Archive | April, 2013

Danny Trejo Saved My Life

25 Apr

Danny Trejo saved my life. Not literally; though that would have been one to tell the grand kids. Seems that the pock-marked, big chinned Mexican of Grindhouse fame decided to pay my dreams a visit. Oh and he brought Walter White from Breaking Bad fame.


The “plot” to my dream was Oscar material. Truly. When this news breaks, I’ll have Tarantino himself Tweeting me for a meet to bag the rights. Anyway, the scene was a city; think the steeply stepped hills of San Francisco rolling down to the harbour shore. The moon is out, the stars are sparkling and the street lighting is bathing the streets in soft focus shadows.


As an aside, to those of you not familiar with Breaking Bad, it’s a US made TV drama starring in the lead role actor Bryan Cranston as Walter White. The plot goes something like this: Walter White is a high school chemistry teacher who gets diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. He then gets into the crystal methanol cooking business in order to provide financial security for his family after he’s gone. Cue an unbridled descent into rage as we watch a mild-mannered family man turn into a cold-hearted career drug lord.


Enough background check it out.


So back to my dream plot, and we cut to Walt’s wife, hanging from the tram line via a gaffer tape noose. Seems an unknown terrorist group have kidnapped her, I assume to hold her to ransom. I never did get to know why, Danny wouldn’t spill the beans.

No time to waste! The rescue plan is a cunning mixture of precision strike in and out grab with some old school dare-devil cunning, on our bicycles.






Yes push bikes. You see dreams seem to have this habit; a special way to pluck from the subconscious your current obsessions and thoughts, worries and hopes, and play them across the zoetrope of the mind in dreams. Sometimes these are obvious walks into the dream theatre, the big budget 80’s blockbuster. You want a new car, so your dream is driving that car in an ideal location with the perfect weather. Other times, it’s just you, in a room with harsh lighting and a single table, two chairs and your having to justify your existence to the chilli pepper with the gavel.


The point is our subconscious mind knows better than the waking conscious how to ease the stress of those daily thoughts and wants that get stored into the fast repeat section of our brains for an endless loop; like a Ludovico. This is our Dreamtime.

My current waking obsession is a new push bike; ticket to some fun exercise and escape from the area and time to think. My current method isn’t the best as it’s usually when I’m on my motorbike, and sadly we have one to many 1984 style camera around waiting to slap my absent-minded ass with a speeding ticket. However at the present, the stress this wanting to purchase is putting on my subconscious is clearly a touch excessive.

“Why are you getting stressed?”


You may think that as I’m in a position to treat myself to a new bicycle would only be a cause for excitement and celebration.


But has anyone considered the countless time I’ll lose to indecision? Those conflicting opinions and reviews that we often turn to in order to help make a wise purchase and feel you got your moneys worth. I did mention I had an article to write on indecision, well here it is. It doesn’t help that I have an encyclopaedia of knowledge about the history of all cycling, and countless sites reviewing every possible configuration available, catering to each niche. And lets just ignore the countless shops available to tease. Alas I have access to the Internet. “Sorry to tell you this mind, but the brain just filled for divorce.” “Mental abuse was the cited reason your honour.”


And as all concepts of time ceases whilst my information hungry mind is engulfed in the electric fog, I’m beset with indecision. This can easily be applied to any current wants or obsessions and the result is the same. To my anxious prone mind and me, it would appear that ignorance is indeed bliss. The more knowledge we have armed out memory banks in our hungry brains with, the greater the likelihood we will face indecision. This comes about as we are faced with being conscious of all the merits and foibles of the intended purchase, yet had we ignored our self-abusing loud mouthed conscious minds, instead heeding the call of our snap-judgement primitive sub-conscious and simply gone “oh, so it comes in purple with a white trim? Great, I’ll take it” We would all but guarantee a calm and happy moment once we received it. That would be a bike in my case


Sadly a lifetime of study, information absorption; media bombardment and absence of bottomless wealth, have all precluded me from being able to tune into my primal mind when it comes to a new purchase or obsession. Especially on anything that costs more than chump change.


Think back; when you were a child you would have many wants. And if you wanted something you would ask mommy or daddy to buy it you, with or without a tantrum. And once said want was in your possession, bliss overload. Fast forward to now; you have a job, rent or mortgage, family or spouse, and countless other responsibilities. You want that new possession? Great, just go check the bank. Oh. So I’ve only got a few quid left, that’s ok I can stretch it. As you’re walking to the store till, or more likely in the modern age hovering the mouse cursor over the PayPal icon, and that’s when the cold sweats start.


