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Re: North or south ?

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 15 December 2014 - 2:26am
Thanks very much for all your replies folks. Lots of good advice and food for thought in there and it seems good and bad points for North or South. All valid and worthy of serious consideration.
Something that really grabbed my attention and gave me a swift boot up the action button was the suggestion that the South of France was a nice destination to aim for. I ran that one past the wife tonight ,having filled her with fine red wine and was given royal approval for a European trip as part of a 'reccy' for a future trip for both of us. So having been scared sh1tless by the 'weather bomb' of touring in the UK, I'm now having a look at migrating south into deepest France sometime soon.
If anyone has done it in late January or February and can offer any advice I'd love to hear of your experiences.

Thanks again
Jim

Established touring routes?

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 15 December 2014 - 2:06am
Hi Folks,
Could anyone give me a steer towards a book/ publication / web site/ blog where I might find details of established routes through Europe, France to South of France , Portugal , UK - North to South, West to East etc etc ? There's got to be something out there to help with planning a bike friendly trip along some of these lines?

I'm looking for an idiots guide ( yes, I need it!) type thing that would take me from A to B along scenic routes with info on stops/ good points/hazards etc along the way ?

As always, all replies very much appreciated.

Cheers
Jim

Re: TOURING 2015

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 14 December 2014 - 11:28pm
Hoping to dawdle around Suffolks Painters Trail in 2015 with my watercolours. After falling off, my shoulder is still not right and am hoping for an op to set it right. Was going last September but my accident prevented it. Picked up an info pack from the Information Centre in Lavenham this morning. They still have 1 copy left if anyone wants one.
Probably do something across the channel too.. Wish it was further afield.

Al

Re: Motorcycles using cycle designated parking

CTC Forum - On the road - 14 December 2014 - 11:16pm
Very often parking of all sorts are on private property. When I have had difficulty with motorbikes using the cycle parking spaces, I've said something to the owners (a zoo in one case, and a supermarket in another).

The owners have sorted it by just informing motorbike users of the correct place to park. I think that in the case of the supermarket, it was managed by a company who maybe had some leverage, as they could charge fees for users that parked incorrectly. But the zoo didn't seem to have nay problems getting it sorted, either.

As for what to do when there is no cycle parking available? I take my bike indoors with me. When people complain about my bike going round the shop, I ask them to point out the cycle parking.

Re: Motorcycles using cycle designated parking

CTC Forum - On the road - 14 December 2014 - 11:04pm
Tonyf33 wrote:I know it isn't that doesn't stop the police from acting, they are there for civil matters as well are they not?
Not generally.
and if the police as was stated where doing nothing else then they could have done something but chose not to.[/
It is not at all clear from the OP's post that an offence was committed. I'm not sure what you think they ought to have done.

Re: Default tourer?

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 14 December 2014 - 10:30pm
Disc Trucker > LHT.

Absolutely love mine. Best bike I've ever owned. Mine was bought when I got a refund on a Genesis Day01 Alfine 11 that spent more time in the workshop than on the road.

I don't think they're expensive at all. Before I got mine, I sat down and priced up everything I wanted - steel frame, BB7s, XT hubs laced to good rims, bar end shifters, etc. and the individual parts came to what I paid for the DT. Other brands skimp on things like rims/crankset, Surly don't. Every part of their bikes are properly thought out.

Re: TOURING 2015

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 14 December 2014 - 10:13pm
geocycle wrote:France for me, something loosely based on France en velo route time permitting. Btw if anyone has this route on gpx I'd be grateful. The guide is beautiful and ideal for wet Sunday reading in December. Looks like the route will be St Malo South to Cevennes then head east via Arles to Nice.

I've seen the book in the shops, but never examined it, assuming it was 'just another book about cycling in France'. Just had a quick google, and it looks good - I've put it on my late Xmas presents list!

Maybe some or all of it in 2015?

Re: bbc i player,scottish audax

CTC Forum - On the road - 14 December 2014 - 10:11pm
Downloaded it to my tablet, will watch it on the train in the morning

Re: bbc i player,scottish audax

CTC Forum - On the road - 14 December 2014 - 10:07pm
I enjoyed watching this. Lovely countryside and roads.

Re: Leicester Area Audax Riders

CTC Forum - On the road - 14 December 2014 - 9:53pm
Leicestershire CTC, certainly the Charnwood and South Leicestershire groups go out on Sundays, usually 3 groups doing different speeds and distances. I would have a look at their website for details. There were rides out today

Re: TOURING 2015

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 14 December 2014 - 9:15pm
MrsHJ wrote:dodger wrote:Where does the Tour de Manche go? I like cycling in France. Could be an option if I can get permission!

