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Re: Hand signals on bike

CTC Forum - On the road - 22 August 2014 - 2:57pm
Mistik-ka wrote:Legal requirement or not, I think it is a good idea to provide other drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians with the information
The problem isn't the information - it's what they do with it.
Indicating left whilst there's traffic behind you who also wants to turn left can result in them making a last second dash to get to the corner before you for fear of being stuck behind a bicycle.
Ditto cars waiting to turn right in front of you can sometimes use your left indication as an OK for them to go - even if they actually can't.
This is such a problem that a number of cycling 'manuals' advise against it.

Obviously that doesn't mean you should never indicate, just that you should be aware of the dangers and factor them in.

Re: Hand signals on bike

CTC Forum - On the road - 22 August 2014 - 2:53pm
Question from an innocent colonial: is it not legally required to signal your intention to turn or change lanes?

Legal requirement or not, I think it is a good idea to provide other drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians with the information they need so that they can conduct themselves safely. Whether I'm on my bike, on foot, or in a car, I find unpredictable behaviour by others can be stressful/infuriating/downright dangerous. On the guiding principle of do-as-you-would-be-done-by I try to signal my intention consistently.

Re: Fell off on a sort of tramline - advice please?

CTC Forum - On the road - 22 August 2014 - 2:53pm
Ouch! I hope you get well soon and don't discover any nasty after-effects.

Re: My first tour (I didn't make it)

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 22 August 2014 - 2:43pm
theDaveB wrote: ... I haven't spent a lot on a bike as didn't want to unless I really loved touring and was going to make use of a more expensive bike. ...

Good thinking. I've often posted on here that it's pointless drooling over catalogues then shelling out for a bike till you know you like cycling, by which time you'll also have a better idea of what sort of bike suits you, rather than what suits Team Sky etc.

So for my £200 bike I thought a trailer would be better for it than panniers.

You have the trailer now and it's a good one, but a quick check of current prices suggests it cost 50% more than the bike.

Anyway, in an age when an awful lot of people couldn't ride a bike to the end of the street, you've made a valiant start. While you may not have achieved your own targets, there's nothing wrong with aiming high and I don't think anybody would agree with the implication of failure in your thread title so don't be put off.

Re: Fell off on a sort of tramline - advice please?

CTC Forum - On the road - 22 August 2014 - 2:26pm
Thanks, for the good wishes. I did immediately report my accident to the County Council but they havent done anything. I am toying with the idea of writing to them with a claim and demanding they fix the road surface before someone else is injured. I found some s/h 9 speed levers and bars and the bike is now being fixed with the insurance money.


Re: My first tour (I didn't make it)

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 22 August 2014 - 2:06pm
theDaveB wrote:In the camping shop they told me a sleeping mat is for insulation not comfort. This is sorted now, got a blow up single airbed.

The two are not necessarily exclusive!

A blow-up airbed won't do much to protect you from heat leaking away underneath you (insulation compressed by your body weight doesn't do so well and an airbed is a poor insulator as there's loads of room for convection currents) so you tend to get cold underneath unless it's a warmish night. Nights often are warmish in summer, but not always...

A closed cell mat, on the other hand, gives good thermal insulation but not much suspension so you're warm but not necessarily comfy.

There's another class of thing however, the insulated air-bed, which gives you both.
Self-inflating mats are one, which is open-cell foam (like a sponge) in an airtight shell. Compress the foam to squeeze out the air and do up the valve and it packs down to not much more than an airbed. Open the valve and the foam can expand, drawing in air and the mat blows itself up. You can top it up with extra air from your lungs if you want. These are available in varying thicknesses, the thicker they are the comfier they are, but also the heavier and bulkier when packed. Thermarest are the leading brand, though there are many cheaper alternatives. Spend less and expect more weight/bulk.
More recently there are airbeds with down or synthetic insulation added, which are just as comfy and almost as low bulk as the lightest airbeds (lighter than cheap ones) but very effective thermally too; things like the Exped Synmat/Downmat range. Not cheap though. Thermarest do an airbed called the NeoAir which uses clever internal baffling in reflective materials to keep the insulation value up, which is as light as you'll find but again not cheap.

So you can do better, but it does need money throwing at it. One can always ask Santa...


