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Sam Hurrumph

Sam has been writing variously, mostly about music or in academia, for a while now. He is situated in London, and after taking up cycling there in 2012, it has become one of his obsessions, amongst music and other people being wrong. Cycling is part of his way of declaring war on the alienating affects of a supercity.

Number of Entries : 13

F*cking London traffic lights

Whereas activists who work on the topic of urban London cycling are currently (rightly) concerned with the implementation of the Cycle Superhighways (much needed segregated lanes) and Quiet Ways, I want to think about the use of these spaces. In particular, I want to talk about traffic lights. That the Cycle Superhighways (CS for short) are well meaning if occasionally badly constructed is no secret. We sho ...

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A message to London road users: don’t be bags of dicks. Please.

On my commute into town today, I witnessed a few pieces of appalling driving and cycling. It strikes me, however, that the problem is not that drivers treat cyclists like lesser beings as often thought, but that most of them treat us like road users. Driver’s aren’t just arsehole’s to cyclists, they’re arseholes to each other, too. The first incident of terrible driving featured a white van (quelle surprise ...

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Clip-in, Strap-on

As that well known saying goes: once you go clipless, you can't go back ... less. Being clipped into a bike gives the the rider many benefits, including a feeling of more control and connectedness to the bike, and efficiency when going up hills. However, a problem many find with clipless pedals is the choice of shoes - having to be slave to what exactly shoes you own. And there a few nice ones (DZR particul ...

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My First Dun Run done

As I write this, two days after the fact, my legs remain weak and I've not caught up on enough sleep (I don't quite know what day it is). Yet I've already got the next DunRun in my diary (4-5 July 2015) and am trying to plan (read: force my friend to do the bulk of the work) my next 100 miler (hopefully next month). There are several things that make the Dun Run special. The route - 113 miles from London Fi ...

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SkyCycle? AirCycle? SkyBalls!

One of the issues that first strikes about the uber-architect's Sir Norman Foster's current London infrastructure baby, SkyCycle, is that it sounds like it has something to do with Sky's proprietor Rupert Murdoch. They should at least consider changing the name, considering the implications and, well ... the person. Another question is simply … isn't this a bit, well stupid? The proposal is to spend thousan ...

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Traversing Manchester (in 2014)

The first thing I saw when I got onto the roads of Manchester was a man on a cheap bike cycling on a painted cycle lane in the Belle Vue area. This would have been unremarkable, were it not for the fact the man was on the wrong side of a two-lane road. Something happened in Manchester, say 10-15 years ago, that meant that the city planners installed loads of segregated cycle lanes on many of the main roads ...

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Soon, We’ll All Be Sipping Peri-Air

During a tube strike earlier this year, a doctor told me that he and some of his colleagues had a glimpse of hope in the heart of London. For a day or two, the city was walking and riding bikes en-masse. It was fantastic, he said, if only the city kept it up, London might be a healthy place to live. But, the only time this happens is at the convenience of a tube strike. It is interesting the watch all the r ...

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The Clipless Issue

No, I don't get why it's clipless, either, when clipping-in seems to be exactly the thing you do ... Anyway... It took me a while to come around to being clipped in in the city. In any city, it's pretty much vitally important to have two good quality things on your bike before anything else: brakes, and durable wheels/tyres. These places do not lend themselves to a fluid cycling style, but rather to a stop- ...

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The Schadenfreude of an Urban Cyclist

Perhaps something has made me petty and a bit nasty since strapping on two wheels and feeling threatened throughout my existence of city cycling. The first time I did Critical Mass, I loved every moment - I describe it as allow one to feel like a cyclist rather a rat - it's empowering, and may lead towards an anarchist ontology where power is relational, not given. But, that feeling of being a rat, perhaps, ...

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Bike vs Bus = Dickend

Watch this video... Fucking ow, right? My initial reaction was 'that's fucking nasty!', my second was 'what a fucking idiot'. Then, 'thank god he's alive' and finally 'I hope he never teaches anybody to cycle in his life, ever.' He is a grade-A dickend and a prime example of exactly how not to cycle in anywhere, especially one where cycling infrastructure is bollocks - such as London. There is a point to no ...

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