CTC Forum - On the road

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Updated: 1 hour 14 sec ago

Re: Tram takes bikes but only uphill!

19 April 2015 - 11:53pm
Flinders wrote:I remember under BR being able to take my bike, without ever having to book, on trains including intercity services on the WCML for free.
Then Virgin took over with their badly designed rolling stock with no guard's vans and next to no luggage space.


Virgin were nothing to do with it.

The rot set in while BR still ran things . ''High Speed Trains' on the East coast main line and 'sprinter' type local trains, both with no guard's van, were introduced years before privatisation.

The ever increasing difficulty of getting a bike on a train with no booking ahead or payment of a fee were a large part of the reason I bought my first car in 1991, a few years before BR and nationalised railways ended.

Looking back I'm not surprised guard's vans were phased out. During the years I took my bike on trains I rarely saw any cargo in the large space in the guard's van, I was never unable to get my bike aboard a train because of lack of space and on most trips my bike was the only one on the train.

Re: First Sportive in June

19 April 2015 - 9:53pm
Thanks for the info.

I might send an email to the organisers, and see if they can give me any info on the way the start is handled.

Re: I rode off-road - fun, finding routes and how do you dre

19 April 2015 - 8:20pm
Sam
I can't add anything to what's been said,other than after a while you get to know how mucky which tracks and routes tend to get,after whatever amounts of rain there's been.
Sometimes heavy rain can clean certain tracks whereas light rain makes the mud sticky.That kind of info can't be gained other than by experience over time.
OS maps and Google Earth are your friends
Rough stuff,love it,peace and quiet from the motors

EDIT:- I dress as I dress for 99% of my cycling,in Lycra,I find it far more comfortable than anything else.

Re: What is gr8 about motorcycling?

19 April 2015 - 7:49pm
kwackers wrote:brynpoeth wrote:For what questions is this statement good? I ask a question because I do not understand and want to learn.
Probably for any question that involves subjective experience when the only sensible answer is to tell you to experience it yourself after which you won't need to ask...


Thanks put much better than I could. I suppose a good example is horse riding I cant see the point and have tried it, but I am sure mere words cant describe what it means to someone who cares. How difficult would it be to describe why you love riding your bike to someone who has never gotten out of their car?

Re: First Sportive in June

19 April 2015 - 7:45pm
Depends on the sportive. Most I've been on set off about 20 riders every 5 minutes so there is no main group as such and they string out within about 5 minutes.

I've also done some with mass starts and even then the riders get strung out really quickly probably within about 15 minutes.

Get the idea of a race peloton out of your head, it isn't like that.

Re: First Sportive in June

19 April 2015 - 7:12pm
Can't answer your specific questions re the sportive as do not ride them, however have ridden plenty of audax. Don't chase off too hard at the start, settle into a comfortable pace and you will probably find others riding at your pace.
Most important is to learn the language and signs....
Left arm moved so it is pointing to the right from behind the back = moving out / obstruction on left.
Ditto if it is right arm due something on the right..
'On the right' or 'On the left' again indicates there is a pothole or other problem to be wary of on the appropriate side.
'Gravel', 'Glass' etc similar is a warning to others.
Remember if people are calling these problems to you it is expected you will similarly reciprocate to those behind you.
'Car down' is car approaching from the head of the line ie from in front.
'Car back' or 'Car up' is car coming up the line from the rear.
Other obvious messages are the 'turning left', 'turning right', 'stopping', ''clear' =for a clear junctions that you can pull out into....
Always remember to indicate that you are slowing down / stopping if doing so otherwise someone will ride into the back of you and will not be popular...

Re: What is gr8 about motorcycling?

19 April 2015 - 1:23pm
brynpoeth wrote:For what questions is this statement good? I ask a question because I do not understand and want to learn.
Probably for any question that involves subjective experience when the only sensible answer is to tell you to experience it yourself after which you won't need to ask...

Re: I rode off-road - fun, finding routes and how do you dre

19 April 2015 - 1:18pm
al_yrpal wrote:samsbike wrote:Cheers North Reading is a bit far out. The LBS does mtb rides but that is not really what I want, will get the OS maps.

This may be a bit far out too...http://www.rideastonhill.co.uk/ Personally I dont like places like this because they are not natural, but it might be an option?

I use a yellow highlighter pen on a copy of the OS map to highlight the bridleways, then routes seem to spring out at you. Of course there will be some road sections too to make up a loop.

Guess this is the sort of thing you are looking for...

Salsa Vaya by Alyrpal, on Flickr

Al

Yep and gravel. Just not too technical.

Re: I rode off-road - fun, finding routes and how do you dre

19 April 2015 - 12:23pm
samsbike wrote:Cheers North Reading is a bit far out. The LBS does mtb rides but that is not really what I want, will get the OS maps.

This may be a bit far out too...http://www.rideastonhill.co.uk/ Personally I dont like places like this because they are not natural, but it might be an option?

I use a yellow highlighter pen on a copy of the OS map to highlight the bridleways, then routes seem to spring out at you. Of course there will be some road sections too to make up a loop.

Guess this is the sort of thing you are looking for...

Salsa Vaya by Alyrpal, on Flickr

Al

First Sportive in June

19 April 2015 - 10:59am
I have recently started road riding, and have signed up for the Tri Store Sportive in Eastbourne in June.

I have ridden the route, and am happy with my abilities to get round in a decent time.

My concern is that I have only ridden in with one other, and never in a group.

Has anyone ridden the Tri Store Sportive before and know how quickly the main group tends to thin out?

