If there is a form of transport (other than the metronomic rhythm of rail) tailor-made for observation and reflection, then it’s the bicycle. Not every moment is a revelation, but often a brief glance at an unexpected angle reveals hidden patterns in behaviour or a view that you never knew existed. Take the image above. Spotted the bits of flora spouting from handlebars, saddle and top tube? Green travel indeed.

The circular jam

My daughter has done this before. Posing the question; ‘Daddy, do you want to play with the cars?’ she’s lined them up in what appears to be a traffic jam. Equally, it could just be a predilection for tidiness and order (though given the state of her toy bin, I think not). This week the familiar question returned. As usual I agreed. What followed was slightly unexpected, though wholly understandable through a youngster’s eyes:

Evelyn: ‘Shall we make a traffic jam?’

Me: ‘errrr, Ok’.

Evelyn: ‘You can make it go around the corner so that the cars join up’.

She’s quite right of course, and spotted with the perfect clarity of a uncluttered mind. Self defeating motorists who don’t give an inch, get stuck in a mess of their own making.

Little Amsterdam

Canals used to feed the Cardiff bay area. The produce of coal mining and industry floated down on barges and despatched to the four corners of the globe. Speeding around the modern city, it’s easy to forget that little elements of this legacy still exist. I discovered this little bridge near the wharf; an area given a facelift for domestic use. The bike in the bottom right hand corner is my faithful folder, the Birdy. After a weekend of 24hr  racing, the relaxed ride of the folder provided welcome respite from hardtails and race geometry.

The railway bridge

Railway bridges are haunting places. The light filters through chinks in its Victorian armour, providing a hidey hole for squadrons of city dwelling pigeons. Every now and then I cycle beneath this bridge – at Llandaff North – and jump out of my skin as the deafening roar of the train clatters overhead, dragging me back to the here and now. So much for wistful day dreaming.

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