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Re: Not all bad..

CTC Forum - On the road - 10 February 2015 - 4:46pm
niggle wrote:I must give a mention for Westfield Transport. I have been overtaken by very big rigs from that local firm a few times, after the driver has patiently waited behind, then given a full lane's clearance every time: excellent
Last summer, after numerous times of being passed acceptably or better by Westfield drivers with vehicles up to full maximum size articulated lorries, I had what I felt was a quite bad close pass by one of the big rigs so emailed the firm on their website about it, this was the response:

"Hi Nigel

I am sorry to hear about your recent experiences whilst cycling along the road from Chacewater to Threeemilestone. I have sent a message out to all drivers, saying we have had complaints from cyclists. Hopefully this sort of thing will not happen again. If there is any way through your forum you can assist us by moaning to the council as our pleas have been to no avail. On several occasions we have contacted the council about some of the overgrown hedges and trees on that road which in itself makes the road quite dangerous as there are several points on this road, where 2 large vehicles going opposite ways cannot do so because of the overgrown trees. I hope in the future you have no need to email me again about the drivers.

Regards

Robert

Robert Walker
Managing Director

Westfield Transport (Cornwall) Ltd
Kerley Paddock
Chacewater
Truro
Cornwall
TR4 8JY"

After that I had no further issues with Westfield drivers, despite numerous further passes by them, almost daily, as my commute goes very close to the Westfield depot near Chacewater. Therefore I decided to give the benefit of the doubt and not mention the interchange on this thread.

Then last Wednesday afternoon I was riding home and experienced, IMO, a very uncomfortable close pass by one of their largest vehicles at about 4.45pm (about 45 mins earlier than usual due to a family issue) and complained by phone to the company when I got home, speaking to Robert Walker's son (Coby I think?) who was in charge in Robert Walker's absence. I was polite in expressing my distress and Coby(?) was quite sympathetic on the phone and said how he understood, he did some cycling, words to that effect, he would look into the matter.

Today Robert Walker sent me this email:

Hi Nigel

Regarding your complaint dated 04/02/2015.

We have since downloaded the footage from our on board camera of the vehicle in question. We feel the driver was extremely considerate in the way he passed you after following you at 8mph until passing you at about 18 mph our vehicle moved to the opposite side of the road, giving you plenty of room as most of our drivers do.

We take complaints about our company and the drivers very seriously and pride ourselves in being considerate on the road across the Uk and in to Europe, and more so in the local community/surrounding areas.

We are very aware of cyclists and all our drivers are competent and professional.

As you have made us aware that you have posted to your cycling site/forum we will happily post this video to show how considerate the driver was when he passed you.

If anything we feel you were being inconsiderate by cycling in the centre of the road/lane.

Regards

Robert

Robert Walker
Managing Director

Westfield Transport (Cornwall) Ltd
Kerley Paddock
Chacewater
Truro
Cornwall
TR4 8JY

Phone: 01872 560860 Fax: 01872 561056

Email: Rob@westfieldtransport.com
Website: http://www.westfieldtransport.com

I am going to send Robert Walker the link to this thread and hopefully he will post a link the footage. I will be interested to see it from the driver's point of view and also have feedback from the forum about my riding, positive or negative, as well as the HGV driver's driving. At this point I am of the opinion that the pass was too close, as the vehicle did not fully cross into the opposite lane, even though I was riding in primary position at the time, and this was compounded by the vehicle pulling in towards me before it had fully passed me in what I experienced as a very intimidating manner: these vehicles are truly huge and tall, I would guess the maximum size allowed on UK roads. BTW it is perfectly possible for the HVG to pass entirely on the opposite side of the road at that point, despite Mr Walker's previous comments about tree overhang, as I watched an identical vehicle going in the opposite direction a couple of days later, and that was fully to the left of the white line.

I am also of the opinon that I acted correctly in taking the lane through the pinch point past the traffic islands and to the brow of the hill a short distance away, as that is my interpretation of the guidance from Cyclecraft and Bikeability in such circumstances to try to disuade close/aggressive overtakes through the pinch point or at the brow of the hill. I feel Mr Walker does need to be re-educated re the right of cyclists to take the lane and stay there if they feel it is in their interest to do so, and that a following vehicle has no right to expect them to move over until the cyclist thinks it is safe to do so, the cyclist's safety taking priority over the convenience of the following driver. Obviously you should think about the driver's convenience as well so for a long hill climb you might pull over and let a following vehicle pass, but that was not the case in this instance IMO- opinions welcome. After the brow of the hill it would have been perfectly possible for the HGV to pass, assuming no oncoming traffic. OTOH if there was oncoming traffic then being in primary or secondary position would have made no difference and a safe overtake by a large vehicle would not have been possible either way...

