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Re: I Hate Virgin Trains

CTC Forum - On the road - 9 hours 52 min ago
Bicycler wrote:tyreon wrote:Have we discussed HS2 yet?
Is 29 pages enough? viewtopic.php?f=6&t=47854
Have I managed to shut the stable lid before the can of worms bolted?
Apparently not. Let's try again.

Re: My worst tour, and why..

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 10 hours 16 min ago
al_yrpal wrote:...and ditch the Brooks.

On our grim ride, Mme did just this, although it was not a Brooks she was swapping out (did that already). Got a far nicer (Terry) saddle, and a far happier bum. Too bad so much else was not to our preference... I still love my Brooks', but know how much she's suffered with them. My equivalent was using flat bars on that ride, which promptly got swapped out for drops once home, after having changed out the stem in an effort to improve things. Both bikes were relative new builds (finished mine the day before!), which was of course one mistake amongst others.

Mistik-ka wrote:whoof wrote:I've been thinking about this for a day or so and I can't think of a 'bad' tour.
I think you've got it right, whoof. The miserable weather, impassible barricades, wretched meals, and sagging mattresses over the pub are all horrible at the time … but they make the best stories when it's all over, and often it is the moments just before and just after the worst weather that results in the best photographs.

I understand your sentiments, Misti-ka, but prefer we enjoy our holidays at the time. Nice photos and anecdotes are a bonus, but not the reason for the trip. And much of our time in NOLA involving a tearful wife throwing up in a darkened hotel room don't make for nice memories...

Having a bike stolen in Amsterdam, another broken in China, and needing to sell one in Thailand to scrape enough to keep travelling however did not make for bad trips!

Re: My worst tour, and why..

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 11 hours 11 min ago
My worst was a 9 day tour in Brittany in June. Hosing down heavy rain most of the time. 50 to 70 kph headwinds, a sore bum due to an attrocious Brooks Saddle riding over stony canal banks and being with a couple of fitness freaks whose hobbies included swimming marathons, ice climbing and posing. These guys insisted on riding on main roads where we were frequently showered from large puddles. After 3 days I rebelled and took over navigation guiding us on back roads and slowing the pace. After that we stopped at village cafes, met the locals and saw some sights at a sensible pace without being continuously drowned in cold muddy water.
The lessons I learned were: Don't let people who have never toured before hassle you into a stupid race on main roads for the sake of their inflated egos, stand your ground. If the forecast is for continuous rain for days, pack it in, and ditch the Brooks.


Re: Tanker lorry, spot on driving

CTC Forum - On the road - 11 hours 12 min ago
When I experience such things I like to try and note the company name, look-up later and e-mail them thanking the driver. I did once to a local building merchant except I went in to order stuff and said about the excellent clearance he had given me (I knew the last part of the reg and they immediately knew which driver), and word went through the company and back to the driver - which must have helped his standing. And now all the drivers know me and say hi when I call-in.

So I recon my good feedback has probably "inspired" all the drivers to be considerate to vulnerable road users (or maybe just cyclists).


Re: Tanker lorry, spot on driving

CTC Forum - On the road - 11 hours 33 min ago
Not enough posts like this! I'm afraid it always seems to be the case that you only get the negative stories. I've emailed a few local haulage companies over a few years with positive comments, and yes, they do appreciate it. Added on one, 'bet you don't get many of these' to which the reply was that mine was the first!!

Re: My worst tour, and why..

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 11 hours 59 min ago
Don't think I've ever had a real bad tour, but I clearly remember my worst day on tour and it was in the UK. Crossing the fens, into a headwind, drizzling all day. For the most part the satnav showed a dead straight featureless line. I can remember feeling glad when I saw a leylandii hedge because a) shelter and b)it was something to look at that wasn't cabbage shaped.

Re: I Hate Virgin Trains

CTC Forum - On the road - 12 hours 1 min ago
tyreon wrote:Why are we wanting to scar the country?

We do it with motorways why not a rail line? I think it will be the best long term investment the country has made in a long time.

Re: Tanker lorry, spot on driving

CTC Forum - On the road - 12 hours 59 min ago
OTOH, I had a bus driver yesterday who started encroaching on my (already narrow) cycle lane, so I banged on the doors to alert him. His hand signals in response indicated that he didn't understand the issue.

