Wednesday, November 9, 2011

INNSBRUCK revisted

Fallen off your stationary bike recently ? Happened this morning through lack of thought when sorting out a loose cassette yesterday . Nothing worse than a rattle is there ? Started on the weekend and after tightening a loose bottle holder , I thought problem solved but then it continued and then after fingering the cassette decided it was loose so stopped off at my local bike shop to get the Long crank to open the cassette and put in a slim shim . When Harry applied the tool we found it was already loose thus explaining the rattle , but since the 10th gear had been tingling the spokes I put the shim in anyway .

This morning being sunny and sufficiently warm for short sleeves and bib shorts I took off west through Munster but lacking power I struggled up the incline there and had to come to a fast stop as a car cut across me as it decided “ might has right ”! Dropping gears to get going again took the chain into the space between the wheel and cassette , locking everything up and not getting the foot out of the cleat I collapsed onto the bus stop area just as a bus arrived . No danger as he was travelling slowly so he moved up the road and off loaded his passengers whilst I struggled to free my foot from the pedal that was flat to the asphalt . Bus drove off without bothering to check whether help was needed .

Shaken up I got going again and before I got out of the village’s 50 kph zone was passed closely by a small truck who then promptly slowed , signalled a left turn and having slowed me turned into the place of business they occupy . I followed and went past to their office but no one was there and thus when they asked me what I was looking for I asked if there was anyone speaking English ? When they gave agreement I asked how they thought stopping me to turn was good road behaviour ? Having said there was a car coming , I asked why it was necessary to pass anyway and was told they were late for breakfast ! As they had their hands full it was obvious that there were many more workers involved , they being the delivery team . Was then told that I was on “ Private property , so F##k off you stupid c##t before we get the Polizei to deal with you ! Little choice since I at present do not wear a helmet camera nor had the necessary witnesses and was not injured in the incident .

Later as I entered Schwaz I passed the Bus depot so went into the office and found all four there understood English pretty well so explained the Bus Incident and went onto the lack of “ Signalling” passing that I have observed over a period . Generally Busses make little effort to signal passing cyclists and will move out a little when at speed but that lack of signal means following traffic do not see the cyclist until a collision is all but inevitable , thus there are some scary moments for even experienced cyclists . Trucks and light vans also cause the same problems with close following vehicles not being able to see through them . Following vehicles should not be so close but here in Austria we have some drivers with the Italian and French attitude of trying to crawl up the tail pipe of those in front ! Are they trying to save fuel by this stupidity or are they trying to wear out their brakes ?

The general attitude was that they would remind the drivers to do as required , signal overtaking but also mentioned the availability of the cycle paths in their area . Later I returned home on one of these paths which for the most part were in good condition for Race bike tyres . Over the years I have had several chats with people such as these and the outcome is usually agreement to remind their drivers that courtesy to Cyclists encourages the Tourists thus bringing more into their area and increasing their passenger numbers . People driving seeing “ Professional Drivers ” signalling would be reminded that they could improve their driving skills by doing the same ?

Cycling Lawyer has recently posted about his involvement with the London Met Police initiatives and it is clear that HGV owners are not being encouraged to comply with fitting the mirrors that are deemed necessary for safe operation of their larger vehicles . Since each vehicle with the older type mirrors have to be inspected annually I think that they should be given warning that they will fail the next inspection if the lack of this facility is not rectified . Surely the Road Tax on larger vehicles makes fitting these extra mirrors seem like a petty cash matter ?

Where in the Road Rules does it allow an aggrieved vehicle driver to chase a cyclist and try to stop them or even knock them from their bike so as to call the cops to report what they think is a “ Riders “ bad behaviour ? Heard of several incidents recently that would raise your blood pressure if you were involved ! Trying to ride on two postage stamps whilst the car is on four A4 pages is not an easy comparison . One thing I am sure of is that “ slapping the window “ of an irritating driver is better than hitting the panel work , but make sure you can get up on the kerb so that they can scrape their wheels if they try to cut any further into your riding area !

