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Learning to ride on the road with a mountain bike?

CTC Forum - On the road - 15 June 2014 - 6:57pm

I'm 15 and I'm really keen to learn how to ride on the road. I own this mountain bike which I've had since I was 10 years old- http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Ladies-Sabre- ... 1446781534

I can ride a bike and that's it really. I haven't got any experience of on-road cycling but I plan to get lessons soon as I believe that being able to cycle on roads will help me out in the future and I really want to get back into riding my bike like I used to. This mountain bike is fairly slow, and you have to pedal REALLY hard to keep up with the other bikes, so I'm thinking it's probably not a good idea to use this bike. Plus, I rode it around the garden for the first time today in about a year and a half so it's slightly rusty and the brakes and gears don't seem to be in the best condition. I have no maintenance skills whatsoever; I wouldn't be able to pump up a deflated tyre if I tried but I am really willing to learn. However, before I go out and buy a hybrid/road bike, I want to prove to myself/my parents that I am interested in bikes and won't lose interest in cycling after a few months.

So do you think I would be able to have lessons on this mountain bike and move up to a better bike once I have shown I'm committed? Also as a side note, how difficult is cycling on roads? Considering I don't have the previous experience of driving, I'd have to learn the basics of being on the road, which seems quite daunting but like I said, I don't mind if it takes time to learn.


Re: Two Abreast

CTC Forum - On the road - 15 June 2014 - 6:46pm
kwackers wrote:Under normal circumstances I'd defend any cyclists right to ride two abreast since I think it makes good sense ...................
I would'nt.

Was out cycling the other day and two cyclist two abreast ( I would normally move to single on hearing traffic from behind) were approching me in the other direction, a car came up behind them then proceeded to overtake, seeing me coming the other way it pulled back behind the cyclist.

Not all car drivers do that.

Re: Two Abreast

CTC Forum - On the road - 15 June 2014 - 6:13pm
Here's another take on the two-abreast debate.

Today I was passed by a group (I wouldn't go so far as to say "peloton") of roadies, on a main road but not particularly busy. Because they were two abreast, and deep in voluble conversation, I heard them coming in good time. Needless to say, not so much as a nod to yours truly (I'm on a road bike, but slow and not wearing all the kit so I obviously don't count ).

Now - if they'd chosen to be singled up (and as I said, we are on a main road), they wouldn't have been chatting away and I wouldn't have heard them. As discussed at length in another thread, no-one likes a silent approach from behind.

So two-abreast does bring an unexpected benefit after all.

Re: American looking for touring partner/s in UK or just adv

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 15 June 2014 - 6:07pm
Hi Matt,

With limited time and a desire to see some good bits, I'd go for an off-the-shelf route and presuming London would be the start point, then Wales offers a short end-to-end that could take in Stonehenge as an easy add-on. On and off-road routes can be found on this site

http://www.sustrans.org.uk/ncn/map/rout ... ymru-north and of course
http://www.sustrans.org.uk/ncn/map/rout ... ymru-south

There are direct train services London-Holyhead where the ride starts, doing it this way round means you don't finish in Holyhead which is a ferry terminal and not a lot else. Bikes go free on some trains, the service to Holyhead is run by Virgin, last time I used them there was a small charge, others may know better?

To get to Stonehenge just keep following the cycle routes from Cardiff over the Severn Bridge and head towards the Salisbury area. The Bristol-Bath cycle path is on a disused railway and excellent for all types of bike. Plan an overnight in Bath, it's a lovely Georgian city with many Roman remains to see. Prepare to be slightly underwhelmed by Stonehenge, it's quite commercial in the same way as Niagara Falls, I know you'll still go, I went to the Falls, but 'they' were right to advise me not to bother. Salisbury is also very nice in parts and has a direct train service back to London. See http://www.thetrainline.com/ for times and costs, buying a ticket early and collecting it the station [you use the card you bought the ticket with] will save a huge amount.

Hope this helps, might be good to post your plans when they're clearer, may tempt some to join you on route.

Cheers, Richard

Re: Where is your most Ideal place to go touring?

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 15 June 2014 - 5:56pm
Tigger when/where are you going to in the Hebrides? Will be up there in a rented cottage on North Uist during July, with our bikes. Would be happy to provide a pot of tea if you are passing!


