Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Electric bikes – do they qualify as enigmas?

Another item I almost missed last week, the arrival of electric bikes for hire.

This is just a bit of thought, as opposed to being negative (or positive) about them, but I do find them to be something of an enigma.

Probably the first (and this IS a negative) is their crazy price, significantly more than a non-electric, and has to be heavier (carrying batteries, motor, and control gear).

The electric part is limited to 15 mph, so if you’re in a hurry, you’re still going to be the power source, AND be heavier.

But they are clever now, and don’t work like electric motorbikes, so they assist, on demand, rather than removing the need to pedal.

Looking at the reviews dropped into the media, I just feel myself asking ‘Why?’.

I cycle mainly for the exercise, but have now started to travel by bike (as long as it’s dry) thanks to the growing network of routes around and through Glasgow.

I’m no kid, but can travel at 20 mph, and cover around 30 miles (my round trip to anywhere interesting) with no after effects.

That makes me wonder why (other than the technical side of modern electrics) I’d even be interested in an electric bike, as the cheapest decent one seems to be about the five times the price of my current rides, and if I press my nose against the windows of any of the cycle shops in Glasgow, I can change that five to a ten.

Think about that – I could buy nearly TEN bikes for the cost of one electric. And my bike is NOT a £99 Internet special, but an alloy framed MTB with road bike gear.

As I said from the start, I’m not pro or anti electrics, but I do find them to be something of an enigma.

See more thoughts here, based on hiring rather than buying, The capital cost is so high, it may be a better way to go:

Scotland’s largest electric bike hire scheme launched

Test ride: Glasgow’s first electric hire bike unveiled

Nextbike e-bike

Nextbike e-bike


Coincidentally, I’ve now seen quite a few electrics on my travels, and was surprised to see one just sitting on its stand when I passed through Pacific Quay recently.

I recognised the model (it has no security features), and was impressed by the owner’s faith in others as it wasn’t secured to anything, and he was on the other side of the fence along the river. Even without the electrics powered, the bike can still be ridden, and could have been heading off into the distance by the time he dropped his rod and climbed over the fence, then started running after it.

Quite unlike this one I saw recently, which DOES have inbuilt security, and could only be nicked by picking it up and running off with it – not a good idea if the owner is a few metres away, as they’re not cheap (think around three grand – they really are premium priced).

Do note, however, it’s just sitting there, not locked to anything. The owner’s in the shop, and can’t even see it.

A few seconds could see it in the back of a van, and they wouldn’t know until they came out and said “SH..

VanMoof electric bike

VanMoof electric bike


I had to add this news item on to this post, after appeared the day after it posted.

I actually know this shop, although I haven’t been in it – a look at the prices was enough to make me jump back on my own pedal bike and speed of back along Dumbarton Road to Kelvingrove!

Not sure of the story title here. It may be the only DEDICATED electric bike shop in Glasgow, but there are plenty of other bike shops selling electric bikes, so it could be a little misleading to those new to the subject.

But, this is a feature advert for the place.

And it is interesting to note that business must be going well to justify the expansion.

As I’ve said before, the whining activists and campaigners are not really helping promote cycling with all their endless moaning and complaining.

They certainly put me off riding in and around Glasgow’s roads, including the city centre.

I don’t even bother looking at any of their info now, as it’s all so negative and depressing.

So forget them, and get onto more positive stuff:

The only electric bike shop in the west of Scotland is expanding this week, after completing work on a new extension.

Love E-Bikes, which is located in Partick in the west end of Glasgow, first opened in 2018 and is now able to expand its premises.

In respect of the expansion of the premises and the increased demand for their unique product, Scott Davidson of Love E-Bikes told Glasgow Live: “We have doubled the size of the shop to include a new showroom and an open plan workshop. With the bigger shop we have doubled our stock to around 70 bikes, the biggest electric bike stockist in Scotland.

“We have also increased our number of brands to eight meaning we have the biggest and we think the best selection of ebikes under one roof in the country – all hand picked by ourselves too offer the best value for money as well as something a bit special.”

Glasgow’s only electric bike shop expands as demand for two wheels grows in city

08/07/2019 Posted by | Blogroll, Transport | , | Leave a comment

Today is Lemon Cupcake Day

15 December is Lemon Cupcake Day.

Since I’ve had occasion (on ‘Days’) to mention how I was a latecomer to the flavour lemon, it follows that I was a latecomer to the pleasure of lemon cupcakes.

I have to make up for lost time, so no more time-wasting – let’s just get some of these, and start eating!