The pinch point is here, follow street view forward to the brow of the hill: https://maps.google.co.uk/maps?q=Threem ... 8,,0,-9.75

As usual with Westfield vehicles, it turned left off the main road at this point, about 700m further down the road: https://maps.google.co.uk/maps?q=Threem ... 3,,0,17.57

EDIT, my reply today:

Hi Robert,

Yes please do post a link to the video, here is the Cyclists Touring Club thread I referred to previously:

viewtopic.php?f=7&t=70689&start=15 To post on the forum it will be necessary to join but there are no restrictions that should stop you doing so if you wish. The site does not allow uploading of video clips as far as I am aware so you will need to upload it to a hosting site e.g. Youtube. I look forward to a sensible discourse about this matter and I hope that you agree that my comments on the forum are not abusive or defamatory, indeed they were entirely positive about Westfield before today.

Best Regards,

Nigel Andrews

Re: Cycling into the sun

CTC Forum - On the road - 10 February 2015 - 3:20pm
I think if I were directly lined up with the sun, from the driver's point of view, my flasher would be unnoticed. Then my silhouette would be more use. But if I were slightly to one side of the sun, again from the driver's point of view, the flasher might help. It's not perfect, I know, but I'm happy to use anything that helps some of the time. And as I always have a rear light available, the possibility that it might help is reason enough to switch it on.

Re: My knackered old MTB vs Brand new tourer

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 10 February 2015 - 3:16pm
Whether you *need* the new bike is a hard one to answer. Will it be better? Maybe, maybe not. If you found your MTB comfortable then it might be a better option than getting used to a new bike, especially with only a few months until you leave. But maybe the new bike will handle better or have more reliable components. When touring you come across people on shiny new bikes but also plenty on ordinary run-of-the-mill bikes they've had for years. Last year I met a guy riding from Finland to Morocco on a rusty step-over bike with no gears. He'd already cycled 2000 miles so I reckon he got all the way.

As a plan C - perhaps see what you can get second hand for the same price as your MTB service + parts? You might find you can get something a bit more touring specific for the same amount of money (or hopefully even less!).

Enjoy your tour. Sounds like a great adventure!

Re: Cycling into the sun

CTC Forum - On the road - 10 February 2015 - 3:10pm
pwa wrote:I've never had anyone complain about me using a flasher in daylight.
Then it's probably not bright enough to compete with the sun.

Re: Paris to London

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 10 February 2015 - 3:00pm
Have a look at Donald Hirsch's route. It looks like a good 'un to me.

Put Hirsch in the Search box on the top right-hand side . . . . other wise try +Donald +Hirsch

Re: Motorist caught out by cycle cam

CTC Forum - On the road - 10 February 2015 - 2:59pm
I did click on the link. The actual headline is below.

Mailonline wrote:Idiot motorist caught on camera using his mobile phone and laptop while wearing earphones by vigilante cyclist

It's a surprisingly balanced article considering the organ it's published in, and the commenters underneath don't seem to have gone off on their usual "road tax-rlj-pavement cycling-yogurt-knitting-beardie-weirdos" rants (though I must admit to not having read all 500-odd comments).

Re: Cycling into the sun

CTC Forum - On the road - 10 February 2015 - 2:57pm
I've never had anyone complain about me using a flasher in daylight.

Re: Cycling into the sun

CTC Forum - On the road - 10 February 2015 - 2:49pm
pwa wrote:Definitely worth using a bright flasher to warn drivers struggling with the glare too.
1. You're not going to compete with the sun.
2. You're going to get abuse hurled at you by the other road users you dazzle.
I try to minimise my exposure to danger by not hanging about too long on bits of road where the glare could prevent a driver noticing me.
That's a better tactic, even if it's not always possible.
Like most of us, I'm a driver too, and the low sun at this time of year causes problems for all of us. I've driven around a corner at about 5mph with my visor down and sunglasses on, still not able to see as well as I would like.
Good that you've slowed to 5mph. Far too many nutters plough on at full speed.

