Feed aggregator

Re: America: the bizarre

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 27 January 2016 - 2:15pm
While we're ignoring the OP and going with dodgy statistics; I just thought I'd throw this into the pot...

Homicides USA : UK
Absolute ratio: 18 : 1
Per head of population: 3.8 : 1
Per square mile: 1 : 2.1

Thereby proving that the US is actually a safer place to be than the UK.

V.

Re: Daytime red flashing lights

CTC Forum - On the road - 27 January 2016 - 2:14pm
Similar subject on the As Easy as Riding a Bike blog https://aseasyasridingabike.wordpress.com/2016/01/27/invisibility/

Re: Daytime red flashing lights

CTC Forum - On the road - 27 January 2016 - 2:13pm
Downloaded the doc on rear lights or rather the history of road conflict 1926 to 35. Its is 27 pages long and quick dipping into it suggests well worth reading.

The key issue beig the one of transferring responsibility to cyclists etc from the source of the danger, motorists.

Back in the 1970s when I was in the Scouts, when we did night hikes we were told to carry a white light at the front and a red one at the back as a line of 5 or more people was considered to be a vehicle. We also walked along facing the oncoming traffic as per the Highway Code. I've no idea if that is still the practice. My daughter's Guide troop don't do nights hikes.

Re: Downside to cheaper petrol.

CTC Forum - On the road - 27 January 2016 - 2:10pm
squeaker wrote:whoof wrote:As a coincidence two people have just left where I work and now have jobs in Plymouth and Brixham. Both have chosen to live near Exeter as they said they liked it more. They are driving 100 & 70 miles a day respectively, not out of necessity but as a life style choice.Wonder how that affects the quality of their work And even more so... I wonder how that affects their family life...

Re: Daytime red flashing lights

CTC Forum - On the road - 27 January 2016 - 2:05pm
Bicycler wrote:SA_SA_SA wrote:OldGreyBeard wrote:....I've heard that the CTC was opposed to compulsory rear lights before. Where can I find out more about this?
http://forum.ctc.org.uk/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=83340&hilit=rear
That's the one I was looking for earlier. Ta.

My late father, a CTC member in the 1930s, remembered this as a hugely emotive issue among cyclists. Incidentally he also recalled massive arguments over possible compulsion to use cycle tracks alongside the new by-passes which were being built around the country, still highly topical now.

Back to the thread, I reluctantly feel the need to use daytime flashing lights on certain local roads. For example there's a narrow, fast, rural B road with open stretches alternating with darker tunnels of trees. The flashing light undoubtedly makes the cyclist visible from far greater distances and may just make a driver reconsider a dangerous overtaking move. I really do resent having to dress like a Christmas tree in broad daylight but I do feel safer.

Re: New Zealand Tour

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 27 January 2016 - 1:04pm
Most commercial NZ campsites have a kitchen / dining room which should allow you to charge your phone. Generally if it's a touristy area then you will find a private campsite in addition to DoC ones. Cafe availability is comparable to Northern Scotland.

Re: Daytime red flashing lights

CTC Forum - On the road - 27 January 2016 - 12:27pm
Using the roads is a matter of choreography, with various forms of road user all trying to use the space without colliding. It is appropriate to talk about rights and responsibilities, but we also have to talk about practical things that can help the choreography to work better. If someone suggests that compulsory bike lighting during the day will help, I am willing to listen. In the meantime I will continue using daytime lights on dull days.

Re: Daytime red flashing lights

CTC Forum - On the road - 27 January 2016 - 12:17pm
Heltor Chasca wrote:pwa wrote:I would not be too bothered if it became compulsory to have daytime lights. I already use them on very overcast days, and it would be no hardship to extend that to all days. I had no idea that CTC had opposed cyclists having to use lights at night. I find that astonishing.

I think this is closest to my view. The activist in me wants freedom of choice and no more laws that are impossible to police and only used in the post-sense (extreme example: tough luck, the cyclist wasn't wearing hi-viz.) In the meanwhile I'm going to increase my chances of a safe trip. I don't wear a lid or hi-viz, but I like to light up.

Our road culture is what needs changing. We need to change to opinions of the driving instructors, examiners, police, learner drivers, the Highway Code, current drivers' attitudes, the road infrastructure, and so on and so on. The task is mammoth. Presently the UK isn't a safe environment to cycle mainly because of attitude and infrastructure. How do you go about adjusting the culture of an entire nation? Sheesh...b

If it makes you feel a bit more optimistic, my son's driving instructor (about 3 years ago) emphasised the need to give cyclists room when passing. He told my son to imagine that the cyclist was someone he knew and cared about.

