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Re: The Calm Before The Storm

CTC Forum - On the road - 14 November 2014 - 8:57pm
It might be of interest to take a look at the biker's Youtube channel - BikersPOV.

Links from the original Youtube page.

Re: Help with choosing bike type and/or commute through Lond

CTC Forum - On the road - 14 November 2014 - 8:55pm
Not if you want it on his driving record. However, you have a limited amount of time to make a police report.

Otherwise, you can try writing to his taxi company, and see what they say.

Give way to pavement cyclist when turning into side road?

CTC Forum - On the road - 14 November 2014 - 8:28pm
Cycling home today I was making a right turn into a narrow side road and there was a pavement cyclist coming towards me on the pavement and had started crossing the side road. Had it been a pedestrian I'd have been legally obliged to give way, but does a pavement cyclist have the same rights as a pedestrian?

Luckily they did stop and even said "sorry" but it's not really something I have come across before.

Re: Waterproof gloves that are NOT waterproof.

CTC Forum - On the road - 14 November 2014 - 8:08pm
In winter I use padded Goretex gloves. Expensive when I bought them about 20 years ago, but toasty warm and they've never let water in and don't get sweaty. They might be too warm for some people, but my fingers get cold rather readily.

Re: The Calm Before The Storm

CTC Forum - On the road - 14 November 2014 - 8:05pm
We hear a fair bit about the Highway Code in cases like this, especially from people who think that advice not to do something creates a sort of mirror right for them to assume that "the other driver" must comply. In reality, the HC tends to concentrate on creating responsibilities rather than rights. Anyway, here's a bit of HC advice that's relevant here, (edited to remove a couple of lines which don't apply to this incident.)

147
Be considerate. Be careful of and considerate towards all types of road users, especially those requiring extra care (see Rule 204).
...
try to be understanding if other road users cause problems; they may be inexperienced or not know the area well.
be patient; remember that anyone can make a mistake.
do not allow yourself to become agitated or involved if someone is behaving badly on the road. This will only make the situation worse. Pull over, calm down and, when you feel relaxed, continue your journey.
....

My own basic point would be that it's not the role of any road user to try to enforce their own interpretation of road traffic law (which may well be wrong, anyway.) As cyclists, we tend to be on the receiving end of this all the time, and some seem to respond by trying to dish it out. It's obviously wrong for a road user deliberately to obstruct another, as it's suggested the oncoming driver did here, but that doesn't justify behaving badly in response. I know that this is easy advice to give and hard to follow, especially when the fear of injury turns to anger. However, if you are going to release a movie about it, it's worth following, IMO.

I've watched the approach of the car several times - no choice when watching the edited vid - and my impression is that the driver appears to be overtaking or making a similar manoeuvre, but it then looks as though there's nothing to overtake but clear space. ie support for the suggestion it was a deliberate attempt to baulk the motorcyclist but hardly conclusive.

As this is a cycling forum and an increasing number of cyclists use cameras to gather evidence (even if they find difficulty getting a decent police response) footage like this wouldn't help a prosecution. If the elusive independent witnesses were ever traced, they'd remember the aftermath and probably not what led up to it.

Re: London - Istanbul. Which route?

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 14 November 2014 - 8:00pm
With a long distance ride finding viable off road routes can be awkward. You need a decently detailed map but will tend to ride across it quite quickly. Also the right scale may not be available when you need it. Spending £10-15 per day on maps is an expensive and bulky exercise.

I might be out of date and Google maps \ technology may have caught up.

Likewise rural roads beyond Hungary may have improved hugely. But if they haven't on road conditions can be worse than a UK off road trail. It's part of the experience and travelling down through the balkans was terrific.

Choice of route starts with how you feel about hills; the flatter ways are following the rhine to pick up eurovelo6. Then follow the danube, cut across bulgaria and pick uo 100 towards Istanbul.
The fastest way is to head south over the alps, down italy to Ancona and catch the ferry to greece but the long ferry ride is kinda missing the point.

The balkans are a terrific touring experience but very hot in high summer.

The route should reflects what you want to get out of the trip. Also a search on eurovelo6 on here should throw up some hits.

Re: The Calm Before The Storm

CTC Forum - On the road - 14 November 2014 - 7:32pm
Perhaps she has had a car scratched by a motorcyclist misjudging a gap.