Re: Superhighway

CTC Forum - On the road - 10 February 2015 - 2:35pm
TonyR wrote:mjr wrote:There's a touch of "not gonna get fooled again" here: I believed the anti-protectionists for some time, until I looked closely at the evidence and found holes you could drive a truck through (and straight onto a cyclist).

Excuse me if I don't believe you
Heck, I've been online over 20 years now, so it might be archived somewhere. It was when I was in Norwich and riding the utter junk that used to be built in Norfolk which is often worse than nothing and otherwise not as good as it should be.

As for the rest you can always browse back through the newsletter archive of the Camden Cycling Campaign to follow the story of what happened.
I've done that and it seems inconclusive about this but I might have missed a bit you feel is important? CCC also has a summary history at http://camdencyclists.org.uk/seven-stat ... k-history/

mjr wrote:I've done it and don't remember having problems (I think I could use an advanced stop box to help get the right lane to go around the square but I don't remember how I got to it) but I thought you wanted a route without using cycling infrastructure? It's only that one right turn that's at all unfriendly, isn't it?

No, there are several awkward junctions. The one leaving Guildford St, the one turning right onto the south side of Russell Square, the one where taxis join the south side of Russell Square from Bedford Place.
Leaving Guildford Street is a simple left turn, the right turn is awkward like I said, and satellite pictures make me think you have priority and good visibility over Bedford Place.

And I think you need to differentiate between cycle friendly design and cycling infrastructure of the segregated kind. There are plenty of forms of cycling infrastructure I'm not against - cyclepaths that create genuinely alternative off-road routes, cycle parking, priority lights for cyclists etc. Its the segregation I am against.
No, it's more than that. You seem to be against all protected space, not only segregation. I'm against segregation, but I see protected space on busy routes as a valid tool as long as no-one is required to use it.

Would it be a good idea to suggest to today's highway designers that they should design cycleways like half-size roads? Then we might get sane turning circles and no obstructions within the cycleway, which are not both givens at the moment.

Re: Cycling into the sun

CTC Forum - On the road - 10 February 2015 - 2:34pm
Definitely worth using a bright flasher to warn drivers struggling with the glare too. I try to minimise my exposure to danger by not hanging about too long on bits of road where the glare could prevent a driver noticing me. Like most of us, I'm a driver too, and the low sun at this time of year causes problems for all of us. I've driven around a corner at about 5mph with my visor down and sunglasses on, still not able to see as well as I would like.

Re: Combined Tool/Repair Kit & First Aid Kit

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 10 February 2015 - 2:29pm
Add in half a dozen disposable plastic gloves (one gram each). Now you can really grab that chain to manipulate the master link free, and leave those masterlink pliers at home. I'd leave the leatherman and adjustable wrench too, can't see many uses for them (my pedals come off w an allen key). Was there a multitool in there? That's heavier than three or 4 allen keys and a chain tool, normally. You mention little tins for patches etc. Ask at the bank for coin bags, lighter and smaller (not for needles obvs!).

Re: Cycling into the sun

CTC Forum - On the road - 10 February 2015 - 2:18pm
Wait for one of these?

Sadly, you'll have a long wait, unless you're cycling in exactly the right place at the right time (next one in the UK not due until 2090) .

Re: On the way home from shopping

CTC Forum - On the road - 10 February 2015 - 2:11pm
Mick F wrote:Found it:
viewtopic.php?t=16398
2008.

My box is 600x400x400 and cost £125.10 including delivery and VAT.


The 3D Cases FAE.003387 is 750 x 350 x 310 and 81 litres

An alternative would be the FAE.003385 which is 590 x 590 x 420 and 115 litres = £227.64 inc delivery and VAT - so you get more for less

It's a shame ukshelving don't stock them anymore

Re: Cycling into the sun

CTC Forum - On the road - 10 February 2015 - 2:00pm
Original Question:
mark a. wrote:It's low sun straight ahead and wet roads, so there's tons of glare. Do you:
1) Carry on
2) Stop
3) Do something else that helps you not get run over by a car drive who can't see.
...
Vantage wrote:Carry on.
There's drivers who text, tweet, mess around with satnav and stereo's, smoking, drinking, telling their kids to be quiet, doing other naughty things behind the wheel and I don't stay off the roads for them.
If I stayed off the bike for every possible risk out there, I'd never get any cycling done.
(My bold and italics) and how many car drivers say the same ?

