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"What a lovely bicycle!"

Jan. 1st, 2015 | 0000

property of Just.Sooz

Partially Friends Only.

This journal is half and half, add for the part you can't see or follow on FursFlowersAndLace.



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Feels Like It

Jun. 22nd, 2012 | 2105
mood: amusedamused

“I actually own a bicycle, have done for years. I can't ride it safely anywhere around here... and I worked out that not being able to tell where sound is coming from just makes it even more unlikely I could bear taking it on the roads in this crazy place (again). It's highly annoying. If I want to go on a safe bike ride, I'd need to take trains/buses and hire a bike. But then I come against the 'lol that bloke is doing stuff all by himself' thing. I might actually LIKE doing stuff by myself, but apparently it's a deviant crime in this society - or feels like it.”

- cpn_jacksparrow

I love to go to the cinema and theatre on my own, but once I had dinner alone and the couple on the table next to mine kept looking over their shoulders at me with distinct expressions of sympathy. Spoilt my dinner!

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Mum's the Word

Jun. 19th, 2012 | 2041
mood: pleasedpleased

property of Just.SoozAs I cycled down Old Kent Road today I met Laura while she pushed her bike along and juggled two energetic boys. It was the first time that I have approached somebody on the street, but the sight of this lovely Vintage Dutch-style bicycle with its addition of a rear child seat was enough to make me hop off my bike and trot back up the road to say hello.

Today has been a beautiful sunny day, so Laura's scoring 10/10 for her cyclewear choices. Her practical harems in a floral print, light cardigan and pashmina mean that she is prepared for both the warm daytime and cooler temperatures as evening draws in.
In addition to its handy child-seat this bike has a beautiful rectangular wicker basket, a refreshing change from the usual deep d-baskets found on dutch-style bikes.

Thanks for stopping to say hi Laura, it was lovely to meet you. xxsooz

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Jun. 17th, 2012 | 2047
mood: blankblank

Emmelle sounds like a chic French girl, and on a sunny day like today this frosted pink shopper bike is perfect for local jaunts... with its rear basket and vintage white saddle who can't help but smile?

property of Just.Sooz

property of Just.Sooz
Spotted at Elephant and Castle, SE1.


UPDATE:

Hi there,

I’m the owner of the pink shopper bike; “Emelle”.

Surprisingly enough, I have never been a particular fan of cycling. I come from Yorkshire which is ever so slightly hilly and as much as I loved the downhill rolling, I never had much enthusiasm for uphill cycling… However, I couldn’t help myself when I found this two-wheeled beauty in a Brick Lane warehouse for only £30. There was a strong possibility, as with most of my spur of the moment purchases, that it would become a permanent fixture in my flat. I took it out for a spin on a sunny day though and realised I actually quite enjoyed cycling! It’s nice to get out of the dismal underground and see some real sunlight.

I usually wear a pair of patterned leggings and a jumper. I have a striking high-vis jacket for evenings and have recently acquired multi-coloured ‘spoke beads’ and a shiny new bell. If it didn’t already look like I had stolen a children’s bike, it definitely will now.

On the day you spotted my bike I was planning on cycling to Oxford Circus and doing a bit of window shopping. I haven’t quite got the hang of navigation skills yet though and I managed to end up at Elephant and Castle instead (I’ve no idea how; crossing the river South-bound really should have been a giveaway). I’m sad to say that I gave up at this point and took the tube to Oxford Circus. I was very disappointed in myself and could not enjoy window shopping at all, especially shopping without a shopper bike. But coming back to find a friendly card on my basket made my detour a bit more worthwhile.

I usually only use my bike to cycle to nearby shops and cafes but my goal is to cycle to and from my university by the end of this year. That’s 32.6 miles all together. That may not sound too horrendous but with my navigation skills it could turn out to be a much longer trip.

Lovely blog, thanks for the card!
Isabelle


Hi Isabelle, I'm glad you eventually made it to Oxford Street - at least it wasn't raining that day and it meant that I got to spot your bike! Wowee 32.6 miles sounds like a long trip to make every day, but that'll definitely be a good way to keep fit and cycling is a great opportunity for some Me Time too. We're lucky in London because it isn't too hilly so you can concentreate on staying safe and enjoying the ride rather than panting your way up a mountainside on the way to work! xxsooz

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I heart my... Chic Parisien

Jun. 11th, 2012 | 1553
mood: creativecreative

If you're on the lookout for an unique gift idea for a bicycle or an art enthusiast, a great place to start would be Etsy seller Fifi Flowers' shop. Here you will find beautiful art prints and notecards featuring original art with a Parisian flavour, shipped straight to your door from Los Angeles.


