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Re: America: the bizarre

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 24 January 2016 - 4:16pm
pwa wrote: a murder rate 32 times that of the UK the USA scores badly when it comes to personal safety.
Where do you get this number? As far as I know, the murder rate in the USA is about 3.8 times that in the UK. Do you have data or statistics form somewhere? It doesn't sound even vaguely realistic to me.

Re: How to inflate tyres on the road?

CTC Forum - On the road - 24 January 2016 - 4:03pm
Yesterday I stopped for a guy mending a puncture near box hill. His mates had ridden on and he had forgotten a spare tube. The blister pack was empty so I gave him one of mine. He started to inflate the tyre with a pocket pump but I was getting cold so loaned him my frame pump which inflated his tyre in no time. I think a frame pump is a must unless weight is really critical.

Dawes 3IMA Titanium Road Bike 53cm

CTC Forums - Bikes For Sale - 24 January 2016 - 2:43pm
Dawes 3IMA Titanium £1700 or best offer
Bought just 4 months ago. In 'as new' condition, but with a huge saving over the list price.
Perfect for winter training, commuting or light touring.
Superb quality bike with top of the range Shimano hydraulic disc brakes and full Ultegra groupset.
The frame size is from centre BB to top of seat tube. I'm 5' 8" and the photos show it set up for me.
Full Spec below.
Frame: Dawes 3AL/2.5V Double Butted Titanium
Fork: Carbon Bladed 1 1/8" x 1 1/2" Tapered Steerer
Headset: FSA: Orbit Aheadset 1 1/8"
Shifters: Shimano ST-RS685 STI Hydraulic Levers 22spd
Rear derailleur: Shimano RD-6800 11spd
Front derailleur: Shimano FD-6800 2spd
Chain: Shimano HG-600-11
Freewheel: Shimano 11spd Cassette 11-32T
Wheels: Shimano WH-RX32
Tyres: Schwalbe Durano 700 x 28C
Chainwheel: Shimano FC-6800 Compact 172.5mm Crank / 50-34T
Brakes: Shimano BR-785 Hydraulic Disc Brake, 160mm rotor
Handlebar: Ritchey Comp Curve, 420mm wide
Stem: Deda Zero 100mm
Seatpost: Ritchey Comp 2 Bolt 27.2 x 350mm
Saddle: Fizik Nisene
Categories: Go Cycling

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

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 24 January 2016 - 2:25pm
We are planning a week long bike trip though Ireland in June this year. We will probably concentrate on the West / North-West. We'd love to take in the rugged coastline, hills, empty spaces and maybe the odd pint of guinness!

We are thinking of 6 days, averaging perhaps 100km per day (give or take)

We'll be on road bikes, not mountain bikes, but apart from that, anything goes!

Has anyone done something similar? Are there any routes or places which we definitely shouldn't miss??

Any B&Bs we should definitely stay in?

Any amazing resources that you recommend to help plot a route?

Any tips or shared experiences would be very welcome!!

Thanks!

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

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 24 January 2016 - 2:24pm
We are planning a week long bike trip though Ireland in June this year. We will probably concentrate on the West / North-West. We'd love to take in the rugged coastline, hills, empty spaces and maybe the odd pint of guinness!

We are thinking of 6 days, averaging perhaps 100km per day (give or take)

We'll be on road bikes, not mountain bikes, but apart from that, anything goes!

Has anyone done something similar? Are there any routes or places which we definitely shouldn't miss??

Any B&Bs we should definitely stay in?

Any amazing resources that you recommend to help plot a route?

Any tips or shared experiences would be very welcome!!

Thanks!

Re: Are unclassified roads getting much muddier

CTC Forum - On the road - 24 January 2016 - 2:23pm
Deckie wrote:Mick F wrote:They ain't cleaning the roads, they ain't maintaining the roads, and they ain't clearing out ditches and drainage.
They used to, but they ain't now.

Spot on.

It's very easy to blame farmers with larger equipment. Yes that's true, but ALL vehicles are bigger, and especially WIDER now (a new model VW Polo is almost 12" wider than a Mk 1 Golf! The new Golf is nearly 6" wider again), so passing each other people have no option but to drive over the verge.
...
Out today quite a few places were muddy because of this. Except it is not cars driving up on the verge as much as driving into the verge. Many of our smaller roads have mud sides (maybe a steep "wall" of soil between a foot and a few feet high). All these 4x4/SUV/Cab things are wide so whilst two hatch backs could pass without knocking verge onto the road, the 4x4/SUV/cab things can't and they gradually widen the road.

