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Re: Someone nearly killed me today

CTC Forum - On the road - 10 January 2016 - 3:49pm
mjr, having had the misfortune to drive in Cambridge last year for the first time in years, I've never in my life seen so many mad, suicidal, inconsiderate, and downright incompetent cyclists- often in packs- some of them would be dead in a week round here. (A local cyclist Mr Ortho was on a course with down there said the same, she was very frustrated by it; she put it down to people going there to study and riding a bike in the city when the last time they rode one was when they were about 8 and in a local park.)

I suspect that sot of behavior would have an impact on drivers, in that they would assume the worst and give all cyclists a lot of space and time. It gave me the serious willies, and I'm a very careful driver.

Re: Abus Frame Lock

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 10 January 2016 - 3:16pm
Of my five bikes (cough!) four have frame locks, two are the Abus ones with the 'plug in' extension lock facility (which are Silver Secure).
I'm a great believer in always using two locks in public places - so the frame lock is one of them. Outside cafes and shops where I can see the bike the frame lock alone is adequate to prevent opportunistic ride away thefts. I also think they are sufficiently uncommon in the UK to confuse the average scrote.
They are very simple to fit - I discard the mounting kit and use cable ties, which means you can get a nice snug fit to the frame (prevents rattling) and you can remove the lock if you need to (but if the cable ties are cut when it's locked it remains locked around the wheel, so is still secure).

Re: trans am for novice advice needed

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 10 January 2016 - 3:11pm
welsh trekker wrote:thanks Pete Jack - good stuff.

Any advice on type of bike ? Cost to spend ?
I am in the Uk and my plan is to buy the bike on arrival and get to know it on route. Hopefully we will get on !

It depends. Do you prefer flat bars or drop bars? Disc or rim brakes? How much gear are you carrying? How heavy are you? How much cash will you save buying in the USA? The cost of flying with a bike is minimal if you avoid USA airlines. THere is something to be said for having a bike sorted before you go. SAddle comfort. Overall fit. Getting racks and panniers sorted.

Unless of course you have plenty time and don't mind spending some days in the USA getting the correct size of bike ordered in and set up and tested.

Re: London - Finsbury Park to Blackfriars

CTC Forum - On the road - 10 January 2016 - 2:24pm
If you happen to be passing Finsbury Park station around 8.50am one day, I'll join up with you both for a few miles

Look out for the red Dahon folder, (usually) yellow jacket and moustache.

Re: Someone nearly killed me today

CTC Forum - On the road - 10 January 2016 - 2:20pm
I don't have that many serious near misses when I ride. I'm pretty relaxed when I cycle and can usually anticipate. It become second nature to read potential hazards ahead an anticipate driver error. I do see a lot of close passes though, mainly because drivers are too impatient to wait til they can pass safely. It happened this morning - I was driving and came across a large group of perhaps a dozen cyclists. I waited til it was safe to pass and have them a wide berth. The driver ahead though overtook when there was oncoming traffic.

Re: Cycling opportunity Keswick -Kendal

CTC Forum - On the road - 10 January 2016 - 1:04pm
TonyR wrote:... more generally does anyone know of a map with all the closed roads in the Lakes for route planning purposes. ...
List here with a linked map towards the top of the page. Map requires MS Silverlight, I haven't viewed it myself.

Re: Cycling opportunity Keswick -Kendal

CTC Forum - On the road - 10 January 2016 - 1:03pm
Closed roads are shown on www.roadworks.org for most councils and Highways England.

Re: Eurostar South of France Trains Bike Policy

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 10 January 2016 - 12:43pm
I’ve taken an undismantled bike on the TGV between Paris and Grenoble a couple of times (once in each direction). Both times the platform staff told me I couldn’t take it without dismantling it. Both times they were mistaken.
Anybody know if this option still exists?

Re: Cycling opportunity Keswick -Kendal

CTC Forum - On the road - 10 January 2016 - 12:17pm
Edwards wrote:I once ignored some road closed signs, I rode down a nice hill with no other vehicles.

When I got to the bottom I found diggers and other stuff but no bridge. It was a long way back up with a bike loaded with camping gear.

I had the same but a workman walked me through across their temporary bridge to allow them to access both sides of the river.

But more generally does anyone know of a map with all the closed roads in the Lakes for route planning purposes. I know Thirlmere is off limits for now and Pooley Bridge will be for some time to come by the looks of it. But where else is also out? I'd rather go and support the local businesses than stay away

Re: Eurostar South of France Trains Bike Policy

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 10 January 2016 - 11:25am
BrianFox wrote:Well, the last international journey I did with my bike was to Valence for the Ardechoise.

There's a mainline station 5 minutes from where I live.

To do it by train I needed to get to Euston, transfer to st Pancras, eurostar, then cross paris and TGV.

Three journeys, three different bike policies, all bar the first need bike in a bag to guarantee having it on the same train as you, TGV explicitly doesn't guarantee you getting your bike off with you. And of course you have to ticket with different companies so if you miss a connection you don't have a valid ticket.

