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CTC Forum - On the road - 26 November 2015 - 4:54pm
The Daily Wail is running 3 anti-cycling pieces today! The ignorance of the Highway Code shown by many does not surprise me, but some of the comments scare me both as a cyclist and motorist!

Re: Tour for the spring

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 26 November 2015 - 4:45pm
Thanks for the responses so far. As far as temperature goes, if we start in mid April it will be late May at least before we get high in the Alps. While it can still be cold at night ( and sometimes during the day!) we can easily cope with that. (we have years of experience camping, ski touring, and mountaineering).
Costs-wise we expect Switzerland to be expensive, as long as it is not prohibitively so - we have stopped going skiing there because in big name places prices have got stupid, but it should not be so bad in valleys, and campsites.
Any more info on what it actually like cycling that route through Switzerland would be appreciated. Also the Rhine route - which side is best? There is a choice between France and Germany for a couple of hundred kms.

Re: Truck Driver gets a year inside

CTC Forum - On the road - 26 November 2015 - 4:16pm
If I could give that judge a big, wet, sloppy kiss, I would

Re: Tour for the spring

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 26 November 2015 - 4:15pm
iviehoff wrote: So I think you'll find it a notch more expensive than just 10% for supermarket food, camping and transport than Germany. And if you go into a restaurant, it will be quite astonishingly expensive.

I was basing my numbers on a trip i made to Switzerland in early October, haven't seen any big changes in exchange rates when i've looked but thats always the big if - one wrong word and the pound drops like a brick!

Re: Pyrenees

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 26 November 2015 - 4:02pm
I rode it in very early June - early spring in the mountains. There was a lot of snow melt and the sound of running water everywhere. At the tops of most climbs I had to put on tights and jacket for the descent because the tops were often in cloud. Thin gloves are recommended for the descents as well. Temperatures were high teens to low 20s but the descents were cold, and I had a slight SW tail wind. There are two Raid Pyreneen routes. They are the same distance (780 km I seem to recall) but the Sportif version has 18 cols versus 28 for the tourist version and 100 hours versus 10 days. It is now 20 years since I rode the whole thing but I've done bits since.

Re: Truck Driver gets a year inside

CTC Forum - On the road - 26 November 2015 - 2:51pm
These are the sentencing guidelines. From the judge's comments, it sounds like he was not prosecuted for GBH with intent, but for inflicting GBH, a lesser offence. The relevant guideline starts on p7 of this.
http://www.sentencingcouncil.org.uk/wp- ... _Court.pdf
Whilst the maximum sentence for this offence is 4 years, judges have to follow the sentencing guidelines. Probably the offence was determined to be in category 2 - greater harm (broken leg) and lower culpability (one push). The starting point for that is 18 months, and there would be an automatic discount for the guilty plea, sounds like it was an early guilty plea too. Also isolated incident would be a relevant mitigation. So probably the judge is right that a year is about the max he can give.

Of course the same actions can lead to different outcomes in terms of injuries received etc due to random factors outside the offender's control. If we sentenced people in relation to what they did rather than the outcome, sentences would be very different. But we sentence people in this country taking large account of the outcome of actions. Logically this may be irrational, from a theoretical perspective. But it would be politically very difficult to do anything else ("but he killed him...."/"but no one was hurt...").

Re: Truck Driver gets a year inside

CTC Forum - On the road - 26 November 2015 - 2:38pm
Tangled Metal wrote:
I once got told how to defend yourself from attack by a 7th Dan ju-jitsu instructor. Expecting some fancy block and strike I got told just don't be there. Trouble has to find you. He elaborated by saying whatever you do take the first opportunity to run away. That was just before he told us about some effective close quarters techniques everyone should know especially vulnerable people.

We were taught something much the same in self-defence classes for women students in the 80s. Best option [i]if it is possible[/i] is always 'run away'.
Then some 'effective options' if that isn't possible. The group's general squeamishness when the effective options were pointed out was, the instructor suggested, what might get us killed. Run, fight, or submit (in that order I suppose, well that would be my order) but whichever you do, you have to do it 100% or you're in serious trouble.

Re: Tour for the spring

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 26 November 2015 - 2:34pm
I think you could be surprised how cold it is. I've been surprised how cold it is in April in the Mediterranean - and quite far south like Sardinia and southern Greece - let alone north of the Alps. Up in the Alps, like Andermatt, it still snows quite a lot in April - climate chart here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andermatt

The Swiss Franc was managed to a close band against the Euro until recently. But they stopped that and it appreciated by about a quarter in a few days. So Switzerland will be about 25% more expensive than it was before that happened... It is now the most expensive country (putting aside small tax havens) in Europe, because the weakness of oil has hit the Norwegian krona somewhat. So I think you'll find it a notch more expensive than just 10% for supermarket food, camping and transport than Germany. And if you go into a restaurant, it will be quite astonishingly expensive.

Re: Is today “Peak Idiot”?

CTC Forum - On the road - 26 November 2015 - 2:31pm
Tom Richardson wrote:Phil Fouracre wrote: There will always be a risk, whatever you do, try and assess and mitigate as much as possible at all times, whatever your mode of transport. -(


Unfortunately most people (about 60% according to a survey I saw recently) feel that the best way to mitigate the risk is to use a car instead of cycling.



Especially since it is apparently their own fault if they are abused or threatened while cycling.

Re: Is today “Peak Idiot”?