Re: Help with choosing bike type and/or commute through Lond

CTC Forum - On the road - 14 November 2014 - 7:09pm
Vorpal wrote:I generally think that it is a good idea to report bad driving if you have enough information. The most it's likely to get you is a note on the driver's record, or a word from a police officer. Frankly, you may have a hard time getting them to take it seriously. I have had mixed responses from the police. Some officers have taken bad driving seriously, and made a report on just a partial plate, whilst others implied that because I am vulnerable, it's my responsibility to keep myself safe, and the police can't pursue every case of bad driving.

You may also want to consider writing to the taxi company, which may get more result. Describe what occurred and ask them to provide their drivers with cyclists awareness training.

If you do decide to report to the police, have a look at viewtopic.php?p=600003#p600003

Good luck!

edited to add: I've known cyclists to carry around a copy of the Highway Code just for 'discussions' like that. If you need something quick & easy to shout back, it's 'Rule 163'

Yes I was thinking of carrying a highway code for just that purpose.

My main concern was that he thought it was according to the national cycling standard so I primarily want someone in authority to tell him otherwise.

Edit: I've read the first post of the quoted thread. I think in this instance it is overkill. Is there no way to have the driver be 'told off' without following those steps?

Re: The Calm Before The Storm

CTC Forum - On the road - 14 November 2014 - 7:04pm
Bonefishblues wrote:I found it rather hyperbolic in the context of what was an incident at the milder end of the spectrum
Bonefishblues wrote: incident is best categorised as discourtesy, as opposed to some of the rather more extreme statements being made.

It not unusual that the video does not fully show the danger or on opposite to make a quite safe maneuver to look very dangerous. I have to be honest that I am used to car drivers not paying attention and I do believe it is my job to make sure I find safe gaps in traffic. However when I realize that someone is putting me in danger - yes I had to run away and try to fit in a column of cars while unsure if the cars on left are not going to do another stunt which is not letting me in. Normally this can be done fluently and there are no issues. I accept that I may need to do an emergency rejoin due to changing conditions but not that someone thinks they can use their car as some people use an elbow on the bus.

Bonefishblues wrote:The biker's response to the woman at the end does nothing other than cement her preconceptions, I'd suggest, which is unhelpful to (even more) vulnerable road users such as cyclists.

Just my thoughts. Bit sad all round

I respect your opinion. However what do you think should be done? Just letting her on her way thinking she made the right thing and carry on feeling like she is the citizen of the year? Do you think THAT will help other vulnerable road users? Maybe if she sees herself on YT and reads some of the comments she will think twice (and people like her who will watch it) before she decides to pull that off on another vulnerable road user? She will not change her mind (no matter what) but maybe she will be a little more worried about the consequences.
That is how I think about it.

Re: North Sea route - Rotterdam to Esbjerg

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 14 November 2014 - 6:16pm
First off I did Zeeebrugge to Hook of Holland in two days and I would say it was the best bit of the trip. Fantastic coastline, beautiful beaches, woods, cycling along the tops of the dunes, and the dikes between the islands. Any way you can change your plans to take in Zealand I would recommend it.
From H van H I took an inland route to Delft and spent a couple of hours looking around there and then cycled to the YH in Den Haag. Next morning I spent in the Mauritshuis. If you like old masters and Dutch painting this is an absolute must see. A small intimate gallery but everything in it really superb. I stored the bike and bags in the YH and started cycling about 4 and went up to a campsite on the coast near Katwijk. Next day north and into Haarlem, nice town indeed and worth the detour. Stayed in a campsite on the outskirts and next morning went to the Frans Hals museum. Again it depends on your taste but I thought it was fantastic.
Top tip: every Dutch city of any size I went to had a guarded bike park, either next to the station or the town hall. Cycle straight into the city, take the bike to the guarded bike park, go off sight seeing in perfect confidence that your bike is safe. Brilliant!
All the campsites up to Den Helder were not very nice Eurocamp places, lots of chalets and static caravans, but they just happened to be where I felt like stopping. As it was early October they were very quiet but I wouldn't like to be there in the summer. Always go for the "natural" campsites, if you can: http://www.natuurkampeerterreinen.nl/en ... te-finder/
Camping bei de Boer are also simpler and quieter than the Eurocamp sites, but not as nice as the natural campsites: http://www.kamperenbijdeboer.nl/

The cycling up to Den Helder is through the beautiful dunes and pine woods but you don't see the sea unless you take a detour to see it. Into Den Helder and straight on to the boat for Texel. Texel is beautiful but it is big so you don't feel you're on an island. Off the boat I headed for the SW shoreline up to Oudeschilde. Fantastic ride along the sea wall, feet from the waves, Oudeschilde a pretty harbour with a good bike shop which sells a cool jersey with Texel written on it. I camped in Oosterend at a nice natural campsite, very quiet surrounded by woods, basic facilities but good, including washing machine and dryer, coin operated but dead cheap http://www.grietjeshoeve.com/nl/prijzen.htm. Nearby town of Oosterend pretty with a good food shop. Rode over to the NW shore the next day where the beaches and the resorts are, looked as if it could be busy in the high season.

