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Re: Head On Crash Avoidance........Two Bikes!

CTC Forum - On the road - 14 February 2015 - 12:35am
Weirdly, I too find on bike tracks that other bikes do sometimes try to cross me on the wrong side.
And when it's just me meandering along and nobody else is in sight, I do sometimes find I drift to the right, and have to pull over if I see anyone coming.
I have no idea why this is.

Trains Sweden

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 13 February 2015 - 11:54pm
Are Swedish rail not doing that midsummer thing that they throw their normal bicycle rules out - Im sure there was a thread on here a while back

Re: Lance Armstrong on the BBC News

CTC Forum - Racing - 13 February 2015 - 10:39pm
If you read all the reports about the teams Armstrong rode for you will see that they were already doping before he joined them. Strange too that some of his former team members were caught after they left Armstrong's team and while riding for competitors. Who was bullying them to carry on doping once out of Armstrong's influence?

Armstrong deserved his 7 wins and would probably have won multiple Tours if the whole peloton had been clean - perhaps not all 7 but possibly 5. He stayed healthy and upright - unlike Froome - and trained specifically for the TdF with a team schooled to support him. His former team members who told their tales, escaped without any sanctions and kept their money are very disappointing - as are the sponsors who made millions on Armstrong's back and are now distancing themselves from him.

At the end of the day it's only a bike race and much as I enjoy watching the road racing, it is not that important. Sport, in general, seems to have been elevated to a position in society that it does not deserve. It is only entertainment. The Olympic Games are called that because that is all they are - games. Every sport has its share of cheats; just look at what goes on during a football match. Sit back and enjoy the spectacle. If you question every victory or outstanding performance you may as well stop watching sport altogether.

Re: Taking a bike on a train

CTC Forum - On the road - 13 February 2015 - 10:20pm
The last few posts are my worries. Whilst the theory is all fine and good, what happens if, despite me booking a space, this 'reservation' is lost. The number of times I've booked seats only to find that the seats did not have reserved cards on them.

I did wonder about maybe cycling down to the Sheffield station, locking up my bike, getting the train to Wigan and then hiring a bike in Wigan - there is cycle hire in one of the stations. That would cost a tenner though. Add that to the train fare and it's over £30 for a 130 mile trip. Compare this with under three gallons of diesel at whatever that costs nowadays. When I was in my teens and twenties I wouldn't think twice about driving anywhere but now I do like to just sit back and let someone else take the strain (not that driving's a strain).

EDIT
Saw this thread after a Google search:

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=46108

I can hire a Brompton Bike from work - could then cycle into work and store my bike securely there. Then, pick up the Brompton, cycle to the station in Sheffield (about half a mile from work), fold up, stick in the luggage rack on the train, enjoy my journey, cycle across Wigan (only about two miles - ten miles once I get lost), then repeat going back.

Re: help with a route

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 13 February 2015 - 9:36pm
pwa wrote:There must be a few bits of canal that you could cycle alongside. Anyone know anything about the Oxford Canal?
Yes. Don't even think about cycling it.

I keep meaning to put up little signs on the Oxford-Banbury section saying "Tired of struggling along this bumpy, narrow, rutted path? There's a nice NCN country-lane route two miles to the west"...

Re: Etiquette for French cycle paths

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 13 February 2015 - 9:26pm
DaveP wrote:Well "Keep Right" would be my expectation too, even though the converse often seems to be irrelevant in the UK.
I apologise for expressing myself poorly. I'd have done better to ask for insights into how the French conduct themselves on these paths, especially holiday makers on hired bikes. More "law abiding" than UK equivalents, or not?

