Sunday, 30 October 2011

Dirac's Antipermeability hypothesis

Dirac Road, off Ashley Down. Named after Paul Dirac, Nobel Prize winner for hypothesizing the existence of "anti matter"; something that was later proved to exist.

Dirac Road is named after him. Sadly, due to the large amounts of energy involved when antimatter collides with conventional matter, they cannot put any on display. Instead they have to focus on anti-permeability, the idea of making open space opaque to people on foot or bicycle

First on this corner we can see the car making the pavement antipermeable

Nothing profound there, you can see it anywhere in the city. What is more unique is this barrier over the footpath between Dirac Road and Lilstock Avenue -which connects with the famous "farm pub path". There is a risk that people might use this so called "access point" between the two roads to get to this path -or worse, come up here and then proceed safely on foot or bicycle to Brunel Technical College (scene of the "do not cycle on the pavement" signs and the Happy Road incident), or Sefton Park Primary school.
This barrier makes that hard, so ensuring that there are few high-energy collisions between conventional matter "cars" and anti-society matter "people on foot or bicycle".

It could be alleged that this is a temporary feature while the primary access point to the Farm Pub Path -station road- is closed for roadworks. Yet look at the base of this feature: it is embedded into the concrete
The allegation can be even more firmly disproved by looking in the opposite direction, and observing that the dropped kerb is actually placed to the side of the path.
This is a permanent fixture to celebrate Dirac's work on antimatter, by showing how Antipermeability can improve things.

Speaking of which, we hear rumours of a new Antipermeability project underway in South Gloucs. We will delegate this work to the People's cycling front of S. Gloucs, as an inspection up there would involve getting stuck in traffic jams in the newly widened A4174 ring road, which is a waste of our time.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Une discourse dans le village du Montpelier

Vous savez que vous etre dans un petit village quand vous encontrez les residents engagement dans une discourse dans la rue. Les grands villes sont anonyme - ce n'est pas vrai pour villages comme Montpelier.

Aujourd'hui nous pouvons voir des residents en conversation sur le sujet de droits de passage. Est-ce-que la priorite a les autos de Bath Buildings, ou pour les voitures qui faisant la traverse de St Andrews a la Rue de Cheltenham?

Nous ne savant pas que les residents ont decidee. Notre journaliste a dit as nous "J'ai pas attende a voir qui a gagne parce-que je pourrait pas culee" [1,2]

[1] an incorrect translation of "I could not be arsed"
[2] note how the descending tax dodger flips the 20mph light on the way down, yet the BMW in front appears not to.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Forward Planing

While the lights are red, an opportunity arises to take a photo of the Seahorse Pub, a pub that used to be part of the Smiles brewery chain, but had two features that distinguished from the Brewery tap across the road: a choice of non-Smiles beers and the Smiles Exhibition didn't run out as often

Sadly, someone cycling through a red light ruins the shot. Why is he doing it.
It starts to make sense: by cruising through early he avoids the problem of getting from the left hand lane to the right hand lane while two lanes of vehicles are trying to push through.
Of course, that leaves the problem of waiting at the bottom of St Michael's hill for the lights to change. Clipped in to the pedals, he either has to unclip and put a foot down, or do a track stand.
Or there's option three: lie down and take a rest. This provides an opportunity to give his cardiovascular system and his legs the rest they need before commencing the St Michael's Hill climb

Friday, 21 October 2011

Reclaiming the Streets

There's a growing scandal in the press that an undercover policeman infiltrated the group Reclaim the Streets.

While we do not approve of the activities of these tax dodgers, we can't speak highly of the police infiltrating a group of lentil-eating- ippies just because their activities brought the traffic in city centres to a halt at peak hours.

If bringing the city to a halt a peak hours by blocking the streets with your vehicle is a crime -then we are all criminals. 

Look at the scene above: the M32 after 9am on a weekday. Brought to a halt. Is this a crime? No, it's commuting. the only thing wrong here is that we can't use the hard shoulder even though everyone is only doing 15 mph.

