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Re: Daytime red flashing lights

CTC Forum - On the road - 28 January 2016 - 9:46am
mig wrote:won't it place more onus on them actually looking for you though?

I understand that point of view but I just don't think human brains work that way. No driver wants a collision anyway (except for the odd psycho). No BMW driver even wants their paint scratched, never mind having a 14 stone lump like me bouncing off their bonnet. Nor do they want to have to stop and apologise or argue. Even less do they want the police to turn up and start asking uncomfortable questions. The incentives for not having a collision are numerous and are there already. People who take chances do so because they think they are not going to make contact with you.

Re: Daytime red flashing lights

CTC Forum - On the road - 28 January 2016 - 9:40am
Had a run in with a car close overtake a while ago, thumped the roof and upset him. Wasn't really until later that I thought about it more and realised that to hit the roof where I did, the body of the car was so close to be almost touching me]

I'm tending more to let it go when someone does that sort of thing. It just raises the levels of aggression. I mutter "ar**h*le" to myself instead.

Does a drl flasher improve the chances of being seen by motorists? Probably in my view as flashing red & white lights are only used by bicycles so they are perceived as such. It doesn't solve the problem that that perception often includes "therefore slow" when even I can whizz long at 15mph+. Then of course there are enough people who will simply bulldoze their way through whatever you do.

Re: Daytime red flashing lights

CTC Forum - On the road - 28 January 2016 - 9:35am
won't it place more onus on them actually looking for you though?

Re: Daytime red flashing lights

CTC Forum - On the road - 28 January 2016 - 9:32am
mig wrote:isn't the law in the netherlands that a driver is to blame if there is a collision/incident between a bike and a vehicle?

That's another argument, really. The main point of voluntarily using a red rear flasher in daytime must be to reduce the chances of not being noticed. The question of who to blame only arises if that measure fails, which of course it will occasionally. For me it is all about risk reduction and percentages. If something I can do will make me 5% safer I will do it, so long as it is not too inconvenient. The 5% improvements add up and reduce my chances of being hurt. Well, that's the theory. Not scientific and no guarantees, but it's the best I can come up with.

Re: Horrifying hit-and-run in Brighton

CTC Forum - On the road - 28 January 2016 - 9:29am
CREPELLO wrote:The fact that the stolen car was a Fiat 500 may have possibly helped this poor pedestrian survive (so far), due to the lowish rounded profile of the car's front, despite it having the effect of launching him high into the air. Quite amazing that he has survived that high speed impact.

If it had been a SUV, the outcome would surely have been instant and quite different. Another reason for restricting the availability of that type of vehicle.

I know. An adult member of my own family was killed outright by a flat-fronted vehicle like that which was only doing 30mph in a 30mph zone. It hit her, then ran straight over; there was no sloping bonnet for her to slide up onto. He claimed he just didn't see her (there is a visibility problem with these vehicles too for anything close). I think more research is needed on these vehicles, they are far more dangerous to pedestrians than standard saloons. I think people driving them ought at lest to be subject to an extra test.

Re: Sri Lanka

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 28 January 2016 - 9:29am
Climate data suggests that Sri Lanka has a tropical climate rather different from most of mainland India, and more like places you would find in east Africa. But it varies considerably by location in the island. Whilst it rains to some degree year round, there are still distinctive wet seasons that are rather or much wetter than other periods. The west coast has 2 distinct wet seasons, with Little Rains in April-May and Great Rains in Sep-Nov. The east coast has a two season climate with a single wet season, surprisingly Oct to Feb, when it is bone dry in much of India. The average temperature is more or less constant year round. I would suggest that climatically June-August is a relatively good time to go. Jan-Feb would in theory be better in the central hills which have a marked dry season at that time, unlike the east coast, though some friends who went there at that time recently still suffered quite a lot of rain. But on the whole, I'd say Jun-Aug looks a surprisingly good time to go. Although the heat and humidity will be trying at any time of year.

Re: Interesting case in Swindon

CTC Forum - On the road - 28 January 2016 - 9:24am
Rob Archer wrote:So, does his driving ban start immediately, or when he comes out of prison, or at the end of the full sentence? If it's the first option a ban is rather pointless as, if he serves the typical half his sentence it's only a 5-moth ban!
I would hope that this is not the case, and that the driving ban is intended to start consecutively from date of release from prison. See this report on an unrelated case, which appears to make the principle clear, and presumably follows a precedent:
Witney, 21, of Finches Lane, Lindfield, was jailed for six years on Friday and banned from driving for seven years from the date of his release after pleading guilty to causing death by dangerous driving in November.

Re: Interesting case in Swindon

CTC Forum - On the road - 28 January 2016 - 9:17am
I actually had someone do this to me, several years ago. I had no camera at that time, and I didn't get sight of the number plate - nor were there any potential witnesses - so all I felt I could do was let the matter drop . Perhaps - now seeing the report on this nasty incident and its outcome - I ought to have reported it.