IME almost all French people when on bikes behave like perfect gentlemen (and women) .... and when they're driving they're just as considerate towards velo riders

Rob

Re: Few Questions about my first Tour. (Norway)

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 13 February 2015 - 9:14pm
pal wrote:I can't answer all your questions, but a couple of thoughts (based on my experiences of touring in Norway):

GPS: generally I think you don't need it for Norway -- there aren't that many roads to choose from! (And the signposting is generally good.) A useful feature of Norwegian roads is that they have regularly-spaced signs (usually at 1km intervals) giving the number of the road and the distance to (or from) the next major junction (or sometimes to the nearest county boundary): useful for reassurance that you're on the right road, and for keeping track of how far you've gone. The one exception could be getting through and out of Bergen (though you could avoid having to do this if you head south/east from the airport, I suppose): threading a route around the main roads and tunnels can be fiddly. The same will apply for getting into Oslo. I use the OMaps app on my phone for city navigation: you can pre-load maps (so avoid data charges), and then just use it like google maps. The only other navigational foible to be aware of is that Norwegians are very keen on building new tunnels (and, to a lesser extent, bridges) -- it's worth checking the latest maps before you set off, or you might find that the road suddenly starts doing unexpected things...

Waterproofs: Norwegian rain is Proper Rain. I suppose that might be an argument for not bothering with waterproofs (on the grounds that even with waterproofs, you'll still end up getting wet...), but I'd say it's worth trying to stay dry for as long as possible (especially if you're camping). It can get pretty cold, too, so I'd say it's worth having some sort of leg covering which you'd be happy cycling in in the rain -- leg warmers, perhaps, if you don't like cycling in waterproof trousers.

Power meter: definitely not an essential for touring, imho. Some sort of cycle computer can be useful for navigation (and for the satisfaction of knowing how much ground you've covered), but a very basic one will do the job perfectly well (and in many ways is preferable for touring, because the battery will last pretty much indefinitely: one less thing to charge).

Charging stuff: I take a solar charger, which usually provides just enough juice for a phone (and can be topped up at power-sockets too, and then just used as a spare battery pack). You're right that it's important to have lights for the tunnels (and worth considering taking a high-viz vest too).

Norway's a great place to cycle: I hope you have a great time!

(ps re train to Stockholm: it's very easy to take a bike on Norwegian trains, but pretty much impossible to put one on Swedish trains. So Olso-Gothenburg would be ok with a bike, because that route's run by NSB [Norwegian Railways], but getting beyond that would be trickier. Mind you, Gothenburg to Stockholm is quite a nice ride too!)

Thanks very much for the useful information. yeah I cant even afford a power meter anyway
when I get water proofs, im going to get high vis ones so that I don't need both high-vis and a water proof.
Thanks fort he heads up on the Swedish trains, would never have thought about that.

Re: Few Questions about my first Tour. (Norway)

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 13 February 2015 - 8:56pm
I can't answer all your questions, but a couple of thoughts (based on my experiences of touring in Norway):

GPS: generally I think you don't need it for Norway -- there aren't that many roads to choose from! (And the signposting is generally good.) A useful feature of Norwegian roads is that they have regularly-spaced signs (usually at 1km intervals) giving the number of the road and the distance to (or from) the next major junction (or sometimes to the nearest county boundary): useful for reassurance that you're on the right road, and for keeping track of how far you've gone. The one exception could be getting through and out of Bergen (though you could avoid having to do this if you head south/east from the airport, I suppose): threading a route around the main roads and tunnels can be fiddly. The same will apply for getting into Oslo. I use the OMaps app on my phone for city navigation: you can pre-load maps (so avoid data charges), and then just use it like google maps. The only other navigational foible to be aware of is that Norwegians are very keen on building new tunnels (and, to a lesser extent, bridges) -- it's worth checking the latest maps before you set off, or you might find that the road suddenly starts doing unexpected things...

Waterproofs: Norwegian rain is Proper Rain. I suppose that might be an argument for not bothering with waterproofs (on the grounds that even with waterproofs, you'll still end up getting wet...), but I'd say it's worth trying to stay dry for as long as possible (especially if you're camping). It can get pretty cold, too, so I'd say it's worth having some sort of leg covering which you'd be happy cycling in in the rain -- leg warmers, perhaps, if you don't like cycling in waterproof trousers.