Re: Daytime red flashing lights

CTC Forum - On the road - 27 January 2016 - 12:13pm
The expectation was that drivers should be able to stop within the distance that their headlights shone.

Imagine if people drove like that still, if they ever did.
It does seem that drivers expect the road ahead to be clear all the time.

Re: Commuting lights

CTC Forum - On the road - 27 January 2016 - 12:09pm
[quote="SA_SA_SA"]I have suggested to the UN-ECE that they ban cold white lamps* (only fair as they no longer allow harmless selective yellow dipped headlamps). *Because the eye is more sensitive to blue at night but intensity measurements like candelas do not allow for this; also I have read that blue light may cause some people more discomfort than even that would explain...... /quote]My suspicions also concerning the blue end of the spectrum, especially how that is accounted for in the spill area of headlight beams - some eg early Jaguars IME, seemed particularly bad.

Re: How dangerous is this?

CTC Forum - On the road - 27 January 2016 - 12:02pm
Tangled Metal wrote:As I said Denmark and Netherlands have a cycling culture with a lot higher uptake for day to.day transport. Motorists are more aware of this, of cyclists and generally more accepting/patient. Netherlands has some excellent between town cycle routes, I've ridden a few. I've also hired a bike in Amsterdam. I'd never, ever do that in London. In fact I doubt I'll ever drive in London let alone ride.

Those two cycling nations I mentioned, partly because people are defending this as being ok because the Dutch do out, but mostly because IME of Netherlands and from a Danish friend cycling in those countries is a lot safer.

However safe the country is I still cannot accept that it is safe for a 2 year old child. Even on.Netherlands I'm sure they'd question it. Factor in our nation's attitude to cyclists, the difficulty/near impossibility of seeing a child carried that way from a car travelling behind and potential steering issues from a wriggling 10+kg load on the bars. I see no way it can be safe enough for me to do that.

One last question for those parents out there, did you ever carry one of your kids that way when they were 2 years old? Would you personally carry a 2 year old over the bars without any proper seat if that child meant something to you? Genuine question. If you wouldn't then how can you defend others making that choice?
But people do stuff like this all over the world, even in countries (China and India, for example) where cycling is statistically much less safe than it is in the UK. That said, the government int he Netherlands do recommend that parents use child seats and restraints when cycling with children. However, the Dutch assiduously avoid suggesting the anything to do with bicycles might be dangerous. It puts people off cycling.

Maybe you'd never cycle in London, but plenty of people do. As mjr said, there's clearly a different level of acceptability in danger between you and at least some of us.

I have to admit that I never carried my kids that way. I wouldn't have carried my kids that way, if they didn't have anything to sit on. I think it would be a bit much for me to try to support a child and control a bike at the same time. Also, it's illegal in the UK. Even if I felt comfortable doing it, I wouldn't do it in the UK just because it is illegal.

That said, if I weren't worried about the legality, and I were in a situation where I had to get a bike and a child someplace that was too far for the child to walk? I don't know, I might consider rigging something to hold a child in place on my body, or maybe the handlebars. I don't think that there are any sort of approved slings for handlebars, but I think that would be the easiest way to secure a child with items (such as a scarf) that might be readily available. For a two year old, I would think that the handlebars would be safer than a rear rack, as they're less likely to get feet into the spokes.

The one time that I had to get two kids and a bike a few miles without other sort of transport readily available, I put one kid on the rack, and one kid on the saddle and walked the bike. But I had the time to do so. Frankly, if it had been just one kid, I'm not sure what I would have done, because walking on rural lanes for an hour and a half with two kids on my bike was absolutely no fun, and I felt rather more vulnerable than I would have done riding the same distance in a half hour or so, even with a child sitting on the rack, or something.

Re: Commuting lights

CTC Forum - On the road - 27 January 2016 - 11:31am
While I find warm/neutral white projector headlamps in usual 2.5in size OK, a local bus had 2in ones, and they were horrible even under streetlamps (what does a bus need projector headlamps for?).

I have suggested to the UN-ECE that they ban cold white lamps* (only fair as they no longer allow harmless selective yellow dipped headlamps). *Because the eye is more sensitive to blue at night but intensity measurements like candelas do not allow for this; also I have read that blue light may cause some people more discomfort than even that would explain......

