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Re: Brakes work, shame brain doesn't

CTC Forum - On the road - 2 March 2015 - 8:14am
It can never be right,for the sake of others,to run a red light in a motor unless there are extremely exceptional circumstances.
Likewise it can't be right to do the same on a bike,primarily for one's own self preservation,but also for the sake of a possible chain of events that may cause a seriously negative effect on others.

It seems to me both things happened in this instance,luckily for the idiot cyclist it was only his pride that was effected,for the lunatic HGV driver he heard a slight bumping noise on the side of the truck.

Worst case scenario if the cyclist had gone under the truck it wouldn't have mattered who was right or wrong the effect would have been the same for him ie;serious harm or death.
His life could've ended or been totally changed there and then.

The HGV driver would still have only heard or felt a slight bump.
S/He would've,other than a fine and or ban,a lost job and some bad memories,been totally unharmed by the incident.

Whatever,'I'd rather be a hammer than a nail',as the old song goes,with a little forethought and attention even a nail can dodge a hammer and live life without being hit!

Re: Touring in Norway

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 2 March 2015 - 8:13am
It would be great if people could suggest specific places/roads I wouldn't want to miss while in Norway so I can try and work them into my route.

There are a lot of very nice roads to choose from, and as Vorpal says, picking the best will always be a bit subjective... But I'd second the recommendations of Geirangerfjord and Aurlandsfjord. If you can work it into your route, the Gamle Strynefjellsvegen is (for my money) one of the best roads in Norway: info here http://www.nasjonaleturistveger.no/en/routes/gamle-strynefjellsvegen. If heading north, you could come up from Stryn, then turn left at the end of the road and drop down to Geiranger from there. Further north, the Atlantic Highway is spectacular (though can be a bit busy with campervans): there's an undersea tunnel at the (north) end which is closed to bikes, but there's a fairly regular bus service through it which takes bicycles.

Re: Advice sought on choosing a touring bike

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 2 March 2015 - 8:08am

I have 2 Thorns. One is a tandem with 26" wheels and Rohloff, and its a steady, comfortable ride on country lanes. But it doesn't freewheel down hill as fast as my solo bikes, and tandems are usually said to roll faster than solos on the flat. I suppose the Rohloff may be to blame with its draggy freewheel action, but mainly I blame having 26x1.75" tyres. They just don't roll as well as 700cx32mm on lanes.

My other Thorn is my Club Tour 700c wheeled tourer, and it is a much nicer ride. It rolls well, it feels comfortable and its mountain bike gears are just right. Drop bars are my favourites for comfort, much better than the straight bars on the tandem. I can see how problems getting tyres in far flung parts of the world might influence wheel choice, but I do all my touring in Europe.

If I was asked to recommend Thorn I could not do it. Their stuff is too expensive. And their paint finishes are hit and miss. My dark green Club Tour has decent paint, but my bright yellow tandem has paint flaking off all over the place. So much for tough powder coat! And some of Thorn's solo machines are too heavy. Okay, you might be someone who carries a lot of stuff on tour, but are you only ever going to ride a bike fully laden?

Re: Bike box for airline too short

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 2 March 2015 - 3:43am
Re packing bike eg in poly bag so handlers can see and treat better!!! Not so sure.

I remember a few years ago at Gatwick when I used to bubble wrap my bike. The guy at the oversize luggage said the handlers hate bikes packed like that and would go out of their way to treat badly. I also used to have problems in Australia as well. Basically the handlers didnt like any thing that made their job a tad more difficult.

In places like Asia, they often did treat better, although not always a good thing. One baggage handler tried to 'straighten' my handle bars after in had tightened them parallel to the frame.

This is why I favour a box if poss/available.