Back to Den Helder and then over the Afsluitsdike. The woman on the ferry said I should be able to cross the dike in 2 hours. It took one hour at average speed 19.5 with a howling SW wind behind. Great fun, like being on a fairground ride. But if the wind is in the NE my advice is go back to bed and leave it till tomorrow. If you island hop from Texel to Vlieland you will miss that and I'm glad I didn't, the dike is an amazing sight. I crossed to Vlieland from Harlingen. Lovely place, simple and quiet and the natural campsite is Lange Paal, Long Pole, great campsite surrounded by woods, nice and simple, really quiet. Only 3 of us there but I think it really fills up in the summer, I would book. Worth taking time to cycle round Vlieland, lovely dunes on the NW coast and marshes with bird hides on the SE, great pine woods in between, always windy.
About island hopping: you need to plan this carefully. Some of the "fast ferries" don't take bikes, some of the ferries between the islands only run on certain days. If you have to go back to the mainland and out to the next island it will take the best part of a day and a lot of dosh. Those ferries are not cheap. So I missed going to Terschelling, which I bitterly regret. I found the website impossible to decipher so decided to just leave it till I got there, which was a mistake. My advice is ring them nearer the time. If the person who answers the phone can't give you the info in perfect English there will be someone next to them who can.
I went down to Holwerd and out to Ameland. Mistake. Ameland I found horrible. Busy, noisy, crowded even in October, though it was half term, and holiday makers take their own cars there. I got back off as soon as I could. All the campsites were massive chalet and static caravan parks and the real camper, namely me, was put in the kid's playground. There was nowhere to stay on Schermonikoog because of the time of the year but it is a nature reserve and cars aren't allowed. so I would definitely have a look. By the way there is a little municipal campsite at Ternard on the mainland as you travel east, just beyond Holwerd, small and simple and dead cheap. http://beta.eurocampings.co.uk/netherla ... rd-119640/

The NSCR down to Lauwersoog it all nice riding. Tip: wherever you are, if the NSCR is signed beside the dike and you can't see the sea to your left, check out the top of the dike to see if there is a bike path up there and ride on the top of the dike with the sea on one side and the land on the other, unless of course there is a howling gale, which was quite often for me. After Lauwersoog there is some very nice riding through woods and heaths and a nice natural campsite at Wehe den Hoorn: Camping Wilgenheerd, Havenstraat 3 ,9964 AN Wehe-den Hoorn. There is also Spar nearby but I can't remember where but it is the only shop for miles around.

After that campsite to Delftzil the NSCR did a stupid route miles from the coast and winding around all over the place so I eventually gave up on it and rode straight to Delftzil.
That's it. I also went to Groningen, Utrecht, Amsterdam, Hoorn, Enkhuizen, all brilliant places, then got caught in the hurricane and took a train back to Den Haag and had a second visit to the Mauritshuis, that's how much I rated it. Rode down the bit of the NSCR I missed first time, Den Haag to H van H. The NSCR through Scheveningen was a completely mad route and without a gps I would still be there trying to find my way out. My advice is pick up a main road and get straight through. Remember that nearly all main roads have separate cycle tracks anyway. And the coast from Scheveningen to H van H was not much to write home about so I think I was right to go up through Delft rather than follow the NSCR.
I loved cycling in the Netherlands. The landscape is not boring as lots of people try to tell us, I found it stunning, all that sky and clouds. The Dutch were great, always helpful and eager to chat. Just start talking in English to whoever is standing next to you, or even cycling next to you, which will be a lot of the time. The separate cycle tracks are a joy and the courtesy of motorists is just astonishing to a Brit. Have fun.

Re: Waterproof gloves that are NOT waterproof.

CTC Forum - On the road - 14 November 2014 - 5:26pm
Not a solution to the gloves leaking but,
turn them inside out and then try short bursts in the microwave to dry them out.
Maybe saves a day or two trying to dry them and they warm up as well.

Re: Help with choosing bike type and/or commute through Lond

CTC Forum - On the road - 14 November 2014 - 5:00pm
I generally think that it is a good idea to report bad driving if you have enough information. The most it's likely to get you is a note on the driver's record, or a word from a police officer. Frankly, you may have a hard time getting them to take it seriously. I have had mixed responses from the police. Some officers have taken bad driving seriously, and made a report on just a partial plate, whilst others implied that because I am vulnerable, it's my responsibility to keep myself safe, and the police can't pursue every case of bad driving.