A dual filament headlamp only uses one half of the reflector for dipped beam, so counting the whole headlamp area in lit size might be unfair to other single filament lamps: would 60% of size be fairer?

Cycle lamps have also got smaller** and colder(blue-er):
I chose a Herrmans S-One v2 on grounds of it being less blue (neutral white) but the lens is still only 2in diameter compared to 3in of an old fashioned E6 etc.
My folder has a neutral white Stzvo Lidl battery lamp of similar diameter but this has an unshielded 1/0.5W LED front emitter* which I would prefer to avoid: is that bare emitter worse than a colder colour but shielded emitter?. *it would be more efficient and less dazzling with a side emitter but these seem rare now....

**I blame the fairly recent Stzvo front retroreflector requirement.....

I often see cars with only one bad dipped headlamp, which would suggest dazzle by misalignment (or broken stepper motors) rather than by design.

The seat leon LED headlamps seemed coldish white but not dazzling when I saw one under streetlamps (I was pleasantly surprised except for the colour). But I wish the marketing persons idea that cold white headlamps are 'cool' could be bypassed/overruled by technical persons...

I also wonder if clear lens dipped headlamps are as evenly illuminated as old fashioned fresnel lens ones?

Is there any motoring equivalent of CJ who would be able to point to/explain the relevant parts of the ECE headlamp rules to allow it to be seen if modern rubbish headlamps are due to oversight*** (and naughty lamp designers making use of it) or deliberate stupidity (Brucey's idea that they are specifying a sharper cutoff so that the main bright part of the dipped beam is less dipped below horizontal). Or a mix .

***Until recently car headlamps were always big so perhaps they did just assume that would continue; also cycle lamp standards just assumed cycle lamps would be smaller than those large car lamps and impose a lower above cutoff intensity limit.

Re: Daytime red flashing lights

CTC Forum - On the road - 27 January 2016 - 11:16am
Me too. It's from an old edition of Punch. Credit goes to forum member Squeaker for posting it some time back

Re: Daytime red flashing lights

CTC Forum - On the road - 27 January 2016 - 11:12am
I love that cartoon.

Re: Daytime red flashing lights

CTC Forum - On the road - 27 January 2016 - 11:07am
pwa wrote:I would not be too bothered if it became compulsory to have daytime lights. I already use them on very overcast days, and it would be no hardship to extend that to all days. I had no idea that CTC had opposed cyclists having to use lights at night. I find that astonishing.
It is seldom any great inconvenience if we are forced to do what we already do. It is the way that this compulsion might affect others which is of concern.

The CTC's stance is ridiculous today with todays accepted norms, but made sense in the context of the era. The road environment was completely different. Traffic was slower and initially no vehicles were required to have rear lights. The expectation was that drivers should be able to stop within the distance that their headlights shone. The possibility of ploughing into a slow moving truck if you travelled too fast provided a very good incentive to follow the advice. It was feared that the proposed introduction of rear lights and the extension of them to cycles would tempt drivers to exceed the safe speed knowing that any vehicle further in front ought to be actively lit. I think it is fair to say that this is exactly what has happened since. The cycle light technology of the time was dim and unreliable and a vehicle driving in such a manner looking for lights on a car or truck might not be able to stop in time upon noticing the faint cycle lamp.

It also has to be understood that this was a time of fairly powerful pedestrian and cycle campaigns (CTC membership alone was huge) at loggerheads with and suspicious of anything proposed by the influential motor lobbyists. The motor lobby sought to increase speeds and shift responsibility for the huge number of deaths their machines were causing onto the people who were being injured. In the US, in light of large number of motor vehicles striking pedestrians the lobby had successfully campaigned to legislate to prevent pedestrians crossing the road with its 'jaywalking' campaigns. Everything was seen in that light. This is how a contemporary magazine saw the situation

Re: Old A roads

CTC Forum - On the road - 27 January 2016 - 11:03am
On this subject, I would cite the old A 590 section from Gillpin Bridge around and under Whitbarrow Scar, though it is getting badly splayed at the edges!
A lot of touring cyclists use this route to get into the South Lakes.
A good tip here is to ride through the Arnside and Silverdale ANOB and get the train the one stop over the viaduct to Grange Over Sands.
That's of course if you want to avoid the A590 corridor from Levens Bridge entirely.