Re: Notes from a flat country

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 22 August 2014 - 2:06pm
Farawayvisions wrote:I'd been looking forward to riding in a land without hills. It would be a change to be able to cycle without slogging up a hill pushing and panting like I was about to give birth. A long weekend touring the Netherlands seemed like the perfect gift for the person who moans about hills.

It's not the flat that bother's me but the headwinds. You have nowhere to hide: at least with a hill you can get off and push...

Re: Hand signals on bike

CTC Forum - On the road - 22 August 2014 - 2:00pm
its best to always assume that any ped will simply walk into your path regardless of what you signal lol

Re: Fell off on a sort of tramline - advice please?

CTC Forum - On the road - 22 August 2014 - 1:59pm
If you have yet to report this bad road surface, what about doing that now just to see if they do repair it? Should they do so then might that give strength to an argument that it was below standard in the first instance?

Just me mentally meandering - must get out more

And last but certainly not least, sorry to hear of your pain (to body and your new Mercian) and I wish you both a speedy recovery.

Re: My first tour (I didn't make it)

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 22 August 2014 - 1:54pm
vernon wrote:.
you ought to up your calorie intake if cycling in hilly territory - .

Translation = eat lots of pies

Getting enough food and liquid into you is important, especially if you do not do long distances very often.

I always get this wrong on the first day, to the extent of, on one occassion, ending up flat on my back with cramp in both legs being licked half to death by a friendly sheep dog.

Re: My first tour (I didn't make it)

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 22 August 2014 - 1:44pm
I toured with a guy with a trailer for a couple of days. The thing was a pest. It got in the way all the time. Hotel rooms, train, cycle paths. It's the first two days of my blog with pics under "Paris South". Put me off for life.

Re: Way of the Roses coast to Coast

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 22 August 2014 - 1:41pm
My wife and I did the Way of the Roses earlier this year (May), with a slightly different slant from the norm: we did it east to west, on Bromptons! This was our first cycling tour, although we have backpacked extensively around Europe and different parts of the World, and our principle was basically the same - if you think you MIGHT need it, don't take it! My main advice would be 'Don't travel east to west' because the prevailing wind can be quite strong at times - the reason we travelled east to west was because it suited us from the point of view of reaching the starting / finishing point by train, and we also fancied a couple of days at the start on the 'flat'(?) before hitting the hills of the Yorkshire Moors and the Dales. We took five days over the route, principally because a fully-loaded Brompton, even with six gears, can be damned hard work over that terrain, and we also went off route (deliberately) a couple of times, which increased the mileage. I'd love to do it again, as a sporting challenge, on my road-bike, without luggage and without the wind in my face, two days maximum! Did we enjoy it? Let's just say that a few weeks later we did a similar thing around Luxembourg and Belgium, also on the Bromptons,taking in the Vennbahn route (check it out on t'interweb!)............

I could bore you at length with the detail of our trip(s), but if there is anything specific you have a question about, I'll always post a reply, assuming that it falls within the boundaries of our experiences..... hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

Re: Fell off on a sort of tramline - advice please?

CTC Forum - On the road - 22 August 2014 - 1:39pm
reohn2 wrote:Yes, it's tedious, but what's the alternative? Ignore it and then when a fellow rider crashes, the highway authority gets away scot free? Better to report them and nudge councils towards actually taking proper care.
TBH If I thought for one moment the councils in my area(like the police)gave a monkeys for me reporting bad and potholed roads I'd pick up the phone and ring them.
Sorry if I wasn't clear: don't report these things to councils directly. They've little interest in dealing properly with direct reports. If they made old reports easy to find, then people could see that the council or its agents knew and didn't act.

Report them somewhere like fixmystreet or CTC's fillThatHole that keeps an easily-searchable public record, usable by anyone else that suffers consequences of the same defect and council inaction. I'm pretty sure that the main reason a council contractor compensated me for damage and consequences was because the defect had already appeared on fillThatHole.

But yes, if you've no mobile web device, then I guess it would need a notebook until you get back online.

Re: Fell off on a sort of tramline - advice please?

