Two wheels good

a cyclist. a driver. a tube rider and a pedestrian.

to beat the Glasgow rush hour. read on Words: Jane Hamilton

Our A to Z of buying a bike tells you everything you need to know to get you free-wheeling.

Words: Tim Dawson and Richard Moore

14 THE “ST 8—22 June 2000

THE SKY TURNED BLACK, THE clouds crashed and the rain beat down. The dark Italian driver made a sideways glance at the rugged cyclist. Both stared at the mysterious couple walking quickly away.

No, it's not the first posthumous work of Dame Barbara, but the start of The List’s race through rush-hour Glasgow.

The starting gun was fired in George Square at 5.05pm just as the rain came down. Allen, our cyclist. was first out of George Square but soon got caught at St Vincent Street where the traffic was packed so tight he couldn’t dodge between it. He then had a straight run up to Charing Cross where the traffic slowed down. In true cyclist fashion, he wove his way through and carried on down the home straight towards the Hogshead pub in Woodlands Road.

By the time Allen had reached Charing Cross. Serge was still waiting for the lights in George Square in The List’s Renault Clio. Taking ten minutes to reach Renfield Street, it was time to take drastic action. He jumped a light and sneaked a back route through Park Circus to park outside the pub.

James, our pedestrian, plodded through the rain. blocked from crossing the road by nose-to-tail cars, hassled to spare some change for a cup of tea and asked to sign on the line for Greenpeace.

Meanwhile Jane had walked to Buchanan Street and caught the tube to Kelvinbridge. It was standing room only with noses in your neighbour’s armpits. She pushed her way off and had a quick hike to the Hogshead to see if she’d won.

She hadn't. Allen had already chained his bike to the railings and. after a mere fifteen minutes on the road, had bought a pint and a packet of crisps. Admittedly, he was shattered, soaking wet (especially his burn) and had had fag ash flicked on him by a generous driver.

The underground brought lane in at second place on nineteen minutes, just enough time to realise her jacket was not waterproof. She’d bought a drink and started on the crisps before Serge showed up after a 24-minute journey. He'd escaped speeding fines, stayed dry, but been whipped into a state of road rage by the traffic jams and those bloody cyclists cutting him up.

Everyone had enjoyed their drinks by the time James arrived after a 37-minute hike. He arrived exhausted and soaking (it was so wet he couldn't even keep his fag lit) and ready for a pint.

Alun Woodward, guitarist/vocalist with The Delgados

What is your bike? 531 Competition Frame, it's the old Shimano 600 group set, probably the best make of its time.


On or off-road? Definitely on. I was always inspired by road racing, it w as one of the most romantic images I had as a child. There's been such an anti-bike feeling in Britain, but I was once working in a small French Village where there were ab0ut

Man versus machine from George Square to The Hog's Head

twenty houses. Yet, they had a competitive cycling team. When the whole off-road Cycling thing came along and cyclocross started, it was just too much like cross c0untry running; that didn’t appeal to me at all. I’ve probably only been on a mountain bike a couple of times; the first time I didn’t know how to work it at all and immediately just fell Off. I think I’m Just too skinny for those big wheels.


Favourite route?

I live in the Southside of Glasgow, so up through Rutherglen, Cambuslang, Hamilton, down the Clyde Valley, turn right up Tillietoodlum, then head towards Lanark, and up the Cosy Glen. Then it’s down thrOugh Carluke, Motherwell, Hamilton and back through Cambuslang.

apparent reason they tend to he more expensive

A! rse You'll have a

sore one it you don’t get a good saddle and pair of shorts. It's worth paying extra money for these. and definitely avoid the wide saddles you get on exercise hikes. Specialised women's shorts are very popular now. though for

than other shorts. One thing to hear in mind is that any saddle will feel sore at first. htit persist and your body. even the most Vulnerable areas. will toughen up. lindura (‘oolmax Shorts £29.99 tl)ales Cycles. 150 Dohhies Loan. (ilasgow) are a good choice.

Turn your

run-around into

an estate with the

addition of some luggage. Attached to a proper rack. you will be surprised how little you notice even the heaviest bags. Fit a saddle bag and you will wonder how you ever lived without one. Try these for size; (‘arradice (‘ollege Saddle Bag £27.95: Altura ()rkney 34 Universal Panniers £59.99 (Dales Cycles. 15()I)obbies Loan. Glasgow)