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Re: Plym valley and the rest

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 9 October 2014 - 5:32pm
Heavy weight tent definitely helped with rain and temperature.

Yeh every other cycling tour has been B&Bing. Done a lot of walking camping but never on the bike.

Re: Plym valley and the rest

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 9 October 2014 - 5:16pm
honesty wrote:Camping is fun, even in the rain, but a 5kg tent is probably a bit heavy.

The two might be connected, especially at this time of year. Great report - really your first cycle camping trip?

Re: Accident on bike

CTC Forum - On the road - 9 October 2014 - 4:08pm
Thank you all for the replies so far and well wishes. I probably wasn't clear, but I was released the same day, obviously had that day off work, followed by the weekend. Returned to work in the Monday and clearly overdid it,and just tried to do what I could for the rear of the week, which was too much still. The hospital (employer) park and ride bus goes from outside my house, I'm not allowed to use it under normal circumstances, but I'm using it without their knowledge because I would have to drive and pay to park daily at considerable expense, I was forced onto the bike by my employer due to not being allowed a parking permit as I live 4miles from work, yet ìt goes from my house ....i digress, but you understand.

So I'm not being supported by anyone, my employer provides sick cover, but this affects my records,I'm still able to do things, I'm just not able to work.

My helmet was dented and fractured in the process.

Re: Navdy

CTC Forum - On the road - 9 October 2014 - 3:59pm
I might as well sell my bikes lights for all the good they're gonna do.

Instructor training day at Urban Fox, 3rd October

Play on Pedals blog - 9 October 2014 - 3:40pm

Play on Pedals has been working with organisations in the east of Glasgow and delivered its first Instructor training session at Urban Fox, in Parkhead, last Friday.

Representatives from Urban Fox, Possibilities for Each and Every Kid (PEEK), Family Action in Rogerfield and Easterhouse (FARE), Westercraigs Nursery and Helenslea Nursery joined Play on Pedals tutor Claire Grimes from Wishaw Nursery for a day of cycling fun! Claire was invited from North Lanarkshire to deliver a session and share her experiences as she is currently training up children from her nursery. A great video of the North Lanarkshire programme can be seen here with Claire in action:


Due to heavy rain outside, participants spent the morning inside on bikes naming parts, adjusting saddles and gliding across the Urban Fox community hall. Children from Helenslea Nursery joined them in the afternoon to give participants a chance to practice fitting helmets and delivering the games they’d learnt.

At the end of the day, we sat down together and talked about their experiences. Comments included enjoying way the course was designed for hands on, interactive sessions both on adult bikes and with the children straight away afterwards. Some participants said that having the chance to work with children was rewarding but also challenging. This was particularly because of not being familiar with the children, who were of different levels of ability with cycling therefore games were hard for some and easy for others. Others commented that it was great to see the children’s confidence come on so quickly but recognised the need to take the sessions at a slower pace when delivering normally.

A final observation noted that the coaching from the tutor was really important and rather than stepping in to give feedback as the session was taking place, it was great that the tutor waited until the end to give feedback, therefore making participants come up with ways to resolve any issues or obstacles during their session.

Thank you to all participant who came along for the training day and congratulations on becoming Play on Pedals Instructors!

Plym valley and the rest

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 9 October 2014 - 3:30pm
Did a short 2 day camping tour on Monday and Tuesday this week starting in Plymouth and taking in Devon coast to coast to Okehampton, then across to Tiverton, then up the canal to home in Taunton. Some thoughts.
the Plym valley trail is lovely, really nice ride, lovely tarmac surface, beautiful scenery, and hardly any people. 2 things could have made this section better though, the awful surface through Saltram woods, and the really steep hill just outside of Yelverton where the route is diverted onto a lane.
The main B road from Tavistock to Lydford is probably the best route, but like last time I did it, it seemed to go on for ever.
The Granite Way with its new connecting bit in the middle its most definitely my favourite off road trail in the area, even with the amount of beech nut shells all over it, and with the quagmire that is the permissive access bit.
Camping is fun, even in the rain, but a 5kg tent is probably a bit heavy. It redeemed itself a bit by having enough space in the awning to put my bike in to keep dry on Monday night though! On weight, my 2kg Eurohike sleeping bag is looking a bit podgy as well! Appledore Park was a really nice site in Okehampton by the way.
The best coffee you can get is the one you find by surprise when you really, really need a hot drink. Helped that the cakes tasted fantastic as well. The Church Street Stores in Morchard Bishop is definitely worth a stop in if you are in the area (I even had 2 pieces of cake!)
Roads on google maps, and even on the OS, are sometimes not roads, but rocky, ridiculously steep cart tracks. The old turnpike road to Groubear Bridge is beautiful but not something I want to be pushing a loaded touring bike up again.
Tiverton canal was a beautiful ride, but with the number of bridges I had to go under I really don't know how they very nice guy from http://www.freetrike.co.uk/ got his ICE trike round all of them. Had a nice 10 minute chat with him and got to oggle his Sprint RSX. It may not have helped my wallet to find out there is an ICE dealer so close to me...

