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Re: so when do the shorts come out?

CTC Forum - On the road - 25 March 2015 - 10:51am
What mig noticed I've seen here too - there always seems to be one ostensibly-tough guy out in shorts in temperatures approaching zero. Dunno what those freezing purple-white-mottled legs are supposed to prove: tendinitis spares nobody.

Re: Grab Theft - handle bar kit

CTC Forum - On the road - 25 March 2015 - 10:50am
Freddie wrote:The point I was making is that certain crimes are committed by certain groups at a higher rate than other groups, hence knowing a criminals nationality/that they had a eastern European accent is of relevance.
Can you explain why it’s relevant? Are we supposed to keep an ear out for eastern European accents at traffic lights, lest we lose our Garmins?

It seems to me only relevant if you want to justify crude stereotypes and fear-mongering, which are incredibly harmful to the people mistreated this way. I may be more sensitive to this than most people, since my girlfriend is Romanian. What she has to put up with from everyday bigots who discover she’s Romanian is quite unbelievable, though she does it with more grace and patience than I could ever muster.

And all of this ignores the very good chance that the person reporting the crime or anyone in the long chain of people relaying it to us just made up the bit about the eastern European accent. This happens with depressing regularity. Heck, most people can’t even reliably place foreign accents. They just think they can.

Re: so when do the shorts come out?

CTC Forum - On the road - 25 March 2015 - 10:31am
Shorts and a "wind transparent" T shirt were the order of the day about ten day ago.

Been back in longs for a few days, but I'm now into "longs on the way to work, shorts on the way home". Windproof gilet as needed (and it was this morning)

Clear skies are good for afternoon temperatures, not so good for early morning...


Then again my deepest winter clothing this year was a long sleeved T-Shirt, windprrof ALDI gilet, and my slightly thicker longs

Re: First two weeks tour in Europe in June: where?

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 25 March 2015 - 10:23am
bretonbikes wrote:Lisbon is fabulous - has the feel of a very large village sometimes! adn cycling there would be fine. One word of warning (not to try and put you off) - pick-pockets in the centre and tourist areas are absolutely endemic, shameless and the authorities uninterested. No danger of being mugged or anything nasty - just that expect there to be a hand in your pocket/bag at some time and protect valuables accordingly.

And if someone on a bus or train warns of pickpockets don't immediately reach and check that your valuables are OK - let the theives work out for themselves where to dip!
Also use a lanyard on a camera or phone to dissuade a snatch.

Re: Reducing pannier weight

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 25 March 2015 - 10:14am
Looks like lots of us assumed you were camping . How long are you hostelling for and when are you going? If you take light, packable clothes and nominal toiletries you could just use a rack bag with small foldout panniers. I have an Altura one and it worked great for a 5 day b&b trip. I wore a small waist pack for wallet, phone and small accessories.

Re: Grab Theft - handle bar kit

CTC Forum - On the road - 25 March 2015 - 9:25am
Your sarcasm reads as nothing but a childish outburst. You should learn how to argue

glass houses and stones.

Re: so when do the shorts come out?

CTC Forum - On the road - 25 March 2015 - 9:25am
Lovely morning here but temperature barely above freezing so it's still winter gear for me. If I'm lucky the shorts will get an airing in June. As Billy Connolly said "There are two seasons in Scotland: June and Winter."

Re: First two weeks tour in Europe in June: where?

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 25 March 2015 - 9:15am
mschs wrote:I was actually intending to spend a few days in Lisbon (obviously I would start away from the city). Not sure yet if I should do a circular tour (seems easier as I can leave some stuff/the bike box somewhere) or an arguably more interesting Lisbon-Faro itinerary...
By the way does anyone know of any nice lakes/rivers in the area? I wouldn't mind skipping the beach if there are some nicer/quieter spots...

Lisbon is fabulous - has the feel of a very large village sometimes! adn cycling there would be fine. One word of warning (not to try and put you off) - pick-pockets in the centre and tourist areas are absolutely endemic, shameless and the authorities uninterested. No danger of being mugged or anything nasty - just that expect there to be a hand in your pocket/bag at some time and protect valuables accordingly.

Re: so when do the shorts come out?

