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CTC Forum - On the road - 10 July 2014 - 6:50pm
<political whinge starts>

At this point I would do some name dropping, but despite meeting him, shaking hands and chatting with him I still have no idea of what the heck his name is!

We at (Story Wood Cycle Hub) and Bike North Birmingham had a visit from the Minister for Transport today. On the one hand it's always nice to get some attention (even if you don't know who it's from and you have to shake hands with someone whose policies you are not too keen on), but on the other hand it was a very depressing affair.

We had a number of people, who had been on our led rides or learned to ride with us, along to relate their experiences. They all told him how cycling had transformed their lives and how great our project is, and of course, our parent organisation project: BNB. And in turn he said how great it was that making Birmingham into one of the Cycling Cities had had so much of a positive effect on people's lives. So plenty of back patting and 'what a wonderful world it is!'.

This, I think, is why rank and file cyclists should not be allowed to speak on behalf of rank and file cyclists! I often see some cyclists being criticised for being political or being some kind of loonie leftie rebellious agitators, yet the alternative is having people who have no idea of the wider picture trying to speak for all of us and being used as evidence that everything is rosy in the garden. (Yes, yes....I know.....I too am reminded of that episode of Dr Who where they are trapped in the pod and the Dr tells them what to do. One of them asks him why should they listen to him and he comes out with the slightly pompous "Because I'm clever.")

For my part (and I did manage not to swear at all) I attempted to bring up the subject of crap cycle paths/lanes. It was his contention that any kind of cycle lane is better than nothing....which got my dander up a bit and so I made a polite suggestion that we needed a new set of minimum design standards that had to be adhered to because so many new cycle paths actually create brand new dangers for people*. At which point he was whisked away to see someone else who was going to tell him how great we were. Great? well our volunteers do put in a lot of hard work and we have done wonders with those people who have come to us for training, but really, we are hardly scratching the surface......and if cycling is such a great thing for everyone then why is it being left to volunteers to get people cycling.

*something else amazing happened today - I actually heard a sustrans rep threatening not to sign off on an infrastructure project because the finish wasn't good enough...it truly is an age of wonders

<political whinge over>

Re: Dealing with mosquitos

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 10 July 2014 - 6:42pm
Smidge is great. primarily meant to repel midges, works well for me against all flying beasties including my nemesis the horsefly! and it's quite pleasant stuff to apply unlike deet.

Re: <Spoilers> Rain.... [SPOILERS]

CTC Forum - Racing - 10 July 2014 - 6:19pm
Has anyone really suggested that the stage was put in just to eliminate Froome?
Surely the stage was put in to up the blood and gore stakes and thus get more viewers and increase advertising revenue?

Re: knee pain and touring

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 10 July 2014 - 4:12pm
Its possible top use grippy shoes and pedals, but clips and straps, with straps loose not tightened, your foot position is assured, assuming you set it correct in the first place.

Free Play pedals have I thing oddles of settable free play I dont like the idea................

Grippy pedals and shoes yes that is what I use too.

And here's the Secret I.M.O. once the pedal is loaded with foot on the main power segment of crank angle, the foot should not twist / rotate at all , with exception of the give of the rubber sole of shoe.
You can have clips without straps, this just positions the ball of foot in the correct (predetermined by user) for and aft to the pedal spindle.
Much climbing out of saddle over say 50 / 100 or more miles, it will be dificult to garentee foot to pedal position for and aft, even if you ignore any other errors that might creep in like rotation of foot , the pedal crank will act as a stop for sideways position though..................
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