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Re: Cycle Touring in Japan

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 29 November 2014 - 5:26pm
southerly wrote:If I had known just how beautiful Japan was I would have stumped up the horrendous airfares of the 1970s' because then once there Japan was cheap to visit.

Bits of it, usually out of the way bits of it, can be incredibly beautiful. But much of the beauty is about getting the right camera angle. Kyoto looks a beautiful ancient city in the photos but in reality its a large low rise urban sprawl with small pockets of great beauty and tranquility hidden within it.

Re: Incident this morning - City of London

CTC Forum - On the road - 29 November 2014 - 5:16pm
I'd report it to the Met and the CTC web site. You could also report it to the coach company. It depends on what you want to achieve by reporting. By reporting to the Met and the CTC web site hopefully it'll be of value to people trying make the roads safer.

Re: Cycle Touring Festival Clitheroe

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 29 November 2014 - 5:13pm
I have to wonder how popular it'll be but I've certainly marked those dates and it's more or less just up the road from me

Re: Cycle Touring Festival Clitheroe

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 29 November 2014 - 4:50pm
Sounds like it could be fun and it's always great to be around like-minded comrades.

I've booked it in and I'll leave work early on Friday and make my way up with a tent. I'm sure there's camping facilities near by or on site. Mrs HC can be in charge of the chickens, dog and kids for a change...........hc

Re: Help with choosing bike type and/or commute through Lond

CTC Forum - On the road - 29 November 2014 - 2:45pm
ferdinand wrote:You are right on the budget. Checking back you mentioned that ordinary commuting would be £1000 or so per year.

My £750 was probably the headline price of my bike (which came down to £600 with discounts).

Thanks for the reply - I find that my total expenditure is probably around £2000. Will add it up and blog it one day.

Interestingly I find waterproof socks far more comfortable - wild horses could not take them away.

Ferdinand

Waterproof socks do make sense but for me the over shoes do the job quite well. I also carry a spare pair of socks in case anyway...

Re: Help with choosing bike type and/or commute through Lond

CTC Forum - On the road - 29 November 2014 - 2:27pm
You are right on the budget. Checking back you mentioned that ordinary commuting would be £1000 or so per year.

My £750 was probably the headline price of my bike (which came down to £600 with discounts).

Thanks for the reply - I find that my total expenditure is probably around £2000. Will add it up and blog it one day.

Interestingly I find waterproof socks far more comfortable - wild horses could not take them away.

Ferdinand

Re: Gibraltar - Perpignan (France) through Sierra Nevada

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 29 November 2014 - 2:18pm
Looserama,
I should have loked more closely I see the route outlined misses Barcelona - a good idea but from Girona north the route will be very busy all the way to Bezier. You could detour via Llieda, a longer route but much less crowded and this way you could visit the re-constructed city of Carcassone and from there much less crowded roads to Bezier.

Re: Gibraltar - Perpignan (France) through Sierra Nevada

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 29 November 2014 - 2:10pm
looserlama,
I used to live in Guadix and the heat in summer away from the coast is killing heat, a completely different climate to the Med coast. I doubt that you would find it at all enjoyable. Temperatures will almost certainly be in the high 30s C and can get as high as 45C around Guadix. Best times to go are the Spring - March/April or end of September/October. The very best time is winter, you may get some heavy rain but most of the time the air is like Champagne and most of the time it will be crisp and dry - perfect cycling weather.

Look at the map supplied by horizon it is the best route, stay right away from the coast - it is deadly with lots of crazy and drunk drivers. Jaen province is nothing but olive trees but Jaen itself is well worth a visit. Granada is my favourite city anywhere - in Granada anything is possible I have some good friends from there. Do not stay in the city centre or you will not sleep with the noise, this applies to all Spanish cities. Along the Ruta Nacionales you will find very cheap 3 star hotels and it is well worth looking for accomodation just off the RNs - sign posts will tell you where to go and of course you will sleep much better.

Someone suggested the Alpujarras - if you must ignore my advice and go in summer the Alpujarras will seem like paradise but at the altitude be very aware of the sun. If you choose to go from Granada to Guadix the scenery is spectacular but you will have to travel on old abandoned roads and paths as the only direct route to Guadix is an Autoroute and bikes are banned. Granada is my favourite city anywhere but I have friends so know where to go. There is a very good Vegan takeaway there called 'The Piano' and an excellent Chinese restaurant called the 'House of Wu' on the San Juan de Dias. Sadly most restaurants in Spain today serve only carne y frite /meat and chips in one form or another.

