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Re: Is it time for radicalism?

CTC Forum - On the road - 26 November 2014 - 9:28pm
The radical question is not how to change some peoples mode of transport, but why are we travelling so much anyway?
The UK follows the longest working day in Europe with he longest commute. Not that Europe is a shining example, but it would at least be a start. Despite a generation of amazing technological advance, I'm still expected to work the same hours as my father, why? Why are people travelling so far to work? Why do people need to consume so much? If we're not producing great wealth why are we putting so much effort in? If we are, where is it going
Don't get me wrong, getting more people to cycle rather than drive would be a good thing, but it's not nearly enough to stop us running into that wall.

Re: Is it time for radicalism?

CTC Forum - On the road - 26 November 2014 - 9:12pm
http://road.cc/content/news/136838-if-t ... ore-people

These are the people in charge,who wring their hands saying how CO2 levels must come down,yet increase road building and prioritise car use

Re: Tanker lorry, spot on driving

CTC Forum - On the road - 26 November 2014 - 8:42pm
FWIW I'm acutely aware of the damage HGV's are capable of,as I suppose most cyclists and indeed most road users are,I also try to help other quicker road users as much as I can in the same way you indicate.

My encounters/interactions with HGV drivers is overwhelmingly positive,if I do have bad encounters with drivers of bigger vehicles it's usually,in ascending order of bad driving either stupidly or deliberately are cars,vans in various <35cwt,4x4's,7.5tonners,buses,HGV's.Which could be in proportion,excepting 4x4's,numbers on the road.
That's my experience which I can only relate.
That said,Monday before last I had what I can honestly say was a rare encounter with a HGV,a 10ton(?)box van,which on a clear wide empty road,came out of a side road opposite on my right,an entrance of an industrial estate with wide radii good site lines,there was no way he didn't see me as I made eye contact.
It didn't stop him almost taking me out with his nearside front corner,I was close evough to bang on his nearside door.I then accelerated and sat in front of him in primary for around 500m,by which time the TL up the road had changed and there was a stream of traffic coming the opposite way preventing his o/take.
I'd decided he'd have to drive over me to get past,I think the term is 'I was steaming' .
On seeing the oncoming traffic clearing I moved over and let him go.He gave me plenty of room on the o/take and the TL changed to green so I didn't get chance to ''have a word''.
I'm convinced it was a deliberate 'get out of my way,I'm bigger than you,you mean nothing to me' attitude.
That sort of encounter with HGV's is extremely rare IME,I'm more likely to experience the kind of encounter you mention in your OP.

Re: Eurovelo 7 South to North?

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 26 November 2014 - 8:00pm
Thanks again, Rob.

Whew! We were imagining something like the cycling conditions in Serbia (cycling into Belgrade along EV6 was the worst cycling experience e we've had by some little way).

Yes, we'd definitely leave ourselves time for sight-seeing and soaking up the atmosphere. As far as the cycling is concerned, we'd want to cycle from the southernmost point to the north and then get a bike carrying ferry to Sicily.

Re: UK to Prague via northern Germany

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 26 November 2014 - 6:35pm
I cycled a similar route - to Amsterdam, straight across to Berlin, through Dresden to Prague. Definitely don't miss Berlin. For me it's one of the best capitals in Europe. The ride from Amsterdam to Hannover was particularly dull. After that it got a little more interesting but didn't really get going until nearer Berlin. After Berlin, the scenery got much better. Either choose a more southern route to Berlin or get the train for that bit.

Re: UK - Greece (Athens)

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 26 November 2014 - 6:26pm
I cycled through Greece towards the end of June. It was very hot but doable. Also, don't underestimate the wind.

Albania is good fun. The road surfaces, on the main roads at least, are not as bad as they used to be. Some of the country's main roads are not very main at all but with lots of traffic. And it's nice 'n' cheap.

Have a good trip!

Re: Tanker lorry, spot on driving

CTC Forum - On the road - 26 November 2014 - 6:24pm
TBH Rehon2 I just don't experience great driving from larger vehicles, in a significant % of the time interaction with them isn't what i would call pleasant, sometimes to the point of thinking you're going to die (of which I've suffered 2 or 3 times & never with cars). I don't actually see HGV drivers and the like as professionals, their license is adequate for the type of vehicle they drive, it gives them no more driving skill above & beyond what a car driver receives for their vehicle. The difference is that a much larger vehicle presents much larger risks to every other road user, the trainingand test one receives must by definition be more intense/complicated by comparison. it doesn't make that larger vehicle any safer than a car when driven and the statistics show clearly that they aren't. Maybe the HGV/PSV testing is inadequate (as well as the vehicles themselves), I bet the drivers of larger vehciles don't undergo pyschometric testing, how many undergo an advanced driving test/course, probably a minute amount of the latter. The other problem is money, time IS money, its why most commercial vehicles can't be ariss'd to wait for a cyclist or take an extra 20 seconds for a space to overtake 'safely'

That said when roads are tight I often wave through larger vehicles even when it's my right of way/priority. I understand what it's like to be in traffic as a driver, it isn't a great environ to be in often enough and at the end of a tough day you just want to get home as swiftly as possible. Waving through an HGV/tanker/Bin lorry or whatever just eases the traffic a bit and often for the cost of just a few seconds for me.

I do it because it makes sense to do it (& often wih cars too) and isn't a big deal for me, also that hopefully some of the drivers will pass on that courtesy to another cyclist somewhere else.
So when you get a situation like mine it makes you smile, it makes you know that there are considerate people out there that understand what it might be like to have a vehicle right up your trumpet and how uncomfortable that can be, more so when you know there is a large speed differential and a hazard to negotiate.