Re: Advice sought on choosing a touring bike

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 2 March 2015 - 3:38am
There are only three bits to a bike: the bit that makes it go, the bit that make it stop, and the bit that holds it together.
The bit that makes it go can be upgraded at any time. I prefer a Rohloff hub. It's about the same price as very top grade Shimano kit. You need a special frame with vertical drop-outs. So cheap Shimano stuff will do. The wheels should be 26 inch because when you have wheel trouble, which you will do, you can find any old mountain bike in any south American village and buy a wheel or buy the spokes. You can't do that with 700c wheels. Tyres for mountain bikes can be bought anywhere. Tyres for 700c wheels will usually be racing tyres, assuming you can find them.
Brakes are important: V brakes are miles better than the crap caliper brakes Dawes still fit to the galaxy. It's worth upgrading to Shimano xt levers so you can brake with one finger: their better leverage makes descents with a heavily loaded bike pleasurable rather than scary.
The frame should be steel: it's bombproof. Almost immune to baggage handlers, bus drivers, falling over, etc.
Don't worry about the weight that's all cobblers. You'll be carrying camping kit, food, water, wine, warm clothing, thermarest, plus your weight. It can all get up to about 100 kilos so a few pounds here or there is irrelevant.
Remember when you buy the bike you might one day need to have someone in the uk who can post you the correct part. I like Thorn: they have a record of my bike and I can ring them up and ask for a part to be posted.
To start with, you might want to get a reasonable used bike. One day you'll want one designed for you - you'll be sitting on it for a long time. I've just done seven weeks in south America and was glad many many times the bike was comfy.

Re: Bike box for airline too short

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 2 March 2015 - 3:23am
An afterthought: once pedals are off (for gawd's sake do this a week before flying and not at the airport as pedals can be really stubborn*) you can just put them back on the other way round. This way, if the bike is dropped on to the chainring, the pedal takes the strain.
*if it won't come off, add heat by using a camping gas stove and then wrench it. Repeat until it moves. Then put coppaslip in so it doesn't jam.

Re: Bike box for airline too short

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 2 March 2015 - 3:19am
Also, I've just read the advice on the ctc page about packing the bike and agree with every word. I might add that you can swivel the brake levers so they are protected when the bike goes down a chute from a conveyor belt on to a cart. STI levers are quite fragile and if you turn them inwards the handlebars take the hit.

Re: Bike box for airline too short

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 2 March 2015 - 3:08am
There were no bike boxes available when I needed to pack the bike a few days ago so I went to the local supermarket and collected a load of empty cardboard boxes, cling film and gaffer tape. Then I dismantled the bike (including taking the front forks off) and wrapped it all in cling film to help hold it together. (There were cable ties also holding it together.) Then the box was made to fit the bike, then wrapped in cling film to give it all a bit more strength, then wrapped in parcel tape and gaffer tape. I even added a handle and labelled it in the local language.
I did this because the journey home includes a minibus, flight, airport trolley, left luggage office for two days, airport trolley, flight from Chile to Brazil, then flight Brazil-heathrow, then a car journey. I thought putting the bike into a box made the journey easier. Usually I prefer the plastic bag option cos then the baggage handlers can see it's a bike. The bag needs to be strong: the ctc bag is very good but you can buy strong plastic and make a bag for about half the price. The plastic bag can then be used as a groundsheet protector.

Re: Wild camping in England ???

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 2 March 2015 - 2:30am
Hi TM , I'm from Scotland and am familiar with the legislation re wild camping there. I'm just curious as to how to plan a relaxed trip such as the Coast and Castles route from Newcastle North. Seems it would be wise to book accommodation at different stages on the way up through England. I've no problem with that now that it's clear there's very little or any alternative available.

Re: Brakes work, shame brain doesn't

CTC Forum - On the road - 1 March 2015 - 11:53pm
kwackers wrote:Tonyf33 wrote:the vehicle was not part of a convoy or whatever other imaginary line of traffic, it was separated by a big gap. The HGV WAS a clear danger to other road users..are you really so blind to see what is clearly obvious to continue backing your version of events..deary me that's pitiful!.
Sorry but your talking complete crap. Look at the video, look at the time each vehicle enters the junction. There's 1 second between each vehicle. 1 second!
Where do you get this 'big' gap from? It seems to me your entire argument is predicated on a gap that doesn't exist!