Anyway I'm glad that (a) there were no injuries, and (b) in this instance, the maniac at the wheel got his comeuppance. Hope he enjoys his sojourn in the slammer....

Re: Daytime red flashing lights

CTC Forum - On the road - 28 January 2016 - 8:17am
I use mine in the dappled light of Surrey lanes or dull conditions. Having said that, last week on a dull day with lights flashing a lady in a bmw sat so close to my leg I banged the headlight of her car. She then swerved across the road and caused an oncoming car to brake hard. On this occasion lights had no effect. She of course gave me some verbal.

Re: Calais

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 28 January 2016 - 7:43am
I would suggest that you approach the port area from the town side rather than from the east/south - that way you are in the "built up and populated" area for longer.

Rob

Re: Daytime red flashing lights

CTC Forum - On the road - 28 January 2016 - 6:58am
I downloaded the paper on the history of cycle/road safety in the 20s and 30s referred to earlier. A well written doc and very illuminating. The same arguments are in play today and the doc does explain the logical and consistent nature of the CTC's then stance on rear lights.

I've always been surprised how drivers can be so confident there isn't a hay wagon round the next corner of a country lane or any other unexpected obstacle. It just goes to show how vehicles have succeeded in clearing the roads of anything that might impede their progress. Obviously I do drive a car as well ride a bike and in my younger days I'd say I drove too fast from time to time. A couple of near misses put paid to that. Remember the hay wagon I mentioned? In mitigation that was on an A road and no accident occurred. I'd still have been a KSI though.

The argument that by putting DRLs on bikes you make things without them less visible is sound and one used in the 20s to oppose rear lights. Put the argument the other way round though. What if cyclists deliberately wore camouflage gear? Not such an unlikely proposal. I read some stuff recently that said that timetriallers were required to wear black, all over, to be unobtrusive on the roads.

My flashing lights are just the budget type from Halfords. To be useful in the daytime I think I'd have to buy more powerful ones. I would use dynamo lights except I don't have a hub dynamo on any of my bikes and the bottle one on the Brompton does drag on the wheel rather. Its like losing a gear. Also dynamo lights don't have a flash setting which is an odd omission. The other problem with LED lights is if the battery loses contact momentarily due to vibration then they go off - rather like the unreliability referred to in the 1920s as a reason not to make rear lights compulsory as the rider doesn't know they've gone out. This probably doesn't happen on the more expensive LED lights.

I'm really not sure. I'm loathe to try and compensate for others poor driving behaviour by changing mine but then I don't want an accident. I had a near miss on the bike on a roundabout in daytime over XMAS which MAY have been less of a near miss if I'd had a drl on the front BUT it would have had to be brighter than the one I have. I was wearing HiVis. I suppose I'm tending towards using drls and therefore buying some posh lights.

Re: Horrifying hit-and-run in Brighton

CTC Forum - On the road - 28 January 2016 - 12:16am
The fact that the stolen car was a Fiat 500 may have possibly helped this poor pedestrian survive (so far), due to the lowish rounded profile of the car's front, despite it having the effect of launching him high into the air. Quite amazing that he has survived that high speed impact.

If it had been a SUV, the outcome would surely have been instant and quite different. Another reason for restricting the availability of that type of vehicle.

Re: Daytime red flashing lights

CTC Forum - On the road - 27 January 2016 - 11:29pm
Thanks Drossall, I agree about the blind bend comment. I still volunteer at a Scout campsite, so I'm familiar with what goes on, though haven't led a troop of my own for a few years. I wasn't meaning scouts weren't given opportunities to be self-reliant - it is one of the few organisations which does aim to do just that - I was on about kids in general.

Re: Daytime red flashing lights

CTC Forum - On the road - 27 January 2016 - 11:26pm
I took to using drl's sometime in 2014, usually as the evening started to draw in. I took the view that if Volvo thought it a good idea for a big hefty car to be more visible, then it sure as **** made sense for a bike to be lit up.
Soon as I had the dynamo's, they were on constantly. I don't feel the need to dress in hi-viz day-glo sam browne everything and indeed most of my "I'm a proper cyclist" lycra gear is as black as black can be, but the lights I feel are a necessary evil these days.
They cost me not a jot to run and so that's a plus in my case.
I can't see drl's on other road vehicles disappearing any time soon and as much as I hate the phrase, if you can't beat them, join them.

Re: Daytime red flashing lights

CTC Forum - On the road - 27 January 2016 - 11:02pm
As Bicycler suggested, this sounds like a slight confusion of rule 2 (walk facing traffic - when alone or in small groups) and rule 5 (large groups keep left, and use lights at the front and back when it's dark). That's still what I'd teach Scouts, though in practice we wouldn't really walk them on roads without verges, or in large groups - so they'd be on the verge facing the traffic. It doesn't matter so much if you're on the verge, but it's good training. We only really use verges to get between two public footpaths that meet the same road a few hundred metres apart.

