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Re: Re, Idiots on bikes

CTC Forum - On the road - 10 November 2014 - 1:30pm
I don't like the current trend for regarding anyone not wearing a poppy as in some way wanting in respect.
My grandfather fought in the trenches in WW1, and lost many of his friends. He was, to say the least of it, unenthusiastic about the red poppies, IIRC partly because the charity itself used to be called the Haig Fund - little short of an insult to the fallen.

I'll give money to it if asked, but in remembrance of him and his friends, I don't wear a red poppy (though used to wear a white one when there used to be some around, haven't seen one for years).

Re: I Hate Virgin Trains

CTC Forum - On the road - 10 November 2014 - 12:56pm
I'd love to know how few people actually buy those fares. I'm guessing it is almost always people on expenses...

Bear in mind also that those who board trains without tickets are only eligible to buy the full anytime fare so they do act as a disincentive to fare dodgers

Re: Re, Idiots on bikes

CTC Forum - On the road - 10 November 2014 - 12:55pm
Edwards wrote:I am not sure I would want to get in the way of solders even retired ones and start shouting the odds at them when they are marching to remember their dead friends.

As a former soldier I would say that at the average Remembrance Day service there are no soldiers who are marching to remember their dead friends. There are increasingly few soldiers from WW2 nowadays and many of the survivors are no longer able to parade or stand outside in cold weather for any length of time. Of course there are many soldiers from conflicts since (I am one of them) but the losses were far fewer and once out of the army (or whatever service) you are unlikely to be be with a whole load of veterans from your unit.

I served on three operational tours and in that time no-one I directly or indirectly knew was killed by enemy fire. A few that I knew were killed in road traffic accidents and one committed suicide, I presume they are also remembered, but overall I think nowadays very few servicemen will, thankfully, experience having their friends killed around them.

Re: panniers panniers panniers???

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 10 November 2014 - 12:31pm
pjclinch wrote:Sweep wrote:Agree about Rixen and Kaul - I have them on a nice small set of Alturas.

If Ortleib used Rixen and Kaul they'd be perfect in my opinion.

Not all R&K is created equal. While the Klickfix bar bag mounts I have are excellent, the catches on my older style Altura Orkneys (and the catch design is still about) are a Work of Stan and a total PITA. I've broken 2 of the 4 and they were £6 to replace and they're (IMHO) a bit crap, awkward to lock and unlock. The catches on my various Ortliebs, OTOH, are my personal reference benchmark of How To Do It Right.

Moral here is if you can take in your bike and your rack and try them in person. One person's meat is another's poison, and this seems to extend to pannier fittings.

Pete.
complete agreement - the R&K pannier fittings are badly designed, difficult to use and break regularly - oh and getting some of the parts is nigh on impossible in the UK!

Ortlieb QL system is much better, all the parts are readily available - not that you should need any, my commuting bags started out as my touring bags back in 04, only downgraded as they are looking a bit tatty and i'm a bit OCD about my touring kit!

Re: panniers panniers panniers???

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 10 November 2014 - 12:26pm
bogmyrtle wrote:If I was looking for panniers again I would look for something with pockets. I curse the pocketless Ortliebs I have every time I use them.
well fit some pockets to them then - Ortlieb do two sizes which are fully waterproof and removable for when you don't need them.

Re: I Hate Virgin Trains

CTC Forum - On the road - 10 November 2014 - 12:14pm
Flinders wrote:The problem with advance fares is that they tie you to specific trains. And though you can get down to London quite cheaply in a single advance if you don't mind when you travel, it's more expensive to get there and back at the times we need.
Times which I don't think you've said so no-one can really help but it does look like an open off-peak return on London Midland only is £37 (1h52 the fastest journey but may take about 3h, compared to typical 1h19 on Virgin), or a split-ticket Anytime Return is about £60 (but you'd have to be careful where the trains stop and/or change trains - see http://split.traintimes.org.uk/STA/EUS/y/05:54). The headline walk-up fares of over £200 are fairly horrible, though. Another symptom of not having enough seats on those routes?

Re: Reporting some horrible driving

CTC Forum - On the road - 10 November 2014 - 11:05am
Send your report by letter and mark it as a pp to the Chief Exec's office and send a copy there. You will get more response.