I can't believe you claim I'm blind when you seem incapable of seeing the obvious! Watch the video, look at the time in the left hand corner that each vehicle enters the junction. (That's the time shown, not the slow motion version with you timing it with a watch. )
Hahaha, that's truly pathetic, resorting to swearing at posters just doesn't make you right ,..clearly not interested in seeing that the mistake by the cyclist just doesn't offset in any way shape or form the law breaking/dangerous driving of the lorry..you know the one that is DANGEROUS oh hang on, it's not dangerous driving a large motorvehicle at around 25-30 mph through a red light across a busy junction that's being red for quite some time
What other foul language you going to use now because you can't get your own way when you're plainly wrong and still talking nonsense?
I'm not some snot nosed kid you can try to bully into submission on the basis that you think it'll miraculously change what actually happened..I'd hate for you to be on a jury..jeez talk about blinded..but whatever geezer crack on..

Re: Wild camping in England ???

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 1 March 2015 - 11:49pm
I spent one of my wildcamping nights on slopes of Coniston old man once when I met this old guy on a bike. It was well off any path or bridleway. He'd taken up bikepacking when age limited him backpacking. A real character who spent 5 minutes moaning about how he'd just found out they'd turned off analogue TV signal meaning his tiny portable crt tv with car battery didn't work anymore. I kid you not he'd be riding the hills in the lakes and elsewhere pitching up and watching tv. His home area still had analogue so he'd not realised it was off elsewhere.

Anyway him and others I've met on bikes prove you can wildcamp in some areas without issues. If you want to wild camp pick your areas in England or go to most of Scotland. Parts around loch Lomond it's banned and other hotspots of poor camping behaviour.

Have fun doing it BTW.

Re: Cyclists are treated as if they are staionary.

CTC Forum - On the road - 1 March 2015 - 11:13pm
It's worse if you're in Lycra, helmet and down on the drops. If you're in street clothes, hat and sat up (even just when you need them to judge your speed), then you get more room. I've done both.

Plus if I'm at all worried, I wobble a bit and they go well wide

Re: Brakes work, shame brain doesn't

CTC Forum - On the road - 1 March 2015 - 10:37pm
My best friend has a saying that the cyclist would do well to use.

"Remember your blood wipes off with a damp cloth".

How can anybody with any sense not see something that big and white. He must have tried hard not to.

Re: Warmshowers "membership" charges.

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 1 March 2015 - 10:33pm
To be honest I would feel better paying as I can't really offer to host due to house size, we don't have a spare room.

This has been my point of view so far, I'd really like to use this as a visitor but I wouldn't be able to reciprocate.
I've never thought it fair to use the offer of places but not be able to host in return. Maybe paying a fee will ease this, but I do think it defeats the object somewhat

Re: Brakes work, shame brain doesn't

CTC Forum - On the road - 1 March 2015 - 10:23pm
JimL wrote:Your argument is ridiculous but I'll leave it there.
Of course it's ridiculous.

A lorry driver makes a mistake.
A cyclist makes several.

Lorry driver is at fault.

Obvious init?

Re: Brakes work, shame brain doesn't

CTC Forum - On the road - 1 March 2015 - 9:21pm
[XAP]Bob wrote:I'm all for rigorous traffic light cameras to be installed on every set of lights, then we might be able to reduce the "all red" phase, since red would once again mean red, not "red after a few more"

+1 to that!
And a mandatory £200 fine + 3points and a compulsory half day rehab course.
Second offence,£400 fine+ one month driving ban 6points,all day rehab course.
That'd stop 99.9% of 'em

Re: Touring in Norway

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 1 March 2015 - 9:06pm
What to do in Norway somewhat depends on what you like... I usually tell visitors that Oslo is worth 2 or 3 days. Maybe more, if you like museums. http://www.visitoslo.com/n has information about the attractions, passes, etc. I usually take visitors to the Viking Ship Museum, and Bygdøy is a nice place to cycle, as well. Fram and Kontiki museums are also there. You can take you bike on the ferry, or cycle there.