And what is almost worse is that once the road has been "widened" by this process, the added width taken from the verge has no hard surface so vehicles quickly turn this into a deep trench. So cycle into that and ...

Ian

Re: Are unclassified roads getting much muddier

CTC Forum - On the road - 24 January 2016 - 2:18pm
Mick F wrote:MikeF wrote:And council tax hasn't increased for 6 years.Ours has.
So has ours. Except in fairness, it's only the Police component that has increased (I guess we have Police Commissioners and their teams and their expenses, etc. to pay for).

Ian

Re: Are unclassified roads getting much muddier

CTC Forum - On the road - 24 January 2016 - 2:13pm
Mick F wrote:They ain't cleaning the roads, they ain't maintaining the roads, and they ain't clearing out ditches and drainage.
They used to, but they ain't now.

Spot on.

It's very easy to blame farmers with larger equipment. Yes that's true, but ALL vehicles are bigger, and especially WIDER now (a new model VW Polo is almost 12" wider than a Mk 1 Golf! The new Golf is nearly 6" wider again), so passing each other people have no option but to drive over the verge.

After many complaints we have been told that the council will be clearing the drainage channels and road side cuts in our village tomorrow. First time in five years. A job that was done every year is now left so the edges of the roads are commonly under water and deteriorate faster creating more potholes that cost more to repair.

Re: Most Annoying and Potentially Dangerous Motoring Manoeuv

CTC Forum - On the road - 24 January 2016 - 2:00pm
The B+++s who wait at a junction, then move off before I am clear and miss me by a whisker. Never trust these terrorists!

Re: America: the bizarre

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 24 January 2016 - 1:01pm
Vorpal wrote:I lived in or near a number of neighborhoods in the USA that other people would say were bad neighborhoods. I am absolutely convinced form my experience that 99% of what people believe about 'bad' neighborhoods is mainly prejudice, fed by urban stories and myths.

Neighborhoods that look run down, or populated mainly by minorities are just that. The run down look can be largely attributed to absentee landlords. It doesn't make the neighborhoods unsafe or the people bad.

If America is bizarre, it is mainly in the lack of a social safety net that produces such neighborhoods.

True but the difference from such areas in the UK is the drug and crime cultures that gravitate to such areas are armed and conditioned to using them. They don't have much of a problem with tourists because they generally don't go to such areas and a lot of the killings are internal feuds but when they do there can be problems - vide the deaths of two British tourists in Florida a few years ago when they ended up in the wrong area late at night - especially if you happen across an addict looking to gethis next fix. When I am in the US I do take care of where I go and don't go and check because the lines are moving all the time.

Re: America: the bizarre

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 24 January 2016 - 11:54am
Vorpal wrote:pwa, safety on the streets in the USA is not, in most places, substantially worse for a tourist than it is most places in the UK.

There are all sorts of places, including popular cruise destinations like the Bahamas, Antigua, St. Lucia, or the US Vrigin Islands, where tourists are much more likely to be at risk, because they are specifically targetted in armed robberies. Cruise lines paint pictures of idyllic tropical islands, and don't warn people of the potential for crime. Robberies gone wrong result in murder rates that beat out some of the worst neighborhoods in the USA, and corruption and differing legal systems sometimes mean that there is little change in the situations in some fo these places. The Bahamas has been on a 'critical' list in the USA because of the high crime rate for many years.

Yet, people keep going. Have you ever been on a cruise? If so, you were probably more at risk in at least one port than you would be in New York city. Crime statistcs don't necessarily translate to risk. Yes, the US had a gun problem; I won't deny that, but it doesn't make it an unsafe place to travel. Statistically, the murder rate in the USA is comparable to the number of deaths in road traffic crashes in the UK. Do you avoid going out in the UK due to this risk? Or avoid driving? Or do you simply mitigate your risk by taking care, wearing a seat belt and staying home when the weather is extreme? It's the same concept as avoiding known high crime areas, taking care of your posessions (e.g. with the use of a money belt, etc.), at least in popular tourist areas, etc.

My comment about safety on US streets was in response to the OP's suggestion of cycling around the run-down areas of Detroit, and my impression that with a murder rate 32 times that of the UK the USA scores badly when it comes to personal safety. And UK tourists are much more likely to be shot dead on a visit to the US than on a holiday in the UK. I don't believe tourists are protected by a halo of safety that US citizens don't have, and being on a bicycle involves increased exposure to any nutcase with a gun. That would make me feel uneasy on holiday, especially if I got into an argument with a driver. Or a police officer.

