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Friday Morning Parking Giggle

CTC Forum - On the road - 7 November 2014 - 9:25am
I normally lock my bike to a pillar by the window near the tills at my local 'Big 5' supermarket.

Not sure if there is any dedicated bike parking but this cyclist (Freego battery bike) decided to stage his own little protest. I love it...hcImageUploadedByTapatalk1415352338.939429.jpg

Re: The financial cost/loss of UK Road incidents £15Billion

CTC Forum - On the road - 7 November 2014 - 8:37am
toomsie wrote:A company can try to kill competition by buying them up. It is a process that can never succeed. The more a big company buys off competition the more competition appears. It becomes so expensive for the big company to buy of smaller ones that it has to rise its prices thus becomes uncompetitive.

There generally aren't lots of smaller ones, just a few. And you don't need to buy them all up - just a couple. Once you have market share you can use various underhand techniques to put your competitors out of business or reduce their value so low the stockholders would fall over themselves to sell out.
Then of course there's price fixing. When you and your mates control most of the supply of something then a few words during a round of golf and it's all sorted.

Of course these sorts of things are regulated against - and with good reason.

Once you have more money than most countries there's not a lot you can't do. Corporations already apply far too much political pressure on our governments.
Folk are slowly waking up to the reality of what that actually means but personally I think it's almost too late.

Re: The financial cost/loss of UK Road incidents £15Billion

CTC Forum - On the road - 7 November 2014 - 8:31am
toomsie wrote:Good question. Safety and standardization can both be handled in the free market. Safety regulation do not have to be handled by government the free market does a good job without it the need for central control.

That's right. Because without intervention and the setup of the necessary bodies that overview this sort of stuff we'd definitely have seat belts, air bags, crush zones, safety cabins and there'd definitely be pressure to improve the safety of people outside the car as well as those in it.

The free market has time and time again been shown to not work. When it does work in the manner you claim it does so by doing the absolute minimum to get by.
Why would it work any differently? Ford don't make money by fitting expensive safety products to their cars, they make money by fitting the cheapest they can get away with - and without any control it turns out the cheapest is very cheap.

As for people buying the 'safest' car in a free market, that's been shown time and time again to be false. It's particularly false where the safety is those outside the car rather than in it.

Do you seriously believe we'd have safer lorries in London with all the extra tech they're being forced to fit if we left it to the lorry drivers to fork out for them or relied on the goodwill of the manufacturers to add several hundred £££'s worth of extras for free?

Feel free to believe in the utopia of unfettered capitalism without government control. IMO it barely works now so why anyone would think it'll get better is frankly a mystery.

Re: Planning My First Tour

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 7 November 2014 - 7:49am
Hello and welcome.
Planning a tour over 2 weeks concentrates and condences what you can do. Planning a tour over 3 months gives you huge scope but a bigger dilemma of where???

I would agree with someone who said decide what you want to see.... what are your interests? churches, historic buildings, hills/mountains? Art/Museums? Or the desire to follow specific routes; Rhine or Danube cycle routes.... This can then give you a basis to build your tour around. Once you decide where you want to visit you can develop routes.

Do not be too set on routes. (This why i like paper maps) Even on a day ride out from a fixed point i will ponder over a map and see something i like the look of seeing and alter a route...
When i was in Germany with my son a few years ago a closed YHA meant we had to divert from the route that was planned around staying at that particular place, find somewhere else in the nearest town to stay, and altered my following day's route...
You talk to fellow travellers who suggest other places to view/visit and decide to divert your plans....
Then of course weather and other factors may cause you to alter your plans. there is no shame in staying put in one place when the weather is dreadful or finding alternative transport (remember many continental buses take bikes). Even over a 2 week holiday i have changed plans due to weather; shortened a day due to rain, and have even had a wind in France cause me to alter plans.