Re: French End to End

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 26 November 2014 - 5:54pm
I've been doing some preliminary planning for a trip from Barcelona to |Paisley next March/April and came across this dutch site which has a route form Amsterdam to Barcelona. I would use part of this in reverse from Barca to Beziers then take the Canal du Midi north. You might be able to pick it up in Belgium and use it for most of your trip. here's the link: http://www.cyclingeurope.nl/cycling/rou ... /index.php
Good luck with the trip.

Re: UK - Greece (Athens)

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 26 November 2014 - 5:39pm
thanks for the reply. i agree Italian maps are hopeless!

I want to do this ride next year, and I think now having read up a bit more the Autumn looks like the time to go.

I think 4 weeks would be ideal time. I might have to squeeze it into 3. hmmm

Re: UK - Greece (Athens)

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 26 November 2014 - 5:32pm
wheelbarrowman wrote:Mountains in Greece - I've google-streetviewed some roads - it looks very promising! - any pointers?

It's true, mountainous Greece is excellent cycling. But get the better quality maps. The cheaper maps have too much fiction in their depiction of the road system. There's quite a few unpaved roads in the mountains that extend the adventure if you like that kind of thing. But if you get the decent maps, they are actually better than Italian or Portuguese maps.

Re: My worst tour, and why..

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 26 November 2014 - 4:30pm
I did a tour of NE Scotland in continuous heavy rain and headwinds. I found out when I got back that all the time I was doing it I had a UTI. (At the time I thought it was just a joy of aging.) So every 5 minutes or so it seemed I was stopping to take a leak which, when your wearing overtrousers, tights and Lycra shorts gets to be tedious pretty quick. I thought about packing it in but I'd traveled from the US to do this with a bunch of my old potholing mates and couldn't bring myself to wimp out. After all we were lads who did wet caves before wet suits were thought of. Funny what a difference 40 years makes.

One B & B we stayed at the landlady told us we were insane for setting off in such a downpour. She was right. Couldn't see a bit of the scenery thanks to low clouds. The last day on the ride from Tongue to Inverness was exquisite, sunshine, scenery even a tailwind to remind us what we'd missed.

Single Speed Freewheel Day Trips

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 26 November 2014 - 4:29pm
Although I have titled it day trips, multi day rides also accepted.

I'm thinking of returning to S/Spd cycling again.
I used to ride around Kent, Surrey, & Sussex, with occassional trips to Essex & Herts, (about 20 years ago now).
Just wondering how many others ride single speed freewheel bikes, & what you get up to, areas you ride, mileages you cover, that sort of thing.
Also, it would be nice to see pictures of your bikes.

Re: I Hate Virgin Trains

CTC Forum - On the road - 26 November 2014 - 3:41pm
My train has left the station,and I'm not on it! My contributions to HS2 debate were delayed...leaves on the line? Transfer comments available: I'm off by bike!

Re: Tanker lorry, spot on driving

CTC Forum - On the road - 26 November 2014 - 3:25pm
Si wrote: and when they are taken out to experience things from the saddle they come back very understanding of a cyclist's needs out on the road.

It's great to hear that.

I just wish there was a way of making this a mandatory part of the HGV licence.

Re: Eurovelo 7 South to North?

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 26 November 2014 - 2:50pm
Hi Ignoramus, OK maybe I over did the bad news, we were looking at a nice holiday tooteling around, it's not Mallorca if you keep your wits about you should be ok, yes the back roads are awful, worse than those here in Devon Their driving leaves a bit to be desired, but once they are out of their cars they are really friendly people, they like the British, and most speak English. We stayed in Birzebbuga the container port, which does some tourism as well, it suited us fine, especially the two little bakeries we found I guess you are just passing through, we had a car for a few days, and used the excellent bus service to do more exploring. There are some bike shops there if you need one. If you tell me where you enter and leave Mata I could aske my friend for some more suggestions. If you have the time there is loads to see from ancient to modern history etc.
Cheers, Rob

Re: Need advice on a bike tour of Scotland

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 26 November 2014 - 2:27pm
To: Tigerbiten
If we will finish a riding on Outer Hebrides in Tairbeart? Or the way from Tairbeart to Lochmaddy is interesting too?
Unfortunately I did not understand your phrase "So unless you do get hit by a SW gale and/or do want to go over Bealach na Ba then that may be a better option". Sorry for my English but could you please explain the above more clear (more easy)?

To: horizon

Re: Tanker lorry, spot on driving

CTC Forum - On the road - 26 November 2014 - 2:22pm
We regularly have HGV drivers into where I work - they come for bike-lorry interaction training. Strangely enough ( ) they are just average people and when they are taken out to experience things from the saddle they come back very understanding of a cyclist's needs out on the road.

Re: I Hate Virgin Trains

CTC Forum - On the road - 26 November 2014 - 2:19pm
Yes, please discuss HS2 on the HS2 thread rather than this one. ta very much.

Re: Is it time for radicalism?

CTC Forum - On the road - 26 November 2014 - 2:16pm
Mark1978 wrote:The 'road' below is about as wide as a single track road but is easily wide enough for two way cycling with room to spare.
Blimey, that looks like heaven!

Re: UK - Greece (Athens)

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 26 November 2014 - 1:44pm
I'd think the ideal timing would be to set off in late summer so it was autumnal as you did the Med bit. Though if you don't mind being a bit chilly from time to time at the N end, do it in the Spring. Though one issue to bear in mind is that Med weather is only reliably dry in the summer, the rest of the year heavy rain tends to occur from time to time, albeit with lots of sunshine in between.

It's really up to you whether you can cope with riding in the summer heat in the Med. All I know is that I had a meeting in Athens one August, and being outside was significantly worse than being in Kuala Lumpur. It doesn't surprise me that Paula Radcliffe collapsed trying to run the marathon there.
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