I have also said that safety isn't everything, and we all accept certain risks as a price to pay for perceived rewards. It's a personal risk / benefit analysis and it has little or nothing to do with my choice not to visit the USA.

Re: America: the bizarre

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 24 January 2016 - 11:35am
pwa, safety on the streets in the USA is not, in most places, substantially worse for a tourist than it is most places in the UK.

There are all sorts of places, including popular cruise destinations like the Bahamas, Antigua, St. Lucia, or the US Vrigin Islands, where tourists are much more likely to be at risk, because they are specifically targetted in armed robberies. Cruise lines paint pictures of idyllic tropical islands, and don't warn people of the potential for crime. Robberies gone wrong result in murder rates that beat out some of the worst neighborhoods in the USA, and corruption and differing legal systems sometimes mean that there is little change in the situations in some fo these places. The Bahamas has been on a 'critical' list in the USA because of the high crime rate for many years.

Yet, people keep going. Have you ever been on a cruise? If so, you were probably more at risk in at least one port than you would be in New York city. Crime statistcs don't necessarily translate to risk. Yes, the US had a gun problem; I won't deny that, but it doesn't make it an unsafe place to travel. Statistically, the murder rate in the USA is comparable to the number of deaths in road traffic crashes in the UK. Do you avoid going out in the UK due to this risk? Or avoid driving? Or do you simply mitigate your risk by taking care, wearing a seat belt and staying home when the weather is extreme? It's the same concept as avoiding known high crime areas, taking care of your posessions (e.g. with the use of a money belt, etc.), at least in popular tourist areas, etc.

Re: America: the bizarre

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 24 January 2016 - 10:59am
al_yrpal wrote:PWA my wife never wanted to go to America but I persuaded her. On the first morning in Los Angeles she was smitten. Since then we have visited America nine times on holiday. In NYC there tend to be cops on every corner, if you stare at a map someone black or white will appear at your shoulder offering help. You get used to never eating alone when people spot your accent. We have three main groups of friends in various areas and have enjoyed staying with them as they enjoy coming here. America is a great country with lots of genuinely nice people. I too dislike the gun laws and culture, but you cannot damn a whole country for that or for their politics. Go!

Al

Al, I am sure your assessment of life in USA is correct and, as I said, I am confident that it has a lot of good things (and people) in its favour. Safety on the streets just happens not to be one of those things. But safety is not everything. When I walk in the Alps I know that I put myself at some heightened physical risk, and I accept that as a price I must pay.

(I'm not likely to visit because I don't fly and my swimming badges only go to 200 metres, but that's another topic.....)

Re: oldies riding in the cold

CTC Forum - On the road - 24 January 2016 - 8:48am
Hey Millimole that is exactly what I wear, right down to the ALDI claw gloves[emoji1]
The additional thing I wear, and maybe it's something you should consider, is LIDL micro fleece (94% polyamide 6% elastane) footless tights under my cycling tights. At 4:99 they are excellent value and super warm. They've all gone in my local LIDL but I'm sure there are other similar ones available.

Northamptonshire/Bedfordshire/Cambridgeshire tour advice

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 24 January 2016 - 8:36am
Hello,

I would appreciate the Forum's advice on possible bike tour routes around the above three counties. I currently reside in Wollaston (nr. Wellingborough, Northamptonshire), which is pretty close to all three counties, and would like to ride out of my home and go four a two/three/four day tour. I'm quite new to the area.

I would be looking to cycle 30-50 miles per day, and prefer to take the quietist route available. My bike is rigid and road-orientated but can do reasonable off road. I would also like to camp along the way as I find this more adventurous, but I also appreciate hot showers!

Thank you in advance for any help, and if anyone would like meet up for a ride then let me know. I'm a fairly slow 'take it easy' rider and stop to take the odd photo.

Keith

Re: America: the bizarre

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 24 January 2016 - 1:36am
There are actually very few 'no go' areas in the USA, despite what people think, despite reputations, and even despite what locals may tell you. Everyone in each town or city knows where the 'bad' area of town is. New York, Chicago, LA, DC; they have areas that I wouldn't go into, but few other towns and cities do. What most people think is a rough area is usually just where the poor people live, or where minorities live. And there is a great deal of prejudice (against poor &/or minority populations) built into popular ideas of the 'bad' neighborhooods. The people who live there are like you & me, only with less money. No more; no less. Even in areas with high crime, the chances of a particular person being mugged or something don't necessarily go up very much compared to 'nice' neighborhoods.