CTC Forum - On the road - 25 March 2015 - 9:13am
For my ten min commute I wear work clothes which, for me, means jeans

For proper cycling ten degrees C or above means shorts. I've recently got some 3/4 length tights for those borderline days. They seem good down to about 5 deg, but it depends how hard I cycle. I've on idea why I don't feel the cold between my knee and ankle, but like to cover my face with a buff below 15 deg.

Re: Tour of Brittany

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 25 March 2015 - 9:07am
RichardPH wrote:You could visit lac de Guerledan.. It's a hydro-electric lake that will be drained during the period April-September 2015 for maintenance work on the dam. This will uncover the canals and villages that were drowned when the lake was created back in the 1930s. If you like that kind of thing of course..

Yes it's already nearly empty with canal houses showing and the like - http://www.bretonbikes.com/generalartic ... ledan.html

A few points on what's been written above... Firstly on the coast about half the campsites will be open in May - inland 80%+ will be closed. Have a look here - http://www.bretonbikes.com/generalartic ... rance.html and follow the links to the camping guides etc and that section of the site has all sorts of info on touring the France/Brittany. The important thing is that you must always ring the campsite the morning you set off for it whether it claims to be open or not - because especially inland you may well be the only person on a campsite and the owner - not knowing you are coming - will be absent and everything locked up, this especially for municipal sites. Nothing is worse than cycling 50 miles to a campsite to find it closed and the nearest one 20 miles on...

Weather - likely to be mild, could be hot, prepare (as always in Europe) for rain. As a rough guide it's like a slightly warmer and drier Cornwall - and because the power of the sun is considerably higher sometimes overcast days will be 'burnt off' in a way that in Cornwall you'd be stuck with a grey day - then what rain falls does so at night. But it could chuck with rain for the week;-) Just ignore it you'll have a ball... I note 'wind' being mentioned above and I've seen it mentioned many times before in respect of Brittany. I'm a bit baffled because in 25 years of cycling here it's never struck me as a particularly windy place and because the roads tend to be winding, gently hilly and frequently sheltered by trees and hedges it's better than most parts of France. Granted at the coast it's quite different, but that applies to any coast.

Roads - off anything except red roads you'll find traffic very quiet almost everywhere inland, and drivers cycle-aware. The cyclepaths vary from tarmac, to cinder, to sand, to mud and what in some places I can only describe as rubble;-) I use 38 mm tyres on my heavy tourer and our hire bikes and on some sections you'll be very grateful for them. The road surfaces on the other hand tend to be better than the UK - and with them being so quiet there's little reason to use cyclepaths. With the exception of some sections of the North coast - especially around Plestin-Lannion etc - it's not hilly in the 'Cornish' sense - merely 'rolling' - hills being often long but well graded - usually around 5% and very rarely 10%.

Food - you've just got to eat at the 'Routier' type bar/restaurants - most large villages have one and for £9 you'll have 4-5 courses + wine and coffee - just don't arrive later than 1.00pm and expect to be fed. Ble-noir 'Crepes' or Galetes are not like normal pancakes - they are very delicious and very filling - a must try...

But May is a fabulous time to come - masses of wild flowers - Dawn Chorus you'll learn to hate - everything green and lush. Be flexible. If the weather is bad and it's wet and windy at the coast - cut inland where it's more sheltered and explore the towns, villages and countryside there - in many ways this is the really special part of Brittany especially for cyclists.

As always just get in touch for free advice - the more people I can get over here cycling the more chance there is of cyclists being treated as really important to the area and that benefits us!

Re: SUV/Lorry/BMW/Insert/delete as appropriate Driving Too C

CTC Forum - On the road - 25 March 2015 - 8:55am
The number 5 bus. IME the number 5 bus is more likely to try and squeeze through a constriction at the entrance to a mini roundabout with me than anyother type of vehicle. That means number 5 buses are the worst offenders for driving too close through mini roundabouts.

Pedestrians. They are the worst for doing that "getting out of the way" dance on mixed use paths and bridges. They are really bad for that. Perhaps we should ban them or something.

Sorry for the bad examples above. We all have our experiences of riding bicycles on the streets of the UK. If you commute at the same time each day then it is likely that you encounter the same people who also commute that way. I have identified a few cars and many cyclists who commute at about the same time as me including a few really bad and dangerous drivers. I could just put it down to them as individuals or say that because they were in a BMW then most BMW drivers drive their car in a similar way. Add more BMW drivers who do similar things and you see a pattern. Is that pattern there or is it just your localised perception of a pattern based on a few drivers who annoyed you by making you feel less than safe on the roads riding your bicycle. Do you notice those who are safe BMW drivers?