That's one reason we don't approve. Where will they draw the line? Start with the hippies, soon they will be trying to find out who kept torching speed cameras, attending meetings of the Association of British Drivers and keeping an eye on us patriots.

The other reason we don't approve: it's a complete waste of time and effort.

Imagine the the uncover police team christmas party as they all get together and discuss how they protected the nation from its enemies, inside and out
  • "I infiltrated Real IRA and kept the Northern Ireland peace settlement alive."
  • "I infiltrated a group of drug dealers and kept 500kg of cocaine out of Britain."
  • "I infiltrated Reclaim the Streets and pedalled a human-powered sound system round Clapham."
You'd be laughed at and be so embarrassed you'd find excuses not to go to the following year's party. It's the bottom ring of undercover police work, worse even than that dire film Kindergarten Cop where Schwarzenegger goes undercover as a school teacher. At least he didn't have to cycle round south London on a three person bicycle where the one at the back powered a loudspeaker.

It's just not impressive. It's not the thing you sign up for is it? That's the really shocking thing: the government could be bothered to infiltrate these groups. We wouldn't. Especially now the Bristol Cycling Campaign have stopped holding their meetings in that room above the Cornubia Pub.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Forward Planning

We've discussed before planning strategies, such as the MiniMax algorithm, and how a limiting factor is how far ahead you plan. The planning horizon limits your options, and often the game is won by whoever plans furthest ahead.

We are perfectly happy with a planning horizon of one: what is the next thing in your way. However, we are pretty unimpressed by this video which was sent to us of a car in Clifton who'se planning horizon was zero. When a car is coming towards you, you either do two things -commit at speed or back off. What you don't do is go alongside the bicycle at 15 mph with a car coming towards you at 20 mph, as that leads to an exchange of details and some insurance premiums, especially now that tax-dodgers are starting to carry cameras and no doubt willing to supply their videos as evidence.

If you are going to overtake with oncoming traffic, put your foot down!

Monday, 17 October 2011

Bristol's Secret Rat-runs

We are debating providing some coverage of Bristol's secret rat-runs, to go alongside our secret parking coverage. Today, the best way to get from Ashley Hill to the M32 -Magdalene Place

It's good to see Red Driving School WVIIUEK showing a learner driver about this road, and how to correctly position themselves to take it properly.

Careful Passing

Everyone recommends giving bicycles room when passing, -and they complain when you don't, especially when traffic islands create pinch points.

Here a vehicle on Shaldon Road, Lockleaze, demonstrates the correct way to safely pass a slow-moving bicycle at a pinch point.

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Not our van: WU10JCY

Someone points us at this video as says "That you?"

No. Pink shirts and white dungarees don't suit us. Or him. We are just more aware of the fact.

Also: that van still has two wing mirrors. This video may have been made in Bristol, but whoever it is, they live in the suburbs.

update: "The initial pass was on Stockwood Lane and the chat was by the junction of Lacey Road and Stockwood Lane"

Friday, 14 October 2011

Not us: we don't speak hungarian

Lovely video, people coming to the streets and saying what up to now is only printed in the Daily Mail, written in the comments, and muttered by taxi drivers between themselves.

Of course, we don't need to have a special protest to take over a bike lane -we have Stokes Croft for that.

On that topic: remember, Saturday is the official opening of the bearpit wifi zone and it's transformation into one of Bristol's premier destinations. Now all someone needs to do is paint over that bit between the bearpit and Nelson street and bring it back to its 1972 glory: Broadmead.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Oktoberfest im Ashton Court

Despite the nature of the activity -cycling- we are pleased to show
the route preview of the 2011 Ritchey Oktoberfest Bike Race.

Paul of ZeroG cycles is not actually in fancy dress, he can regularly be seen hanging round Bedminster in Lederhosen and singing bayerische beer drinking songs.

Paul will also be dressed like this for the duration of the event -we presume- and he does usually organise some (free) kids events that small children enjoy.