Power meter: definitely not an essential for touring, imho. Some sort of cycle computer can be useful for navigation (and for the satisfaction of knowing how much ground you've covered), but a very basic one will do the job perfectly well (and in many ways is preferable for touring, because the battery will last pretty much indefinitely: one less thing to charge).

Charging stuff: I take a solar charger, which usually provides just enough juice for a phone (and can be topped up at power-sockets too, and then just used as a spare battery pack). You're right that it's important to have lights for the tunnels (and worth considering taking a high-viz vest too).

Norway's a great place to cycle: I hope you have a great time!

(ps re train to Stockholm: it's very easy to take a bike on Norwegian trains, but pretty much impossible to put one on Swedish trains. So Olso-Gothenburg would be ok with a bike, because that route's run by NSB [Norwegian Railways], but getting beyond that would be trickier. Mind you, Gothenburg to Stockholm is quite a nice ride too!)

Re: Walking bike

CTC Forum - On the road - 13 February 2015 - 8:47pm
Interesting concept and possibly quite fun to r̶i̶d̶e̶ walk.

It would appear that walking on the treadmill simply kicks the motor into life which then powers the cycle and the treadmill .

Certainly not cheap but I suppose I ought to compare the price with e-bikes rather than BSOs.

Re: Veloscenic France

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 13 February 2015 - 8:34pm
Useful clarification, Jon, thanks. It's a part of France we know a little, but not cycled at all - as good a reason as any to give it a go!!

Re: help with a route

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 13 February 2015 - 8:32pm
There must be a few bits of canal that you could cycle alongside. Anyone know anything about the Oxford Canal?

help with a route

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 13 February 2015 - 8:21pm
How brilliant. You have my support and blessing.

How about for the bottom, horizontal part of the 'Z' you go from Bristol, Bath, Reading, London along the Bristol-Bath cycle route then along the Kennet & Avon all the way (or there abouts) to London?

Happy to 'pilot' you along some of the way.

I'm a 'friend of a friend' who came out the other side of a suicide attempt so I get your drift. I know why you are riding for their memory. One of my best friends and I'm still glad he still is. So is his family. Lots to say about the forces but that's another rant.

It's a good thing cycling produces endorphins [emoji4]

First Tour (Norway)

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 13 February 2015 - 8:21pm
Hi I'm planning on doing about a 3/4 week tour in the beginning of August. I'm 20 and doing it Alone. I'll mostly be wild camping. Flying into bergen from Dublin (flight most likely to oslo then on to Bergen) I plan to cycle to Voss, then take the Rallavegen to Flam where I'll take boat through the fjord and back to Flam. Continuing on down the Rallavegen and to its end, I'll hopefully then make it to Oslo.
If I have time/money I might cycling/train it to Stockholm.

Here's just a few questions.
Should I have a GPS? Id rather not (feels like cheating) but I don't want to get lost and I'm not great with a map as I often don't know where I am to begin with.I don't want to waste days trying to find my way or take a one wrong turn and be set back days. Norway seems to have little towns in the centre so it should be straight forward enough just following one road from town to town? (Obiviously knowing the towns names before I go and where non cyclist tunnels are)

I'll be bring my SLR camera and phone which will need charging, do you recommend a dynamo? There a bit expensive so I'm not sure. Was gonna buy extra batteries and portable chargers. Anyone use a dynamo? Might need to for lights in tunnels?

I'm currently using just standard running shoes and pedals. I see clip less and cleats would greatly increase my efficiency cycling but there adding to my basket of expenses would cage pedals suffice or should I just spend a bit extra for clip less? Better for long run.

Also would I need fully waterproof clothing or is shower proof enough for touring and wild camping? Again thinking of money, waterproof always seems expensive ha.

Finally, a lot of people recommend a power meter for efficiency and to teach me how to pace etc but they are as expensive as my bike!! Can't understand why, is there no work around?

Yes I'm fairly new to cycling and really noobie to touring.
I'm saving for a tour bike at the moment and all of the above expenses are scaring me as I'm a student with little money
Planning a weekend tour to test myself first before I go.
Thanks

Re: Panniers as airline baggage

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 13 February 2015 - 8:18pm
Simon hill
Yes. I couldn't believe it.
I have checked x2 and been told 40kg each time.
And they confirm the dimensions the same each time.
So I guess they are reading off a form/ script.

