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Re: Route from Dunkirk to WHPV Championships at Maasmechelen

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 3 July 2015 - 9:34pm
Welcome to the Forum.
Just a few notes, off the top of my head.
1. Getting out of the ferry terminal is confusing at Dunkirk. Follow ANY sign you see to any village. Keep your eyes pealed..... it is easy to get trapped in there, you will see what I mean when you arrive.
2. If you want to go up to Bruges, then I would follow the coast up to Ostend and then bend in. It's glorious along the tram line which is obviously flat and the longest in the World.
3. Where there is a cycle path in Begium, by law, you have to use it and cars will be unkind if you don't.
4. Bruges to Antwerpen is a nice run, well paved, flat but around A, I find the roads "hairy".
5. Note that Belgium marks roads, tracks, unpaved gravel, farming rights of way ALL as roads on Garmin.....I get caught out all the time with this!
6. The road surfaces are good generally, better than the UK, which isn't saying much is it, but they are far from perfect. There are cobbled streets about..... The canal stuff though is great. 9/10.
7. I see quite a few WHPVs in Belgium so you will feel at home! There's one or two that turn up for audaxes here.
8. If you want to go for speed, to get to your destination, go through the middle of Belgium, Ypres, Waregem, Affligem (avoid Ninove and the road into Brussels, horrid!) Kortenberg, Genk, in which case you will pass very close to my house, and you are welcome to a cuppa....
Have fun,

Re: La linea or Gibraltar?

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 3 July 2015 - 9:14pm
Good on yer!

Head on upwards. Take your time. Relax and breath deeply.
Anyone who says they've climbed a steep hill, you can scoff at them because they haven't cycled up The Rock.

Re: Cycling from Paddington to Hackney this Saturday

CTC Forum - On the road - 3 July 2015 - 9:05pm
Thanks for that MJR.
My computer is misbehaving, but I managed to print out what you put. If all else fails, I'll just tag along behind everyone else going to London Fields. Not a part of London that I know.

Re: National Grid driver +18

CTC Forum - On the road - 3 July 2015 - 9:01pm
Indeed, she has one of those special transparent skulls that allows her to look behind badminton side roads without moving her head. She moved into the carriageway and pulled from the gutter out into primary without shoulder checking, which isn't conductive with a long healthy life.

The guy in the van is a knobwad of the highest order, but she missed him through luck rather than any incredible riding prowess.

Re: Sabotage and hatred: what have people got against cyclis

CTC Forum - On the road - 3 July 2015 - 8:40pm
Mike Sales wrote:I think several unpleasant human traits come together to explain the cycle haters.

We have a need to divide people into us and them, in-group and out-group, sunni and sufi, protestant and catholic, aryan and jew, black and european etc.etc.etc. This often serves a political or economic end as well. This is easier in Britain where fewer cycle than in the Netherlands, where almost everyone does.

We, like chickens in their pecking order, like to attack the weak. Cyclists infuriate by being so obviously vulnerable. We are seen as trading on this. They would like to physically knock us out of the way but the law and a creditable dislike of hurting us stops them. Mostly. This creates an internal conflict.

Motorists are in competition with each other for road space, but it is difficult to claim that its every other motorists' fault, and it is psychologically easier to make an excuse to blame us for congestion.

I hope I have not offended by mentioning or omitting categories which cause division.

Well said....

Re: Route from Dunkirk to WHPV Championships at Maasmechelen

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 3 July 2015 - 8:04pm
Thanks for the link, I've had a play at building a route using the nodes. I have a Garmin Etrex Legend HCX and will load my route(s) into that. It runs for hours on a couple of rechargeable AA's; alternatively can run it from usb power using a power pack. The LF cycle routes are labelled on the OSM derived maps I installed when I first got it.

I tried a search for LF5 on ridewithgps - several routes popped up - again wall with downloadable gps tracks. What I liked most was the maximum gradient on the 185 mile track was 2.2%. I expect that searching ridewithgps for the other "LF" routes will get similar results. I think finding a route is probably the easy bit - I was really wanting to know if anyone had experience of the routes and how smooth they were to travel on.
Thanks again, John.

Re: Pollution - another problem

CTC Forum - On the road - 3 July 2015 - 7:58pm
The bus company operating most of our rural routes keeps on changing hands, I find it hard to keep up with them! The name 'Heritage' does indeed appear on some local buses (in shocking pink livery!) although it's nothing to do with 'heritage'. They don't appear to run numbered routes - I believe they do mostly business workforce shuttles and the like.

As it happens, the bus I followed (which is a numbered route) is quite useful since it serves our two local A&E hospitals. If you're walking wounded, not trusting yourself to cycle or drive, but not bad enough for an ambulance, it may be your best option to get to hospital. I tried it once. I don't know why they use double-deckers though: most of the local buses are single-deckers which are quite adequate.

Re: Pollution - another problem

CTC Forum - On the road - 3 July 2015 - 7:49pm
I sent in a feedback form to Sussex Bus, including my video link. Let's see how they react.