Re: Planning My First Tour

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 7 November 2014 - 6:10am
Hi Progressive,

Congratulations, you have completed the hard part, making the decision to take time out and to go on tour for a while.

My advice would be.

Don't get too hung up on planning the trip. Setting too many points or deadlines can distract from the experience and possibly add stress, if you decide to turn left instead of right one day, then cool don't get hung up on schedules or routes too much!

By all means prepare for the trip, but you are intending to stay in Europe and to start with you will be in Western Europe where you able to obtain most things you may need, carrying too much from the off is worse than not enough. Everyone carries too much the first time I was told and so far that was true for me as well as everyone I have met on the road, you can get things on the way, but as someone else mentioned a stove is good idea, preferably a multifuel one its more to buy but a good investment and running on petrol will pay for itself over other fuel types! If you are wild camping you can survive easily on 5 Euros a day for food etc.

Not sure which port you are looking to leave from in the UK or where in the UK you are based? I have used Portsmouth to Caen or Le Havre quite often, there is an overnight ferry (either sleep on your mat or pre-book a cabin if you want to spoil yourself) and you can get a good cooked breakfast before getting off of the boat (use the restaurant with waiters at the front of the boat if it has them, it looks posh but its less busy, only fractionally more on price and you get mountains of toast and coffee!

Routes, France is great, its got lots of cycle paths using up the old railway lines. These old railway lines are quiet and don't have steep hills as trains cannot go up steep hills. A lot of western Europe is great for cycling.

I'm also looking to set off again from the UK around May, I have to come back to the UK by April to give my sister away (at last!).. The options are endless.. Enjoy!

Regards,

Gary
www.longbikeride.co.uk

Re: Planning My First Tour

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 7 November 2014 - 5:16am
It is worth thinking about the availability of good second hand bikes in your size. You are at the opposite end of the size range to me (5 ft3) and it took me 5 years to find a good used Dawes Galaxy that was not to far correct colour in my price range and not to old.

Old bikes can cost a lot if the rear spacing is narrow (freewheel no cassette) or you do not want down tube shifters.
I am not claiming that good used bikes are not out there but you will need to be patient and prepared to travel to find something.

Something like this in your size if available is probably the best place to start.

Re: Planning My First Tour

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 7 November 2014 - 2:00am
Thanks for the input regarding buying pre-owned foxyrider (and others). I must say, I like to think I'm a good judge of character and can usually tell if something is off. I also accept that buying pre-owned comes with risks. That said, I've had friends (and to some extent myself) who have been given advice on what to buy from 'reputable' bike shops which in hindsight was likely due to their stock at the time and desire to get rid of it.

In a more positive light, I have just sold a single speed road bike that I absolutely loved simply because I didn't ride it enough. I made sure that everything was in full working order, serviced it and genuinely would like the new owner to get the enjoyment from it that I had. I'm sure that much of the cycling community is of that mindset too.

Re: M324 Pedals - You couldn't make it up

CTC Forum - On the road - 7 November 2014 - 12:13am
A friend started on the clipless road and bought the shoes instore froom Evans and wanted to buy the pedals too but they didn't have them in stock at the time so I said pay instore and they'll post them out in a few days to home. He opted for the OEM version cause of the price once assured they came with cleats. A few day later the retail packaged pedals arrived at his home.

Re: The financial cost/loss of UK Road incidents £15Billion

CTC Forum - On the road - 6 November 2014 - 11:32pm
A company can try to kill competition by buying them up. It is a process that can never succeed. The more a big company buys off competition the more competition appears. It becomes so expensive for the big company to buy of smaller ones that it has to rise its prices thus becomes uncompetitive.

The banks cannot destroy bitcoins( potential competition) by buying them all up, or the bitcoin minors. It will only create deflation in the currency and more investors would hold onto the currency in the hope that they can sell it to the banks at inflated prices some investors might even enter the bitcoin market to do the same thing.