If you choose the Alpujarra route you will have to backtrack to Guadix anyway as it is Autoroute all the way to Almeria. The back road way will take you to Cazorla, this whole way is excellent but stay away from resorts as accomodation will be expensive.

You will find that Spain effectively has only Autoroutes and Ruta Nacionales there are virtually no terciary roads at all but worry not. The RNs all have a demarcated section for mopeds and Cycles and Spanish drivers when not drunk are very considerate of those on two wheels.

Be careful when you get to Cataluyna as traffic will be very heavy it will be possible to sidetrack Barcelona, if you must go via there be very careful of thieves, this is no joke.

Buana ruta.

Re: Help with choosing bike type and/or commute through Lond

CTC Forum - On the road - 29 November 2014 - 1:54pm
ferdinand wrote:@aspiringcyclist

I have enjoyed the thread, and I would be very interested in the decisions you made within your £750 budget, and your reflections a couple if months in.

I've had to get everything this year for similar (though not identical ) uses - I'm doing fitness, errands within about 10 miles, and touring/recreational. My surprises have been:

The number of extras that need to be bought for a bike used seriously. I have spent about 150% of the cost of the bike on necessary (mainly) extras.
That almost anything of reasonable quality/function added will cost £30-60 new.
That almost everything will be available at a third or more off somewhere if I wait as little as 2 months.

I have gone for an 'everything in the trunkbag or on the helmet' approach so that when I need to leave the bike I can do so quickly.If I had a budget of £750 for 30 miles a day in the winter I would divide it up roughly like this:

Bike

250 for the right secondhand bike, with as much on it as possible such as mudguards etc. I would go for a hybrid with road gears and space for wide tyres for comfort.
50 to fettle the bike.
50 for toolkit and constant carry spares.
100 for a set of 3 Top Contact winter tyres

Luggage

50 for a trunk rack.
50 for a quick release trunkbag that I can use as my book bag. Perhaps one with expandable side pocket-panniers.
20 for a personal items handlebar bag or frame bag.

Safety / Visibility

100 for two sets of lights, helmet running lights, rechargeable batteries, power pack, and a Hornit.
50 for a decent he!met.
20 for Hi Viz and an rhs arm light to make it look wider.

Comfort

60 for 2 sets of merino long Johns top and bottom
40 Hi Viz waterproof jacket + Waterproof trousers
100 for a set of waterproof cycling boots or cycling shoes plus 2 pairs of waterproof socks. Sunken cleats in either case to avoid sounding like the tap-dancing Gestapo
20 for winter cycling gloves

That ignores small essentials such as an under-helmet cap, and comes to about 950, but I think I could save the difference in discounts.I think you have a helmet camera. As a bonus that is touring kit for up to a week.

What did you do? And how well did it work?

Ferdinand

I don't remember specifying a £750 budget, but if I did, I've gone well over it! The funding for the bicycle and accessories was from the grant that UCL and student finance would provided. Across the year, this amounts to £6000. Now I do find this amount a little ridiculous but you have to remember that most people stay in halls. In my case, instead of paying for rent or train tickets, I can spend it on cycling related things.

In total, I've spend over £1000 pounds.

This includes:

Touring bicycle
Locks
Lights
Camera
Speedometer
Pump and other tools and spares

Cycling shorts, jersey, tights, gloves, overshoes, and wind proof jacket
Cycling shoes and pedals

For carrying things, I just use a back pack. I can leave a pair of 'normal' shoes in the locker along with other university related things and instead just carry food, clothes, etc.

If I lived closer to the university and didn't feel the need to try to cycle fast and thus sweat, I wouldn't bother with the cycling specific clothes.

I personally can't stand water proof clothing as I just get the 'boil in the bag' syndrome. To be honest I prefer just getting wet. The rain usually stops and I have a chance to dry before I get to the university. Though perhaps as it gets colder I'll have a different view!

Cycle Touring Festival Clitheroe

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 29 November 2014 - 1:46pm
Anyone know anything about this/have any views on it?

Seems to be very much a work in progress so they need to get their skates on:

https://cycletouringfestival.wordpress.com/

Tom of Tom's Bike Trip seems to be involved.