The full thing is the North Coast of Brittany, South Coast of Normandy, along the centre South of Dorset and Devon. We met a Dutch family last year who found the Dorset and Devon sections too steep for the kids but obviously you can choose which bits you do. 1200km for the whole thing according to a quick google.

I think that distance figure includes the ferry crossing distances. I think the cycled distance is around 750k. There's also the petit tour de manche which is about half that as well. I can cycle from home to the route as well which helps.

Re: Tanker lorry, spot on driving

CTC Forum - On the road - 14 December 2014 - 8:36pm
There was another group of lorry drivers in at work on Saturday.....again, it's interesting how attitudes change. At the start it was very much a case of them saying that they were careful around cyclists but that cyclists were annoying and often did strange things. By the end, after some of them had been taken out on a bike in traffic for the first time in their lives, their attitudes to why cyclists ride like they do had changed a fair bit......with a bit more "ah, it all makes sense now". Andsome had redefined what they thought 'careful' was.

Likewise, when another organisation I work for have put cyclists into HGVs they have come out with a bit more sympathy for what driving such a vehicle in the urban environment is like.

But daily I have to stop myself shouting "Don't go up there" just like the guy that makes the Silly Cyclist videos.

Re: Motorcycles using cycle designated parking

CTC Forum - On the road - 14 December 2014 - 8:15pm
PH wrote:Tonyf33 wrote:With regard to Enforcement by the police, surely if someone is breaking the rules the police HAVE to act if told of the offence, how can they not, what absolves them from acting, what gives them the right to pick and choose what they act on..

It isn't a criminal offence, hasn't been for some time:
Part 6 of the Traffic Management Act 2004 (TMA) provides for the civil
enforcement of most types of parking contraventions. It replaces Part II and
Schedule 3 of the Road Traffic Act 1991
I know it isn't that doesn't stop the police from acting, they are there for civil matters as well are they not? and if the police as was stated where doing nothing else then they could have done something but chose not to.

Re: Tanker lorry, spot on driving

CTC Forum - On the road - 14 December 2014 - 7:19pm
albal1 wrote:I drive HGV and have been for tooo lonngg. Currently freelancing. Nice to read your comments most being HGV positive!
I would say any transport manager would welcome praises for their drivers. Since Sept 2014 we have to hold a DCPC card, from 7.5 ton and above(Driver cert of professional competance) which is paid for by the driver and 'worked ' to pay it off so to speak and costs around £450. Has to be renewed after 5 years.This should eek out the idiots who drive trucks, and I may get more work!
I get lot of stick from fellow drivers where I am now who say 'why don't they use the cycle path/pavement?' near to Bmth Airport. It is not safe to pass as the road is narrow.

For the OP I would guess the tanker lorry was 'freighted'. Meaning it may take a while to reach a suitable speed to pass,did the correct thing and hang back.Re; deadlines, I don't give a toss about them & I know few feel the same. Does that give you the right to drive dangerously? NO.

BTW what happened to MSM when passing cyclists?parked cars,etc It seems to have dissappeared. I still do it causing the oncoming traffic to move over.

Well the indication is that you're overtaking, (not passing) which is the actual manoeuvre, the problem is that they don't bother teaching it at learner level.
The only reason not to signal is if there is no-one to signal to or that the signal will not help anyone and in terms of most town/ciy environments not feasible (though still very useful when practical) and your vehicle position coming up behind a cyclist should be a clear indication of what you're about to do...or it should to an average driver.

I try to recognise situations where I know it's going to be difficult for a larger vehicle to overtake or get past especially in urban environments, IF I can pull over to the side and it's no big deal for me & wave them past then I will (I won't always as that's not how it works). I realise that they have a job to do, I realise that being behind me I cannot predict what they might do (a dodgy pass at just the wrong point) and indeed that snarling up traffic a small amount whilst an HGV waits patiently has other effects further up the system.
Yes that's the whole reason we want more people on bikes but in the iterim why can't I as a cyclist take a pro-active stance to keep things moving for not a great deal of hassle for me. I'm taking the high moral high ground AND hopefully it benefits another cyclist the next time an HGV wants to overtake.

Re: Default tourer?

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 14 December 2014 - 6:52pm
mrjemm wrote:PH wrote:Surly certainly hit the jackpot with it, right bike, right time, right price and some great marketing. I suspect many of those on that site are American, where it's a real bargain, I don't think they have the choice we do.