Be aware that Ambulance Leap has been removed so you will not be able to enjoy OktFest sitting at the picnic benches drinking Dunkel Hefe Weissen Bier and watching the MTB racers crater out in front of you.

This race marks one of the two main events taking place in the city this week, the other being the Bearpit Brunch. We shall be attending the latter, it being hosted in our team's weekend holiday home.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Stop Pedalling, Start Driving

We wish to thank the Danish subversives at for moving on from showing pretty Danish women on bicycles to showing pretty american women in cars, even if they do seem to be looking rather affectionately at the bollard-headed tax-dodger. with a slogan like "Stop Pedaling, Start Driving" you can see that their message is quite simple: grow up. You are no longer a five year old. Get a car.

We love the GM web site too, especially where it shows a pedestrian getting soaked by a passing GM SUV. It's fantastic. Not only does it show that wonderful feeling you get when you swerve into a puddle just to soak the tax-dodging pedestrians, the contrast between pedestrian and vehicle size makes it clear the real message: buy a big 4x4 or you will get run over by one. That said, GMC Sierras suck now that even in the US you pay $3.50 for a (US) Gallon). Even if you are only paying 55p a litre, if your barge does 12 MPG your cost/mile is way higher than, say ,a VW Golf 1.4T, and we not only know which is more fun, we know what depreciates faster. Not the Golf.

If there is one complaint about the advert it is this: there is nowhere near the University of Bristol to park, not now the area is all resident parking. We even hear rumours that Cotham will go the same way. What does that leave? It leaves the University of the West of England with its 20+ designated car parks as Bristol's premier university for important people.

On, one more thing: the US had to step in to save it from bankruptcy in 2008, and the US and Canadian governments own have 43% of the company's shares. This is not just a company, this is the US government.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Sponsored by Firstbus

For this week we are sponsored by FirstBus:

Anything negative we have ever said about firstbus, including the apparent inability of FirstBus to join up their bus departures with the hourly arrival of trains from London are now denied. We have never said these things.

Credit to Stockwell Pete, who is also being sponsored by FirstBus: best bus service between the city centre and Stockwell. Apparently they are even going up to Henbury again.

Monday, 10 October 2011

Big Hello to R242AAC: roundabout jumper

We've had this video for a while, but been keeping quiet about it. Why? because there is a limit of six months for charging anyone for any dangerous driving/careless driving offence, and this driver has been successfully avoiding all attempts by the police to contact him. While that creates a new offence, "failing to report who was driving at the time an offence was committed", again, that has a limit.

This is profound. It means if you can hide for long enough, you can even get away with nearly running over a family at a roundabout.

The video and email came to us from "S":
I have a video of a near miss by a car that failed to stop for me and my nine year old son at a roundabout.
We are cycling up Cotham Road, about to go down over the roundabout to Cotham Hill. Cotham Road is calmer now the zebra crossing is in, and as you can see, the few cars passing on the bank holiday gives my son a wide berth, which is appreciated.

As we approach the roundabout, at 08:00 on 29 of April, I get my son in the correct place to go over, check that nothing is pulling out and we set off. I can hear the sound of a car approaching from the left, from St Michael's Hill, so I warn my son that this this car on the left is the next hazard we are going to worry about -as you can hear in the commentary.

As we get partway over, I pull ahead of my son, to make sure the approach car sees us slows down in good time.

However, instead of looking, instead of slowing down, this car pulls straight out onto the mini roundabout. If I had been about 50cm further ahead, I would have been hit, and if my son had been about 1.5m ahead of where he was, he would have been hit.
The car registration was R242AAC, I repeat this phonetically multiple times after the incident, along with the date and time, and at 1:12 in the video you can see the registration number, along with the Honda logo and the Accord model name.

The driver was a white male, with -I believe -brownish hair. He saw me and waved mildly apologetically as he continues through the junction without slowing down, continuing down Hampton Road. I follow him briefly enough to confirm the registration number, then turn back to see my son.
We are impressed not just by the driver's bravery in pulling out on what can be a busy roundabout without looking, but in their successful attempt to avoid what are apparently repeated attempts by the police to contact the driver, as with a video like this it would be pretty hard to deny your car was there.