Flying alternative: fly to Geneva, hire car, share costs with companions, cheaper and zero hassle.

I once flew with a bike to queenstown nz. Four flights, no problem. Train companies just don't care I'm afraid.

I'm not sure what companies still allow roll on bikes, I've seen someone do it with sas recently, but roll on bikes on international trains is a non starter as far as I can see.

I've made at least a couple of dozen international journeys by train, without anyone losing or damaging my bike.

On eurostar you can book a place on the same train as you. Provided you turn up in good time your bike will go on the same train. I did turn up late for one eurostar train and the bike turned up on the following train. But that was my fault.

Normally you would need to cross Paris, which admittedly can be a pain, even if it is only a couple of stops on the RER, but there is a TGV from Lille that goes direct to Marseille without going through Paris.

Travelling with your bike in a bag tends to be the only option if you are travelling by TGV to the south of France (although there is the option of going by night train). But on other TGV services (eg TGV Lyria to Switzerland or the TGV Sud-Ouest) you definitely can travel with an undismantled bike on the same train.

You have to take your bike in a bag to travel on the DeutscheBahn ICE services, but again the bag travels with you. You can travel with an undismantled bike on their night trains - including the international service from Amsterdam.

Airlines generally seem to be reasonably good at making sure your luggage arrives with you by I've seen plenty of posts from people complaining about lost or damaged bikes, and I think everyone must have met someone who has had their luggage lost by an airline. So to make out that it it risk-free isn't very credible. Whichever transport option you choose if you have to hand your luggage over to someone else and run the risk of them losing it, that risk is probably lower with eurostar than flying.

Yes the rail companies make travelling with a bike more complicated than it needs to be. And that might be a reason why you might choose to fly, but the risk of losing your bags really doesn't seem to be a valid reason for choosing to fly instead of going by train.

Re: Eurostar South of France Trains Bike Policy

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 10 January 2016 - 11:20am
robgul wrote:Wrong on so many counts - but then you seem to be adamant .....

Rob

Not adamant at all Rob. I spent hours researching this journey by train and gave up in frustration before spending all of about 30 minutes booking the whole thing by air and car.

So please, rather than assert that I'm wrong, help me. I'm 5 minutes from a mainline station (wilmslow) which gets me to Euston in 2 hours. I want to get to Valence, on a tgv line. Couldn't really be more convenient.

Tell me how to do this by train in a cheaper or more convenient way than flying to Geneva and driving a hire car. For 2-4 people.

Genuinely, I'd love to do our again by train.

Re: Someone nearly killed me today

CTC Forum - On the road - 10 January 2016 - 10:53am
robing wrote:... The point is these are regular occurrences I suspect for most cyclists, but we just shrug and carry on. I like to think I should be able to anticipate any driver errors ahead of me and stop in time. Being taken out from behind though is another matter entirely. I don't tend to dwell on things too much or let it spoil my cycling. Plus I think winter is a more dangerous time to cycle - darker, poor visibility, low sun, slippery surfaces etc.
I agree that winter is more dangerous but it's still pretty safe. Being taken out from behind is also fairly rare - IIRC the most common collisions are T-bones, left hooks, right crosses, getting squeezed to the kerb/verge, doorings and riding out into traffic (failing to give way) - while most are motorist-inflicted, you might at least see most coming.

Discussions like this always make me wonder what I'm doing differently to "most cyclists" or at least most on here - or what's different in the fens although I have lived elsewhere (but cycling was harder there and not just because of hills). Almost all of my collisions have been self-inflicted (I think I've been ridden into once...) and I rarely suffer close passes outside of a few known troublespots (mainly where bad driving and bad road design meet)... I get plenty of dumb abuse from frustrated motorists, but maybe people are less inclined to get physical with a 6ft man on a workhorse bike than some others?

Or is it where I ride? Could it be that many/most people around here know people who cycle, or have driven in nearby Cambridge where cycling is rampant? I often see people I know out cycling, which didn't really happen when I lived elsewhere.

Or is it that I use non-crazy cycle facilities and despite frequent assertions to the contrary and not showing up as safer in stats (primarily because of botched junction designs and poor maintenance IMO), cycle tracks and routes tend to be less near-miss-y? Here's a typical route for me http://cycle.travel/map/journey/376 (although it gets confused around the A47 junction - I'll take a look at OSM later - I often ride on the road northbound through that junction, but I find it stressful trying to take the lane southbound so I usually use the cycle track despite it being narrow sharp-cornered crap) - how many of you would ride London Road rather than Hardings Way? Would you ride on the A149 and A10 rather than the cycle tracks? Would you keep on down the A10 instead of heading for NCR11 through the villages?

Re: Eurostar South of France Trains Bike Policy

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 10 January 2016 - 10:37am
BrianFox wrote:Well, the last international journey I did with my bike was to Valence for the Ardechoise.

There's a mainline station 5 minutes from where I live.

To do it by train I needed to get to Euston, transfer to st Pancras, eurostar, then cross paris and TGV.

