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Re: so when do the shorts come out?

CTC Forum - On the road - 25 March 2015 - 10:13am
For my ten min commute I wear work clothes which, for me, means jeans

For proper cycling ten degrees C or above means shorts. I've recently got some 3/4 length tights for those borderline days. They seem good down to about 5 deg, but it depends how hard I cycle. I've on idea why I don't feel the cold between my knee and ankle, but like to cover my face with a buff below 15 deg.

Re: Tour of Brittany

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 25 March 2015 - 10:07am
RichardPH wrote:You could visit lac de Guerledan.. It's a hydro-electric lake that will be drained during the period April-September 2015 for maintenance work on the dam. This will uncover the canals and villages that were drowned when the lake was created back in the 1930s. If you like that kind of thing of course..

Yes it's already nearly empty with canal houses showing and the like - http://www.bretonbikes.com/generalartic ... ledan.html

A few points on what's been written above... Firstly on the coast about half the campsites will be open in May - inland 80%+ will be closed. Have a look here - http://www.bretonbikes.com/generalartic ... rance.html and follow the links to the camping guides etc and that section of the site has all sorts of info on touring the France/Brittany. The important thing is that you must always ring the campsite the morning you set off for it whether it claims to be open or not - because especially inland you may well be the only person on a campsite and the owner - not knowing you are coming - will be absent and everything locked up, this especially for municipal sites. Nothing is worse than cycling 50 miles to a campsite to find it closed and the nearest one 20 miles on...

Weather - likely to be mild, could be hot, prepare (as always in Europe) for rain. As a rough guide it's like a slightly warmer and drier Cornwall - and because the power of the sun is considerably higher sometimes overcast days will be 'burnt off' in a way that in Cornwall you'd be stuck with a grey day - then what rain falls does so at night. But it could chuck with rain for the week;-) Just ignore it you'll have a ball... I note 'wind' being mentioned above and I've seen it mentioned many times before in respect of Brittany. I'm a bit baffled because in 25 years of cycling here it's never struck me as a particularly windy place and because the roads tend to be winding, gently hilly and frequently sheltered by trees and hedges it's better than most parts of France. Granted at the coast it's quite different, but that applies to any coast.

Roads - off anything except red roads you'll find traffic very quiet almost everywhere inland, and drivers cycle-aware. The cyclepaths vary from tarmac, to cinder, to sand, to mud and what in some places I can only describe as rubble;-) I use 38 mm tyres on my heavy tourer and our hire bikes and on some sections you'll be very grateful for them. The road surfaces on the other hand tend to be better than the UK - and with them being so quiet there's little reason to use cyclepaths. With the exception of some sections of the North coast - especially around Plestin-Lannion etc - it's not hilly in the 'Cornish' sense - merely 'rolling' - hills being often long but well graded - usually around 5% and very rarely 10%.

Food - you've just got to eat at the 'Routier' type bar/restaurants - most large villages have one and for £9 you'll have 4-5 courses + wine and coffee - just don't arrive later than 1.00pm and expect to be fed. Ble-noir 'Crepes' or Galetes are not like normal pancakes - they are very delicious and very filling - a must try...

But May is a fabulous time to come - masses of wild flowers - Dawn Chorus you'll learn to hate - everything green and lush. Be flexible. If the weather is bad and it's wet and windy at the coast - cut inland where it's more sheltered and explore the towns, villages and countryside there - in many ways this is the really special part of Brittany especially for cyclists.

As always just get in touch for free advice - the more people I can get over here cycling the more chance there is of cyclists being treated as really important to the area and that benefits us!

Re: SUV/Lorry/BMW/Insert/delete as appropriate Driving Too C

CTC Forum - On the road - 25 March 2015 - 9:55am
The number 5 bus. IME the number 5 bus is more likely to try and squeeze through a constriction at the entrance to a mini roundabout with me than anyother type of vehicle. That means number 5 buses are the worst offenders for driving too close through mini roundabouts.

Pedestrians. They are the worst for doing that "getting out of the way" dance on mixed use paths and bridges. They are really bad for that. Perhaps we should ban them or something.

Sorry for the bad examples above. We all have our experiences of riding bicycles on the streets of the UK. If you commute at the same time each day then it is likely that you encounter the same people who also commute that way. I have identified a few cars and many cyclists who commute at about the same time as me including a few really bad and dangerous drivers. I could just put it down to them as individuals or say that because they were in a BMW then most BMW drivers drive their car in a similar way. Add more BMW drivers who do similar things and you see a pattern. Is that pattern there or is it just your localised perception of a pattern based on a few drivers who annoyed you by making you feel less than safe on the roads riding your bicycle. Do you notice those who are safe BMW drivers?

I have no idea of confirmation bias or anything like that. My view is that these threads that are started are really just about some cyclist posting about a near miss that got him or her angry or made the feel unsafe. The make or type of vehicle is not important really it is just a case of venting you spleen. That is not useful if you ask me but might help you to calm down by sharing. This is just my opinion and the reason for my original post.

so when do the shorts come out?

