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Re: Two Abreast

CTC Forum - On the road - 15 June 2014 - 8:38pm
kwackers wrote:
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

Cycle in London for any period of time and you get well used to this. Not just lycra warriors but Boris bikers, MTBers, Brommie riders, upstairs models with baskets, every Tom Dick and Harry does it. Then they pull slowly away because none of them know how to change down gears when stopping.


Re: My Surly LHT - almost finished!

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 15 June 2014 - 8:38pm
Do read what Surly say about kickstands.

Re: Two Abreast

CTC Forum - On the road - 15 June 2014 - 8:31pm
Erm... I had a sore knee that day. I've got a note from my mum to prove it and everything!

Re: Learning to ride on the road with a mountain bike?

CTC Forum - On the road - 15 June 2014 - 8:31pm
Hi 'amenahmw', welcome to the forum.

Assuming that the bike is roadworthy (brakes and gears do work, etc) , and that the bike fits you OK, then there is no reason why you shouldn't use it to learn to ride on the road.....I've taught loads of people who have had much less suitable bikes (I hate BMXs*).

If you go to a bikebility lesson then the first thing that they should teach you is how to do a safety check on the bike, however, if the bike is unsafe they will not let you use it for the session. Some instructors will do minor fixes to it, and most will top the air up in the tyres (while muttering darkly under their breath ), but don't count on it...best to take the bike to a good bike shop to get it serviced beforehand....this is your next problem: make sure that they do a report and quotes for any work that it needs before they do the work - that way you can give them the OK beforehand rather than finding you have been landed with a bill for more than the bike is worth!

Regarding speed - don't worry, in bikeability lessons it's the ones that go fast that tend to fail, whereas those that go at a modest/reasnable speed and give themselves time to think about what they are doing have a much better chance of passing. If you do want to go a bit faster then getting a pair of slick road tyres will transform the bike.

As for how difficult it is to ride in the road.....not that hard. Have a read through the High Way Code first so that you know how has priority at junctions, and understand the common road signs, etc. In bikeability your first session will probably be a L1 - this is done away from traffic and just checks that you can control the bike, stop, start, make observations, etc . Then you go for L2 which is done on quieter roads and teaches position, observation and communication, all under the care of the instructor. This gives you the basics required to ride most quieter roads. Once experienced in that you can do a L3 that takes you onto the busier and bigger stuff and is often tailored to your individual concerns.

Assuming that you can control the bike OK, then the most of the rest of it is in the mind - just getting the confidence.

Anyway, I don't know where you are, but if you are in Birmingham then send me a PM and I might be able to get you some free lessons.

* OK, OK - they are great for doing what they are meant to do...but not great fr learning road riding on.

<edit: post composed at same time as Vorpal's - not just repeating the same things for the sake of it!>

Re: Two Abreast

CTC Forum - On the road - 15 June 2014 - 8:29pm
I don't get it you were overtaken by three cider drinking MTB'ers legless you are on 700 slicks

Re: Learning to ride on the road with a mountain bike?

CTC Forum - On the road - 15 June 2014 - 8:17pm

Welcome to the forum. Just put some smooth tyres on your mountain bike, like Schwalbe City Jets, or Big Apples, and pedalling your bike will get much easier. A bike shop can check your bike over for you and make certain everything is working correctly.

If you can, sign up for some Bikeability courses. If you can't, or in the meanwhile, look for book called Cyclecraft by John Franklin. The library is likely to have a copy.

Many areas have bike rides aimed at beginning and returning cyclists. They are often run by Sustrans, the CTC, British Cycling, or the local council. If you found this forum, you can check their websites for activities in your area. You may also be able to find a 'Dr. Bike' where they will help you with maintenance.

And enjoy the cycling.

The main problem with your current bike is that it is likely to be too small. That may make it difficult for you to do some things on a Bikeability course.

Oh, and the saddle may be too low. Try setting it, or get some help setting it, so that it is just high enough for you to straighten your legs at the bottom of the pedal stroke, but that you knee is still slightly bent when you pedal. The seat post should have a line on it, called a minimum insertion line. Don't pull it out further than that line.

p.s. cycling on the road can be intimidating, but if you can start with quiet roads while you gain experience, it will be easier. It may help if you can find others to ride with.