All in all, a successful first attempt at cycle camping. 95 miles done, and felt ok, though would have really liked lower gears at some points. Also need to remember a pillow next time, my neck can only survive so long using spare clothes as a stand in.

Re: How to train for long distance cycle touring

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 9 October 2014 - 2:01pm
Farawayvisions wrote:Just go. You'll get fitter day by day.The-cottage-comp1.jpg
Only if you start off slow and don't push yourself to ride further in a day than feels comfortable. Too much too early will wear out and discourage you.

Anyone who rides the End to End will meet a number of people who on Day1 rode as far as they thought they could or should be able to go in one day (probably after reading too many articles about it!). Day2 they struggled to do the same again. Day3 finished in the dark with saddle sores. Day4 added a painful knee and by half way were in a very sorry state and considering abandoning the trip.

So by all means just get out and ride, but not too far until you're thoroughly 'ridden in'. This may take only a couple of weeks if you're 20-something, but a month or three for oldies.

As a rule of thumb, you can expect to enjoy riding about two-thirds as far day after day, with luggage, compared to your longest recent one-day ride. If after a week at that rate you want to go a bit further, that's good.

Re: Accident on bike

CTC Forum - On the road - 9 October 2014 - 1:26pm
If you are a CTC member they can help you through the process

Re: Navdy

CTC Forum - On the road - 9 October 2014 - 12:51pm
I think it is more about the content being displayed than the display itself. Display speed, directions, etc. and the drivers mind/attention stays on driving. Display Twerps, e-mails, etc. and your attention drifts to wondering if you can make the meeting next tuesday and you start wanting to look at your calendar and reply, etc. and ... oh dear!


Re: A warm dry winter?

CTC Forum - On the road - 9 October 2014 - 12:49pm
AlaninWales wrote:A prediction that shows (say) 30% probability of x; 70% probability of y may be completely accurate.
But you can only know if it is accurate if, over a long period, the things you say will turn up 30% of the time do indeed turn up 30% of the time.

To say a forecast is 10% better than climatology means that in comparing the specific forecast and the alternative "climatological" forecast that average conditions will prevail, the specific forecast is on average better 55% of the time (ie 10% more than the 45% that "climatology" was better). Clearly this only makes sense in relation to a forecast for an extended period such as a month. To tell a forecaster his forecast is only as good as climatology is to say that it is in effect worthless.

Forecasts like 30% of x, 70% of y, if accurate, are very useful for insurance companies, traders and the like, who can deal with short term uncertainty and long term averages, it's their job. Normal people, as you say, like certainty, which can rarely be given. Days like yesterday, where there unforecast heavy downpours in the SE - at least not forecast the previous evening - have become rarer.

I think we were a bit lucky last winter. The blocking formations that have given us the cold snaps in many recent winters all happened over the America and Asia, not Europe, and they got all the cold. The state of the North Atlantic Oscillation,* which tends to get stuck for periods of a decade or two, and flipped a few years back, means blocking formations are more likely in winter in the north. We are stuck with this risk of colder winters for some time to come. Then it will flip back and there will be few cold winters for a decade or so.

*Even this is a bit statistically troublesome. The NAO is often described as varying over the course of a couple of weeks or so. But it is its annual average that seems to flip between a high state and a low state with a frequency that is around decadal or so. Even that is hard to describe, sometimes it has stayed one side for 30 years or so. And who are we to say that what happened in the past will continue in the future. What use are a mere hundred years of good weather records (though we have other methods of looking further back, though those tend to be disputed) when looking at things that can persist for 30 years?

Re: Navdy

CTC Forum - On the road - 9 October 2014 - 12:44pm
My biggest concern is that it gives the message that it's OK to text and drive. The message should be it is NEVER safe to text and drive regardless of the technology used. Can you imagine this device in the hands of a teenage driver who is sending and receiving hundreds of texts an hour? The developers of this device are utterly irresponsible IMO and I hope it's illegal to use on UK roads.