CTC Forum - On the road - 25 March 2015 - 9:51am
each morning for the past six weeks or so on my ride to work i have seen at least one fellow cycle commuter wearing shorts (baggy or lycra) i have been clad in pretty much full winter kit - biblongs, hat, gloves, spd boots etc
whilst not being totally brass monkeys it has been drab, damp, chilly, grim etc at 7am during this time. this got me thinking - what are the 'rules' here for when your shorts come out to play?

Re: Anyone not been hit by a car

CTC Forum - On the road - 25 March 2015 - 9:40am
pwa wrote:I think all cyclists should be required to be 6ft+ blokes weighing 14 stone or more. Drivers really don't fancy having me bounce off their bonnets and tend to give me plenty of room.
I am a 6ft, 14 stone (and a bit) bloke. That didn't stop a moron mistaking me for an empty roundabout in September 13.

Re: It me or do SUVs alway drive to close

CTC Forum - On the road - 25 March 2015 - 9:00am
mrjemm wrote:Need I explain that minivan is the American name for people-carrier?

Well you learn something new every day. BTW this isn't America and here the name minivan means one of these.

Re: SUV/Lorry/BMW/Insert/delete as appropriate Driving Too C

CTC Forum - On the road - 25 March 2015 - 8:38am
The nearest I've come to being clipped by a passing vehicle in the past couple of years was at a mini roundabout in Chipping Norton last October. The offending vehicle was a beaten up old Peugeot estate car driven by a middle aged lady in a hurry.

Lorries round my way (Vale of Glamorgan) are not usually too bad. Buses can be a bit pushy on the lanes, so I counter this by taking a more central position until I decide there is room to pass.

SUVs / Pick-ups: just like other cars, no better and no worse.

On an average 15 mile leisure ride around my area I encounter no dangerous driving and no hassle. And that is on roads (there are no cycle tracks).

Re: SUV/Lorry/BMW/Insert/delete as appropriate Driving Too C

CTC Forum - On the road - 25 March 2015 - 8:18am
It could be worth appropriate to profile el different types of drivers. I drive for 12 years and have not noticed any real difference between minivans and SUVs until I started cycling. BMW drivers however, even as a car driver, their behaviour is significant. I new a manager at my workplace who would speed in the car park like Roland Ratzenberger it was quite immusing to the other staff. I had a formal grievance with him because he had a go because I did the evil thing of looking inside of his car. Which logically is much worse then his speeding.

Re: Grab Theft - handle bar kit

CTC Forum - On the road - 25 March 2015 - 1:35am
Your sarcasm reads as nothing but a childish outburst. You should learn how to argue, then you may start to be taken seriously. If you have no argument, then you have no claim to some imagined moral high ground.

Re: Newcastle port to central station - route wanted

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 25 March 2015 - 1:27am
An alternative would be to follow the cycle paths on N & S side of the dual carriageway coast road (A1058). Not scenic, but gets you from Tynemouth to Newcastle fairly quickly. Pretty flat too.

Re: Reducing pannier weight

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 25 March 2015 - 1:15am
We're hostelling with the odd hotel so no camping stuff to carry, though my bike isn't touring specific and 13 it's years old:


All the weight is on the back so I'm trying to keep it to a minimum.

Re: Grab Theft - handle bar kit

CTC Forum - On the road - 25 March 2015 - 12:56am
Darn those Johnny foreigners, coming over here and stealing our British Garmin's.
Wish the OP gave more details.

What shade of skin colour?
Did the person have a limp?
What about height?
Any identifying scars ot tattoos?
Hair colour?

Thankfully this is England, and all English (true English) are easily identifiable. Hopefully
It will be easy for the local constabulary to get this pesky devil, and once again, cycling
Will be a crime free and pleasurable experience.

*Depending on location,sex,skin colour,bigotry and a whole other list of things that are
far to depressing to mention in 2015.

Re: Grab Theft - handle bar kit

CTC Forum - On the road - 25 March 2015 - 12:05am
Drifter wrote:I will continue to keep an eye on this site but I will think twice before contributing again. Don't give them the satisfaction. I could see the group thinkers ganging up to attack you and your motives for the "thought crime" of mentioning nationality, which is why I decided to comment. I think sensible people have benefited from the information, don't be dissuaded by perpetual offence seekers. If you stop posting these people win and get what they want (the censoring of legitimate discussion). Please stay, these types are far too numerous (here and elsewhere) as it is.

Drifter wrote:I also consider the moderation of this thread to be shockingly bad to allow accusations to fly around in this way. Indeed. This is the same moderator who accused me of insulting him by saying "You talk one way and act another." and then goes on to say to me, completely (and wilfully?) misrepresenting what I have said "your argument has revolved around foreigners having a greater propensity for crime and introducing specific types of crime and has had nothing to do with identifying the perpetrator of one specific crime. It is this attempt to demonise people based upon their nationality that people are pulling you up on. " and somehow I'm the one that is insulting? I think there is some bias on the part of the moderator, which has made him less than neutral in this thread. I hope he can have a more even hand in future.

