Proper Followers

Tuesday, January 23, 2007


I was watching City on the box the other night. It was the Match of The Day programme on BBC. I waited up to watch the highlights of the game, hoping that no-one would tell me the score. They do this really sad thing on the BBC, they put the news on just before the football and they give the scores at the end of the news. How mad is that? It means that anybody wanting to catch their game has their evening spoilt by hearing the result before they view the action. Anyway, well wised up to the antics of British Broadcasting I managed to sit through the entire show, till the City match came on right at the end. Was it worth waiting for? Not really, it was embarrassing if anything, not just the scoreline, which I won't repeat. But all the empty seats in the stadium. Why don't they reduce the admission prices so the missing generation can return to the game? Better still, why not let us old boys in for free?
I have not been as active as I would like lately, canal walking being one of the things to suffer. However, I have been managing to get out on my bike a few times this past week and one little outing took in a short stretch of canal. I turned off Whitworth street near the Ritz in Manchester onto the towpath of the Rochdale canal. I headed towards Castlefield past the new Hacienda building (which has some of the historical events of the old Hacienda written on its walls) under the road bridge and into the path of a dozen dog walkers. I skirted around the yapping hounds and continued past Deansgate Locks and The Comedy Store, I cycled through the Gaythorn Tunnel and on to Lock 92. I turned right on the cobbles then left over the Bridgewater Canal footbridge and out into the gated community of restored mill buildings and no parking signs.
What a great thing this cycling is, not only does it help with fitness, it is also a great means of getting around. Of course cycle shops know this and charge you an arm and a leg for any spares or repairs you might need. Although there are a number of little bike shops around there are not as many as there used to be. I can think of three that have closed recently, one in Didsbury, one in Sale and one on Princess Road in Moss Side. On the plus side, there is a belting little second hand Proper Joe's place in Sale Moor at the Legh Arms end of Conway Road. The only trouble is he's only open on saturday mornings. I have also heard rumours that a new cycle superstore is to open on Wilmslow road near The Curry Mile in a new building on the site of the old Jaguar garage opposite Whitworth Park.
One of the nasty things about cycling is the lack of places to tie your bike to outside shops. In the old days shopkeepers used to have a cycle rack outside their shops and you could park up and lock your bike to it. Some places still have them of course, mainly cycle shops, but surprisingly some supermarkets although I was told by the greeter at my local Asda, that they didn't encourage cyclists for reasons best left alone on this blog. Anyway, there's a dead good shop on Great Western Street, Moss Side called Henson's Hardware, they sell all sorts of ironmongery and diy things and the odd tyre, innertube, brake cable and puncture repair outfit. I go there all the time for any bits and pieces I need. It is also known as The Mop Shop as it does a nice line in mops and buckets. How much better it would be though if they had a cycle rack outside with a sign that read: Cyclists Welcome, Punctures repaired!
You can check out my really bad poetry blog StraightTalkingStreetTalkingSweet it has a poem called Salford Madness which deals with the cycle parking theme, sort of!

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