CTC Forum - On the road - 26 November 2015 - 2:25pm
Phil Fouracre wrote: There will always be a risk, whatever you do, try and assess and mitigate as much as possible at all times, whatever your mode of transport. -(


Unfortunately most people (about 60% according to a survey I saw recently) feel that the best way to mitigate the risk is to use a car instead of cycling.

Re: Truck Driver gets a year inside

CTC Forum - On the road - 26 November 2015 - 2:10pm
It said in the article that a cyclist has nowhere to go when confronted by a motorist. Personally I'd hop on my bike and go in the opposite direction to the direction the car is and pedal fast. Of course hard if pushed over causing a broken leg, if elderly, etc. But most cyclists are better off avoiding confrontation by riding off. Although I doubt this victim had the chance. Not condoning the truck driver's actions or criticising the victim on the bike. I'm just criticising a little bit from the judge and article.

I once got told how to defend yourself from attack by a 7th Dan ju-jitsu instructor. Expecting some fancy block and strike I got told just don't be there. Trouble has to find you. He elaborated by saying whatever you do take the first opportunity to run away. That was just before he told us about some effective close quarters techniques everyone should know especially vulnerable people.

Re: Is today “Peak Idiot”?

CTC Forum - On the road - 26 November 2015 - 2:08pm
Agree with a lot of points made here. There will always be a risk, whatever you do, try and assess and mitigate as much as possible at all times, whatever your mode of transport. SMIDSY are a classic example, loads of cyclists complaining about this, yet I've had a couple recently driving my van, 2.5 m high, 2 wide and 6 long, so what the hell was the excuse?. More worryingly, if they didn't see me, they would definitely never notice a bike

Re: Tour for the spring

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 26 November 2015 - 2:02pm
Switzerland - maybe 10% more expensive for food and camping than Germany - honeypot destinations higher still but self catering needn't be too bad. You should be early enough in the year to just turn up at sites but areas such as Interlaken/Luzern can get to the 'no room' stage quickly once the better weather comes along.

German Rhein - regular campsites, well signposted route - again prices can be higher in popular areas but i've had as little as €6 camp fees but average @ €14 - with current exchange rates its still a bargin!

Re: Truck Driver gets a year inside

CTC Forum - On the road - 26 November 2015 - 1:59pm
Postboxer wrote:Seems a lengthy sentence for getting out of your cab and pushing someone off a bike, might have got away with it had he used his truck.

Lengthy for GBH?????????

Re: What should I do if a car keep on driving up my ***

CTC Forum - On the road - 26 November 2015 - 1:54pm
Vorpal wrote:I think smiles tend to diffuse anger. Though if someone is really enraged, nothing will make any difference.
Seems to work most of the time don't think I'll go as far a one poster I saw a while ago, who blew a kiss at motorists who abused him, think that might just end up in an embarrassing situation!

Re: Pyrenees

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 26 November 2015 - 1:01pm
The raid route is great and takes you across some great cols and even on a fully loaded tourer just take your time. I went west to east, Atlantic to Med, and one thing I noticed was that the western sides of the cols tended to be more sheltered with trees which is great for climbing in the heat, then the descents on the eastern sides of the cols tended to be more open, perhaps an over simplification but it seemed that way. As said above the weather is changeable and I was there in June in both years, one it was roasting on the Tourmalet and on the second it was closed with deep snow and the lower villages damaged with flood water. Both times it was wet and cloudy in the Basque region hills so I’ve still not seen them yet despite cycling across twice now. But one of the best parts of the trip is going from the green/wetter Atlantic coast into an increasingly hot and arid Mediterranean climate with the changing architecture and plants.
I went to the Alps last summer for the Raid alpine, great route, but somehow not as much character as the Pyrenees. One advantage of the Alps was the greater availability of food particularly higher up, whereas in the Pyrenees you need to be careful as they are less populated higher up and shops are more infrequent. Also it's true what was said above that the Pyrenees are steeper than the Alps where the roads tend to switchback up the hills more, but don’t let that put you off its fine with the right gears and after a while 5% will seem flat.
Have fun

Re: Pyrenees

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 26 November 2015 - 12:08pm
I've been to the Pyrenees on a number of occasions in June with a fully loaded tourer with camping gear and ridden the whole route but not in one go.
The temperature has varied from 30c+ to down to 1c as stated above some of the higher passes can be shut even in late June it changes from year to year. The roads were on the whole pretty quiet ( I avoided Andorra) and I had no problems with the road surface.
How hard it is is entirely personal. Low gearing, take your time and look at the scenery and it's pretty easy going. If you want to ride 'fast' or 'far' and want to push yourself it can be extremely challenging.

It's a lovely place to ride with great scenery plenty of campsites. I think the weather is the big thing as to how enjoyable a trip will be. A couple of years ago I was torn between the Pyrenees and the Alps and opted for the Alps. It was a good choice as it rained most days for over month in the Pyrenees but we have pretty good weather, other than the Col Du Galiber being shut in the Alps on another year it could be the other way around. .

Re: Pyrenees

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 26 November 2015 - 11:50am
I did Barcelona to Bordeaux last year using the Raid Route, 22 cols. The raid route is tough, but it's supposed to be. Google Raid Pyrenees for details

Re: Truck Driver gets a year inside

CTC Forum - On the road - 26 November 2015 - 11:45am
Seems a lengthy sentence for getting out of your cab and pushing someone off a bike, might have got away with it had he used his truck.

Re: Truck Driver gets a year inside

CTC Forum - On the road - 26 November 2015 - 11:44am
It doesn't have quite the same snappy appeal as "no pay no say" though, does it. In this day and age, if your point can't be whittled down to a fatuous soundbite you've lost the argument.
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