Just finished rereading “ It’s not about the bike “! as enjoyable as always and reminded me of how even the best riders find themselves in life threatening situations either by chance or losing track of where they are . Lance taking downhill corners at speed near Nice and running head on into a car through a lapse of attention I am sure has been repeated by others so many times . When riding the Tour Routes I am trying to emulate their pace but make certain to stay on my side of the road and even here in the off season I find enough drivers on my side of the narrow roads as they squeal their tyres through the smaller villages . My locality has just reduced from 50kph to 40 kph and to see the “ boys in blue ” hiding with their radar guns and unmarked cars trying to balance the budget is laughable but it is so much easier than stopping a driver who is talking on a mobile phone .

Papp has been featured by Cycling News as if he was a saint , for rolling over and offering up as much as he can to save himself from a lengthy prison confinement . Shame those on the various “ forums ” praising him for his offerings , forgot about all those slaughtered by the various “ Drug Cartels ” as they seek to increase their profits in places like Mexico . Whilst in Sydney in 1974 I had occasion to report some for dispensing so called soft drugs , not sure of the results there but year by year I see the growing threat to society of the acceptance of this “ Human Failing ” and no where do I see why it should be tolerated . 10 years with hard labour , preferably breaking rocks , would have sent a stronger message to the Cycling Community Clowns who think he is being a good boy ! Guess it is a NIMBY problem , not in my back yard , not reading the thoughts of this miscreant for the present is a happy situation but there are some of the commenters who are in withdrawal .

My recent post to the CNF/mushroom farm :

“ At about the 150th page of a book i have just finished rereading i came across the " motivation " that prompted the setting up of " LiveSTRONG " ! I find the " It's not about the bike" quite motivating and from the comments in this thread it is obvious that most of you have read it more than once also !

No doubt some of you have marked the various quotations with Highlighter and may even have your own index of contents so as to go back to refute assertions made by others !

HOW so many of you having read ( perhaps your perception skills are lacking ) this book and others and then twisted those quotations to suit your own purposes defy my imagination ! That LA is not a saint is made clear in his own writings and musings but he definitely has not been " Convicted in a Legal Court " of ALL that some of you wish "! Trying to liken him to papp , flandis , shamilton and others belittles your own intellect , that is if you ever had this faculty ! Reminds me of some of those odious comments that arrived on my blogs by " anonymous " , gutless and thoughtless would have been a better moniker !

That we have passed 7900 comments on this thread alone makes me wonder how much bile is out there ? SHOULD LA find himself in a Court of Law , i doubt that any of you will treat him in the same way that you treated papp now that he has been silenced ( perhaps only temporarily ) ! Last month i was waiting like so many others with bated breathe for the predictions to be fulfilled but the Astroid sailed past Earth last night without headlines ! Which of you is going to stand in the sand pit on a soapbox and make the next pronouncement of his difficulties with this " Court of public opinion" ?

Not sure what i will do for amusement when this thread comes to a grinding halt , perhaps take to reading his other books for a start !

Having sent the Innsbruck Parking Police Authority several emails I finally received an automated reply yesterday so had an Austrian friend phone this morning on my behalf ! He was told that their computer has a “ virus ” so they do not read or answer emails ! He was also tolsd that since I had left it until today to ring that I should pay up as I HAD LEFT IT TOO LATE to seek redress ! My employer’s vehicle is shown on their computer screen and the comment was that “ they
Can afford to pay ” ! A$$hole forgets it comes out of the pocket of a 66yo non pensioned individual who can ill afford the loss to a sneak thief employed by their sub contractor ! I have had to advise the vehicle owner of this lack of co operation and the fact is my recompense for the work will be reduced by the Euro21 as a result . Had I been driving a rental vehicle the result would have been a double payment since those like AVIS choose to collect double the amount to cover their involvement . The parking people are aware of this situation and must be severely brain damaged to treat people in this way , they continue to try to justify their existence by creating a profit on others misfortune .

Paralympic Games started as the “ Stoke Mandeville Games ” in 1948 and have grown throughout the years into the first “ Paralympic Games ” at Rome in 1960 ! The reason for mentioning this is the death recently of a well known benefactor and fund raiser of the hospital . This truly remarkable character raised over £40 million as well as contributing massive amounts of personal monies and daily visits to the unit that he caused to be built . Sir Jimmy Saville was an extraordinary person and there are many I know who have met him although I only sighted him on one of my visits to the Hospital .

Follow this link to the better description of his efforts on behalf of Spinal victims , the author describes his before and after contacts :


A truly remarkable story and a man that will be greatly missed by all who had contact with him

R I P Sir Jimmy !

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