Re: The financial cost/loss of UK Road incidents £15Billion

CTC Forum - On the road - 6 November 2014 - 11:13pm
toomsie wrote:kwackers wrote:And who makes sure these cars are safe? Who makes sure they all have standard features rather than arbitrary indicators or lights?

The idea that we'll all be better off because you as a consumer has a choice (albeit a limited choice) is frankly nonsense - why do you think we created the monopolies and mergers commission in 1949?


Good question. Safety and standardization can both be handled in the free market. Safety regulation do not have to be handled by government the free market does a good job without it the need for central control.
In a free market, there can be independent safety inspectors. If you are willing to buy a safe car, you can buy one that has been inspected by one of those companies. A safety inspection company, has an incentive to do a good job , or lose out to a competing safety inspection company. If a car ends up being dangerous that has been certified good, the CEO, owners can be sued by the shareholders and victims. You can even bet that competing safety inspection companies are willing to point out flows in another company inspection for obvious reasons. Who do you think checks that the government’s safety inspection is good, its a law until itself.
Car insurance companies do a good job to incentivize folk to be safe. In most cases they will not insure dangerous vehicles or people who are too much of a liability. I guess this also can include cars with non standard lights.
Standardization has already worked in the free market. HTTP(Hyper Text Terminal Protocol) is not a standard that is enforced by law. But in order for your web servers to communicate with others it needs to communicate in HTTP, your free to use any protocol you choose or build yourself however.
Monopolies in a free market can only happen if the CUSTOMER is happy with the product or service relative to the competition. If everyone buys iphone and not other phones such as Android, it only means customers are happy to buy an iphone.
There was a company who was a monopoly in aluminium production. They used to overcharge for their aluminium. But companies that use aluminium started to find cheaper substitutes. Coca-Cola, started to use glass bottle instead of aluminium. As a result the market forced the aluminium company to reduce its prices to a more acceptable amount.
A government is a monopoly. So how can it create an act that prevent a monopoly, which it is. A monopoly in force. Forces you to pay for products that you do not want or need.

Re: The financial cost/loss of UK Road incidents £15Billion

CTC Forum - On the road - 6 November 2014 - 11:07pm
kwackers wrote:toomsie wrote:When I bought a smart phone last month, I wanted a very good phone for very little money. Most folk said get an Iphone. Looking back at it, it was a good move, I don’t think there is much chance that evil corporation like Blackberry will have the power to manipulate me, or less intelligent folk to buy a Blackberry phone.

And in the meantime the government - oh wait, sorry - Europe have forced the service provider for your phone to lower charges - several times.

How about cars, I bought a Ford focus Mk2 because I see so many on the roads. Guess what, they have the best reviews and very good value. There are even online review comparing old cars to new.

And who makes sure these cars are safe? Who makes sure they all have standard features rather than arbitrary indicators or lights?

There's a entire raft of things that government 'meddling' prevents and when that fails European meddling steps in.
As big corporations become the norm we need more not less protection from them. The idea that we'll all be better off because you as a consumer has a choice (albeit a limited choice) is frankly nonsense - why do you think we created the monopolies and mergers commission in 1949?
Even back then we were enlightened enough to know that given free reign corporations want to control your choice by buying up and removing competitors and setting the price, quality, features etc of the product you buy with nothing other than a view to extracting as much cash from you as possible.

Whatever you think, removing controls and restrictions from companies and corporations isn't a good thing. It leaves them free to fulfil their prime directive - extracting cash from you. That the Conservatives do this under the banner of 'growth' is disingenuous at best since it's predominantly growth for the top percentile while the rest of us pay the price and stagnate.

Re: Acceptable overtake?

CTC Forum - On the road - 6 November 2014 - 11:00pm
Of course it'sa dodgy overtake. The 3rd car has met the oncoming vehicle before he has fully returned to his own side of tthe road. There would possibly have been a clash of wing mirrors if the oncoming driver had not moved to the very LH edge of the road. And probably braked/slowed down.

