.   If you disallow one, likewise, the ethics would surely dictate that you disallow the other.

We’re entering into a new age for humanity.   One where we have a choice to alter our genes or not.   And also the choice to alter the genes of our children without their consent before they’re even born.

It seems a little disingenuous to be discussing whether or not to ban people from activities for genetically altering themselves of their own volition to achieve their own goal choices in life while we allow parents to make genetic choices for the unborn by disposing of embryos that have genes they don’t like while retaining the ones they do.

Personally, i’m a little in the middle.   If my parents knew i was going to be born a boy they wouldn’t have had my embryo implanted.   Likewise, if they knew i was going to be born with a serious heart defect they wouldn’t have had my embryo implanted either.   I wouldn’t exist in this brave new world of embryo gene selection: i simply cannot agree that it should be allowed.   How many people in history would have never been given a chance to life if this technology had been in existence 10,000 years ago?   How many of you would not be here now because just one of your forebears was not selected for gestation?

As i say, i’m a little in the middle, because i do believe in the right for a person to alter their own genes.   What anyone does to their own bodies is entirely up to them and is nothing whatsoever to do with anyone else.   My body is my space in this universe: Nature gave it to me.   Or if you believe in a god, then you can say that your god gave it to you.   It’s yours, it’s sacrosanct that you are its spirit, its soul, and it is yours to do with what you will.   So if you want to have gene therapy to alter any aspect of it, then you should be allowed to.

So going off on a little tangent here, i read a sci-fi book years ago (sorry, can’t remember the name but if it rings any bells with anyone, please let me know as i want to read it again) which had gene therapy and things in it.   This was written long before any of this technology was ever thought of as reality.

In the book the whole gene therapy thing was spun into the body mod world.   This is what i like most about it.

People were having big cat, dog and other mammalian tooth buds implanted into their gums replacing their human teeth.

The possibilities for body mods are incredible.   Like i want to have woad blue skin — so i have a small injection that changes my DNA and my skin turns woad blue.   I’d love vampire fangs, so they take my stem cells and add a bit of jaguar cat DNA to make tooth buds for all four canine teeth and implant them in my gums and a few months later i have beautiful fangs and i change my name to Akasha.

Or maybe i want to be completely hairless: quick injection, done.   Or covered with hair like a tiger has: quick injection, done.

Fun fun fun!!!

So, to get back to the original point, what is going to happen to sport in this new future of genetic manipulation?   The answer?   I really don’t know.

#doping #genedoping #bodymods #peds #genetherapy #genetics #ivf #sport

Cycling Safely: Part 2

Following on from my previous blog post, “Cycling Safely”, here are some more thoughts on an old BBC cycling article: “Could hi-tech accessories make cycling safer?”

First, the laser thingy.   At £125 one has to think, “Is this really worth it?”   You still need to have your normal lights on your bicycle, so essentially you’re going to spend £125 for one extra light on the front.   Now, let’s face it, most cyclists in the UK cycle because they haven’t got much money, so £125 for one light is a little over the top, IMHO.   Wouldn’t it be far better to spend £125 on all round lighting for your bicycle?   You can go and buy 4 sets of, very good brightness, front and back lights, ten reflectors to fit in your spokes on each wheel, the most amazing hi-viz vest, ankle and wrist reflector bands, lots of hi-viz reflective tape and still have plenty of change from £125.   Seriously!!!   Think about it!!!   I know what i’d rather have on my bicycle.

The other thing about the laser is that it projects an image onto the road 5 metres in front of the bike thereby distracting any driver’s attention away from the bicycle itself: “Whoops, sorry for hitting you with my truck but i didn’t see you on your bike because as i was totally distracted by a large green bike sign drifting strangely along the road.”

I like the idea of the inflatable helmet, but the cost is, once again, ridiculous.   But, as some of you probably noticed in my previous “Cycling Safely” entry, i didn’t mention helmets at all.   Why not?   Because i don’t think they’re the most important thing to consider for safety.   It’s far, far, far more important to ride safely, on a serviceable bike, paying due care and attention to your surroundings, be seen, and not to get hit by something in the first place!

I also think, like the article inferred, that you are actually safer not wearing a helmet.   If you’re wearing protective equipment of any kind, you are more likely to take risks that you otherwise wouldn’t.   This is a natural thing that most people are prone to, and also, people seeing other people wearing protective equipment are more likely to be a little more dangerous around them.   I would like to see statistics of how many cyclists are involved in accidents with helmets as opposed to without.

And just for a little bit of a giggle: “The bike test that shows what we’re really like at work”.

Maybe that’s why i don’t have a job.   LOL

#bicycles #cycling #bikes #gettingfitter #growingyoung #roads #transport #fitness #health

Cycling Safely

Some thoughts about an old BBC article… Readers’ radical solutions to protect cyclists

While i agree with some of the points made, i really don’t think that list is very good for keeping people safe on bicycles.

Having been a life long cyclist, and spent over 12 years living and cycling in London, i think i’m fairly well qualified to weigh in on the cycling safety debate.

How to keep safe while cycling:

1. Do not wear headphones.   Listening to music, podcasts, etc., is one of the quickest ways to get you in trouble on a bicycle.   Your ears serve as a second set of eyes, you need to be attentive to what is behind you and listening carefully is like having eyes in the back of your head.