See the end of this post of his:

http://tomsbiketrip.com/toms-horse-trip ... 7-84695441

Re: French End to End

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 29 November 2014 - 1:34pm
mullinssm,
easiest route is via the SW - down through Normandy to Evreux, then down through the Perche, some hills but nothing serious. Keep heading west via maybe Le Mans then down through La Vendee (dead flat) / Charente Maritime (stopping at Cognac to sample the same) and then onto the Gironde, Bordeaux is well worth a visit on the way. From the Gironde head due south through Les Landes, flat as a pancake but be prepared for headwinds heading south.

If you plan to fly back from Perpignon then you will have some serious hill climbing to do going from the Atlantic coast all the way to the Med and you will have to zig zag your way as well, since most routes are from the big towns or cities aka Pau and Toulouse. Think about flying back from Biarritz or return via part of your route as you are very likely have the wind behind you, which with flat lands all the way to Nantes means you will cover a lot of ground each day. This way makes sense if you are prepared to return to the UK by a more westerly route.

The other route is head due south and take the Rhone route but then you will encounter hilly country heading west.

Re: Cycle Touring in Japan

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 29 November 2014 - 1:05pm
I live in France and part of a 3 way package from Orange is sat. television and one of the channels is NHK public service channel.

I did not realise just how amazing rural Japan is. There are all kinds of places to stay including (in the cities) peoples homes, so you really mix with the Japanese. As the OP said if you stick to the roads it is'nt always what you would want but how about a little heresy - off road riding or trekking on foot. there are some amazing paths to walk or ride all over Japan, with no need or at any rate little need to travel via big cities. I would rec. eyeballing NHK on the net, it is possible to view in 17 different languages.

If I had known just how beautiful Japan was I would have stumped up the horrendous airfares of the 1970s' because then once there Japan was cheap to visit.

Re: Help with choosing bike type and/or commute through Lond

CTC Forum - On the road - 29 November 2014 - 1:04pm
@aspiringcyclist

I have enjoyed the thread, and I would be very interested in the decisions you made within your £750 budget, and your reflections a couple if months in.

I've had to get everything this year for similar (though not identical ) uses - I'm doing fitness, errands within about 10 miles, and touring/recreational. My surprises have been:

The number of extras that need to be bought for a bike used seriously. I have spent about 150% of the cost of the bike on necessary (mainly) extras.
That almost anything of reasonable quality/function added will cost £30-60 new.
That almost everything will be available at a third or more off somewhere if I wait as little as 2 months.

I have gone for an 'everything in the trunkbag or on the helmet' approach so that when I need to leave the bike I can do so quickly.If I had a budget of £750 for 30 miles a day in the winter I would divide it up roughly like this:

Bike

250 for the right secondhand bike, with as much on it as possible such as mudguards etc. I would go for a hybrid with road gears and space for wide tyres for comfort.
50 to fettle the bike.
50 for toolkit and constant carry spares.
100 for a set of 3 Top Contact winter tyres

Luggage

50 for a trunk rack.
50 for a quick release trunkbag that I can use as my book bag. Perhaps one with expandable side pocket-panniers.
20 for a personal items handlebar bag or frame bag.

Safety / Visibility

100 for two sets of lights, helmet running lights, rechargeable batteries, power pack, and a Hornit.
50 for a decent he!met.
20 for Hi Viz and an rhs arm light to make it look wider.

Comfort

60 for 2 sets of merino long Johns top and bottom
40 Hi Viz waterproof jacket + Waterproof trousers
100 for a set of waterproof cycling boots or cycling shoes plus 2 pairs of waterproof socks. Sunken cleats in either case to avoid sounding like the tap-dancing Gestapo
20 for winter cycling gloves

That ignores small essentials such as an under-helmet cap, and comes to about 950, but I think I could save the difference in discounts.I think you have a helmet camera. As a bonus that is touring kit for up to a week.

What did you do? And how well did it work?

Ferdinand

Re: news paper nutcase

CTC Forum - On the road - 29 November 2014 - 12:19pm
I always think its worth taking the time to reply to this sort of thing. As has been pointed out, you won't convince fervent cycle-haters but others who previously hadn't really considered the situation will think about it and be better informed.