Re: I rode off-road - fun, finding routes and how do you dre

19 April 2015 - 10:29am
Hi,
Like some others here although I do off road stuff as well as including it in my training courses.
I am not finding any need to go out purely MTBing on a particular course or with anyone else either.
I am not criticising any comment here but you can enjoy very much just going off on your own with a map or device and explore.

Of course you need to get out of the concrete jungle first.
Take a day off and get some transport to another area, studying maps / net stuff for info first and go and explore, the worst I get at the end of a long day in failing light is lumping my camp laden hack over a tall wooden gate downhill on a public right of way

Re: What is gr8 about motorcycling?

19 April 2015 - 10:14am
samsbike wrote:Personally if you have to ask the question, you will not understand the answer

For what questions is this statement good? I ask a question because I do not understand and want to learn.

Re: I rode off-road - fun, finding routes and how do you dre

19 April 2015 - 9:47am
Cheers North Reading is a bit far out. The LBS does mtb rides but that is not really what I want, will get the OS maps.

Re: I rode off-road - fun, finding routes and how do you dre

19 April 2015 - 9:36am
531colin wrote:For routes, you just can't beat "local knowledge".....that means if you can't find a "local" who knows, you just gotta go look for yourself.....and the tracks change with the season, and with the years.
magic hats?...not for me, thanks.
OS map? absolutely.....I prefer 2 1/2" these days.....even shows you which side of the wall/hedge the path is. You can cycle on bridlepaths, byways, restricted byways, "white" roads....and I go on the ones (with green blobs on 2 1/2") which are "right of way, but we haven't decided exactly which right of way just now".
.....Al is your Chilterns man.....local knowledge.....?

I am just North of Reading, too far out from Sam I think. There are several MTB rides a week organised by Reading CTC which are very good, mostly to the North in the Chilterns. There are CTC groups in NW London and they doubtless also have off road rides. Its just a matter of giving the Hon Sec a ring to explore possibilities. And, choose your preferred area and buy a £7 OS Explorer map of it. It will show all the bridleways.

Al

Re: I rode off-road - fun, finding routes and how do you dre

19 April 2015 - 9:18am
As well as all the suggestions already made, most nationally owned forestry (I used to say Forestry Commission, but maybe the name has changed) has extensive cycling rights. You just have to respect the signs that warn of tracks being closed for felling.

Re: I rode off-road - fun, finding routes and how do you dre

19 April 2015 - 9:11am
Ouutside of local knowledge, nothing beats trial and error. Use the OS maps as others have said and then go exploring. Some will be unrideable and some will be great fun, some are just for good weather and some for when its wet. But over time you'll build up a collection of tracks you can string together to make up your rides. I take the good bits and mark them on my OS map with a highlighter and still try to explore new bits whenever I go out. And no magic hat. A cycle cap does the sun, rain, sweat and flies duty if necessary, but normally not even that. Enjoy.

Re: I rode off-road - fun, finding routes and how do you dre

19 April 2015 - 8:57am
Don't overlook Google Earth. Not knocking maps in any way, but with G E you can get an overview of an area from a great height then sometimes, as you zoom in, you start to see lines going in promising directions...
Just one way of generating ideas to check out - using maps!

Re: I rode off-road - fun, finding routes and how do you dre

18 April 2015 - 11:46pm
No helmet for me but my off roading is very leisurely not a high adrenaline activity. I don't go pushing limits seeing how fast I can go.

The 2 1/2 inch maps Colin refers to are OS's Explorer (1:25000 scale) maps. The less detailed but covering a larger area OS Landranger (1:50000) also show all classes of rights of way. Unfortunately being legally permitted to cycle somewhere doesn't mean that the surface is suitable for cycling - Finding and exploring routes from a map can be great fun but it really is trial and error.

The other option, as Colin says, is local knowledge. Chances are some local cyclists know all the local routes inside out. I see that there is a Home Counties section of the Rough Stuff Fellowship which doesn't look too active from the website (http://www.rsf.org.uk/local-groups/home-counties.html) but may be worth contacting them for information on routes or even to join.

Re: I rode off-road - fun, finding routes and how do you dre

18 April 2015 - 11:29pm
Hi,
I will echo what others have said, that is an OS map "Explorer" 2 & 1/2 " to a mile series which show very good detail.
Then go explore.

As for helmet forgetting any safety claims, if it has a peak keeps the sun out of your eyes and deflects the flies too, will keep your head pretty dry when raining.

Edit for grammar

Re: I rode off-road - fun, finding routes and how do you dre

18 April 2015 - 10:54pm
samsbike wrote:Last weekend I went on my very first sportive and I guess I was attracted more by the off road bits, not having done any before.

I must say I enjoyed it. Usually I hate the stuff, we have woods near us and although I have taken the mtb there I just don't enjoy the mud, getting dirty etc. But this was different, some bits were technical, some bits were better to walk, and there was gravel. And with all the dry weather there was very little mud. I was also riding my pseudo cross bike, so relatively fat tires, discs and mudguards.

I can see the benefit of riding a bit of road, turning off somewhere for some bridlepath or into the woods for light off roading and riding home. I realise that a few of you do it anyway, Colin and John spring to mind but I guess my question is do how do you find these routes and work out what will work and what will not?

Also I did this helmet less, do you wear a helmet or not (not a debate but yes or no).

thanks

Ahhh good ole OS maps, and hours spent pouring over them discovering bridleways that would link up a route / make a logical route on a through route to somewhere..... and hearing of such classics as The Ridgeway (but beware if you do not like mud, spent a weekend up to my bottom bracket in it one wet spring).

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