Re: I Hate Virgin Trains

CTC Forum - On the road - 10 November 2014 - 11:00am
Flinders wrote:bikepacker wrote:As I have said previously most of my experiences with Virgin Trains and other train companies have been very good.

I've just been trying to book trains for a trip to London from Stafford (not with bikes).
As Virgin are too expensive, as well as uncomfortable for me (tilting trains make me throw up unless I stand up all the way) I go by London Midland.
Except no matter how you add in your data, or what boxes you check, the National Rail Enquiries site doesn't display a lot of the London Midland trains.
How curious.
If I hadn't known better, I'd have assumed that I could only get one of two LM trains back in the evening. In the same time three-hours period there are at least three other LM trains that NRE don't list.
It's almost as if NRI don't want you to use London Midland trains................

If anyone is thinking of avoiding Virgin and saving their money (as well as getting into London earlier without having to take out a mortgage on the fare) I suggest they go to London Midland's own site to avoid being ripped off and getting stuck with Virgin.

Go on the London Midland website, put in your journey and tick the box that says LM trains. You will probably get at change at Bham New Street but trains from Stafford and those to London usually leave from the opposite ends of the same platform. If you don't get a cheap enough fare try splitting into two by putting in Stafford to Bham and Bham to London.

This site will also allow you to book bikes on trains should you ever need.

Play about with the journey options, you may save yourself a lot of money for a few minutes on the computer. This year I did two trips to Scotland at under £40 return when the normal return fare would have been over £180.

Re: Reivers coast to coast on skinny tires?

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 10 November 2014 - 10:56am
Heading to the ferry (ijmuiden-Newcastle) this afternoon. Will be posting updates from the road at the usual social media addresses

Feel free to pray to the sun gods with me

Re: Re, Idiots on bikes

CTC Forum - On the road - 10 November 2014 - 10:30am
I do not know if this tale is true or not.

Unfortunately respect for the deceased is not unheard of in recent years.

There are many instances of road rage and general unpleasantness by many different types of road users towards Funeral Corteges.
But as this thread is about idiots on bikes if I may I would like to recall one such instance.
I live near a Cemetery and Crematorium and one day I witnessed on such idiot holding up a Hearse with Coffin in it. He was shouting that it had not given way and he had right of way going around the roundabout that he had just left the footway to join the road at.

I am not sure I would want to get in the way of solders even retired ones and start shouting the odds at them when they are marching to remember their dead friends. I have this thing in the back of my mind that they were trained to kill. For the average cyclist with their puny arm muscles would probably come of second best.

Re: I Hate Virgin Trains

CTC Forum - On the road - 10 November 2014 - 10:18am
Bicycler wrote:TonyR wrote:or on London Midlands for £7.00. The latter do take longer though.
I think that last bit may be the answer to the anomaly. NRE doesn't routinely show trains which get overtaken. There used to be a tick box option for showing overtaken trains but it seems to have gone in the last redesign

I wonder why they chose to remove that? Well, no I don't wonder.

Re: I Hate Virgin Trains

CTC Forum - On the road - 10 November 2014 - 10:17am
Bicycler wrote:I also tend to pay through the East Coast or First sites (TransPennine Express and Great Western, both of whom use the East Coast engine). I found out yesterday that the First sites still offer free delivery on all tickets.

NRE is quite good in allowing you to play a bit with connection times. It's not particularly user friendly but http://www.takethetrain.co.uk shows overtaken trains which may not be shown by others.

I will take a look at that link, thank you.

Edit, have now looked, and that site does have all the elusive cheaper trains on it. Thanks again.

Re: I Hate Virgin Trains

CTC Forum - On the road - 10 November 2014 - 10:16am
TonyR wrote:Flinders wrote:If anyone is thinking of avoiding Virgin and saving their money (as well as getting into London earlier without having to take out a mortgage on the fare) I suggest they go to London Midland's own site to avoid being ripped off and getting stuck with Virgin.

I don't know when you are looking and what you think needs a mortgage but there are plenty of Advance Standard Single fares available on Virgin from Stafford to London for around £16.50 or on London Midlands for £7.00. The latter do take longer though.