Some years back I responded to an anti-cycling rant in our local rag. It had made the "Star letter" status in the centre of the letters page. My first drafted reply was a rant, but I kept going back to it and tweaking it until it answered all the points raised but in a calm and (I hope) considered manner. To my surprise, the following week it also made "Star letter" status! I commented on here, and several people pointed out that the vast majority of letters sent to newspapers are rants, and they're pleased if they get one that isn't. There were several other pro-cycling replies, and indeed all were rants. One of the points answered (inevitably) was the "who pays for the road" one and I pointed out in the course of the reply that bikes cause far less damage to the fabric of the road than cars so more bicycles would mean less of the Council tax spent on road repairs - the rag helpfully picked up on this and headed the piece "Cyclists save you money!"

One thing I would say is that although I carefully kept to the word limit, my letter was shortened and this did mean full emphasis was lost in a couple of places so just be aware of that...

Jan

Re: Speeding cyclists on LBC now

CTC Forum - On the road - 29 November 2014 - 9:23am
Returning to cycling I DID practice this stuff, and I fund I am comfortable-ish at about 3 but any slower is not sustainable for much distance. I wonder if the way to address cycling on pavements is to have a speed limit of perhaps 8mph, which I think is about the same as the max for those buggies, but for enforcement to be more on sensible riding. Blanket bans when it is deserted are as stupid as speed limits to protect the workforce on roadworks at 2am.

I am being more cautious since I took up cleats, however.

I also spent an hour going backwards and forwards through a chicane on my normal short - half hour - circuit, which helped. It's all about leaning over a bit more than feels comfortable, it seems, so that it becomes comfortable.

The remaining challenge is a short flight of 8 shallow steps on a trail. 4 or 5 is fine, but this feels long and I haven't yet defied the lake at the bottom.

I was pottering around Canterbury last w/e and I am sure I saw several 10mph limit signs. It could have been in the central ped area or the Great Stour Cycle Path to Chartham.

If a road bike is not stable at a sensible speed for the pedestrian area in particular conditions, then it should be .... On the road.

Ferdinand

Re: Help with choosing bike type and/or commute through Lond

CTC Forum - On the road - 29 November 2014 - 9:13am
Yesterday I saw a car whose driver, when the lights turned red, overtook a car in front which had stopped and jumped the red light. This seems like a clear case where a driver could be convicted. Unfortunately, I only managed to get a partial license plate when I read it out and the video footage couldn't read it either. Even though it was at night I find this suspicious as the camera catches most license plates from the such a close distance; it could be a fake plate.

What should I do?

Edit: also, is there a webpage where I can search vehicle license plates?

Re: news paper nutcase

CTC Forum - On the road - 29 November 2014 - 8:25am
661-Pete wrote: I was once told a lot of b******* about flash being 'necessary' to 'fill in' the daylight and get the best quality image. I thought I knew something about photography, but that's old hat. I think they do it to intimidate their subjects, to catch them in awkward poses as they try to evade the barrage of flashes.
There may be an intimidation factor when it comes to the paparazzi approach, but a flash does produce a better quality image in many circumstances. Even bright natural light leaves shadows. Not that it isn't possible to get good photos, but it may require more time & care than is available in 'news' circumstances.

Re: news paper nutcase

CTC Forum - On the road - 29 November 2014 - 7:45am
Gosh, I hope that the unfortunate author of the editorial didn't find it necessary to SLOW DOWN. That's what all other flashing lights on vehicles or the roadside are intended to achieve.

Re: Incident this morning - City of London

CTC Forum - On the road - 29 November 2014 - 1:02am
Vorpal wrote:beardy wrote:I dont think that a low speed touching counts as any sort of offence. Rather like if cars touch mirrors while passing each other carefully.

I remember once being enraged because a driver drove into me when I didnt get out of his way on a narrow lane but as there was no damage done, there wasnt anything that I could (legally) do about it.
The Police will not do anything when there is damage (that is a civil case), so without any damage no hope.
The OP was injured. That is an injury accident that the driver should have stopped for or reported to police. It's not like car mirrors touching whilst passing carefully.

IMO, the OP should go to the GP or A&E to document the injury, even if it isn't extremely painful now.


I had an injury to my shoulder when I got knocked off. No lasting damage but got nearly £2000.

Re: news paper nutcase

CTC Forum - On the road - 29 November 2014 - 12:30am
Can't you blame North Somerset Council for the problems facing cyclists? We've been waiting what, 40 years for them and their predecessor councils to do any building of the Weston-Clevedon railway path? Then lots of riders would be flashing nowhere near cars
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