|Glasgow's Squinty Bridge at New Year?|
It's that time of year again when, due to a totally artificial division in our calender we are forced to look back at the 365 or so days that have just passed. And what a 365 days they have been!
Of course this is a personal blog. It is not a blog about world events, so there is no point in me recounting them here. Others are much better at that, and have much better insight into the ramifications of the Arab spring, and Prince Phillips heart condition. So I'll keep it personal. What has 2011 been like for me?
It all started off well. I had a wonderful opportunity to visit Boston in the US and to take pictures of pretty bikes stuck in the snow (that's not what I was there for!). The weather did reduce the amount of time I could spend on the bike though which was annoying. However, I made it onto TV (ok my video did) and onto radio!
Early 2011 was also the time when I really started writing my blog more regularly. I realised that I enjoyed writing, despite being very bad at it. In fact I even dabbled in writing some 'bike comedy' (here and here), although I quickly realised that I was better to stick to my day job!! I was more successful when writing about the abuse I was receiving and the abusers. I really shouldn't have made it to the end of 2011 alive!!
I thought a lot about cycle lanes, and decided that they were indeed very badly designed and often downright dangerous. However, as the year went on I began to realise that I wasn't 100% against cycle lanes or cycle specific infrastructure. In fact, I came across a realisation that not everyone could, would, or should be a vehicular cyclist such as myself. Perhaps there was another way...
In the middle of the year I had lots of grand ideas. Most of which I didn't have any time to follow up unfortunately. Events, not totally in my control took over my time. In fact during the summer things took a nasty turn and made life very uncomfortable for me for a while. I'm not going to go into detail here, but suffice it to say a driver who didn't like the fact that I caught him on camera decided to try to make my life very difficult.Of course you can't keep a good Magnatom down, and I've managed to turn negativity into positivity. Out of it all came the idea for a book. Yes, I started writing a book. So if you are interested to find out more about who I am, what I do, why I do it, and some of the crazy stuff that has happened as a result; stay tuned to these pages for more details!
Things did turn more positive again with a great meeting with First Buses, for it only to go a bit pear shaped again with my run in with the law. I really have lost a lot of faith in the police as a result. However, in good Magnatom style there is a ray of hope, and I hope to have some more details of some positive developments in the new year.
There was of course the very successfully Cycle video Day. Which resulted in video submissions from all over the world. Brilliant. Of course, time towards the end of the year (I also have three young kids as well!) was becoming tight, so I didn't manage to follow this up the way I had intended. Me bad. Must do better.
Mind you, I did become a millionaire! Ok, not in money terms, but in YouTube viewing terms. Great, except for the fact that most of the views were probably from people wanting to see me knocked off my bike. Oh well, a view is a view!
Towards the end of the year, life as Magnatom seemed to get a little quieter with nicer commutes and fewer incidents (and less threat of arrest etc!). I recorded one particularly glorious commute. This was probably my favourite video of the year, closely followed by this beauty!
Don't be fooled by the quiet end to the year, though. As I have hinted before, there are already plans afoot for 2012. Possible progress with the police, a planned project with a campaigning group and.......something else I can't quite tell you about yet. Sorry! Mind you it should be worth the wait if it all comes off.
There is one thing that is as certain as death and taxes: there will be more videos! Who knows I may even try something a little different in 2012.
Happy New Year when it comes and safe driving/cycling!