That point, just as you’re about to be parted with your money and obtain the coveted fools gold, is when the subconscious, anxious voice comes to the fore and begins to chatter. “Do you really want this? Can you afford this? Will this really make you happy?” Indecisive thoughts take hold and before you know it you’ve backed away from the purchase and are left shivering like a caffeine fiend who’s been dried out for a week.


So what was once a happy moment of decisive action is now turned more often than not, into a cluster-fuck of conflicting mind drama. I’m not afraid to admit I’m suffering this very affliction. Right. This. Moment.


I’ll be writing more on the outcome of my bicycle purchase, and in particular any noteworthy adventures I have on the road to improved fitness. Hopefully, when the time comes to purchase, I’ll have gone for the purple with white trims one.


First Meet of the Season

6 Apr

First meet of the season

Sat outside gazing onto a shimmering, rippling sea. It’s glistening back at me like aluminium in the early evening light. It’s a cliché, how a gentle moving sea can evoke a calming sensation, yet as I sit the gentle wind that’s stirring my hair and chilling my hands; calm is how I feel.

This is at jarring odds to the soundtrack from the 80’s disco. Blaring out as I write we have “Bat Out Of Hell”, preceded by “White Wedding”. The sheepskin bomber clad fifty plus dad, sporting Saville-esq glasses is trying his best to promote some entertainment for the early season bikers who’ve begun their soon to be weekly pilgrimage to Knott End’s Wednesday night bike meet.

The season has been a late starter this year. Since November 2012 through to the Easter bank holiday 2013 there has been snow. White frozen rain has besieged this isle like an outbreak of dandruff plagues a Goth. The isle has been covered with it, sometimes blanketing the roads, other times hiding on otherwise innocent looking stretches of tarmac incognito as it’s silent assassin cousin “black ice”. Most bikers during this stint were tucking their pride and joys away, under heated brick supported roofs, waiting to square of their virgin track rubber in the safety of the summer sun on heated, sticky tarmac.

Me? I’ve been out on those harsh roads all throughout this arctic length winter, wresting my numb digits into service whilst suffering the torment the biting tundra winds were subjecting them to, Blue from a misplaced faith I had in a sunny day glimpsed from the safety of my warm house window. Summer gloves had no place worn this early. Rod Stewart and his Lucy in the sky with a girls best friend blasts across the air, over the sea wall and into my ears; God this music gets more dad disco clichéd by each turn of the decks.

I’ve come out tonight to begin my entries into a new notebook I’ve decided to keep about my person, a veritable travelling thought box; seizing momentary thoughts as they occur. The ulterior motive, as I’m oft reminded I have when I set out on these jaunts is to build a collection of musings to publish on this blog.

So tonight’s thoughts; don’t be so quick to judge a book by it’s cover. I pulled up to the meet, a smattering of bikes parked along the run up to the jetty. Including some police bikers. Damn. My heart invariably sinks at the sight of uniformed authoritarian figures, those public instigators of government laws, pigs to the everyman. However I thought to use this opportunity to strike up conversation with one of them. He was a stereotype of his breed, tall with a stern visage. This was, however, metered out with a peppery shot beard and upon meeting his gaze, youth.

I wanted to find out if my knowledge on bike parking laws was accurate, and if those bastards at the local city hall had a rasher of bacon to prop up on. I discovered, much to my chagrin, that Lancaster Council, a green party fanatical with as much in common with fascism as the BNP, had decided motorbikes could no longer park in the areas with push-bike stands, which we’ve all used for years, and never to any complaints. Now we’re being made to share the parking spaces of the four-wheeled cage plague blighting good ole’ Blighty.

According to my level-headed new-found friend, the law was, and still is, a motorbike can park anywhere so long as no obstruction is caused. He used the analogy of, on a pavement, enough space for a two-berth child’s buggy to pass unhindered. On the road it’s a fire truck. My friend in hi-viz yellow then went on to say I should check out a website called pepipoo, a place, in his words, where all the Bobbies and barristers hang out and will help you to argue that parking ticket miss-issued to you. He carried on to mention how not all the police have a ‘them and us’ attitude, and proceeded to lament the way the force was reducing the number of bike police, as two of his colleagues had been laid off that morning. His opinion was the forces were going to be centralised in the next city over; some 25 miles away.

I had to feel a certain barrier had been broken down during this chat; he was slowly dissolving the façade of authority. He was a biker first, like the rest of us, policeman second.

Funny, I’d come to the seafront meet tonight with intentions of writing an entry on indecision. Oh I often find myself suffering indecisiveness; presently it’s over a new push-bike. But, alas, that’s for another time. My fingers are suffering the telling numbness and indigo colour that says I need warmth. No indecision tonight, just a surprise encounter with an open-book officer.

One last tip; don’t believe the sun.