Lemon Cupcake

Lemon Cupcake

15/12/2018 Posted by | Blogroll | | Leave a comment

Today is International Shareware Day

08 December 2018 is International Shareware Day.

Sorry, but it’s also another of the crazy wandering days, set to fall on the second Saturday of December, so in 2019 it will fall on… 08 December! Yes, same date, but that’s just a coincidence. I think it will be 12 December in 2020.

It seems the first piece of software called ‘freeware’ was PC-Talk, a telecommunications program created by Andrew Fleugelman in 1982, who called the undertaking “an experiment in economics more than altruism”. The term ‘shareware’ was first used with the program PC-Write (a word processing tool), created and released by Bob Wallace in early 1983.

I have to confess to being eternally grateful for this sort of software, or I’d never have been able to get many things done.

While this type of software is low (or zero) cost, yet is often very good, the same cannot always be said for commercial software costing thousands.

I think part of the problem with that stuff is ‘feature creep’, where more and more functionality is piled into it, to justify its sometimes insane cost. It would probably work a lot better, and be a lot more reliable if it concentrated on what it supposed to do, rather than be a means to crank the price tag up and up.

Sadly, even shareware gets complicated.



08/12/2018 Posted by | Blogroll | | Leave a comment

Today is Yarn Bombing Day

11 June is Yarn Bombing Day.

Yarn Bombing Day is when fibre-freaks from around the world go on a knitting rampage to embrace the world in warm fuzzy comfort.

Ironically, Yarn Bombing Day began life as a simple gimmick at a sewing boutique. As part of their style and personality they knitted a sleeve for their door handle, and from there it spread like wildfire.

It spread to telephone poles, became socks on statues and bike racks, and even trees got warm sleeves to see them through the cold of winter.

It’s all done in the spirit of beautification and fun, and can bring a fantastically colourful display to urban areas around the world. It’s not seen as graffiti (and why would it, since it does not do any damage, or cause offence) by most people in a ‘bombed’ area, but rather as an acceptable and attractive form of urban art.

I don’t know when it appeared, but this has been in Glasgow’s London Road for some time, and who knows how long it will last.

London Road Yarn Bombed Poles

London Road Yarn Bombed Poles

11/06/2018 Posted by | Blogroll | | Leave a comment

We’ve gained a friend for 2018 – The Daily Buckfast!

One of friends has been bubbling away on the back-burner for a while, but never had any reason to pull himself together and try to maintain the discipline of a daily post, despite having enough material.

The Daily Buckfast will hopefully be able to maintain an average of a post per day (maybe having to play catch-up if the ‘soup’ has been flowing a little to freely on some days) over the course of the year.

No idea if it will be witty or imaginative, or just dump pics, since it’s mainly meant to be a photo blog (and words can be too hard), but their might be days when extra effort is made to be coherent.

The Abbot’s been posting odd stuff from the media, and the old posts are worth a look, but the idea is to have fun with local finds.

The Daily Buckfast

The Daily Buckfast


03/01/2018 Posted by | Blogroll, Civilian, Links, photography, Site News | | Leave a comment

Here comes 2018

Having waved goodbye to a 2017 that was even more ‘fun’ than most years…

I can’t wait for 2018 to start delivering.

2018 Optimism

2018 Optimism

Things look so good, I’m taking advice from cats that look as if they are doing better than me.

2018 Advice

2018 Advice

Is it time for 2019 yet?

01/01/2018 Posted by | Blogroll | , | Leave a comment

In Glasgow’s deadly east end, not even a Smurf is safe

Some say…

Glasgow is a violent city, and the east end is not somewhere to be after dark, Parkhead being no exception.

In fact, I was appalled to learn that the manager of a small estate agents in Shettleston insisted on having his shop closed and staff on their way home before 6 pm every evening, in the belief that the place turned into some sort of ‘battle zone’ not long after that hour passed, when open gang warfare would break out on the streets, and the locals cowered in their homes waiting for the dawn.

(True story, revealed when the owner – from the affluent suburb of Newton Mearns – would apparently not even allow a shopfitter I knew to work on upgrading the premises after hours to avoid disrupting the business – he preferred just to close down for a week and have the work done during the day.)

It’s all lies, of course.

However, I was shocked to see that not even an innocent little Smurf was safe in the area.

Send the children to bed now, or at least cover their eyes, so they are spared the sight of this unfortunate Smurf I found beaten to a pulp, and left for dead in a street corner near Parkhead Cross.

I’m pretty sure it’s dead.

Dead Smurf

Dead Smurf

19/07/2017 Posted by | Blogroll, photography | , , | Leave a comment


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