Image copyright Fifi Flowers Image copyright Fifi Flowers
"Springtime Shopper in Paris" and "Provence Bicycles", prinst available here, £16.61.


It's tough to choose between the designs, but thankfully she has put together notecard packs with 10 different cards meaning that you can get hold of miniature versions to frame or to post to each of your friends! Bicycle collection one / Bicycle collection two.



Visit Fifi's website, http://AtelierdeFifi.com to find out more or to commission a custom painting.

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Top Chop

Jun. 10th, 2012 | 1154
mood: accomplishedaccomplished

Two years ago I spotted this fabulously retro Raleigh Chopper in South East London, and if you aspired to have one of your very own, you can now bid for it on Going Going Bike here. Bidding starts at a mere £50 and ends on Thursday, but you can do Buy-it-Now for £200, tempting!


property of Just.Sooz
As seen in our "Spotted!" listings 2010.

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A rose by any other name

Jun. 10th, 2012 | 1016
mood: artisticartistic

property of Just.Sooz

property of Just.Sooz

spotted Lamb Street, E1.

UPDATE:

Hi there,

You just featured my bike on your blog – A rose by any other name. Thank you, I love what you do!

My bike was bought from an East End retailer, not too expensive after the heartbreak of having a previous bike stolen, and I really wanted a ladies bike, something so classical about it and so many more fashion options :)

I’m originally from Oz and really got into bikes in Melbourne. They have a great community based around the BUG groups and Critical Mass.

We’ve converted a number of people riding around the east end and the city. Recently my sister was in town and we got her so excited about bikes she went back to Melbourne and bought a shiny red ladies bike and is now a complete convert!

My basket is a christmas present from my boyfriend a couple of years back and we found some of the flowers in Christiania in Copenhagen – the amazing anarchist state!
This spring we added more flowers and I just love my basket and my flowers.

My boyfriend and I love bike riding around London, especially on the weekends as the east end and the city are so quiet and you feel like everything is there, just for you! We also try to ride bikes whenever & wherever we travel and love riding in country lanes in the UK summer :)

Wish me luck, I’m going to attempt the London to Brighton bike ride next weekend!

Thanks again,
Jessie

Thank you Jessie, it's great to hear from other keen cyclists - especially ones that have been converting the masses to join our clan! East London is a buzzing cycle community, with everything from rusty old cargo bikes to sleek road bikes with polished frames. Each bike uniquely reflects their owners like the opening scene of Disney's 101 Dalmatians! The lucious blooms on your basket caught my eye from a distance and I just had to skip down the street for a closer look. Good luck with your jaunt to Brighton - there'll be some fabulous seaside vintage shops to look forward to at the end of a long ride. xxsooz

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The Lord doesn't work that way

Jun. 5th, 2012 | 2203
mood: awakeawake

“When I was a kid I used to pray every night for a new bicycle. Then I realised that the Lord doesn't work that way so I stole one and asked Him to forgive me.”

- Emo Philips

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Diamond Jubilee

Jun. 5th, 2012 | 2135
mood: amusedamused

What have you been up to this Bank Holiday?


property of Just.Sooz  property of Just.Sooz
property of Just.Sooz
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Something for the JUBILEE weekend...

Jun. 3rd, 2012 | 1851
mood: nostalgicnostalgic



Happy Diamond Jubilee! It's raining cats and dogs in the city at the moment, but I hope you're still enjoying the long weekend: after all, there's plenty to do and who needs an excuse to party? Visit direct.gov for the full list of this weekend's celebrations.
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WC2N: free art

May. 20th, 2012 | 1518
mood: creativecreative

property of Just.Sooz The rain seems to have stopped for the time being, so if you're in London, hop on your bike and head down to Trafalgar Square to take in some free art exhibits.
Aside from the obvious National Gallery and National Portrait Gallery, there are plenty of things to immerse yourself in.

Saint Martin in the Fields is currently hosting "Odyssey" an installation by Robert Koenig which tracks his mother's journey from Poland to the UK, constantly growing as the family of giant sculptures visits a new location. The 40 icons stand guard around the Saint Martin's church grounds until the 20th July, find out more here or visit the artist's website.