Bristol to Bath Railway Path - Closed until March 2015

CTC Forum - On the road - 13 hours 11 min ago
If you use this regularly we got some bad news this morning with regards the closure that was supposed to have been lifted next week.

We asked the council if the works were going to schedule and got the following reply.

I met with the site manager for the Teewell Hill works on Friday and we discussed how the project was going and when we will be able to reopen the railway path.

Unfortunately, it looks like we will not be able to reopen the railway path until March 2015.

This is due to the temporary support works to the cutting slopes being more complex than we had originally planned. The overall duration of the project has not changed but the length of the time the railway path has to be closed has extended so that we can safely carry out the works.

I apologise for any inconvenience this causes you.


Mike Johnson
Senior Engineer - Structures

Re: Tanker lorry, spot on driving

CTC Forum - On the road - 13 hours 28 min ago
That's not so remarkable IMO,I find HGV drivers do that sort of thing on a regular basis.
The true pro driver IMO realises the hazard/obstruction/problem,etc,well in advance and the vast majority aren't ego tripping just doing their job and generally doing it well as in this case.
They realise there's nothing to gain from bullying and threatening other road uses with their bulk,occasionally I get the odd one who's an idiot but find their driving for the most part driving exemplary

Re: I Hate Virgin Trains

CTC Forum - On the road - 13 hours 29 min ago
tyreon wrote:Have we discussed HS2 yet?
Is 29 pages enough? viewtopic.php?f=6&t=47854
Have I managed to shut the stable lid before the can of worms bolted?

Re: Using cycle paths

CTC Forum - On the road - 13 hours 30 min ago
I've had a QR Skewer snapped by the barriers on one path - I was going uphill, through a chicane, and didn't go wide enough (already went off the path) to get through the chicane cleanly and the corner of the trailer just caught on one of the barriers. The shock load was enough to snap the QR skewer and remove the skewer and hitch from the trike.

Had I just gone off road there is nothing at all to prevent just going round the fence, since it only exists on the path itself. Most of the cyclists I see simply go round the end (most are on MTB style bikes) and I've never seen any motorised abuse of the facility (which has no such barrier at the other end, and plenty of "fun" fields etc in the middle)

The barriers are a menace to some of those they aim to protect, prevent some of those accessing the facility at all and manifestly don't prevent the abuse of facilities which should be policed. If there is a speeding problem on a road we don't close it (although that's a great plan), we police the speed. If there is an HGV problem on an inappropriately small road we put up signs warning the drivers.

Antisocial behaviour from a minority shouldn't result in an antisocial response from authority.

Re: Is it time for radicalism?

CTC Forum - On the road - 13 hours 56 min ago
Perhaps we should be building new roads? Perhaps we should in fact be embarking upon the biggest road building programme since the motorways?

How will that 'solve' the issue? By making them cycleways (the cycle equivalent of the motorway).

In the North East at least we've got masses of ex-railway alignments which can be used. But even those which can be cycled are usually a poor rocky surface unsuitable for anything other than a MTB, especially this time of year. Tarmac the lot of them, to a good standard, not forgetting actually maintaining them too.

The 'road' below is about as wide as a single track road but is easily wide enough for two way cycling with room to spare.

Re: I Hate Virgin Trains

CTC Forum - On the road - 13 hours 59 min ago
Have we discussed HS2 yet?

I hate HS2. Its going to be a waste of b38462ing money.

Its gonna ruin parts of rural England,dicing up land that's arable,scenic,bicycle/walking friendly country,making this increasingly urbanised country even more diced and sliced by infrastructure. From the railway will come depots,following the depots,powerlines,following the powerlines,inbuilding: you get the picture. By normal(but perverse?) reasoning I shouldn't really care: it's going through toff country the track cuts(and hasn't Clarkson got a place down there. That's one good reason to have it built!)But in this small,and increasingly overcrowded island,I like to see some vestiges of green left: it makes me feel good.

What's with the saved journey time?? Birmingham - London. 20 minutes!! For x billions!! And most business people are working on phones and computers on the train...so no work time lost. Why are we wanting to scar the country?

I read something about more people wanting to travel more frequently on trains. Demand up,up,up. But then someone suggested having longer trains...then building longer platforms to accommodate the trains. Wotstheargumentagainstthis! Where's Beppoo Grillo when you need him?

Re: My worst tour, and why..