I am quite surprised that this could be thought possible. They certainly have a very wide range of bikes available in the US, and as I understand it, a higher level of disposable income than here along with many many custom builders and a healthy/ier cycle culture. It is possibly that Surly is a bigger name in the US than here, what with it being a US brand, which is a good selling point of course.

My American friends tell me that before the popularity of the LHT, touring bikes were very much a niche item and the choice for off the peg affordable models was usually the Trek 520 and Cannondale Touring. The other thing is that the choice has now increased thanks to the LHT popularity, I don't think SOMA (Which is a make I like, I have the ES) had a specific touring bike until recently.

Re: Default tourer?

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 14 December 2014 - 6:36pm
mrjemm wrote:and maybe also the traditional horizontal toptube design, which tends to result in mucho spacerism when a comfy set-up is arrived at.

Yes, I know exactly what you mean. I saw a Disc Trucker in Brixton Cycles redcently.

It looks like a supremely capable bike but the thing you pointed out does bug me. Some configurations can look like two wheels on a farm gate. Apart from the aesthetics, I find a sloping tube far more practical.

I don't suppose Surly are going to change the design though.

So I'll just have to lump it.

Re: Tanker lorry, spot on driving

CTC Forum - On the road - 14 December 2014 - 6:22pm
Agree with OP, yes, it is a good idea to contact 'head office'. Fine obviously to wave/thumbs up etc but, good to have something on record, as most comments negative, so balances the perception. Emailed local firm a while ago to compliment driver, finished with 'bet you don't get many if these?' Reply was 'never, many thanks and driver would be told'. Bit of positive feedback can do a disproportionate amount of good.

Re: Default tourer?

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 14 December 2014 - 6:18pm
PH wrote:Surly certainly hit the jackpot with it, right bike, right time, right price and some great marketing. I suspect many of those on that site are American, where it's a real bargain, I don't think they have the choice we do.

I am quite surprised that this could be thought possible. They certainly have a very wide range of bikes available in the US, and as I understand it, a higher level of disposable income than here along with many many custom builders and a healthy/ier cycle culture. It is possibly that Surly is a bigger name in the US than here, what with it being a US brand, which is a good selling point of course.

For me, Soma, with their Saga/Saga Disc are amongst other brands available more widely in the US than here. Also, Novara, which I believe is the own brand of REI, is a popular name for touring bikes if I am not mistaken, with the Randonee being a well regarded one I think.

I've never ridden a Long Haul (or Disc) Trucker, but have seen numerous and looked closely at several. They always appear very well designed and solidly built. For me, the only drawback (as a disc brake preferer (my word)) is the ugliness (in my eyes) of the drop outs of the DT, and maybe also the traditional horizontal toptube design, which tends to result in mucho spacerism when a comfy set-up is arrived at. But these are just aesthetics, and barely important in the grand scheme of things.

I see a Surly every day, but that's Mme's Straggler, and tis a great bike, though perhaps not so suited for touring as we'd've liked- mudguards are proving an issue right now, which isn't a problem for LHT/DTs. As for the comparison against Thorns- can't see the reason folk go for Thorns except the outdated cachet or reputation they've claimed for themselves- Surlys are clearly not inferior and yet cheaper. Better colours and styling too...

If you want to see just how popular the LHTs are, similar to Fully Loaded, but I think bigger, is the CGOAB equivalent, where LHTs alone have 34 pages!

http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/?o=S ... 8000&v=4GB

Re: Tanker lorry, spot on driving

CTC Forum - On the road - 14 December 2014 - 6:10pm
I drive HGV and have been for tooo lonngg. Currently freelancing. Nice to read your comments most being HGV positive!
I would say any transport manager would welcome praises for their drivers. Since Sept 2014 we have to hold a DCPC card, from 7.5 ton and above(Driver cert of professional competance) which is paid for by the driver and 'worked ' to pay it off so to speak and costs around £450. Has to be renewed after 5 years.This should eek out the idiots who drive trucks, and I may get more work!
I get lot of stick from fellow drivers where I am now who say 'why don't they use the cycle path/pavement?' near to Bmth Airport. It is not safe to pass as the road is narrow.

For the OP I would guess the tanker lorry was 'freighted'. Meaning it may take a while to reach a suitable speed to pass,did the correct thing and hang back.Re; deadlines, I don't give a toss about them & I know few feel the same. Does that give you the right to drive dangerously? NO.

BTW what happened to MSM when passing cyclists?parked cars,etc It seems to have dissappeared. I still do it causing the oncoming traffic to move over.
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