November 22, 2012 at 6:14pm
A car drives around a house that stands in the middle of a newly-built road in Wenling, Zhejiang province, China. An elderly couple refused to sign an agreement to allow their house to be demolished. They say that the compensation offered was not enough to cover rebuilding costs. Their house is the only building left standing on a road which is paved through their former village.
Picture - REUTERS/China Daily
October 26, 2011 at 10:48am
I’m not a member of the “roadie” sub-culture, nor do I particularly wish to be (some of the rules are funny, some are sage, many are totally ridiculous), but it made me realize that I have formed my own set of rules after several years of cycling in London. Some of my own, some are adapted from the advice of others and some are stolen. Here are the ones that spring immediately to mind:
- The daily commute is not a race. If I overtake you it’s not a challenge, it’s because I’m faster than you, so don’t feel compelled to start mashing your pedals furiously, wheezing and causing havoc in my general area. Likewise, if I’m riding slowly it’s because I’m enjoying the lazy pace or I’ve had a heavy one the night before. Looking over your shoulder with a shit eating grin as you “leave me for dust” just confirms that to me that your partner and ambitions are unfulfilled and you make up for it by pedaling furiously to a job you hate. The other possibility is that you’re an abject wanker.
- The only vehicles that have any place on a pavement are children’s bikes and mobility scooters. If you’re riding a bicycle on the pavement and you’re older than twelve you should contemplate the series of unfortunate events that have led you to behave like a water-brained sociopath and might even consider seeking professional help.
- It is good to have a slow friendly bike with paniers and a bell to keep you from taking the business of cycling too seriously. The bell should be loud, clear and desperately cheerful so people are inclined to hop out of your path with a smile and a wave. However, when you are taking the sleek and speedy road bike, fixed gear or single speed (none of which should have a bell) this all changes. As zombie commuters step blindly into your path without warning, a short and sharp – but inoffensive – vocal command should be issued to remind them that not everyone inhabits a vacuously swirling world of Starbucks muffins and smart phones filled to bursting point with anodyne bullshit.
- Hero worship is for spods and nonce-cakes. Fantasizing about licking Bradley Wiggins’ rippling calves is fine if that’s your thing, but don’t confuse those feelings with the joy of riding for the thrill of it.
- It’s not shameful to wait in a queue of traffic if the only other option is ending up as a streak of tarmac jam. If you are unable to anticipate the likely outcome of coasting between busses or carving up criminally negligent nose-pickers in Porsche Cayennes then you should consider cycle training or trading in your bike for a Super-Deluxe Platinum Oyster card.
- Everyone in or on a motorised vehicle is a fuckhead unless proven otherwise. So are most pedestrians and cyclists. However, those who drive, cycle or walk with care, skill and grace should be met with an appreciative smile and a nod. And a reacharound if you have the time.
NB. These rules were written on whiskey, as all rules should be.As written by Lawrence Brown
October 18, 2011 at 8:22am
The unique thing about San Francisco is that every building is never the same right down to the shade of colour, for a reasonably modern city that has been rebuild a handful of time, it’s lovely to see it retain some personality that are impossible to find in cities scattered around the States nowadays.