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 14 hours 39 min ago
foxyrider wrote:Never had anything quite so disasterous as those examples!

My worst was a Tirol tour in 2011 with lots of wet days.

Day 1 torrential rain to St Gallen, day 2 woke floating after more overnight rain, day3 damp start then more distance than i expected, day 5 damp turning to torrential, day 6 foggy and damp before later light rain, repeat for day 8 with overnight torrential rain at Berchtesgaden, day 9 damp with low cloud ending with a puncture caused by a sharp stone on the road. Phew, day 10 light rain on and off all day, day 11 low cloud and rain until mid afternoon so cancelled assault on the Gross Gloeckner road, day 13 (shoulda known better!) abortive high pass crossing resulting in three day diversion from planned route, more damp in afternoon. Day 14 wet afternoon and into evening at Solden, river close to overflow, day 15 rain and low cloud over Silvretta ending with a 2km 20% climb to campsite, day 16 ended with 5km climb to campsite before more rain, day 17 wet most of the day over three passes to Zurich then the final morning it chucked it down getting back to the airport. Not only that but my cash card wouldnt work so for the middle week i was severely at a financial disadvantage! This was in August!

Despite all of the damp i had a great trip, the dry days were brilliant, the tent kept me dry even when it was floating! I did complete 15 pass crossings and clocked up @ 1200km.

As I read this, I was certain you were going to be kidnapped by bandidos!

Re: Amsterdam to the Battlefields of France/Belgium

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 16 hours 5 min ago
Thanks for your reply and the link to your tour..I'm enjoying the read..We have now booked the ferry

Re: My worst tour, and why..

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 25 November 2014 - 11:43pm
Tigerbiten wrote:Dropping of the top of Beachy Head:

Must have been a bad tour

Re: Using cycle paths

CTC Forum - On the road - 25 November 2014 - 11:30pm
Chop the legs off the barriers, chop the legs off any motorcyclists causing a nuisance. Sorted. I'm fed up of having my life affected by filthy lowlife screbs. I think the police around here do have scramblers for chasing yobs on, I think probably for land near the Manchester Ship Canal, soon to be Port Salford.
I once trapped my sons arm in a barrier whilst he was in a child seat on the back and I was trying to negotiate my way through it, he stuck his arm out whilst I was looking at the bike, trapping his arm between his seat and the upright of the fencing, luckily it was only gently but it could have been much worse, barriers where I have to get off and lift or manoeuvre the bike whilst I have a child in a child seat are dangerous too, as the balance of the bike is wrong and I have less control of it if I'm not sat on it, getting him off and on at each barrier would be far too much of a hassle and dangerous too.

Tanker lorry, spot on driving

CTC Forum - On the road - 25 November 2014 - 11:26pm
Coming home from Letchworth town centre there is a longish sweeping 40mph road that leads directly onto the A1 & A505 Cambridge route, it's the main road for a large portion of traffic from North Herts and beyond so gets very busy. 3/4 along there is a pedestrian refuge that was installed a few years back (which is barely ever used as there are two crossings and an underpass close by), it had no safety assessment done beforehand yet it significantly narrows the road enough that a car & cyclist cannot pass together safely despite the road being much wider than most.
https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@51.97156 ... rU0gmA!2e0

Anyhow, I normally adopt a very central position well before the refuge, I over the shoulder check and hold my position, saw a large tanker behind me this time and expecting it to rumble right up behind me as most vehicles do but no, it didn't accelerate to close the distance down and held a nice 30-40m gap all the way to the give way at the elongated roundabout.
By the time he caught me i was turning off left so stuck a big thumbs up as he was passing.

it was so nice to be able to go through without worrying whether someone was going to try squeeze me out or come bombing up to the back of me as is the case quite often.
Whoever you were mate, cheers, exemplary driving, just wish there were more of you.

Re: Eurovelo 7 South to North?

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 25 November 2014 - 11:22pm
Many thanks for the replies. We'll certainly follow up all the links and it's good to know that the "Ciclopista Del Sole" does cover part of the route south of Rome - we'd thought it started in Rome.

Malta sounds as bad as we feared but we'd want to do it for the sake of completeness. I wonder if Rob or anyone else could tell us whether it would be feasible to cycle from south to north super early in the morning before the traffic gets going and stand a reasonable chance of surviving unscathed?
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