I may have misremembered which side of the road we walked on 40 years ago! I do remember the explanation about a slow vehicle so maybe we did walk on the left.

All the contributions have been very interesting and food for thought. I'm not sure what I'll do when I'm out next!

Re: Touring in Rutland/Leicestershire

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 27 January 2016 - 10:58pm
I live on the northern edge of the Vale of Belvoir in Bingham, at the junction of the A46 and A52. I do a lot of riding in the area you are looking at, although I ride down from the north to get there.

You can do a circuit of Rutland Water itself. It's about 25 miles round and there is a rideable path for most of it. Several cafes around the shoreline.

There's a lovely cafe at the old windmill in Wymondham, just to the east of Melton Mowbray. Other cafes in the Vale itself include Dove Cottage, on the canal between Harby and Plungar. The Cakehole cafe at Barrowby near Grantham. The area around Belvoir castle is very nice and quite hilly to the south of the castle. There's a delightful ride via Harston, Knipton, Eaton and Branston. There's another cafe at the Fishing Lakes near Scalford, just north of Melton and yet another at Asfordby Hill (Alpine Cafe).

The whole area north of Rutland Water to the A52 is filled with lightly trafficked little lanes and a great place to ride. Most of the traffic travels on the A roads, so other roads are quiet.

You can also ride on parts of the Grantham Canal, which winds its way through the Vale of Belvoir. Further east and south, Woolsthorpe by Colsterworth is the Birthplace of Sir Isaac Newton and you can visit the house where he lived, with the famous Apple tree in the garden.

Stamford is a nice olde worlde town worth a visit. There are also some nice lanes to the west of Oakham and a cyclists cafe at Tugby ( Cafe Ventoux). Many of the local roads round Oakham are used for the Rutland to Melton Cicle Classic race.

You could even venture north of the A52 as far as Newark on Trent. Nice cafes at Bottesford (Little Jacks garden centre) and Long Bennington (Cafe 52 opposite the Co-op). Newark itself had several nice cafes if you venture that far north (Gannets and Feeling Peckish near the castle). The Castle and the Civil War Museum are worth a visit.

If you need any more detail, let me know.

Re: Calais

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 27 January 2016 - 10:35pm
There certainly have been problems with migrants trying to get on the ferries, but I've not heard of any attacks on tourists, cycling or otherwise. As things are at the moment, I would not be worried.

Re: Calais

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 27 January 2016 - 10:29pm
I caught the Calais - Dover returning from the Alps in August. I actually went looking for the 'migrant problem' because I had a few hours to kill, but I couldn't find hide nor hair of any of the type of things being shown on the news. I think it's been blown vastly out of proportion by the media.

Re: Week-long tour in the W/N-W of Ireland. Top tips please!

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 27 January 2016 - 9:44pm
Those are great tips! Thank you!

Re: Russia

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 27 January 2016 - 9:37pm
A few random points I would repeat or add to the previous useful information. (I haven't cycled there but have been to various parts visiting my Russian wife's family).

Visa has to be applied for in person, in London or Edinburgh - a pain if these places are not handy for you. You need to leave your passport. You also need evidence of where you will stay in Russia. One way of doing this is to book a hotel via booking.com or a similar site. You should be able to find a hotel which will provide you with a valid invitation for a few pounds, and which will allow you to cancel a booking. If you don't want to stay in the hotel, get and print the invitation and then cancel your booking. Cost for a single-entry 30 day visa is roughly £85, plus around £10 to return passport and visa by secure post (or you can collect it in person a few days after applying). More detail here. Google will find agencies who will do all this for you, for around £50 extra; I have no experience of these.

Major roads in the west of Russia IME are not much worse than ours in UK, but minor roads are pretty rough. Driving standards are not great, but MUCH better than 20 years ago when (in Moscow at least) drivers would deliberately aim at anyone who stepped off the kerb, and the wrong side of a dual carriageway was seen as a convenient way of bypassing congestion. Nowadays drivers are more likely to be careless than malicious. Outside cities (which tend to sprawl - there is so much land available) there is generally less traffic than here.

You see a few cyclists in urban areas, but I don't recall seeing any in really rural parts.

Outside major cities, very few people speak anything other than Russian.

It's fairly easy to change Euros and USD, but GBP are difficult outside major cities.

Putin really is popular with most Russians: the standard of living has improved greatly uder his rule, and the general view of the adventures in Georgia and Ukraine seems to be that these places should really be part of Russia anyway, so the military have every right to be there. It may irritate you, but I'd strongly advise keeping quiet about that unless you are sure your are in sympathetic company.
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