Re: Grab Theft - handle bar kit

CTC Forum - On the road - 24 March 2015 - 10:31pm
Just wanted to say thanks to Freddie and the other members that read my initial post for what it is. I think it's crazy that anyone could take anything else away from it!

I think it's clear to see that my intention was to pass on factual information and raise awareness of a scam that could potentially catch out anyone of us. After reading these boards for some years I considered that by reporting this I was contributing to the forum and thought this was the ideal place to share such information.

Not that I need to justify my post but once again, the only reason the term 'foreign speaking' was used within my post was because it was this that made the cyclist to get off his bike to take a look at what the guy was trying to communicate to him, therefore it is relevant to mention it. The language barrier was part of the scam, is this not blatantly clear?

I think that some of the comments I had in return were charged, presumptuous and simply looking for a scrap. Some people are far to keen to point fingers, almost like their waiting for an opportunity. I also consider the moderation of this thread to be shockingly bad to allow accusations to fly around in this way. I was even accused of registering with this forum purely to drive a racist campaign!!

I will continue to keep an eye on this site but I will think twice before contributing again.

Thanks again to those that defended my comments.

Re: Newcastle port to central station - route wanted

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 24 March 2015 - 10:24pm
Mark1978 wrote:Horrible riding on the South side compared to Newcastle side. Busy roads mostly.

I think we must be talking about different routes. Route 14, described by Sustrans as "Some short sections along the Tyne are on road but otherwise this whole stretch is a fantastic unbroken traffic-free path."

Re: Newcastle port to central station - route wanted

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 24 March 2015 - 10:11pm
Horrible riding on the South side compared to Newcastle side. Busy roads mostly.

Re: Cyclist defence fund Michael Mason

CTC Forum - On the road - 24 March 2015 - 10:03pm
Vorpal wrote:The police hardly examine the evidence, unless there is a death, and even then it seems that they may not be as thorough as they once were. ...(My emphasis)

The first bit of that (highlighted in red) is undoubtedly true. The following from the CPS, and earlier versions of it were taken as the cue to stop bothering. "Minor collision" can cover almost anything.

It will not necessarily be appropriate to prosecute every case where a minor collision occurs e.g. where the incident is of a type that involves minimal carelessness which may occur when parking a vehicle or in traffic queues. The extent of any damage does not matter in such cases; it is the extent of the driving error. Prosecutors should ensure that proceedings are not conducted for the sake of settling questions of liability for the benefit of individual drivers or insurance companies.

http://www.cps.gov.uk/legal/p_to_r/road ... g/#content

When it eventually became an (ACPO?) policy to concentrate on fatals and near fatals (KSI) the rationale was that this would allow greater resources to be concentrated on the most serious cases. I've no first-hand knowledge about the bit in blue. Cases are reported where considerable efforts seem to have been made to obtain evidence such as phone records. OTOH, there are have been allegations that some investigations were inadequate. eg the death of Eilidh Cairns. There have been well-documented allegations that serious injuries have been recorded as "slight," presumably to reduce the need for investigations.

I'm bemused as to why the case which prompted this thread was not referred to the CPS. When the evidence has been properly recorded, eg witness statements and vehicle examiners' reports, it's hardly a big deal to assemble it into a file and submit it. Apart from anything else, it's a good way of passing on the onus of making the decision. There seem to have been several "U-turns" in this case, to the extent that when I read the relevant article on the CTC www, somebody seemed to be welcoming the wrong "U-turn."

http://www.ctc.org.uk/news/20150319-met ... mason-case

As has previously been linked, a Chief Crown Prosecutor was recently officially criticised for insisting on seeing all "fatal" files in their area. A lot seems to depend on whether a decision not to charge somebody amounts to a "charging decision." There's room for clarification.

Re: Newcastle port to central station - route wanted

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 24 March 2015 - 9:55pm
There are NCR routes on both sides of the Tyne, I've enjoyed both but IMO the south shore offers better river views, plus you get to cross over to South Shields on the ferry

Re: Utility Pannier Bags

CTC Forum - On the road - 24 March 2015 - 8:46pm
A good alternative to the coroplastic/board for lining bags is karrimor style sleeping mat. They are cheap enough now to buy new if you can't find an old one. I think the liner is important for reducing wear from internal scuffing from sharp objects. The SJS panniers have definitely benefited from just a piece at the bottom of each bag. It helps keep the bag's shape as well.

Re: Utility Pannier Bags

CTC Forum - On the road - 24 March 2015 - 8:38pm
I have gone down a similar road as Monkeytennis and modified an ex-army webbing haversack - heavy duty duck cotton about A4 size and permanently bolted to my rack. Waterproof ish, robust and cheap (about £6 each). Just needed some bent metal hooks and coroplastic liner. Smaller shoulder bags are also available as handlebar/saddle bags.
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