Re: Two Abreast

CTC Forum - On the road - 15 June 2014 - 4:51pm
reohn2 wrote:Which goes to show idiots aren't all driving cars

They probably drive like that every weekday.

Re: Two Abreast

CTC Forum - On the road - 15 June 2014 - 3:55pm
Which goes to show idiots aren't all driving cars
FWIW,I witness some completely idiotic behaviour from cyclists too.
Like the numpty last Friday through padgate/Fernhead on what looked like a nice MTB who thought it a good idea to ride against the flow of traffic on(his)righthand bend.He got a bit of a shock meeting me coming the opposite way with an equally stupid driver overtaking me,and an even bigger one when he tried to hop onto the pavement almost losing it completely,thankfully I had enough room to avoid him .

Re: Two Abreast

CTC Forum - On the road - 15 June 2014 - 3:48pm
two lanes is taking 'primary' a bit far...

Two Abreast

CTC Forum - On the road - 15 June 2014 - 3:25pm
So I know this is a topic that's been done to death, but I really needed to vent my spleen...

So this morning I'm cycling to meet my 'running' buddies for a quick 15 mile trail run, to get there I cycle since it's just 5 miles each way.

So the first thing that gets my hackles up is I'm sat at the lights and these two lycra warriors slip past my inside and stop in front of me - no acknowledgement and they're obviously going to be faster than a greyed haired guy on a tourer with panniers right?
Well, no. They cycled along at a respectable speed but they weren't going any faster and often were going slower than I'd like and being two abreast (and not cycling in straight lines) made it difficult for me to pass. Wouldn't it have been just a tad more polite to queue behind me and overtake a bit further up the road once they knew I was slower?
However that's a mild annoyance and not a real gripe (and par for the course from my experience of weekend warriors).

What *REALLY* got on my wick is when we reached various one way systems they took up positions in adjacent lanes completely blocking the road. I've no idea what the drivers following thought - but they're were obviously a lot more patient than I'd have been in the circumstances. And they didn't just do this on one bit of road they did it on several, even when the lanes markings didn't match their intended direction.

Under normal circumstances I'd defend any cyclists right to ride two abreast since I think it makes good sense but I couldn't in a million years defend people who deliberately ride two abreast in two separate lanes completely blocking them to other traffic and paying no attention to anyone else on the road.

A pair of ignorant pri's.

Re: Innsbruck to Munich cyle route

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 15 June 2014 - 3:21pm
The climb out of the Inn valley to Achensee is hard, there are 2 ways. 1 There is a road through Jenbach. 2 there is a cyclepath alongside the railway line from Jenbach I dont what the surface is but I suspect gravel as I saw MTB`s using it.There is a ban on cyclists using the main road. There was a post last year about Achensee and Bad Tolz.From Achenkirch it is best use the road as the cyclepath (Via Bavarica Tyrolensis) goes through the woods.At the junction with the main road(307)again use the road as CP goes south of the Sylvensteinsee. Follow the Isar Radweg from the Sylvensteinsee to Bad Tolz, at Lengries there is a cyclepath along side the river to Bad Tolz. As other posts have said dont follow the river from Bad Tolz best route is to go north through the vilages,such as Dietramszall, Thanning, Grossdingharting.you can join the cyclepath along river at Schaftlarn or Grunwald.

Re: Sleeping bag or not ?

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 15 June 2014 - 11:10am
The nice thing about quilts/duvets is that they can be very cheap as more are sold for normal use. £7 for a good basic model from Tesco & 10.5 tog. Unlike a sleeping bag a normal single duvet will be big enough to cover the internal space of a 2/3 person tent and so I think the matter of draughts not likely, even if u turn a lot?

Re: Sleeping bag or not ?

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 15 June 2014 - 9:14am
Top Bags...

The theory is that since that down under compression has an insulation value of roughly zip then underneath you all the serious work is being done by the mat, so there's no point in wasting weight on more down there and you'll do just as well without it. This is true up to a point, but in practice isn't always that simple... If the bag is constrained by the mat and the sleeper moves in to a position (especially on their side) that creates a fair bit of void space then that becomes somewhere for convection currents to waste a lot of heat, so there's your advantage out of the window.
Having said that, if you have enough insulation that the above problem isn't bad enough to make you cold then it's a moot point, and especially for people who aren't that mobile and prefer to sleep on their front or back anyway it seems a pretty good solution.