Mark1978 wrote:danhopgood wrote:I've changed my approach since following the court case in my home town of a cyclist killed in Southampton and the driver claimed low sun - and was found not guilty of death by careless driving.

Now if I'm turning right and I'm likely to have to wait in the running lane, I will wait at the kerb for a space in the traffic. I also avoid busy routes in those conditions.

Agreed, there have been far too many cases where a driver has used 'low sun' as a defence and it's been accepted!

Interesting the different attitudes of different cyclists.

I actually find it difficult as, where I cycle you sometimes get babies being pushed along in their buggies for a walk by mums along the road (no pavement). and going straight into one could easily result in serious injuries for the baby/mum. So were I to plough on regardless of conditions I would be doing the same as drivers texting, etc. (and I am regularly critical of such behaviour). I guess it is a principle that applies everywhere (not just to my particular locality) as if you can't see dangers (to others as well as yourself) you can avoid them.

Ian

Re: Marrakech to the High Atlas - December (Parts 1 - 5)

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 10 February 2015 - 1:40pm
Clanton
I find it's easier to pack lighter in warmer weather. The biggest/bulkiest item I have is a down sleeping bag.

Re: New Peak District routes?

CTC Forum - On the road - 10 February 2015 - 1:22pm
More details here:

http://www.derbyshire.gov.uk/images/Ped ... 224114.pdf

Includes extending the Monsal Trail down to Matlock so that people can travel by train to Matlock and get straight onto the route. Also, joining up the Monsal and High Peak trails at the northern ends

Re: Cycling into the sun

CTC Forum - On the road - 10 February 2015 - 1:15pm
danhopgood wrote:I've changed my approach since following the court case in my home town of a cyclist killed in Southampton and the driver claimed low sun - and was found not guilty of death by careless driving.

Now if I'm turning right and I'm likely to have to wait in the running lane, I will wait at the kerb for a space in the traffic. I also avoid busy routes in those conditions.

Agreed, there have been far too many cases where a driver has used 'low sun' as a defence and it's been accepted!

Rotterdam > Istanbul - knackered old MTB vs Brand new tourer

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 10 February 2015 - 12:46pm
Hello, first poster here and with the ... typical ... question I'm sure you're all bored of.

History
Haven't been on a bicycle since I came off my MTB in a forest and got concussion about 8 years ago... or was it 9... can't remember

Plan
Cycle tour from Rotterdam to Istanbul setting off 1st May 2015.

Bike Option 1
• Mountain Bike - Trek 4500 - 1999 - similar to this but with plastic pedals: http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7180/6907693851_417f2101b7_z.jpg
• This bike has been sat in my cellar since 2007 and I'm pretty sure it'll have degraded.
• Estimating spending £100 on a service, £50-75 on new parts and tyres.
• I'll also need new more substantial pedals, seat, pannier racks, grips.
• After all this I'll still only have a mountain bike which obviously isn't specifically for touring.
• Approx price £250

Bike Option 2
• This http://www.edinburghbicycle.com/products/revolution-country-traveller-15?bct=browse%2frevolution-products%2frevolution-bikes
• Price £550 inc a decent set of pedals.

There's a big gap in price here and on a small budget of about £2000 for the whole trip, over 25% would be spent on just the bike. Never mind all the camping and storage equipment I've still to purchase, even if I get second hand / free / cheap equipment I could be looking at £100 for that.

When I factor in insurance, ferry from Hull to Rotterdam, initial food, some clothing and bits and pieces my £2000 budget gets quickly smaller.

Is the new bike really going to make such a big difference that it's silly not to consider it?
This is a big trip for anyone, let alone me with no experience, fitness or knowledge.
Will sticking with an improved MTB be a huge detriment to the experience, should I just get it fettled (Yorkshire word) and get out there?

Also there's no option of putting the tour back and saving for a new bike, I'm too eager to get out there and fear I'll never do it if I don't go soon.

Thanks in advance for advice / comments / feedback.

Re: On the way home from shopping

CTC Forum - On the road - 10 February 2015 - 12:20pm
Found it:
viewtopic.php?t=16398
2008.

My box is 600x400x400 and cost £125.10 including delivery and VAT.

Re: On the way home from shopping

CTC Forum - On the road - 10 February 2015 - 12:14pm
My box wasn't anywhere near that.
I haven't got a record of what I paid, but there's something on this forum somewhere from when I bought it.
2009?
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