2. Wear bright colours.   Hi viz vests can slip over the top of whatever you’re wearing and can be removed quickly and shoved into a pocket when you get to where you’re going.   Remember, you cannot be bright enough, pile on the dayglo during daylight hours (there’s a clue in the name dayglo) but once it gets dark you need lots of white and reflective stuff beacause, surprise, surprise, dayglo does not work at night, if it did it would be called ‘niteglo’.   Also to remember is that other road users need to see your signals, so if you’re wearing dark gloves and sleeves then they probably won’t see you signalling even in daylight and especially at night, so make your arms and hands stand out as well.

3. Be aware that vehicles do have blind spots.   If you don’t understand this, just go and stand near a busy junction and watch articulated vehicles turning and see how they behave and how the mirrors lose sight of the side of the vehicle when they’re turning, and watch how the back wheels cut the corner.   Don’t put yourself anywhere near a big lorry at a junction, even if they’re not indicating, the driver just may have forgotten to indicate.   Remember also, with large vehicles you as a cyclist cannot see what’s on the other side of them, so be fucking careful!!!   Holding back when large vehicles are around may add a minute or two to your journey, but it can save your life.

4. Use lights at night.   Bright ones.   Several.   At least two front and two back ones.   Super bright modern LED bike lights are not very expensive and run great on rechargeable batteries.   Fill your bike up with light if you cycle in the dark.   My best advice for lights is to go on eBay and buy two Cree T6 front lights with 18650 batteries.   Most come with a free back light that runs on 2 aaa batteries.   18650 batteries are great and can be recharged lots of times if you use an intelligent charger.   A good charger is well worth the money because it looks after your batteries and doesn’t cook them making them last for a very long time.   I don’t recommend rechargeable lights, the kind with built in batteries, as they can run out of charge and then you’re left with no light.   If you have battery powered lights you can take several spare batteries just in case.   On a long ride at night i can easily get through 7 18650 batteries across 3 Cree T6 lamps.   One rechargeable bike light would be useless for me.

5. Be confident and assertive — where appropriate (see warning on lorries above)!   There really is nothing worse on the road than a dithering, mincing, cyclist.   Vehicle drivers should be left in no doubt whatsoever of your intentions.   Ok, i probably do take this one a bit too far as i have been known to play chicken with cars, never lorries, but i don’t recommend it for the faint hearted.   But my point is that drivers really do not want to kill or injure you, if you make them fully aware of what you’re doing most drivers will do their utmost to avoid you.   And it’s not just about signalling, taking the correct, dominant road position for your intention is as important as signalling is.   There is absolutely no point in signalling to go right at the next junction if you stay cycling in the gutter on the left hand side, you are inviting vehicles to overtake you by your road position.

6. Buy a tax disc holder for your bicycle and put a tax disc in it.   Apparently there’s lots of car drivers who think that the reason so many people are injured on bicycles is simply because they don’t have a tax disc.   I’m obviously being facetious here, but it’s in the BBC article linked to above and sadly there doesn’t seem to be anything facetious in Alexander, Birmingham’s remarks.   Let’s get something straight… no one pays road tax.   There is no such thing as road tax.   What vehicles owners pay is ‘Vehicle Excise Duty’, which is charged on a level appropriate to the gas guzzling nature of the vehicle in question.   I pay ‘Vehicle Excise Duty’ on my moped, and to be honest, i get treated no differently by car, van, bus or lorry drivers on that than i do on a bicycle.   So **** off with your road tax comments!!!   Surely it would be better to just scrap VED altogether and put the price of petrol and diesel up.   At least that way those who pollute the most, pay the most, and the government would save millions by not employing all those people at DVLA to administer a stealth tax that causes so much bad feelings between road users.

7. More congestion charging zones.   Any cyclist who remembers the centre of London pre-zone, will tell you how bad it was.   Most people wouldn’t cycle there because it really was incredibly dangerous.   Then came the congestion charging and the traffic dropped massively and drivers were less stressed out and grumpy and cycling through the city was very easy and relatively safe in comparison to what it had been.   If more cities and towns brought in congestion charging — and used the money made to fund better public transport and cycle lanes — things would be a lot safer and healthier for everyone.   It would also help the country to meet our carbon limits.

8. If you’re just pottering around town then ride a bicycle that you can sit up straight on (Dutch style).   They’re far better for your back than being hunched over the handle bars, but most importantly, if you’re sat up straight then you can see very clearly over the tops of cars and they can see you.   Being bent over your handle bars limits your field of vision massively, and it hides you behind vehicles: all the dayglo in the world ain’t gonna help if you’re hidden from sight.   So get your bicycle a long stem for your handle bars and sit up properly.   You only need to be low and aero if you’re doing some serious training, not for riding around town.

9. Turn your phone off!!!!!!!   You do not need pointless distractions while cycling.   Don’t worry, the text messages, tweets and facebook updates will arrive when you switch it back on, and people can call back later when it’s safer for you to answer.

10. Keep your bike in good running order, and know how to use it properly.   You do not need something going drastically wrong with your bicycle, like your chain coming off or getting your trouser leg stuck in the chain in the middle of a junction surrounded by moving vehicles.

And that’s my ten most important cycling safety things.

Have fun cycling safely.

#bicycles #cycling #bikes #gettingfitter #growingyoung #roads #transport #fitness #health