Re: Reporting some horrible driving

CTC Forum - On the road - 6 November 2014 - 10:52pm
Always worth reporting, i do ... often get the response that they have spoken to the driver, or reminded their drivers in general of their responsibilities.... whether it is true or not is unknown... but at least it lets the transport manager or whoever is in charge, know that the public are watching their drivers....
I also contact and report particularly courteous driving.

Re: Jan to May Riding?

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 6 November 2014 - 9:23pm
Max- sorry that I can't help with your question , but I hope you don't mind me jumping in on your thread to say this........is it just me that gets a vicarious thrill when I read about someone planning a tour. I love reading this kind of post. Ah, the possibilities of 6 months off!

Re: UK to Prague via northern Germany

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 6 November 2014 - 7:27pm
As a matter of interest, what maps do you use when in Holland and Germany, that is without taking too many? I find the 150,000 Michelin in France quite acceptable, is there an equivalent?

Re: Acceptable overtake?

CTC Forum - On the road - 6 November 2014 - 7:26pm
LollyKat wrote:stork wrote:They've reviewed it again and come back with a response which is slightly less supportive of the driver (describing the overtake as a 'bit tight'). I agree that the danger here was less to me than to the oncoming vehicle.
But if they had collided, even if only a glancing blow, the chances are that one would have spun into your path.

Which is the entire point of the matter. With overtaking into oncoming traffic you're always worried the driver will panic and yank the wheel to the left to avoid a head on and if you're alongside at the time..

Re: UK to Prague via northern Germany

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 6 November 2014 - 6:39pm
We took a tandem round Europe a few years ago. Started from Dieppe and went north through Belgium and Holland, then into Germany north of the Ruhrgebiet. Crossed northern Germany to Berlin and then headed down to Prague and onwards.

As I recall northern Germany was pretty pedestrian, although the old East, as others have mentioned, is more interesting. A more relaxed feel than some of the West.

Heading out of Berlin, we opted for Poland. After a day of truck dodging on very poor roads we went back to Germany and headed to Liberec in northern Czech.

Czech Republic was good. Avoiding main roads is sensible. Countryside is pleasant, lots of cheap camping and cheap food.

On a two week schedule, I'd be looking at pedalling Holland just for those easy red cycle lanes. Maastricht is pleasant and if you can somehow work Amsterdam into your schedule, it's worth spending a day pedalling round the city as part of the bicycle army.

I'd get a train from just inside the German border to where the old East starts and pedal to Berlin.

Berlin is excellent although you probably already know that. I'd be inclined to stay in the Kreuzberg or Friedrichshain district for a couple of days, but then I'm a bit of a hippy. If you carry an Ipad, you might prefer Mitte. Then pedal the rest of the way to Prague.

Just to say that Germany had cycle lanes all the way to Berlin and beyond so safe riding. If you want easy riding, then you'll definitely get that. Czech is hillier, but consequently has better views.

No idea about the other German towns mentioned although I've heard Dresden is very nice.

There's a map of our route on the Europe tour of my signature.

Re: Aggressive Camden Council Driver – Worth Reporting?

CTC Forum - On the road - 6 November 2014 - 5:57pm
I would say yes (reporting it to the council, not Police).

And when reporting it, say how they clearly have not trained their drivers to be aware of cycling practices, etc. and encourage them to start a training program for all council drivers ensuring they are all aware of how cyclists are meant to ride, the issues facing cyclists, etc.

Ian

Re: Map(s) of Wales

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 6 November 2014 - 5:53pm
+1 for the Philips Navigator atlas for any touring in the UK. I use mine in conjunction with a Garmin Edge Touring GPS

Re: Map(s) of Wales

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 6 November 2014 - 5:31pm
Philips Navigator at 1:100,000 has been recommended on this and other forums for years because of their clarity. Just rip the pages out that you need.
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