Pedals could bring power to the people

John Ward
John Ward
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WARD’S WORLD: By John Ward

As the New Year is well and truly with us, like it or not, and even taking the battery out your watch will not help either, we can only wonder at what new and wondrous things there are to greet and possibly bite us as the year slowly grows upon us.

The internet, when you can get a decent signal of course, is an amazing and at times entertaining plus perplexing device, especially so when the signal is not that clever.

One message or plea recently was an offer to take part in a online survey and I do like to at least take a look at the first bit, and this particular one was quite entertaining – for me at least as it was short and sweet.

Question one was: ‘This being the New Year, what resolutions have you made so far?’ and question two: ‘Do you think you will be able to keep them?’ and I responded thus: “My only New Year resolution is not to enter into any online surveys, and as to question two, I will keep my resolution as I won’t be answering any more questions after this one as the experience could be quite upsetting and a betrayal of the first part.” I then proceeded to click the button marked Finish.

Another annual treat is the assortment of ‘lose weight and stay in super trim’ books, plans, microscopic ‘meals’ and DVDs that will appear from assorted folk – some, oddly, who you perhaps in a normal frame of mind never considered as having any weight issues or other supposed appearance problems but, with an eye on the cash register, all that can, and does, change.

The sale of personal fitness products that range from a small wheel with a handle fitted on either side that you kneel down and push along in front of you in a surreal form of rolling out pastry, minus the flour and rolling pin, etc, has been about for ages now and always seems to surface to greet the new and unsuspecting punter, sorry, I mean fitness enthusiast, who may look upon this device as his or her ‘starter’.

Then there is the converted set of nutcrackers, in chrome, with strong springs for hand exercises for those who need supple hands, fingers and suchlike as they spend a lot of time texting on their mobile devices to ask others how they are getting on with their exercises; and the assorted ‘workout’ benches that seem to consist of a converted camping bed with various ropes, pulleys, weights and chrome fittings that you strap yourself in or onto and, following instructions, you then go about wearing your body out well before its due time.

In the not-too-distant past, a friend was manager or head child minder at the local council Area Recycling and Environmental Waste Transformation and Reclamation Processing Centre, or in basic terms we all know and can comprehend, The Tip.

He said that working there was quite educational. It came in seasons as just after Christmas, once the assorted real pine trees had been stripped of their tinsel and flashing lights, they were taken in for recycling.

This was then followed a few weeks later by the arrival of assorted keep-fit and exercise machinery , forming a steady, daily disposal ritual as the short-lived ownership of these devices was quietly slung out as, if the supposed, nay claimed, results, were not achieved in mere days or even a full week in some cases, then down to the tip they went.

The thought that one’s ‘other half’ had bought such a device with the aim of turning her household wimp into a budding and potential Arnold Swarznogger was akin to making the parting of the Red Sea seem a doddle in comparison.

In most if not all cases, these were deposited by people on their own so that their supposed ‘other half’ was not aware seemingly of this act of betrayal as he could not remember there ever being two people in a vehicle taking such devices in for their last journey they are eventually sent by huge boats belching out much unfriendly non-environmentally-friendly smoke and fumes, to the far-off Orient to be melted down and made into, well, converted nutcrackers with big chrome springs, etc, before coming back here.

I think one of the great wastes of human effort is the exercise bike, as all that energy used up to produce the end result of nothing, apart from hearing how ‘grueling’ a target the person has set themselves.

So consider if they fitted a fan belt on the business end and wound the other end round the pulley wheel of a dynamo or generator, this would save having those hideous windmills flapping around that are supposed to be part of the answer to our now excessive power needs. Although if this is the answer, one must ponder just what form the question was in the first place that gave us all these monstrosities on the landscape.

Give this a thought: instead of the G-G effect as in Going to the Gym, how about getting loads of the exercise bikes (or cycles if you shelled out over the odds for the up-market trendy model) with riders of course, in local halls and centres throughout the land with all their bikes lined up with interconnecting fan belts, all directly linked to vast generators and pedaling away to produce electric power?.

I would respectably point out this idea was arrived at singly, by myself with no one with me, no consultants, committees of uninformed people with no discernable knowledge of the subject matter involved were troubled, so help me plod.

This would bring the communities together and literally bring ‘power to the people’ or from the people (remember where you read about this first, as the idea is copyright, so there) with teams in assorted age groups, gender and intelligence, as in those who know what a bike is (or cycle), plus prizes for the best performer and ultimately going on to be the recognised as the Best Pedaller of the Year, with perhaps the award ceremony being hosted by Ant and the other one.

Imagine the accolade of being identified as being the Best Pedaller of the Year – one’s own diet and cookery book, a record deal ,plus a range of branded kitchen utensils, own-brand bike clips (or cycle clips) in stainless steel and a DVD showing how to use two legs to pedal, then using alternative left and right legs.

For my start of this new year that has just opened up for shop, I myself am devising a new board game called ‘True of False?’ and involves reading out weather forecasts by well known forecasters and you decide which was, well, true or false.

The one with the most points gets the big prize consisting of a large map, a pin, blindfold plus wellington boots to start up in business as a weather forecaster.