Re: Pollution - another problem

CTC Forum - On the road - 3 July 2015 - 7:49pm
MikeF wrote:From what I've noticed the Sussex Bus Company fleet seems to made up from old buses, - bought after other companies have 'worn them out'?
They seem to be part of a small group called Heritage Buses along with Surrey & Sussex Bus Company and City of Chichester Coaches who don't operate in London or other very regulated or competitive markets, so it looks likely to me.

Re: Bus passes

CTC Forum - On the road - 3 July 2015 - 7:46pm
Ben@Forest wrote:
I love this 'totally free' concept. Somebody's paying for it and it is of course those of us who ain't going to retire till we're knocking 70 (and when the eligible age for getting a free pass will probably be 72). Plus the way the revenue payments have been made from the Exchequer to local councils to pay for this is actually having a deleterious effect on services. I'm not keen on posting a link from the Daily Mail but here it is:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... ay-it.html

Let's hope pensioners get taxed more as soon as possible...
It sounds as though I might have paid for some of your education.

Re: Pollution - another problem

CTC Forum - On the road - 3 July 2015 - 7:35pm
From what I've noticed the Sussex Bus Company fleet seems to made up from old buses, - bought after other companies have 'worn them out'?

Re: Bus passes

CTC Forum - On the road - 3 July 2015 - 6:19pm
Ben@Forest wrote: ... Let's hope pensioners get taxed more as soon as possible...

I'll jump to the conclusion that you are a lot younger than me. You may well be spared a lot of the worry of growing old because euthanasia is surely on the way to deal with an ageing population.

Re: Cornish Adventure Scuppered?

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 3 July 2015 - 6:05pm
Oh dear.
Mothers in Law are somewhat of a problem.

Re: Sabotage and hatred: what have people got against cyclis

CTC Forum - On the road - 3 July 2015 - 5:44pm
I think several unpleasant human traits come together to explain the cycle haters.

We have a need to divide people into us and them, in-group and out-group, sunni and sufi, protestant and catholic, aryan and jew, black and european etc.etc.etc. This often serves a political or economic end as well. This is easier in Britain where fewer cycle than in the Netherlands, where almost everyone does.

We, like chickens in their pecking order, like to attack the weak. Cyclists infuriate by being so obviously vulnerable. We are seen as trading on this. They would like to physically knock us out of the way but the law and a creditable dislike of hurting us stops them. Mostly. This creates an internal conflict.

Motorists are in competition with each other for road space, but it is difficult to claim that its every other motorists' fault, and it is psychologically easier to make an excuse to blame us for congestion.

I hope I have not offended by mentioning or omitting categories which cause division.

Re: Cornish Adventure Scuppered?

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 3 July 2015 - 5:03pm
Thanks for the various suggestions and observations. My pal giggled a bit when I told him that he'd been recommended marriage guidance counselling. His wife was there at the time - and she didn't. Anyway, I reassured him/her/me that the general thrust of the local intelligence is that the lanes/high hedges don't cause a particularly high risk in that area at this busy time of year. However a slight spanner has now been thrown into the works. His mother in law has purloined the caravan!

Re: Sabotage and hatred: what have people got against cyclis

CTC Forum - On the road - 3 July 2015 - 4:50pm
The title is about racism because that is a big issue in US right now, but the article is in fact about recent studies and their conclusions about how mutable human prejudices are http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-flexibility-of-racial-bias/

Re: National Grid driver +18

CTC Forum - On the road - 3 July 2015 - 3:08pm
Lance Dopestrong wrote:Skillful cyclist? Riding in the gutter, head affixed firmly straight ahead, didn't shoulder check once the whole time...
Doesn't look like riding in the gutter to me. In fact she goes into primary at the bend. Not all of us ride in primary all the time, you know....

And her head may have been fixed firmly ahead, but how do you know whether her eyes were? Not all of us have tunnel vision, you know....

She anticipated the van and slowed down. Just as well.

Re: Route from Dunkirk to WHPV Championships at Maasmechelen

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 3 July 2015 - 2:46pm
If your objective is just to find quiet, mainly car-free, routes across Belgium and Holland, I'd recommend the following website: http://www.fietsroute.org/Cycling_Planner_Belgium.php
If you tell it your start and finish point, it will produce a list of numbers which you can use to navigate via their 'knooppunten' network. (Google it if you haven't heard of it.) The routes are quiet, and normally on cycle-paths. However, this concept has a few problems - the signage can be hard to spot, people deliberately interfere with the signs, roadworks can force you off your route and using that web-planner, I was told to use ferries which weren't running. I'd therefore recommend you use that website to plot a route, then check that any ferries are running (and plan alternate routes where necessary) and get it all written down. Alternatively, you could do what I did - get a smartphone with good battery life (Sony xperia Z3 compact) and a portable phone charger and download the free OSMand app along with the maps for the regions of Belgium/Holland you'll need. It's free (for 10 map downloads, which is enough for you) and provides excellent routes.

Re: Bus passes

CTC Forum - On the road - 3 July 2015 - 1:53pm
Ben@Forest wrote:.......Let's hope pensioners get taxed more as soon as possible...

...................so they can subsidise your car.
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