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Re: A few photos from China

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 23 April 2015 - 4:03pm
Brilliant blog Mark, much envy!

Al

Re: Stafford > Newport (Shrops) cycleway

CTC Forum - On the road - 23 April 2015 - 3:59pm
Managed to double post, sorry.

Stafford > Newport (Shrops) cycleway

CTC Forum - On the road - 23 April 2015 - 3:49pm
I said I'd post when I'd cycled the new bit that finally connects this all up. (It is an old railway)

Upside:
The new bit, which connects the end section in Shropshire with the rest from Stafford that previously went beyond Gnosall and just stopped, is wider than the rest. Two cyclists could comfortably potter along two abreast if the path was clear (you could do this on the Shropshire bit, but that is a bit narrower). It has a surface of fairly small gravel, not as smooth as clay, but not bad. I tried it up to 15mph, at which point it got a bit bumpy, as if there were slight lateral ridges, but it wasn't bad even on my bike which has 23c HP tyres and an aluminium frame. I suspect it will pack down.
This overall means that from Stafford to Newport, you only have to cross a tiny minor road on the flat, and come off the track once, and that's at Gnosall where the bridge has gone. You have to drop down from the embankment, cross the road at a cycle crossing with lights, and go back up. The Stafford side isn't too bad, the Newport side is a mess, steep, loose gravel with a nasty hairpin half way up.
I did the Haughton>Newport section only. Unless it has been resurfaced since I last used it, be warned that the surface at the other end between Derrington and Stafford is like ballast, doable but very uncomfortable on a road bike.
I had a lovely ride on my section, primroses,shady trees just starting to come out a lot of the way, silver birches etc. Some bits it was like riding in a wood (for some reason they have put little bends in bits of it). Benches to stop at, even picnic tables between Gnosall and Newport, and at the get-on point at Haughton where you can park a car if you want to start from there as a visitor. There is a point where you can access the canal towpath.

Downside:
The path dumps you on the A41 outside Newport, and after that is badly signed or not signed at all.
You have to swing left on a tarmac-ed section towards a nasty roundabout when you come off the track, and you have to cross the A41 close to the roundabout itself. Heavy and fast-moving traffic makes this difficult, though there is a central refuge. A very kind driver stopped to let me across on my way back, thank you, sir!:D

Once over the road, the tarmac path swings you right into an industrial estate and dumps you there with no signage. If you followed road signs, you'd have to return to the main Telford road and cross it (no fun) and then cycle along it to the next roundabout, and turn right into Newport (absolutely no fun at all, as this is a very fast road). However, I asked a local, and if you carry on through the industrial estate, straight on at the little roundabout, and carry on, buses and cycles can get into the town centre. You cross a chicane with bollards and then take the second left to the main street. Turn left on the main street if you want the excellent 2nd hand bookshop and are feeling up to cycling back with a pile of books in your rackpack , right for the main drag.

Re: Dawes Super Galaxy price shock

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 23 April 2015 - 2:51pm
Does it also downgrade a brand to always have their product discounted and often at huge discounts?

It does seem too high and generally I thought there were better brands out there. Even Ridgeback seemed to be better spec than some of the equivalent Dawes Galaxy models. I do not think Dawes is in the same league as they once were. When I got my Dawes Sports Tourer back when I was 9 years old it was a good brand to have, truly the main brand to have for touring and what I now know to be audax or sportive riding too. Now I'd just look elswhere.

Re: fewer motorists fined for mobile use

CTC Forum - On the road - 23 April 2015 - 2:31pm
LollyKat wrote:I had never heard of the entrapment you describe. I was thinking of all the eejits who bang on about the 'war on the motorist' and complain about speed cameras, traffic light cameras, public parking, etc.
I'm not one of those eejits, I agree they are eejits. I believe in enforcement. But if you give public authorities powerful methods enabling them to make lots of money from dodgy practice, history suggests they will take advantage of it.

I'm not talking about the friend of mine who got debt collection notices for parking tickets he'd never received. The warden moved his moped before photographing it, and then putting it back, putting no ticket on the bike, and then using a corrupt debt collector to try and collect the unpaid debt: that's just fraud. Fortunately my friend met someone who witnessed it happening and the warden ended up in prison.

When speed cameras were first permitted to be widely used, quickly police forces started to apply entrapment. It didn't last very long, because it was clamped down on quickly too. But clamping down on it did involve what were arguable stronger restrictions than would be desirable for proper use of the cameras. Let me give an example of entrapment that resulted in my first speeding ticket. Along a road in Oxford was affixed a 40mph speed limit sign on every lamppost. Then came one 30mph sign only briefly visible among thick vegetation. Then the camera. I was surprised to get a ticket because I thought I was observing the speed limit, unsurprisingly not having seen the briefly visible 30mph sign among the forest of 40mph signs. But since I live 30 miles from Oxford I was only able to examine the nature of the trap after the time to pay the ticket, so I paid. But it was all dismantled a few weeks later, so presumably some people made a fuss about it.