Re: Accident on bike

CTC Forum - On the road - 9 October 2014 - 12:42pm
karlt wrote:Injuries --> Solicitors.
+1 and start a diary; injuries, level of pain, restriction on mobility, costs ( fuel, car parking hospital etc.), time off work, how much you need others to assist with basic needs etc.
Do not expect a quick pay out.

Best wishes for your recovery.

Re: Berlin to Copenhagen

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 9 October 2014 - 12:40pm
There is a self-guided option along this route organised by a German company, but sold via a UK one...


It includes luggage transfers, maps etc and bike hire (normally Kalkhoff hybrid type) in the price.

Re: A warm dry winter?

CTC Forum - On the road - 9 October 2014 - 12:28pm
The BBC website doesn't even match the current weather. Took a risk of it staying dry versus the wet all day forecast and luckily it did. I should have however paid attention to the wind which was fairly strong and in my face for the first half, with some benefit on the second half though.

Re: Berlin to Copenhagen

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 9 October 2014 - 12:26pm
We did the route in May/June 2014, as part of a longer trip starting from Prague. (Full trip: ferry Harwich to Hook of Holland, cycle to Amsterdam, overnight train to Prague, cycle to Copenhagen, train to Esbjerg, now-defunct ferry Esbjerg to Harwich.) We stayed in hotels, pensions and hostels, all of which were booked in advance. We were in Germany around their Ascension day holiday, and would definitely have had problems then if we hadn't booked in advance. We book in advance anyway, because of time constraints and preferring to know that we have somewhere to stay, but I think it would be possible to do this by booking one or two days ahead as you go. There is wi-fi most everywhere, so you wouldn't have to make phone calls in German or Danish.

Denmark is an expensive country for accommodation and for eating out.

As everyone else has said, the surfaces are mostly good, some spectacularly so, long stretches of dedicated tarmac through German forests. Other times there is a good quality compacted surface, fine on a touring bike (or Brompton), but occasionally deep sand and rutted cart tracks. Where we met these we diverted by road. Actually in Denmark we just took the roads anyway, the traffic is very light.

Photos from the whole trip are here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/monxton/sets/72157644784653308/
Our tracks are all on Strava, and are public. The final leg is here: http://www.strava.com/activities/149388450, you can probably navigate to the others from there.

Useful resources:

Re: Clipping and running

CTC Forum - On the road - 9 October 2014 - 12:25pm
I think maybe the guy behind left a bit of a gap, expecting the guy in front to slowly drift across into it, instead he makes a sudden movement, which in theory, means he travels further than if he slowly drifted across, so although the guy behind was maybe actually behind and going the same speed to begin with, due to the extra distance travelled across the road, the collision occurred. Does this make sense? Also, if it is the guy behind shouting 'go ahead' it still doesn't mean it's his fault.

It's scary how many people fall though given that they seem fairly spaced out.

Re: Accident on bike

CTC Forum - On the road - 9 October 2014 - 12:19pm
And hope you get well soon. Some helmet companies exchange broken helmets if you provide them accident details I think, real life research for them.

Re: Navdy

CTC Forum - On the road - 9 October 2014 - 12:14pm
I saw this somewhere the other day and nearly posted, I can't believe anyone anywhere would think it's a good idea for social networking, texts etc. I can see some justification for things that you might already have to look at in the car, like the speedo, maybe basic sat nav, not much else.

Re: A warm dry winter?

CTC Forum - On the road - 9 October 2014 - 11:29am
pete75 wrote:karlt wrote:No. They stopped because the accuracy, although published, wasn't taken into account by people when using the long range forecasts. They weren't "always wrong"; they were as accurate as they were claimed to be, which is not particularly.

Any prediction which is not very accurate will mostly be wrong.
A prediction that shows (say) 30% probability of x; 70% probability of y may be completely accurate. The trouble most people have is that it is not precise.

Four different expectations of a measurement or a prediction:
Precise = To what level of detail. Can I rely on this e.g. to know whether to wear waterproofs today?
Accurate = Actually reflecting what is happening/the probability of what will happen
Reproducable = Next time the measurement/prediction is made, will it say the same thing?
Reliable = Is it easilly broken (as an instrument or a forecasting model)?

Most people want to know whether to stock up on fuel, clothing, food; whether to plan to go somewhere else... Then the weather is dominated by the 30% probability instead (at least when they have leisure). Because probabilities are just that, a low probability event can occur without making the forecast inaccurate.

Re: Navdy

CTC Forum - On the road - 9 October 2014 - 11:26am
Pilots us jet engines too, doesn't mean they're a good idea in a car...

And their heads up displays are used for things like altitude, pitch, airspeed... You know - controlling the aircraft...
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