I am paying 90 euro for my bike each way.
And that is 40 kg as well.
And the dimensions are generous.

Turkish airlines.

Just reading the eticket confirmation email and 40 kg is stated there as well.

For anyone interested in total costs, the return ticket, Edinburgh, Istanbul, Bishkek, was £545.

£270 each way. I think a good price?

A single was nearly two thirds of a return.

Leave on May 26th. Return July 26th.
Hope to do the Pamir Highway.

Thanks to all the folks who have given advice on packing the panniers.

Re: Filthy Drivers: Roadside Rubbish

CTC Forum - On the road - 13 February 2015 - 8:07pm
I see it all the time,particularly obvious examples are m/way slips especially where there's TLs,and the odd three paice suite and matching carpet in some of the most picturesque locations
Generally,elements of the UK populous are a careless couldn't give a monkey's,dirty lot with little or no social conscience.
Sad innit?

Re: Etiquette for French cycle paths

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 13 February 2015 - 7:41pm
Well "Keep Right" would be my expectation too, even though the converse often seems to be irrelevant in the UK.
I apologise for expressing myself poorly. I'd have done better to ask for insights into how the French conduct themselves on these paths, especially holiday makers on hired bikes. More "law abiding" than UK equivalents, or not?

Re: Filthy Drivers: Roadside Rubbish

CTC Forum - On the road - 13 February 2015 - 7:32pm
beardy wrote:When I see a gel wrapper on the road I think it must have been some scum of a cyclist and when I see a banana skin I suspect that is also a possibility, even a probability if it is the right sort of place.

However I find it hard to believe that the car tyres, TV sets, mattresses, MacDonalds, Coke bottles, feed sacks and the other 99.99% of roadside rubbish was dropped by cyclists.

So even as a cyclist I find the minuscule amounts of rubbish dropped by cyclists to be possibly a million times (by weight) as offensive as that dropped by others.

Some litter louts are aware of the fact that it isnt illegal to dump on private land and drop their rubbish accordingly.

I'm with you Beardy. As another 'beard' I'm keen on compostables. I like the natural energy bars made by Mule. Apart from being the only bar my body has benefited from without having to bring in 'Ram-Rod' (or whatever those drain dudes are called) I'm happy to say that their packaging is stated as compostable. Like the previous (and wonderful) earlier post 'If you can be bothered to take it there full, you can be bothered to take it home empty' I still take Mule bar wrappers home. I'm experimenting with them in my 3 ton compost.

As for banana skins. Well that's just a slapstick moment waiting to happen...hc

Re: Cycling into the sun

CTC Forum - On the road - 13 February 2015 - 7:31pm
The profit margins on cycling clothing and accessories is on average 5 x cost. Because people cannot understand the difference between cost and value. I wear a superb set of bib tights from Decathlon. £19.99. Yet in the magazines they do comparisons of £150 + products. . . If you will pay £2000+ for a bicycle you are fair game.
Sunglasses are are even worse the profits are massive, but as long as people will pay £100 for trainers that cost £0.40 to make (seriously) you deserve all you get.
Go to your local safety clothing company, get superb glasses, base layers, even walking trousers for a fraction of the cost

Re: Taking a bike on a train

CTC Forum - On the road - 13 February 2015 - 7:30pm
I think this just shows where public transport falls down, I reckon once you own a car, driving always seem to work out cheaper, a lot more convenient and often quicker too. That's before you take into account all the time taken researching the cheapest tickets and whether or not it's possible to take a bike with you to actually be able to get where you want at the other end.

Re: Etiquette for French cycle paths

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 13 February 2015 - 7:07pm
Hi,
It should happen that way that you pass the same way as the road.
Why would you pass on a different side to the road in that country
I have had oncoming cyclist and motorcyclist and cars pass me on my left (inside) in the UK
viewtopic.php?f=7&t=94184
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