Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Hey, City of London Department of Transportation Planning and Design! You ^%$**@n' Rock!

Remember how I wasn't too crazy about the signs at the Hale and Trafalgar roundabout? (that post here)

I sent email to several of the people who work in Transportation Planning and Design for the City right when I wrote that post on May 2nd.

I took the roundabout only two times since then, one of them being last Thursday morning. Look what I saw!
not the actual sign, but identical. pic source

I just wanted to thank whoever was kind enough to pay attention to my email and posts. 2 weeks? It got changed in 2 weeks? In municipal government terms, that is outstanding. It almost makes me wonder if I'm not the original cause of the sign change.

In any case, I'm really happy with my City's transportation planners right now. People in positions like theirs are often inundated with requests and general whinings about this and that, I'm sure. Some of us (myself included) are often quick to criticize and slow to praise... this post is about my being as quick to praise as I was to complain. Well done, City planners!

Yer Pal,

Thursday, May 17, 2012

I Am A Blogging King!

You know, people start blogging for all kinds of reasons. Some people find it theraputic. Some have some sort of agenda or message they're trying to promote. Some just enjoy writing so much that they just do it for fun. All of those reasons apply to me to some degree, but my real reason for blogging for over three years now has been something else entirely. FREE STUFF.

I hadn't been reading BSNYC and Fat Cyclist for very long before I noticed that bicycle companies were sending them FREE STUFF to review or whatever. I wanted FREE STUFF for myself and so began writing this blog. It has been a long road, but I Have Arrived.

At first I thought it was too good to be true when I received an email from a VP of a company who has had its products written about here on Rantwick.

From his email:

Thanks for the post on ___ _____ ______! Always interesting to get a new pairs of eyes looking at our product.

Would like to send you off a couple of samples...  

That was on May 2. Yes, those words shone like gold on my computer screen. I was pumped, but suspicious. Would they REALLY send me FREE STUFF, or were they just getting my address so they could send me the legal papers necessary to sue me? Or, worse, send hired goons?

The tone of the email was friendly and I was confident that all would be well. Still, I resolved not to write of it until the FREE STUFF had actually arrived just in case. Brothers and Sisters, that time has come!

I've had a really bad cold the past few days and was at home when the package arrived; nice because normally we have to drive out to a pickup place.

Medium sized box. Whatever might it contain?

Some of you may recall a post from a couple of months ago about Maple Syrup and Bread Crumbs. That's right, the good people from SunPac Foods sent me 6 (6!) tubs of Bread Crumbs and a dozen bottles of various Juices! Suck on that, BikeSnobNYC. Eat my dust, Fat Cyclist. You enjoy all your free bike stuff (italicized with a sneering tone) and I'll discover a great many ideal uses for bread crumbs while enjoying chilled juice that may help with my cold.

Please brace yourself for a bit of content shift here on Rantwick... I'm thinking that now it will be mostly about beer and Maseratis. If you're thinking "Maseratis? Why not uber-racing-bikes?", I get you, but I also know I have at least some chance of making a Maserati perform at its best, if you get my drift (pant, pant, wheeze).

Yer Pal,

PS - Steve A left a comment on the first Bread Crumb post which read "Are bread crumbs merely uncooked croutons or are they something more?" The dude who emailed me had this to say in his email: "And….Crumb is very different than croutons!" So there you have it, Steve. Ball is in your court. Learn what those differences are, man.

PPS - If you have some sort of recipe in which bread crumbs play a large part, please send it my way. I just might make it and post about making it here on the blog. Now that I'm a BIG DEAL in the bread crumb world, you would be made famous by association!

PPPS - I wasn't being honest at the beginning of this post. I didn't start writing this blog in order to get free stuff. Am I insane, or does the fact that when I do get free stuff it turns out to be bread crumbs seem kind of fitting somehow? I mean, the way this blog is and everything? Bread crumbs are perfect, don't you think?

PPPPS - I don't really have a PPPPS. Just looking to set a new record.

PPPPPS - Smashed it.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Things People Say Fridays #5 - Why The Heck?

As I've often written before, people often comment about the camera on my head. It doesn't usually make me laugh like a goof.

I Strongly Suggest You Laugh Like A Goof Sometime This Weekend! It Feels Good.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Encounters with Rantwick, episode Eighteen: Cycle Satan and Devil Dog

You know, most commutes are pleasant, but boring. I delete most of my commuting videos from my camera because they are just plain uninteresting. Ever since I've mounted my very obvious top 'o the helmet cam, they have become even more so because very few cars do crummy things. That's cool with me!

Once in a long while, however, something downright spooky and upsetting and behaviour changing occurs. This, as you may have guessed, is one of those occasions. Good, Evil, Cars, imminent Death, screeching brakes, HellHounds... brace yourself:

Yer Pal,

Friday, May 4, 2012

Things People Say Fridays #4 - Guess What!

Video says (although not very clearly) it all...  have great weekends everyone.

Yer Pal,

PS - If you're the kind of person who would use some sort of audio software to try to figure it out, you are officially lame. If, on the other hand, the answer turns out to be easy for you just by listening, I am. Either way, somebody's gonna be lame, which is important for the self esteem of everybody else. It's a lose win! 

PPS - I ran across this while posting my youtube thing. Street riding ain't so bad...

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Cycling on a Roundabout - Part Deux

I recently posted something on how to cycle a roundabout. I took a longer route home from work today because the weather had turned very nice and I had the time. Heading southbound on Hale into the roundabout, I noticed signs that I had not noticed when eastbound on Trafalgar (although upon reviewing the video I saw that they were there too):

I think these signs are supposed to indicate that pedestrians will be on the sidewalk and at crossings, cars and bikes will be on the road and to watch out for all. Visuals being what they are, however, I think they also could easily suggest that bikes should be to the right of cars, which isn't quite what City planners were after, as you shall see.

The City of London posted good information on how to drive a roundabout when this one was introduced, including what I consider perfect advice for cyclists that matches my own except for my personal encouragement to ride in the lane rather than walk even if it makes you nervous. They suggest that experienced cyclists may choose to ride in the lane. Cyclists:

Hairsplitting aside, we are singing from the same song sheet.

They also mention some signage, but not the stuff pictured above.

I (in true lazy Rantwick fashion) had neglected to come through on my idea to suggest sharrows in the roundabout, but now I'm gonna direct some city folks to both of my roundabout posts in the hopes of achieving a little more clarity.

Yer Pal,