I've not bitten the bullet as I prefer to sleep on my side and am rather mobile when asleep, and on a chilly morning I like to do the camping slug thing of staying in my pit while moving around cooking breakfast, sitting in my (mat-based) chair etc. and that doesn't really work so well with a Top Bag.

My main issue with quilts is my existing bag isn't broken and doesn't need fixing enough for another New Toy!


Re: Sleeping bag or not ?

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 15 June 2014 - 5:19am
I use either a Rab Quantum top bag or a Thermarest down quilt with an Exped mat.

I've been in the Cascades in June with snow on the ground in the top bag and been perfectly warm because cold rises and the mat is so good it couldn't get through to my body.

I actually prefer the quilt to sleeping bags now. They have more wriggle room

Re: Surly Haul Long Trucker Cross Check

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 15 June 2014 - 1:33am
A bit more time to look closer now...

When I click on the 1st link, it takes you to the latest page, and to see the older stuff, with CC pics, I needed to go to the archive- http://thegrreatescape.tumblr.com/archive

And as yet can only see glam pics of Herr Kuhl und his uberkuhl antiksen, no tales or explanation. Mega bandwidth hungry and I'm on a poo connection, so giving up in a mo... yup, given up, only so many wannabe instagram (yawn) pseudo arty (ahem) staged photos of a scowling ego I can stand looking at. Reminds me of Athena posters from the early 80s. Sometimes I wish digital photography didn't exist.

Re: Surly Haul Long Trucker Cross Check

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 15 June 2014 - 12:47am
mrjemm wrote:Erm... That 1st link is an AWOL or 2. Tis him of the dermadoodles from GoingAWOL. Aha... there's a CC at the bottom I think. More a rather staged photoshoot than touring I'd guess too.

Not quite. That 1st link is to a site with 1000+ posts of Cross Check touring around USA and the Alps. The latter part of the blog is the AWOL, after he designed it.

Re: Any chronic whiplash sufferers here?

CTC Forum - On the road - 15 June 2014 - 12:43am
I've been lucky, very strong neck muscles (from playing rugby) have prevented me from having bad whiplash (despite being crashed into the back of thrice whilst in car, one at an actual 25mph impact speed) but I have had a bad shoulder injury or two, one which has stuck with me for years and is a real hinderance.
I've had steroid injections which helped mobility but also i find Shiatsu beneficial, my ex does it and it really helps, good for other things too.
Not saying it will resolve the problem completely but IMO I think it's worth giving shiatsu a go?

Re: Sleeping bag or not ?

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 14 June 2014 - 11:34pm
I.M.O. There is not anything as efficient as a closed bag to keep you warm, weight for weight.
Also a foam mat at just 100 grams if you camp on the ground will increase the lower temp of bag.

An average person will do OK wth a 1200 gram sythetic bag at 15 C with a mat.
Still air as in a tent not in the open of course.
Make sure that the bag is big enough for you, any tight spots will feel cold where you touch, and a zip baffle in mandatory, neck baffle in bag you will find in brand bags.

If you feel the cold a cheap 1500 gram bag will do you.

Re: Sleeping bag or not ?

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 14 June 2014 - 11:05pm
I used a really light weight bag in the south of France in October and was freezing.

Re: Speed Wobble and hand position.

CTC Forum - On the road - 14 June 2014 - 9:12pm
Hats off to you for trying something different - on the odd occasion i have experienced it i have been scared too witless to try anything apart from gripping the top tube between my legs. I probably grip the bars tighter and tense up but i find it impossible to relax under these circumstances - self preservation comes into play and i pull on the brakes tighter until i come to a standstill or get it under control.

Re: Where is your most Ideal place to go touring?

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 14 June 2014 - 9:02pm
+1 for the Outer Hebrides in May. I'm going in July, for the first time, so it will be interesting to compare (with Jan/ May/ Sep). It's not a touring hol but I'm hiring a bike for the week. Can't wait!

patpalloon: the OH needs as much time as you can give it!
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