Three journeys, three different bike policies, all bar the first need bike in a bag to guarantee having it on the same train as you, TGV explicitly doesn't guarantee you getting your bike off with you. And of course you have to ticket with different companies so if you miss a connection you don't have a valid ticket.

Flying alternative: fly to Geneva, hire car, share costs with companions, cheaper and zero hassle.

I once flew with a bike to queenstown nz. Four flights, no problem. Train companies just don't care I'm afraid.

I'm not sure what companies still allow roll on bikes, I've seen someone do it with sas recently, but roll on bikes on international trains is a non starter as far as I can see.

Wrong on so many counts - but then you seem to be adamant .....

Rob

Re: London - Finsbury Park to Blackfriars

CTC Forum - On the road - 10 January 2016 - 10:27am
TonyR wrote:Onyerbike1979 wrote:....... or if anyone can tell me how to send a PM that would be even better!!

Assuming you are using a web browser just look on the right of the post and there should be a little square with PM written in it. Click that and @Dsalmon01's your uncle
Stupidly I figured it out not long after posting!! Appreciate the help all the same.

So bike wont be ready until Thursday but I have bought all the relevant gear, good lock, good lights, repair kit, extra tubes etc.

Looking forward to getting on the road asap!

Re: Cycling opportunity Keswick -Kendal

CTC Forum - On the road - 10 January 2016 - 10:19am
I once ignored some road closed signs, I rode down a nice hill with no other vehicles.

When I got to the bottom I found diggers and other stuff but no bridge. It was a long way back up with a bike loaded with camping gear.

Re: Someone nearly killed me today

CTC Forum - On the road - 10 January 2016 - 10:12am
When I was a trainee scuba diver many years ago one of the rules drummed into us was to always think " what if ? ". In other words constantly assess your situation and make sure you have at the back of your mind what you would do in an emergency. Somehow I have translated this into cycling ( and driving ) and always keep an almost subconscious escape route in mind. Some of the posters here obviously do this and it has served them well even if they just put it down to experience.
The other adage was that there are old divers and bold divers but no old bold divers. Translate that into cycling terms!

Re: When to avoid peak times in France?

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 10 January 2016 - 9:59am
As above. I think the main french summer holiday ends on the weekend that has the religious festival of " the assumption of Mary into heaven." This seems to be , as MrsHj says around the 15th. Having been tied to school holiday camping trips for a few years, I found the camp sites to be fairly empty after this time. That is, away from hot spots.

Re: Cycling opportunity Keswick -Kendal

CTC Forum - On the road - 10 January 2016 - 9:57am
Graham wrote:A "Road Closed" sign really does mean it these days.

Back in the 20th century a Road Closed sign would bring a smile to my face because it could safely interpreted as "Closed to motor vehicles . . but there is nearly always a way through for pedestrians & cyclists".

If work was in progress the workmen would sympathetically respond to enable safe passage. No big deal.

Having been through a few "learning experiences" I now understand that it really means what it say - for all road users.

Fencing-off is comprehensive and robust.
The closure points may be guarded.
Even if a workman takes pity and thinks you might get through ( which is unlikely as their briefings are emphatic ). The Foreman / Site Safety person will very likely intervene and keep you out / send you back.

Under these circumstances it doesn't do our group image any good to push through and get caught. ( As in the web newspaper article above. )

That's not my experience. I've often explored when there has been a road closed sign especially if it means a long detour and usually there is at least pedestrian access and in the rare occasions there isn't I have been helpfully escorted through the work while the diggers etc take a short pause. But I would never, as seems to have been happening here, remove barriers or ignore the requests of workers - I always approach them or any police first to politely ask if its OK and passable on bike or foot.

Re: Cycling opportunity Keswick -Kendal

CTC Forum - On the road - 10 January 2016 - 9:50am
A "Road Closed" sign really does mean it these days.

Back in the 20th century a Road Closed sign would bring a smile to my face because it could safely interpreted as "Closed to motor vehicles . . but there is nearly always a way through for pedestrians & cyclists".

If work was in progress the workmen would sympathetically respond to enable safe passage. No big deal.

Having been through a few "learning experiences" I now understand that it really means what it say - for all road users.

Fencing-off is extensive and robust.
The closure points may be guarded.
Even if a workman takes pity and thinks you might get through ( which is unlikely as their briefings are emphatic ). The Foreman / Site Safety person will very likely intervene and keep you out / send you back.

Under these circumstances it doesn't do our group image any good to push through and get caught. ( As in the web newspaper article above. )

Re: When to avoid peak times in France?

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 10 January 2016 - 9:26am
There is a public holiday on 15 August and it starts to calm after that I think. I agree that away from the coast it's rarely a major issue finding camping. Once you hit the last week of August/first week of September there's plenty of space everywhere and usually nice weather. Conversely some campsites in Spain begin to close in September and I know my husband and kids go to a full service campsite near benodet that has its last week in the first week of September. For municipal sites a regular camp sites you should be fine in September.
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