every now and again, for no particularly discernible reason, my eyes wander to the prospect of a new snare drum. this is not because there is anyhting fundamentally wrong with the one i already own, but its maple shell is a mere five inches deep, and i rather favour something that provides an extra one and a half inches of depth. and despite my manifestly stated preference for wood, i currently have my sights set on a brass individual. the real problem here is that, not only is the model in question way better than any percussive ability i might own, but it is several pence dearer than is seemly to spend on such a potentially noisy object.
unsurprisingly, these notions have to be kept under wraps from mrs washingmachinepost, for there is little doubt she would heartily disapprove. i am hardly the world's most over-employed percussionist and in similar manner to that of bicycles, she will fail to comprehend why i should need another one in the first place. all will likely come to nought, but meantime, the sonic properties of this expensive brass need to be examined in greatly procrastinated detail. and that's where youtube comes in. for it is now customary for american stores such as fork's drum closet and memphis drumshop to post videos of the various snares, kits and cymbals they have in their premises that the uninitiated and probably well-heeled can compare and constrast prior to letting loose with the credit card.
unfortunately, i am unaware of any similar service for those keen on joining the pelotonese. for example, it's all very well for me and my peers to exhaustively proclaim the benefits of cycling, but more often than not, without going into greater detail. will the freshly converted wish to ply their trade offroad, by touring, racing, sportives, commuting? and for goodness sake, do they really need anything from eighteen to twenty-eight gears? is pedalling life really that complicated? to understand even why it's necessary to ask such questions in the first place, prospective cyclists are perhaps better resorting to a good book.
something like get on your bike for instance.
compiled and written by rebecca charlton, robert hicks and hannah reynolds, its content is unlikely to be of particular interest to the bulk of you reading this, but it's the very item that would save you hours of explanation to inquisitive acolytes, possibly several times in one year. covering topics such as why cycle in the first place, where to start, what sort of bike might be appropriate, clothing, safety, maintenance and even weight loss (which is why we all ride in the first place, right?). it is copiously illustrated with colour photographs, mostly for inspiration rather than specific to any of the covered topics, but that's not uncommon in this type of book.
i do think opening with three case studies might not have been the best strategy, possibly implying that taking up cycling might have to be based on need rather than desire, but it is neat to find out how cycling has been of personal help to some. i'm also not keen on one of their opening phrases "This sport means different things to everyone...". not everyone views cycling as a sport, so i'd suggest replacing it with 'activity'. at least the section on cycle maintenance doesn't recommend removing the whole tyre from the rim when fixing a puncture as did a recent publication of similar intent.
in direct contradiction to my remark above, peppering the book with case studies and quotes from those who may have recently started cycling, works rther well. firstly, it lets the reader know that cycling is an applicable activity in all walks (sorry) of life, and secondly provides reinforcement to the wealth of information contained within the book's many chapters. the layout also encourages dipping in and out, choosing subjects that seem more important from the reader's own perspective, and not necessarily having to be read from start to finish.
the best features of 'get on your bike' is the enthusiasm that pervades each chapter and the complete lack of a superior attitude from the authors. we've all been there at sometime or other, and what newbie cyclist wants a self-appointed expert exercising their own ego before they've even sat in the saddle? a worthy book that would make anideal gift or purchase for anyone considering cycling as an activity or winning gold medals.
thursday 03 april 2014..........................................................................................................................................................................................................