A street very close to this office was once an example of parking entrapment, though it depends upon a rather specific consideration. One side of the street is in Camden and the other side in Westminster, and each has their separate parking meter. Originally, there was no clear signage so people would put money in the wrong meter, then get tickets, start arguing as they had the meter ticket, and the councils used it as a nice earner. But it gives an indication of how unclear signage can be used as entrapment. People have been fined for parking on invisible yellow lines, etc.

My wife got entrapped by a parking machine the other day. Assessing that she had adequate coins in her purse to pay in coins, she started a process of paying, to find the machine wouldn't accept her 20p coin. However if she cancelled the procedure to pay by another method (card was possible), or go and get some more change, it would keep whatever money she had already paid, and forget she had paid it - it said so clearly. She felt she had morally done her best, and just hopes that the failure of the camera to read her numberplate properly means that they won't pursue her for a large fine for underpaying by 20p.

And sizes of penalties for small transgressions is an issue. Staying a couple of minutes longer than you paid for is a rather different case from being just a few mph over the speed limit, after all there isn't any danger involved, merely the loss of income to the car park from your excess occupation of the space designed for parking. A case at the appeal court is in the news today. A parker was fined £85 by a private parking company for overstaying by a few minutes in a space for which he had paid in advance £2. In the past the courts have thrown out such private penalties as disproportionate. However on this occasion the parking company tried again with a novel argument and got judgement in their favour, which has just been confirmed at court of appeal. It can still be appealed to the supreme court. Scotland has certainty on this matter, since they passed a law stopping such abuse, but apparently Westminster is unwilling to pass similar laws.

Re: Dawes Super Galaxy price shock

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 23 April 2015 - 2:29pm
Or The Bike Shed, who currently have a huge Dawes Sale going on, will sell you last years Super Galaxy, for a mere £1099.00.

http://www.bikesheduk.com/Dawes-Touring-Bike-Sale

summer 2016 Amsterdam -germany- amsterdam

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 23 April 2015 - 1:48pm
Hi all, new to this forum but on the hunt for advice, next July my son in law and i are doing the ferry from Newcastle to Amsterdam,we would then have 6 days to tour round Holland but i would also like to catch a bit of Germany if poss. Last year for Charity we cycled from Fife to London 540 miles in 5 days, however it would be nice to see places this time instead of just cycling through.We are thinking maybe 50-60 miles per day . We would like a scenic route with plenty to see and big enough towns to hotel at night, however we are not great city people. would really appreciate any advice re routes etc, thanks in advance for any reply John

Re: A few photos from China

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 23 April 2015 - 1:48pm
very nice and u are just wandering around China with out any hindrance?

Re: Nallo vs. Anjan

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 23 April 2015 - 1:36pm
Yes this works with a Nallo 2.
Just tried it yesterday, makes quite a difference to the temperature inside on a warm sunny morning, I hadn't thought of doing this so thanks for bringing it up.
You just disconnect the inner from the outer at the rear, move the pegs from the outer to the loops on the inner then roll back the outer over the rear pole hoop where it seems to stay in place ok, there aren't any tie-backs to hold it.
I'll post a photo of my Nallo like this in the next few days.

Re: Unique Cycling Tour...Riders Wanted

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 23 April 2015 - 1:09pm
Thanks for the Donner link. I'll give it a proper read in a minute but even I'm not so desperate to finish this thing that I'd resort to cannibalism. I don't have the butchery skills for one thing.

Yes, it'll be tough at times. Just last night I sent an email to those interested telling them how tough it'll be. Regarding morale if someone drops out, I'd have thought it'd be better to lose someone who wasn't enjoying themselves (if only the bloody-mindedness of it all) than to drag them along feeling miserable. We're quite lucky with the route. EasyJet and RyanAir provide an airport back to the UK approximately once a week if anyone has had enough.

Starting on Monday, the Live Below The Line challenge starts, where you have to live for 5 days on £1 a day. Thousands do it each year. I'm going to give it a go with minimal foraging and see how much you can eat for £1. Also during those five days I have two or three 20 mile rides and 2 two-hour games of padel (a bit like tennis) organised to see how energy levels keep up.

For me, it's not the hearty evening meals I'll miss - if we budget carefully and forage well we should still have them - but the cold pints at the end of the day.

Whatever happens, it's going to be interesting.

A few photos from China

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 23 April 2015 - 1:01pm
Here's a few photos from the Chinese section of my present tour.













And here's a couple of stitched panoramic's:



Re: fewer motorists fined for mobile use

CTC Forum - On the road - 23 April 2015 - 12:25pm
I'm sorry if you took it like that as I didn't intend it as such - it was not aimed at you. I had never heard of the entrapment you describe. I was thinking of all the eejits who bang on about the 'war on the motorist' and complain about speed cameras, traffic light cameras, public parking, etc.

The perils of forum posting .

Re: Sad news from Nottingham

CTC Forum - On the road - 23 April 2015 - 11:56am
eileithyia wrote:Quick look on Street view and i can see no signed cycle route at the junction mentioned in the article, but what appears to be a 4 landed DC that dips into an underpass, and what appears to be a side road/service road that runs parallel and is segregated from the main DC..... there is no left turn sign as you approach the side road, and left turn only sign as you exit.

