Author Topic: Today in history

sam

Today in history
« Reply #12 on: May 10, 2013 »


John Lennon and Yoko Ono brought a bicycle into their relationship. "All we are saying," said Lennon to the ever-present press at the foot of their bed, "is give our ménage à trois a chance." Another exhibition courtesy conceptual artist Ono, or sincere declaration of love for an alternative form of transport in a motoring mad world? "Imagine there are no cars," said Lennon airily. "Except for my Rolls."

sam

Today in history
« Reply #13 on: July 09, 2013 »


Christ hopped on his bike to go to a loaves and fishes gig. A nice cruiser for the beach.

The first few times there was astonishment – behold, a miracle! – but now people are more mellow. In fact they've come to expect it. "Leave the loaf at home, Bathsheba, Jesus will pull one out of his sleeve for us." Christ knows this and he's decided to change up. He's going to make them share. Everybody will just have to have small pieces. Really small ones. It'll make a good parable; he's always looking for new material.

sam

Today in history
« Reply #14 on: October 29, 2013 »


Take your child to work day early in the last century. The boy will be expected to closely observe his father to develop an appreciation for the family business, pacesetting.

sam

Today in history
« Reply #15 on: October 05, 2013 »


Scientists discover that cyclists really do exchange molecules with their bicycles if they ride them long enough. In an experiment dubbed the Flann O'Brien Protocol, a volunteer has his 'bike cells' removed. The result is horrifying, but survives peer review.


sam

Today in history
« Reply #16 on: December 10, 2013 »


The twins were inseperable. Literally, until the operation. Then Anna lost her heart to a cowboy and moved to Wyoming, and Belle fell in love with a daguerreotype of Winston Churchill. (There was precedent.) Alas, perfect happiness eluded them. The cowboy started spending too much time on Brokeback Mountain; Winston proved two-dimensional. Bitter at the shortcomings of men, they reunited and were never seen apart again.

sam

Today in history
« Reply #17 on: January 30, 2014 »


Commuter challenges can offer stress relief as an antidote to a hard day at the office; or they can be deadly serious affirmations of manhood. This one started after a passing glance between two gents confirmed that one of them still had an old-fashioned mount. This quickly escalated into a percieved slight with undertones of class divide. Although there was no such divide, there was also little choice but to pursue an honourable resolution of superiority. So intent are they on this glorious pursuit, they don't even notice they've left the road. The chap on the right has been captured in the act of opening a generation gap.

sam

Today in history
« Reply #18 on: April 29, 2014 »
Catherine Middleton wed Prince William. Later they produce an heir, George, whose height the Prince is shown here estimating for a bike fitting.



Tomorrow in history
In due course George becomes king, but his real dream is to win the Tour de France. His interest in cycling spurred at a young age, he trains hard with the best coaches and equipment the money with his face on it can buy. In an annus mirabilis he conquers the old enemy to the east.


Unfortunately he then loses his title in a dispute with the UCI over primogeniture. In a fit of pique he sells all his castles and bikes to a syndicate of royal groupies and goes hoboing for a year, surreptitiously tailed by the Royal Train.

sam

Today in history
« Reply #19 on: May 26, 2014 »


On a long ago spring bank holiday, a rail replacement bike service runs while the line is closed for steam cleaning.

sam

Today in history
« Reply #20 on: November 11, 2014 »


Nobody had told him the war was over.

Dropped behind enemy lines by mistake after there had stopped being an enemy, the unknown soldier takes a bead on a white van man, who surrenders then breaks the news. Disbelieving at first, the soldier briefly takes him prisoner before being convinced that he can finally lay down his arms. "Who won?" he asks.

sam

Today in history
« Reply #21 on: December 21, 2014 »


In postwar Britain there were many shortages. Unable to find a bike in the shops which fits him properly, a man makes his own after measuring all relevant body parts and carefully assessing his optimal riding position. "It rides great!" he tells people, though certain discomforts will later surface, sending him to the nascent NHS for what he insists are unrelated discomforts.

sam

Today in history
« Reply #22 on: August 09, 2015 »
Richard Nixon narrowly avoids his own Chappaquiddick.



This carefully stage-managed publicity shot nearly ended in tragedy when the future president plunged into the reflecting pool, Julie squealing with innocent delight; both of them had to be pulled out by the quick-thinking photographer. It transpired he had never learned how to ride a bike.


Or swim. Here he is on holiday, awaiting rescue.

Nixon later took up cycling with a passion during his campaign against the much more athletic JFK, in an effort to woo fit voters.



Football was also a no-go area, much as he loved the game.



After his bitter loss to his photogenic rival he carried on with it, almost as a badge of honour. He could sometimes be heard muttering "two wheels good" under his breath as he licked his wounds in Bebe Rebozzo's Florida compound, planning his illustrious comeback.

After his long anticipated victory he would frequently be spotted pedalling furiously along the Potomac "to clear my head," a secret service agent struggling to keep up on a battered old Schwinn behind him (ah, for the days of fiscal prudence), nuclear launch codes in his panniers. Among the facts to later emerge after the scandals of Watergate, it was discovered that most of the missiles had been redirected from their Soviet destinations and pointed towards domestic targets unfriendly to the administration; Jack Anderson wouldn't have survived even if he'd ducked underneath the nearest fallout shelter hammock.

sam

Today in History
« Reply #23 on: October 02, 2015 »
The chemist William Ramsay rides to work on his birthday.


artist's reconstruction

That evening at his party he became the first person to inhale helium from a balloon to surprise and delight everyone with a high pitched squeaky voice – a discovery which won him the Nobel.

He later lent his credibility to an ill-fated scheme to extract gold from seawater, but nobody took him seriously because he wouldn't stop talking that way.



The eminent Victorian also founded a club called The Noble Gasbags that sponsored a series of lectures with topics diverse as "Argon constitutes 0.934% by volume and 1.288% by mass of the earth's atmosphere" and "Whalebone Corsets: Out of the Sexual Fetish Closet". They proved so popular that the general public was invited provided an atmosphere of proper decorum was maintained.