CTC Forum - On the road - 22 August 2014 - 1:37pm
When I've been a party to discussions about reporting potholes, I'll admit to being one of those saying it would be easier to report the rare decent bits between them. In earlier years of filthathole, I decided to do some systematic reporting. Notebook, camera, and a detailed report of everything I saw with a pic. On some roads this was every few feet. They were nearly all in Leeds so I suspect they must have got sick of me but nearly all received some sort of attention. This varied from a totally inadequate shovel of tarmac to complete resurfacing. It's possible, of course, that in many cases that if something was that bad, they were going to fix it anyway. Although it was time-consuming, it was when I had some time to spare. Several things occurred to change that but also, I began to get follow up requests from the fillthathole admin wanting to know if the defects had been rectified. My first problem with that was that I didn't feel inclined to trail round them all for a second look. Beyond that, if I report a highway defect in this way, I'm only saying that I think it needs fixing. What the highwaymen do about it is their responsibility, as the professional people appointed to deal with it. If I go back then report that it's been fixed, I'm giving it a tick of approval I'm not qualified to give.

eg There have been varying opinions on the defect that prompted the thread. It's not easy to assess something like that from a single pic, but as I've already posted, it doesn't look OK to me. Others differ, and fair enough. Let's suppose Al had discovered that a defect at that location had been reported via fillthathole or similar, and the cyclist making that report had subsequently declared it "fixed."

Re: Hand signals on bike

CTC Forum - On the road - 22 August 2014 - 1:36pm
Neilo wrote:Si wrote: For instance, a left turn on a car-less road might also need a signal if there is a ped about to cross the road I'm going into.

Shouldn't you give way to the ped?

Give way to people who have already started crossing, but if they are on the pavement (i.e. about to cross) then they ought to wait for you...otherwise, if you stop every time you see someone loitering, about to cross you'll end up (a) confusing them (with plenty of mutual "you first Claude"s), and (b) getting some other half asleep road user ramming you up the 'arris.

Re: Stefan Abrutat's Tour Travel Blog

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 22 August 2014 - 12:12pm
The top part bends when the bottom breaks and the trailer body drops.

I didn't use Loctite, but it's not necessary, as if the pin starts to loosen even a tiny bit it is immediately noticeable in the way the trailer sways. The replacement certainly 'feels' a lot stronger and tighter.

I never looked for sponsorship from anybody, frankly because I'm too lazy to expend the effort canvassing. If my blog keeps growing, however, and if the books make some waves (I'm collating the blogs to produce an ebook for each country), I imagine I might attract a few.

Re: Panniers vs Courier Bag (Commuting)

CTC Forum - On the road - 22 August 2014 - 11:59am
Si wrote:Sounds like you've suffered from a poor choice of pannier.
Probably using one too many as well .

Re: My first tour (I didn't make it)

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 22 August 2014 - 11:57am
I toured with a trailer earlier this year, not just a Bob Yak but two full panniers, a saddlebag and a bar bag as well. I was carrying everything needed for two of us to camp in comfort, including the trailer at least 35kg. We didn't do any mountain passes, though we did cross the Chilterns, 35 - 45 miles a day. It wasn't a struggle, but it was at least as hard as my usual touring with 15kg in two panniers riding 90 - 120 miles a day.
The point is there wasn't one thing you got wrong, you can take that much kit, you can take a trailer, you can go over the mountains, you can do a lot of miles, it's just that you can't do all of them without being fitter. Plenty of good advise on here, all worth considering, but in the end it'll be you turning the pedals, decide where you want to make the compromises and experiment.
Most of all, enjoy it.

Re: My first tour (I didn't make it)

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 22 August 2014 - 11:54am
don't concern yourself too much over the 100kg recommended limit for the bike. I weigh in at 120 and carry up to 30kg on my bikes. Have not had any serious issues. Braking can be hairy though and it's a good idea to make sure nuts are all tightened and wheels are straight. Never had one fail under me yet though

Re: My first tour (I didn't make it)

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 22 August 2014 - 11:33am
I think Vernon is sailing close to the wind with his recomendations. 23 stone plus heavy touring kits is asking for it.

Not much worse than breaking spokes for spoiling a journey - you keep wondering when the next will go, waiting for the tell tale ping.

When I was much younger I have also done heavy laden 4 pannier touring with my conquest cotton 3 man tent ( madness! 8 kg for that) and the whole shebang was a monster ( handle alright though) and I wouldnt say much better than having a trailer other than matters of transporting it all on trains. Weight is weight however you pull it.
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