A few years ago Saint Martin in the Fields also unveiled the new East window designed by Pip Horne and Turner Prize nominee Shirazeh Houshiary. I've always thought of this abstract design as 'The Stargate': it's an architectural move that  was always bound to make an impact.


property of Just.SoozJust across the road is Trafalgar Square's most recent Fourth Plinth commission by Elmgreen & Dragset entitled ‘Powerless Structures Fig. 101’. The statue raises its eyebrows at the traditional figures cast in bronze and plaanted on the corners of grand squares; instead of a lord and steed this is just a child on a flat-pack rocking horse.
The statue isn't dramatic or particularly moving, but then if it were, would it undermine the message of the piece? The following is an excerpt from The Guardian:

'The boy on the horse, as the artists see it, is a depiction of what we should really celebrate: banal, everyday life, the heroism of the unexceptional, the powerless. "The word hero is also a problematic term," Elmgreen says, "because it is about being outstanding. But what about being a hero because you managed to grow up at all, despite all the obstacles? It is heroic to become a relatively civilised human being, despite everything."'
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I heart my... Beamish Museum.

May. 7th, 2012 | 1012
mood: artisticartistic


property of Just.Sooz
"Where are you going to my pretty maid?"
"I'm going a'cycling, sir" she said
"May I come with you my pretty maid?"
"Yes if you can keep up with me sir", she said.



Thank you to Ingrid, author of Postmodern Pain for sending me this picture of a poster from the Beamish Museum in County Durham. The museum tracks the industrial developments of the nineteenth century, this poster is for Beamish Motor and Cycle Works (pictured left by Rob Langham @flickr)

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Blue skies

May. 6th, 2012 | 2339
mood: artisticartistic

April showers have turned into a chilly May, and I'd be lying if I said that I cycled my way through last month's torrential rains. When the heavens open a bus is dryer and much more comfortable, but if you're braving the elements, make sure you stay safe by keeping an eye on your bike maintenance, especially the brakes - remember that wet brakes are less responsive!

For tips on how to stay dry, here's my How To guide.
And if you want to keep your head in clear skies, check out these beautiful bespoke helmets by New York designer Belle Helmets.


Sky helmet, @Etsy or @bellehelmets.com. £95.35 or as agreed with seller.

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Addison Lee

Apr. 27th, 2012 | 2206
mood: aggravatedaggravated

I'm sure you are aware of the recent uproar caused by Addison Lee boss John Griffin when he declared that his drivers should break the law by driving in London's bus lanes (see video here), promising to reimburse any fines that they might incur for doing so, whilst encouraging an attitude of SMIDSY ("sorry mate, I didn't see you") as being something that cyclists just have to get used to. Dead cyclists should really have been more aware of the mobile mettal weapons as they get mowed down.

The courts are currently in the process of blocking AdLee cabs from entering bus lanes, but do your part by raising awareness amongst your friends: this article from The Evening Standard might help towards making your blood boil.


If you haven't read the inflammatory article from Addison Lee's 'Chairman's Column' of their free Spring 2012 Add Lib magazine, see what you make of this:

"Green party candidates and others are up in arms about what they see as the murder of Cyclists on London Roads. There has, as we all know, been a tremendous upsurge in cycling and cycling shops.
This summer the roads will be thick with bicycles, These cyclists are throwing themselves onto some of the most congested spaces in the world. They leap onto a vehicle which offers them no protection except a padded plastic hat.
Should a motorist fail to observe a granny wobbling to avoid a pothole or a rain drain, then he is guilty of failing to anticipate that this was somebody on her maiden voyage into the abyss. The fact is he just didn't see her and however cautious, caring or alert he is, the influx of beginner cyclists is going to lead to an overall increase in accidents involving cyclists.
The rest of us occupying this roadspace have had to undego extensive training. We are sitting inside a protected space with impact bars and air bags and paying extortionate amounts of taxes on our vehicle purchase, parking, servicing, insurance and road tax. It is time for us to say to cyclists 'You want to join our gang, get trained and pay up'.

John Griffin Chairman"


If you want to make a stand, you can sign a petition to have Addison Lee's license revoked: http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/33116

Now, as a passenger, I cannot deny that AddLee provide a great service, but as a cyclist I have been in many situations where Addison Lee cabs have overtaken only to quickly turn left into me, overtaken without giving sufficient space to ensure my safety, turned left without indicating thus not giving me time to manouevre and all those inconsiderate faults that make cycling dangerous in cities.
The danger is not because I am 'throwing myself onto one of the most congested spaces in the world', it's because these drivers aren't just being permitted to disregard vulnerable cyclists, they are being encouraged to do so through the ignorant spiels of those who are too comfortable armoured within their vehicles where even if they do happen to get a little blood under their wheels it will only take a drive through the car wash to cleanse their consciences.

Signing the petition isn't really about killing off Addison Lee, it's about killing off the disgusting attitude that makes people think that if cyclists die then maybe they should have been more careful.

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Relativity

Apr. 24th, 2012 | 0025
mood: workingworking

"Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving”

Albert Einstein

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