the washingmachinepost started under a different guise many many years ago (don't think that the back catalogue on the web is all that existed) in order to encourage folks on islay to get out their armchairs and onto their bikes. much like many places these days, certain folks had a tendency to drive evreywhere in their cars, even if only a very short distance.
the ileach office used to be in high street, bowmore just over ten years ago and one of its previous employess stayed across the road from me and spent fifteen minutes one frosty morning defrosting the car to drive to the office which could be reached in five minutes by walking.
i'm sure that it happens all over the place but, having moved here from the mainland over sixteen years ago i couldn't believe just how reliant everyone seemed to be on their motor cars.
when i went to school many, many, many years ago in prestwick, ayrshire, the school wall, which was several hundred yards long, was completely covered with bikes, many of which were double parked. islay high school, with a perimeter wall about half the size of my school of many years ago, didn't have a single bike. and, in fact, it still doesn't have a single bike against the wall.
granted, some of the kids live about 17 miles away from the school, but a lot of them live in bowmore, or just outside bowmore, but they still are driven to school, or join the school bus service. you can see then that the washingmachinepost failed miserably in its efforts to encourage the populace of islay to acquire bicycles in huge numbers. granted, there have been periods when a goodly number of cyclists have existed on the isle and we've all gone a pedalling around the estates, but those days are long gone and now there's only the ds and myself, though the new sergeant is a promising recruit with a new look carbon fibre road bike - though he hasn't completed his flitting yet.
this apathy toward cycling stretches further than just islay. i read somewhere or other just recently - on cyclingnews.com - that david millar and graeme obree had given a big push and support to cyclingscotland, or some such promotion designed to get all the folks mentioned above out of their armchairs and on to their co-op fifty pound bicycles. strangely enough (or not as the case may be) this seems to have been released to an australian website and in the ileach, where we regularly receive press releases from from the ctc, there was not a fax or an e-mail to be seen regarding this particular launch.
if we're really, really keen on promoting cycling in scotland, england, ireland or wales, why do we keep it such a secret? every week in the comic i read articles regarding new cycling promotions and funding provided to enhance same. but since the comic is hardly the publication that is purchased by cycling agnostics, what the heck is the point of keeping us so well informed and not the civilian population?
lots of folks round here won't come out cycling with the ds and myself because we wear lycra clothing and pedal faster than they'd like, but that shouldn't stop them going out. talking of which, nine of the ladies who work in the local branch of the royal bank are cycling the route of the mobile bank this weekend. this means starting from craighouse in jura, and cycling the eight miles to the jura ferry on the sound of islay. after crossing on the ferry, they cycle to caol ila (yes, up the 14% climb out of port askaig - well, some indicated they may walk), before pedalling southward to bridgend. that's likely to do them for saturday, but on sunday the plan is to cycle from bridgend to portnahaven and back to bowmore. and all this to raise money for the islay and jura sick children's fund. should think that there will be few tellers unable to seat themselves on monday.
this website got its name because scotland's graeme obree built his championship winning 'old faithful' using bits from a defunct washing machine.
on a slightly different note, my regular reader will have noted the addition of a 'colnago c40' rollover to the left. this contains a reprint of a recent article featured in cycle sport magazine, which they were very kind to let me present here (because i'm a colnago geek) i have also found an excellent review of the colnago c40hp here
i have been asked to add the following link to the post by wheelygoodcause. they're a cycling club dedicated to arranging epic rides for charity and do not charge charities for the pleasure. They ride because they want to. here's the link.
Remember, you can still read the review of 'the dancing chain' the utterly excellent book on the history of the derailleur bicycle by clicking here
any of the books reviewed on the washing machine post can probably be purchased from amazon.co.uk or amazon.com
as always, if you have any comments on this nonsense, please feel free to e-mail and thanks for reading.
this column almost never appears in the dead tree version of the ileach but appears, regular as clockwork on this website every two weeks. (ok so i lied) sometimes there are bits added in between times, but it all adds to the excitement.
on a completely unrelated topic, ie nothing to do with bicycles, every aspect of the washing machine post was created on apple macintosh powerbook g4, and imac computers, using adobe golive cs and adobe photoshop cs. needless to say it is also best viewed on an apple macintosh computer.