As with so many accidents it is hard to speculate without full facts.

It's the junction of the Nottm Ring Road and the A52. The Ring Road goes under the A52 in an underpass. If heading southbound, there's a left filter lane to take you to the traffic island where you can go left towards Nottm, or right towards Derby. There's a shared use cycle path next to both the southbound and northbound carraigeways, there's a toucan crossing right next to the island and one about 200 yards further north.

The incident looks to have happened before the road went under the underpass. Looking at where the motorbike ended up, it's about 100 yards after the northernmost toucan crossing. (photos confirm it was on the southbound carraigeway).

The collision may have occured on the Toucan crossing (pure speculation).

Re: Unique Cycling Tour...Riders Wanted

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 23 April 2015 - 11:30am
smith4188 wrote:You up for it?
I’m not, and there’s no need to wait till May to consider that definite! Bladderwrack?

However, I’ll cheer you on from the comfort of my armchair. And I’ll buy a book if you write one about it, assuming you don’t starve to death by about Milford Haven.

I hope this eggs you on (and think it might or I wouldn’t say it), but I would write this trip off as doomed to failure if you didn’t have a track record of some sort.

Your £1 a day idea is good: it will be crucial to boost calories, it may fix an unforeseen problem or two along the way, and it even has some marketing value. But to state the obvious, there will be many things competing for that £1. Some of them will cost about 20 quid.

One thing that hasn’t been talked about much is how you intend to deal with frayed nerves when the going gets tough. Many adventures I’ve read about take a bad turn when people disagree about a course of action. (A harrowing example: the Donner Party. Worth reading if you’re not familiar with it.) The more people you have involved, the harder it will be to deal with the politics of it all and the greater the risk of a serious falling out.

And people will probably drop out along the way, assuming you do muster a decent group at the starting line. Unlike the Donner Party, members of your party will be able to drop out by making a phone call. That will be a huge temptation after days of hunger, some sickness, ailments caused by or imagined to be caused by an unbalanced diet, the odd cycling injury, harassment by authorities or meddlers, etc. Over 100 days, people will find lots of reasons why they can’t possibly continue; that’s ample time for some sort of family crisis to develop back home, for example. And that’s fine. It’s hugely admirable to try at all. But losing a member may critically unsettle the dynamics of the remaining group. Are the people signing up aware that their dropping out would affect the others in ways that are hard to predict at the outset?

On top of all this (and more, I’m sure) you face a cycling challenge that would be non-trivial while dining and resting in fine B&Bs along the route. A hearty, hot meal makes a world of difference to my morale. I mean, it just transforms my outlook on life in half an hour. I know I wouldn’t mentally cope for 100 days without roughly 100 of those. Not unless my life depended on it.

“As I ate the oysters with their strong taste of the sea and their faint metallic taste that the cold white wine washed away, leaving only the sea taste and the succulent texture, and as I drank their cold liquid from each shell and washed it down with the crisp taste of wine, I lost the empty feeling and began to be happy and to make plans.” So said Hemingway about food, and I think it applies even more to hot food after a day of cycling.

As I said, your plan is audacious. I hope you get to Gibraltar. But if not, you’ll undoubtedly have inspired a bunch of onlookers in trying.

Here’s hoping for a brief total collapse of the euro around mid-July!

Re: no wonder...

CTC Forum - On the road - 23 April 2015 - 11:03am
Well, at least it's better than all those motorists I see driving whilst on the dog and bone...

Re: Singlewheel trailers - experiences and modifications

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 23 April 2015 - 10:57am
ambodach wrote:I would like to use my bob trailer with the Dawes Kingpin which has 3 speed SA. Nothing looks right in the pics. Anybody done this?

what pics?

Re: Unique Cycling Tour...Riders Wanted

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 23 April 2015 - 10:15am
Samuel D wrote:I am curious how this idea has stood up to another month of thought. It’s audacious, to say the least.

Thanks for asking . So far I have eleven or so people interested in joining me on the ride, although some have personal obstacles to overcome that could rule them out. I'm not asking for a definite 'yes' until mid-May. I reckon I'll get the four or five people I was originally looking for. If all eleven come, which I seriously doubt, then we'll have to split into two teams. You up for it?

Re: no wonder...

CTC Forum - On the road - 23 April 2015 - 10:04am
661-Pete wrote:Probably caused a huge tailback, too...

Re: no wonder...

CTC Forum - On the road - 23 April 2015 - 10:03am
Probably caused a huge tailback, too...

Re: fewer motorists fined for mobile use

CTC Forum - On the road - 23 April 2015 - 10:02am
Flinders wrote:iviehof, that is not what LollyKat said.
I don't like it when people put words into other people's mouths and then criticise them for what they haven't said. It doesn't advance the debate, it trivialises it.
Good. Because that is what LollyKat did, and I was complaining about it.
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