The problem with advance fares is that they tie you to specific trains. And though you can get down to London quite cheaply in a single advance if you don't mind when you travel, it's more expensive to get there and back at the times we need.

Re: Re, Idiots on bikes

CTC Forum - On the road - 10 November 2014 - 10:16am
Our easy ride yesterday encountered a road closure for a remembrance day event in the early afternoon. There were absolutely no advance warning signs, let alone any diversion signs, until we were at the closure. The most obvious diversion would be about a mile and I don't know if any of that would have been closed too, because that would pass the town hall and I don't know where the parade started. The ride guide consulted the policeman manning the road closure and decided we should push through a short section of crowd and remount on its far edge, but where the road was still closed, because some cycles are not easy to push. Shouldn't some diversion be signed for a road closure?

In short, I don't think that road closure (or the event) was signed very well. I saw one event sign but it was inside the road closure, so would only inform people who frequently use that route. Even if they'd held it at 11am then it wouldn't have been a problem because our ride stopped for a two-minute silence to allow reflection.

I wonder whether there are now so many remembrance day events that corners are being cut in organising them safely, but it's easier to blame the unsuspecting runners or riders who stumble into them.

Re: Re, Idiots on bikes

CTC Forum - On the road - 10 November 2014 - 10:03am
I think it's national "take offence at people being offensive on Armistice Day, day".

I've seen several similar reports on various Facebook pages - all third hand, involving cyclists, runners and even a dog walker.
Perhaps it's true but I wouldn't put money on it.

Re: Re, Idiots on bikes

CTC Forum - On the road - 10 November 2014 - 9:56am
If the account is true, then shouting at people marching is inexcusable - however how many times have we all encountered 'road closed' signs, only to find that actually the road is passable for bikes? It's normal for cyclists to be forgotten when temporary road closures and/or traffic lights are set up, or at best there'll be a 'cyclists dismount' sign. Continuing cautiously is often a perfectly reasonable thing to do even if it doesn't comply with the letter of the law especially if the diversion is lengthy, so I can see how it could happen.

What worries me, and it's very difficult to say this without putting my foot in it, is that Remembrance Sunday is no longer quite the dignified, understated affair that it used to be. With the combination of WW1 and D-Day anniversaries, and continuing tragic waste of life today, 'poppy day' has acquired a prominence it didn't have for decades. These cyclists could have ridden into the scouts' St George's Day parade and not encountered anything like the same level of condemnation; we seem to be in a new age where anyone not wearing a poppy is seen as not supporting our service personnel, an age where freedom of personal reflection and expression is overruled by a largely media-inspired expectation of how we should behave. Millions of men and women have died to give us that freedom, most of them wouldn't have thought of themselves as heroes, and the current national mood makes me uncomfortable.

Re: ROSE BIKE'S UK . .

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 10 November 2014 - 9:50am
I love the fact that on German bike websites lights are in the bike components area rather than the accessories area

Re: Reporting some horrible driving

CTC Forum - On the road - 10 November 2014 - 9:44am
nickbutler80 wrote:Please report it to M&S!
already done. I've tweeted them to get their attention, and then emailed them to provide full details.

Re: panniers panniers panniers???

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 10 November 2014 - 9:35am
Sweep wrote:Agree about Rixen and Kaul - I have them on a nice small set of Alturas.

If Ortleib used Rixen and Kaul they'd be perfect in my opinion.

Not all R&K is created equal. While the Klickfix bar bag mounts I have are excellent, the catches on my older style Altura Orkneys (and the catch design is still about) are a Work of Stan and a total PITA. I've broken 2 of the 4 and they were £6 to replace and they're (IMHO) a bit crap, awkward to lock and unlock. The catches on my various Ortliebs, OTOH, are my personal reference benchmark of How To Do It Right.

Moral here is if you can take in your bike and your rack and try them in person. One person's meat is another's poison, and this seems to extend to pannier fittings.

Pete.

Re: panniers panniers panniers???

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 10 November 2014 - 9:29am
+1 for Altura panniers +1 for Caradice.
I have used my Alturas for work and touring holidays over the past 11 years - they have been excellent. Mrs Back has had the same Carradice panniers for over 21 years, these have also been superb. The Carradice panniers are somewhat lighter than my Alturas.
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