I have no idea of confirmation bias or anything like that. My view is that these threads that are started are really just about some cyclist posting about a near miss that got him or her angry or made the feel unsafe. The make or type of vehicle is not important really it is just a case of venting you spleen. That is not useful if you ask me but might help you to calm down by sharing. This is just my opinion and the reason for my original post.

so when do the shorts come out?

CTC Forum - On the road - 25 March 2015 - 8:51am
each morning for the past six weeks or so on my ride to work i have seen at least one fellow cycle commuter wearing shorts (baggy or lycra) i have been clad in pretty much full winter kit - biblongs, hat, gloves, spd boots etc
whilst not being totally brass monkeys it has been drab, damp, chilly, grim etc at 7am during this time. this got me thinking - what are the 'rules' here for when your shorts come out to play?

Re: Anyone not been hit by a car

CTC Forum - On the road - 25 March 2015 - 8:40am
pwa wrote:I think all cyclists should be required to be 6ft+ blokes weighing 14 stone or more. Drivers really don't fancy having me bounce off their bonnets and tend to give me plenty of room.
I am a 6ft, 14 stone (and a bit) bloke. That didn't stop a moron mistaking me for an empty roundabout in September 13.

Re: It me or do SUVs alway drive to close

CTC Forum - On the road - 25 March 2015 - 8:00am
mrjemm wrote:Need I explain that minivan is the American name for people-carrier?

Well you learn something new every day. BTW this isn't America and here the name minivan means one of these.

Re: SUV/Lorry/BMW/Insert/delete as appropriate Driving Too C

CTC Forum - On the road - 25 March 2015 - 7:38am
The nearest I've come to being clipped by a passing vehicle in the past couple of years was at a mini roundabout in Chipping Norton last October. The offending vehicle was a beaten up old Peugeot estate car driven by a middle aged lady in a hurry.

Lorries round my way (Vale of Glamorgan) are not usually too bad. Buses can be a bit pushy on the lanes, so I counter this by taking a more central position until I decide there is room to pass.

SUVs / Pick-ups: just like other cars, no better and no worse.

On an average 15 mile leisure ride around my area I encounter no dangerous driving and no hassle. And that is on roads (there are no cycle tracks).

Re: SUV/Lorry/BMW/Insert/delete as appropriate Driving Too C

CTC Forum - On the road - 25 March 2015 - 7:18am
It could be worth appropriate to profile el different types of drivers. I drive for 12 years and have not noticed any real difference between minivans and SUVs until I started cycling. BMW drivers however, even as a car driver, their behaviour is significant. I new a manager at my workplace who would speed in the car park like Roland Ratzenberger it was quite immusing to the other staff. I had a formal grievance with him because he had a go because I did the evil thing of looking inside of his car. Which logically is much worse then his speeding.

Re: Grab Theft - handle bar kit

CTC Forum - On the road - 25 March 2015 - 12:35am
Your sarcasm reads as nothing but a childish outburst. You should learn how to argue, then you may start to be taken seriously. If you have no argument, then you have no claim to some imagined moral high ground.

Re: Newcastle port to central station - route wanted

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 25 March 2015 - 12:27am
An alternative would be to follow the cycle paths on N & S side of the dual carriageway coast road (A1058). Not scenic, but gets you from Tynemouth to Newcastle fairly quickly. Pretty flat too.

Re: Reducing pannier weight

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 25 March 2015 - 12:15am
We're hostelling with the odd hotel so no camping stuff to carry, though my bike isn't touring specific and 13 it's years old:

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All the weight is on the back so I'm trying to keep it to a minimum.

Re: Grab Theft - handle bar kit

CTC Forum - On the road - 24 March 2015 - 11:56pm
Darn those Johnny foreigners, coming over here and stealing our British Garmin's.
Wish the OP gave more details.

What shade of skin colour?
Did the person have a limp?
What about height?
Any identifying scars ot tattoos?
Hair colour?

Thankfully this is England, and all English (true English) are easily identifiable. Hopefully
It will be easy for the local constabulary to get this pesky devil, and once again, cycling
Will be a crime free and pleasurable experience.



*Depending on location,sex,skin colour,bigotry and a whole other list of things that are
far to depressing to mention in 2015.
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