Re: Downside to cheaper petrol.

CTC Forum - On the road - 27 January 2016 - 9:53am
Community buses are a whole nother thread

If other resources, such as public transport are not going to be adequate for all members of a community, then public funding should provide at least the bus, fuel, and training/licencing for volunteers.

p.s. maybe community buses should be exmpt from fuel duty, too

Re: Russia

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 27 January 2016 - 9:52am
dondelion wrote:Russia is amazing for touring. Camp where you like. Loads of crazy but kind people living tough lives who would feed and shelter you at a moment's notice. Really cheap outside the cities. Wilder wilds than you can imagine. I love it but it is very remote. I remember asking when the next shop was and being told 200km. And you're right about the bugs, but they aren't everywhere.
It helps greatly if you can speak Russian but Couchsurfing and social media are really popular and looking after guests is an implicit part of the culture. The roads are terrible everywhere and drivers can be erratic but where else can you look out over 5000km of forests from on top of a mountain, get drunk with Buddhists and Muslims together, ride 5 days with no towns then reach a city where everyone is dressed in designer clothes and eats sushi. Bonkers place.
Summer before last I rode the Sayan Loop from Abakan in Southern Siberia down through Tuva and back again. I climbed to 3000m and rode for 4 days only seeing 2 houses, on pristine tarmac mind (the Ussinsky Trakt M54), swum in rivers and basked in 30 degrees. Stunning and remote and not like anywhere else I've been except Mongolia. And the Chusky Trakt (M52) from Altai into Mongolia was fabulous. As was riding from Vladikavkaz, Ossetia to Tbilisi on the Georgian Military Highway last year.
Future plans for me include the Kolyma Highway from Magadan to Yakutsk and the Russian Far East. There are of course loads of remote, long distance roads. I met a Russian 60 year old touring cyclist who rode from Yamal on the north Arctic coast back home to southern Siberia using only hunters tracks. It took him 4 months and he carried 2 weeks of food and 10 inner tubes. He only saw 2 bears. Luckily for them as he carried a taser. Each night outside his tent he put up an infrared beam attached to an alarm.
As long as you are self sufficient and open to anything and everything going right or wrong, you should love it.

Totally agree with you. Russia is great! Of course, there are drawbacks, but if you're after wilderness / wildness and wonderful people and a crazy time where anything can happen, then go get that visa. I took the train from Moscow to Irkutsk, and have cycled near Lake Baikal in the Altai and also along the Kolyma Highway - about 4-5 months worth in total...

Re: Daytime red flashing lights

CTC Forum - On the road - 27 January 2016 - 9:51am
Boris Bikes, the London bike-scheme bikes, have always-on lights. They are powered by a hub dynamo. You can't turn them off. They aren't particularly bright.

I have fitted always-on Reelights to my commuting bikes. They don't even have a switch on them, you can't turn them off. They have no batteries and are permanently attached. They are LED lights powered by a small current created by the motion of a magnet on the spokes past the light, with a capacitor to keep them going when you stop at the lights. They are similar to Boris Bike lights in power and action, but the generator operates differently. When it is actually dark, or very dim, I also use powerful lights which are removable and have switches, but the Reelights create a back-up for when the other lights go flat/broken/lost.

I have observed that when it is a bit dim, eg due to heavy cloud or rain, lights make bicycles much more visible. So I am content to have always-on lights on my commuting bikes. I think it would be wrong to prevent me.

I don't use them on my touring bikes.

Re: Daytime red flashing lights

CTC Forum - On the road - 27 January 2016 - 9:46am
I use a flashing front light in the probably vain hope that it will register in the brain of a motorist about to pull out in front of me.
Many motorists don't register anything smaller than a car I'm just hoping the light makes a difference.
I have a bright rear light in the hope that on winding roads and in shadow under trees, an approaching motorist will register my presence earlier (if he happens to look up from reading a text etc).
Probably there is only a marginal advantage if any - I'm not sure about raising the bar - courts, CPS, police all seem to operate on the principle that a cyclist is reckless for being on the road in any case.
Syndicate content

About

CTC

Archive

  • Patron: Her Majesty The Queen
  • President: Jon Snow
  • Chief Executive: Paul Tuohy
  • Cyclists' Touring Club (CTC): A company limited by guarantee, registered in England no.25185. Registered as a charity in England and Wales No 1147607 and in Scotland No SC042541

Copyright © CTC 2015

Terms and Conditions