I lived in or near a number of neighborhoods in the USA that other people would say were bad neighborhoods. I am absolutely convinced form my experience that 99% of what people believe about 'bad' neighborhoods is mainly prejudice, fed by urban stories and myths.

Neighborhoods that look run down, or populated mainly by minorities are just that. The run down look can be largely attributed to absentee landlords. It doesn't make the neighborhoods unsafe or the people bad.

If America is bizarre, it is mainly in the lack of a social safety net that produces such neighborhoods.

Re: America: the bizarre

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 24 January 2016 - 12:11am
I'd say if you avoid the obvious inner city areas the USA is fairly safe. I've cycled coast to coast 3 times mainly in small town America and never felt unsafe at any time. Even riding through areas of obvious poverty I never felt I was at any personal risk. I have many American relatives none of whom with one exception* have experienced serious personal violence. I was advised to be cautious when I cycled across Lansing, Michigan, especially the west side. Crossing it was a non event. I went through in the morning and the general vibe was of a place I wouldn't choose to hang about after dark but absolutely fine during the day. But Glasgow has a few places like that. As a cyclist in the USA the biggest danger is like most places from traffic.

On one tour I couldn't find a camp site one night before dark and ended up in a cheap motel in a dodgy part of a medium sized town. Most rooms rented by the week. No tourists and nowhere near a tourist area anyway. I was hit on for a "loan" by another resident as before I even got into my room. The other residents hanging around looked like the cast of Jeremy Kyle. I cut my losses by locking my bike in my room and walking with my new friend to the nearest 7:Eleven. After buying him a beer and myself a beer an a sandwich I locked myself in my room for the night. A quiet night apart from getting woken up around 1AM by the police hammering on the door of the next room. Seems they were looking for the resident in connection with an incident along the road shortly before.

As for the OPs idea of a poverty porn tour from Detroit to the west coast? Chances are that it would be safe enough. Americans I've met, rich, poor, and in the middle have almost all been friendly and welcoming. Maybe they just are all friendly? Maybe as a bike tourist you can't be pigeonholed so people take you the way they find you and you do likewise. My advice would be to book accommodation ahead in places like the HI International Hostels and do any city exploration from the hostel with local advice as to what areas to visit. The hostels are sometimes in the less desirable areas. IME these hostels are friendly and the staff are switched on. Even the friendliest place has the odd bad apple that is best avoided.


* The exception. My cousin's husband worked for a while as a night porter in a downtown hotel. He usually sat behind a bulletproof screen and there was buzzer controlled access to the lobby. Even so he twice had sawn off shotguns pointed at him when for different reasons he was caught in the main lobby. But this was Detroit in the late 1960s/early 70s when many areas were still no go for whites after the late 60s riots.

Re: America: the bizarre

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 23 January 2016 - 11:23pm
Vorpal wrote:I think maybe the doorman wasn't local. Hartford (Connecticutt?) is known to have high crime, but most of it is limited to the area known as the 'North End' People who don't live in Hartford (my cousin did for many years) tend to think it's all bad. In fact, most of it is fine.

If he was in Washington DC though it would be good advice. Some no go areas are very close to some of the major hotels. Always best to ask the doorman's advice in a new city before walking out.

I have also though had similar advice from a hotel doorman in Birmingham (UK not Alabama!)

Re: Cycling opportunity Keswick -Kendal

CTC Forum - On the road - 23 January 2016 - 10:52pm
MarkGraham wrote:If the temporary road is going to be an extension of the forest track that runs through the woods to the east of the A591 I'd be happy enough taking a touring bike or MTB along it but wouldn't really want to take a normal road bike, its fairly rough.
They mean what they say about the closure - two of us were running last week and knowing the road was closed had expected to still be able to negotiate the forest track on a day of poor weather when we didn't really want to be on the high fells. Arriving at a high fence across the track we were politely but firmly refused further access. We had a sensible discussion with them - it wasn't as if we could pop back a mile or two to a car and then drive round, we had a long way to run either way and had negotiated a lot of worse ground before reaching that point but they wouldn't relent and we ended up with a much longer run than we had originally planned.

I gather they are doing the route so that buses (though not other vehicles) can get through, so it may be okay for road bikes with care.
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