Other things... Sognefjord and Aurlandfjord or perhaps Geirangerfjord. I like Aurlandsfjord, and Stegastein (a view point above the fjord), which you can get to by bicycle. That climb / descent is eell known amongst cyclists, and it's quite common to see cyclists on that road. It's not as famous as Trollstigen, but the ride across the mountains on Aurland is also amazing (but cold!). There are lots of things that visitors typically do, like hike up to Preikestolen that I guess you can fond out on the internet. I've never been there, but I'm not entirely comfortable with things like that, and prefer something like Stegastein

I also said I would recommend some routes... I think I have a suggestion, but I wanted to check a couple of things with a colleague, and will post here after I have done so.

Re: Brakes work, shame brain doesn't

CTC Forum - On the road - 1 March 2015 - 8:55pm
I dont know why people are so keen to find excuses for the cyclist.
I can find a weak possible for the driver - he's in a moving traffic situation with a lot of claims on his attention and missed the change. Or he just cynically took a chance...Certainly incorrect, and certainly not uncommon
By comparison, when you are stopped in front of a red light you don't really have too much to do except waiting for it to change - which this individual clearly did not do. He rolls into the pedestrian crossing at some speed as it turns to amber. He's predicted the change and decided that amber means Go for special people. He doesn't even take a rear observation as he swerves around the cyclists waiting by the kerb corner, even thought there was a motor bike alongside him as he waited. He certainly doesn't look the other way either! He's got his head down, and nothing on his tiny except getting from the rearmost of 5 visible cyclists to the foremost.
Legalities aside, he's riding like an idiot.

Re: Brakes work, shame brain doesn't

CTC Forum - On the road - 1 March 2015 - 8:54pm
661-Pete wrote:I also remember being taught, Green means "you may go if the way is clear" or some such wording. But we've all got so used to the idea that Green means GO, perhaps there are things we need to un-learn then?
I remember 'STOP' being on lights.

I'm not sure the colour blind thing has legs. Surely the one at the top is red and the one at the bottom green. Not sure how you can mix up top and bottom unless there's something seriously wrong with you!

At the end of the day you can't move forward if you don't have a clear road. I know folk these days seem to think that green means go but personally I find that attitude annoying. There's a junction I cycle through every night and watch the idiots getting wound up because their light is green and there's still traffic coming through (legitimately because it's all queued on the far side of the stop line waiting to turn and can't move until after the lights change and the oncoming traffic has stopped. Obviously our cyclist would have problems here too!).
Then there are emergency vehicles - might be one of them coming. The lorry in the above case may have even seen one in their rear view mirror and decided the best option was to keep going and follow the bike through. Perhaps he felt there was someone too close to his rear and to stop would risk a collision.
Obviously I'm not claiming any of these was the case but the cyclist couldn't possibly know what was going on. All he should care about is whether his route was clear and in this case it wasn't. I don't see why it needs to be more complex that that.

IMO it's just as well he didn't hurt himself more seriously because I wouldn't put this case in front of a jury and expect a payout.

Re: Brakes work, shame brain doesn't

CTC Forum - On the road - 1 March 2015 - 8:43pm
When I was a kid, the red traffic light had the word STOP written across the lens. Anyone else remember this? Presumably as an aid to colour-blind drivers who couldn't tell top from bottom. I remember asking my father, why doesn't the green light have GO written on it? I don't recall what his answer was. He probably didn't quote the official mantra.

I also remember being taught, Green means "you may go if the way is clear" or some such wording. But we've all got so used to the idea that Green means GO, perhaps there are things we need to un-learn then?
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