You may also want to consider writing to the taxi company, which may get more result. Describe what occurred and ask them to provide their drivers with cyclists awareness training.

If you do decide to report to the police, have a look at viewtopic.php?p=600003#p600003

Good luck!

edited to add: I've known cyclists to carry around a copy of the Highway Code just for 'discussions' like that. If you need something quick & easy to shout back, it's 'Rule 163'

Re: I Hate Virgin Trains

CTC Forum - On the road - 14 November 2014 - 4:29pm
iviehoff wrote:So, trying to compare like with like for tariff systems that work very differently, the Japanese trains do seem to be a lot more expensive, for fares that normal people pay. But if we factor in that median Japanese wages are about double British wages at current exchange rates, then perhaps it is a bit more affordable for them.


Not so.

Average salary in Japan: $23,486
Average salary in the UK: $34,137
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_co ... erage_wage

And unlike the UK in most Japanese households only one partner works so the disparity in household income is even more marked.

Re: I Hate Virgin Trains

CTC Forum - On the road - 14 November 2014 - 3:39pm
iviehoff wrote:An important factor to remember in Japan is that their roads are unbelievably congested in comparison to ours, that 80% of the country is not occupiable...

You seem to know quite a lot about Japan and I have heard before that al lot of the country is mountainous and not habitable (though I heard it was 60%) so I am just interested as to how they managed to grow their population so much. They have around 127 million people in an area (if taking 40%) about half that of the UK and if they only have 20% it's even more squeezed. How did they get such a huge population growth with such a small amount of usable land? Sorry, completely OT but fascinating.

Re: Trail A Bike For Tourer?

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 14 November 2014 - 3:21pm
I wont need to weld a 'T' bit. The clamp from the tag along hitch will clamp onto the old forks part. The tag along will hitch to the hitch as it should. Photos will describe better when I get the tag along on Tuesday.

Now, do I use pannier bags or get a couple of samsonite suitcases and bolt them to the pannier racks so the lids are outwards. They would be a bit like hard cased panniers. Might be too heavy.

Re: French End to End

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 14 November 2014 - 3:18pm
mullinsm wrote:The straight line approach was one I tried on LEJOG a couple of years back, but after 2 days of climbing ridiculous gradients in Cornwall and Devon, I vowed to be more circumspect in future. On day three it took three and a half hours to cover 15 miles before I threw the planned route away and started following roads that ran in valleys! I don't mind a few hills, but all day going up and down ramps is soul-destroying on a heavy bike.........French hills are higher but a lot easier than west country hills - mainly because they are well graded and you often get pay-back in terms of long freewheels down the other side. I'd definitely advise not to be put off - and you can work out some picturesque routes avoiding big towns - even minor roads have gentle gradients.
Come to think the west country is one of the hilliest places we've ever cycled and definitely the hardest part of LEJOG.

Re: Help with choosing bike type and/or commute through Lond

CTC Forum - On the road - 14 November 2014 - 2:58pm
aspiringcyclist wrote:
Anyway, I have video evidence and his license plate number and am wondering whether reporting him would be a good idea. At the very least he should be reminded ( or taught apparently) about what cyclists are allowed to do and how you are meant to pass cyclists.

I would suggest reporting it. It may do no good, it will certainly take some of your time, but there is the chance it might do some good.

Re: Waterproof gloves that are NOT waterproof.

CTC Forum - On the road - 14 November 2014 - 2:48pm
Very few products are 100% waterproof.
You can get rucksacks that are but they cost a fortune and are hard to find. Best bet for bags is waterproof covers. For garments, unless you can seal all cuffs etc. and don't sweat, you'll never be completely dry.

Re: North Sea route - Rotterdam to Esbjerg

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 14 November 2014 - 2:28pm
martin113 wrote:I did the North Sea route from Zeebrugge to Delftzil a month ago and could practically write a book about it so rather than launch in, if you want to give me some pointers to what you want to know I'll try and answer the questions.

foxyrider wrote:Has anyone got any particular recomendations for stuff to see, particular campsites/accomodation to use / avoid or route advice - all welcomed.

Is there a campsite i should avoid, a museum i must visit, a route best avoided? At this stage in the planning i've broken it up into daily chunks but done nothing much more. Should i camp on the islands or just visit during the day? when is the best time visit?

I find it strange that the Dutch sites have no other languages, but perhaps i'm spoilt by Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Denmark! i know i can use google translate but thats hardly infallible!
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