Cyclejen's Blog


this post is brought to you by Orange

Before I begin this post proper, I must send a big thank you to Al Robertson, who very kindly pointed out that my bike was a death trap. No joke guys, the quick release lever at the front was in the open position. Enough bumps and jumps and the front wheel could have come flying off and me with it. And I know I didn’t sign up to become a stuntman, neither is this about raising money to see how many bones I can break between now and August. I have also booked my bike in for an MOT at the local bike shop, so hopefully I won’t find out there’s anything else amiss, like the back wheel is made out of jelly or someone cut the brakes. You know, minor things like that. So thank you Al, bike-man extraordinaire.

Apart from suicidal dogs, volcanic ash and menacing twigs, potholes and dips, the bike training has been going well. As an aside, how cool is the volcanic ash of DOOM? Being in no way affected by the various plane cancellations I can sit back and marvel at the unfolding events. I wonder what the benefits for the environment are of a blanket flight ban? No jet planes spewing out fuel, no contrails dimming the planet (I saw a Channel 4 documentary on this once so it must be true) – we should just have a volcano exploding all the time! My god, I don’t think we’re thinking big enough – let’s set off the super volcano at Yellowstone and rid the world of global warming once and for all!

All hail the Icelandic volcano, destroyer of planes, saviour of the world. What’s more, several geologists have also promised us some beautiful sunsets as a result. I could do with a decent sunset at the moment, because it doesn’t half make bike rides feel more significant and inspiring. Even without the sunset, cycling along the flat railway track, with views of the city gradually escaping to the austerity of the awakening spring Deeside landscape – all greens, rust and golds – has reminded me of why I used to love cycling. As golden bands of sunlight flicker through the trees in zoetrope fashion, I have marvelled at the sense of peace and beauty that cycling through the country can bring.

That and feeling like I’m stuck in a goddam Orange mobile phone advert.

The fact that the soundtrack to most of my bike rides so far has been Joanna Newsom’s new album has really compounded that recognition. Curse you mobile phone advert, with your “we’re not really a big faceless corporation, we’re your friends” schtick. Look! There’s a girl riding a bike through the country in a white summer dress! What’s this unique individual going to do next? Why, she’s cutting out paper doll chains on the grass and staying in touch with friends with her new Sony Ericsson! Isn’t that just completely charming? Isn’t that! Of course, we’re not going to do anything as crass as mention or show the mobile phone because, hey, that’s just awfully consumerist and we’re you’re friends! We just want you to say in a voice over “I like holding hands, riding my bike and talking with my friends.”

In fact, you’re not even going to know it’s an Orange ad until the Orange logo appears at the end. During the course of the advert you may have also guessed it was advertising your friendly local just-been-bailed-out-by-the-government bank or your happy local chain supermarket. Orange – as individual as you are.

Yeah Orange get on your bike and stop ruining my bike rides with a sense of overfamiliarity. Unless of course you want to give me the latest camera phone so I can take photos of the bike ride. Give me a free one and I might just paint my bike orange. I’m not a consumer statement, I’m me. Ah, but Orange is just an easy target. If O2 or Vodafone can offer a better deal, I’m listening. In return for a free phone, I’ll be a good spokesperson for you. I like listening to Joanna Newsom, riding my bike and staying in touch with my friends. Vodafone/O2 – let’s go further.

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3 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Planes or Volcano: the effects on CO2 in the atmosphere from plane ban/spewy icelandic rock.

Comment by helen

OOh the scary quick release lever. I’m actually too scared to use mine in case I don’t put it back on correctly…

Comment by Woody

I have done that with the lever… I jumped off a kerb and then went arse over tit 😉

Comment by Jodie




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