Re: Two Abreast

CTC Forum - On the road - 15 June 2014 - 8:12pm
I've vented my spleen with regards to going two-abreast on the road already. Here's a different scenario I came across a couple of weeks ago:

The route back from my regular evening blast up to Dartmoor goes down an unbelievably steep, twisty, blind, narrow-yet-two-way downhill section of road. It's absolute suicide to go down it at full pelt, as if you meet a vehicle coming the other way, you will definitely hit it hard. A group of 3 lads on mountain bikes overtook me going flat out... They got away with it, and at the bottom, they were hanging round the access gate to the cycle track, so I went through and carried along the path which is downhill all the way to Plymouth. A short while later, these 3 blasted past me, legs a blur. They're on low-pressure knobblies, and I'm on 700c, fairly-high-pressure slicks - I was able to keep up with them without pedaling. I was having to brake slightly, as they were blocking the path by going two abreast, with the other lad struggling a bit behind them. They were looking back at me every now and then, so I decided not to ask if they'd let me through, but just keep quiet, sit right on their back wheel and keep the pressure on. By the time we got near the end of the path, they'd stopped shouting to each other, were sweating like rapists and had turned purple. They took the first available exit near the bottom and did not look remotely happy as I freewheeled past.

It would have been courteous of them to single out so I could have got past, but I'm glad they didn't - it was fun.

Re: Any chronic whiplash sufferers here?

CTC Forum - On the road - 15 June 2014 - 8:02pm
Soft-tissue injuries tend to get better in the end. They get better in fits and starts.
I got bilateral biceps tendonitis as a side-effect of the antibiotic Ciproxin. Tendonitis is known to be a side-effect of it, and even rupture of the Achilles tendon.
It was really bad for about three months and lasted a full two years, on and off.
Perfect now.

Re: My Surly LHT - almost finished!

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 15 June 2014 - 7:34pm
You'll do yourself a mischief with those bar ends

My Surly LHT - almost finished!

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 15 June 2014 - 7:28pm
Thought I'd post these pics for the archive. Just new brake blocks, SPD pedals and maybe a double kick stand to go,

Re: Cylcing the Canal du Midi

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 15 June 2014 - 7:28pm
Hi John -

We returned two weeks ago from a top-to-bottom tour of France, including cycling from Bordeaux to the Med via Toulouse and Narbonne, and the canals de Garonne and du Midi.

As others have observed, the track is great to Toulouse and for a bit beyond (heading towards Carcassonne) but then suddenly deteriorates before Castelnaudary. This seems to coincide with a change in governmental regions, and it appears that there are differing views about the value of investing in cycling infrastructure between the regions.

It's not a big problem. but you might choose to take a road instead for those parts. Minor roads have the additional advantage of offering a change of scenery / townscapes as (dare I say it) the canal can get a bit monotonous. Or maybe it's my short attention span!

I kept a blog on the Crazyguyonabike web-site, and if you are interested the link is:-

http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/?o=1 ... 13782&v=JC

The particular section of the blog referring to your query is towards the end, with the heading Peaceful Camping.

Don't let the quality of the track in this area put you off. We had a fantastic time, despite some pretty wet weather.

Best wishes -

Brian (& Annie).

Re: Any chronic whiplash sufferers here?

CTC Forum - On the road - 15 June 2014 - 7:20pm
I had a motorcycle accident that resulted in whiplash about 20 years ago.

My neck was incredibly painful for around 6 months and I had to keep it mobile to stop it 'ceasing up'. Probably for around 2 or 3 years it would get painful if I sat and read a book although it very slowly got better. I can't even tell you when it stopped, just one day I realised I'd been reading for a while and my neck didn't hurt...

Probably not much help with yours I'm afraid other than to say it hung around for a long time and only very slowly improved. Certainly for the longest time I assumed it would always give me problems.

Re: Any chronic whiplash sufferers here?

CTC Forum - On the road - 15 June 2014 - 7:01pm
Have you had any Osteopathic treatment? I found it beneficial after an mtb crash. My injury was similar to whiplash and it took about a year to get fully recovered.

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 .
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