We hope that nobody in the Bristol Area manages to spot this dark blue Honda Accord registration number R242AAC, that is R242 AAC and then immediately contacts the Avon and Somerset police on the phone number 101. All readers of this blog must keep an eye out for this car and make sure there are no cyclists in the area, to defend this bold driver from the menace caused by militant troublemakers who video their journeys round the city and complain about such minor things like nearly being killed.

The fact that if you hide for six months you can avoid prosecution is a new one to us. We look forward to using that technique ourselves in the near future.

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Free parking in the Bristol City Centre

Reader "OJ" writes in:
Dear Bristol Traffic,

Thank goodness the menace of pavement cycling is finally getting the attention from the nationwide media it deserves.

These vehicles (LM11VNX and LS10KTN) have selflessly parked up in the best place to give live satellite feeds of people illegally cycling past.
Thank goodness for our broadcast media.

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Secret Colston Street parking -handy for the BRI

"OJ" drops us a note

Dear Bristol Traffic,

I have discovered a great place to park my 4x4 for free, 2 minutes away from the Centre. There's a lovely wide pavement outside the Colston Almshouses on Colston Street, and as N864HWP shows, no traffic warden cares if you park there.

The only drawback is that (see 2nd photo), some of the space has been reserved for road tax dodgers. I could have easily parked my Hummer behind W381XKX, but for the fact that someone had put (unused) bike racks on the pavement there. The thing that's really frustrating me is that I bet cyclists ride onto the pavement to use these racks.
It's good to hear that no traffic warden cares, though we must hope no passers by with mobile phones dial up the Parking Services control room on +44 117 903 8070 and report the golf, as that pavement is possibly covered by the yellow line rules. The bit by the zebra crossing: go for it!

Friday, 7 October 2011

No eye contact - even if they insult you for RLJ-ing

The rule of junctions is that if you don't acknowledge the other people on the road, they aren't there, so you have done nothing wrong.

Usually its done when you block a junction or a roundabout. Today, something different: a cyclist RLJ-ing the Cheltenham Road/Bath Buildings Junction.

For some reason, the camera crew aren't impressed by this and not only shout to get their attention, they are mildly abusive -which the tax dodger in the viewfinder ignores. 
Next they will be writing in to the Evening Post to complain.

As to why the cyclist jumped the red light, some possibilities spring to mind:
  • they were in too much of a hurry.
  • their visibility of Arley Hill was restricted due to the large lorry blocking the pedestrian crossing.
  • their life is empty and meaningless and a bit of danger makes it more precious.
  • their brakes don't work and the way they came off the pavement forced them into this action.
  • they're an idiot
  • all of the above.
Well, they are now famous. Purple-topped mountain bike rider: welcome to Bristol Traffic!

(08:44 correct video embedded)

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

The last days of summer at St Georges Park

Contributor "NT" mails us this lovely photograph of autumn sunshine
Hello, I was cycling down Park Crescent adjacent to St George's Park at 5:30pm this evening and saw some inspired parking - I thought you might like to see it and maybe share it on the blog.

Given that the weather is about to go from heatwave to blizzards very shortly I'm sure the driver was just trying to save precious seconds in parking their car properly and walking the width of Park Crescent to reach the grassy haven of the park; this way they got straight into enjoying the last of the unexpected sunshine the second they stepped from their car.
Yes, we think WR58JXK is making the most of the late summer evenings, though we wouldn't park under trees ourselves -can make the roof and windscreen sticky. Better to use the wide green space behind it.

Saturday, 1 October 2011

The school run

Look at these disgusted Hotwells parents fed-up with the way people park outside their school. 'Stopping on zig-zags is dangerous and selfish' says the sign, and we agree. With a little more effort GL07OTS could have parked entirely on the build-out, and not on the bit that says 'KEEP CLEAR'