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Re: LLC and Wales Questions

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 13 January 2015 - 9:28pm
So I think if I fly into Manchester, I will take a cab to get into Chester. Will probably be pretty knackered from 15hours of travel so will consider Day 1 to be a rest day, let me get my gear and bike sorted out etc.

I am still 50/50 on Camping Gear. Will save me money on lodging (at least 1/4 the price of a B&B) but then I'd have to also find breakfast everyday, and be carrying that much more gear with me. Decisions, decisions!

Re: Front lights that are too bright

CTC Forum - On the road - 13 January 2015 - 8:43pm
I'm not sure whether the OP was talking of a recumbent here, but I don't have a mirror on my bike, it would never have occurred to me to fit one. I'm an adherent of the standard 'glance behind' practice. And I don't really need to glance behind to tell that a car is approaching me from behind at night, after all it will illuminate the road ahead of me.

Whatever your preference, don't rely on a mirror. That's a given.

Having said that, I've often, recently, been passed by cyclists going the other way with over-bright front lamps. I call this a bit anti-social. Since I invested in my Magicshine, I've been careful to flip it to the 'low' setting whenever there's anyone approaching. Or when there's a car in front going the same way as me, for that matter. I was once flashed in annoyance by a motorist, when I failed to switch the lamp in time, due to my fumbling with gloves on. But only the once.

Re: LLC and Wales Questions

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 13 January 2015 - 8:06pm
pwa wrote:Sorry, forget my earlier post. I can no longer find a list of farmers willing to take tents on a casual basis. But you might consider just turning up at a farm in a quiet location and asking. Farmers in mid Wales are generally friendly and helpful people.
Or you can try http://campinmygarden.com/

Cycle Touring Festival Clitheroe

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 13 January 2015 - 8:06pm
Hi Gary. I'm probably not going to be bike-fit unless I pull my finger out. So long as work etc pans out ok (self employed gardener) I should be able to leave on Friday? Lift share if you are feeling lazy?

I like your blog btw. I spent 20+ years in Southern Africa. I did some decent, unsupported hiking in the Chimanimani mountains and Pungwe valley (Moçambique/Zimbabwe) Stunning. Kind regards, Blair.

Re: Crossing the High Atlas passes in Morocco

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 13 January 2015 - 7:16pm
I've done the Tizi n Test. It's high but it's not that steep as I recall.I think Marrakesh is at around 400m so you get a bit of a leg up. The descent is long down into the Souss valley, so not that hairy. Pretty spectacular though.



To be honest, there's nothing different about the heights in the High Atlas compared to any other mountains I've been over. You climb up and you roll down. Yes, there are switchbacks and some steepish climbs and drops, but no more than in the Alps.

Re: LLC and Wales Questions

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 13 January 2015 - 7:07pm
I am assuming this is the route to take?
http://ridewithgps.com/routes/6794707

Re: Cycle Touring Festival Clitheroe

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 13 January 2015 - 7:07pm
Heltor Chasca wrote:
I'm hoping to come along as I've never been to Yorkshire. Exciting. Best of luck...hc

Heltor, you riding up? I should be riding up from Wiltshire, wild camping on the way.

Gary
www.longbikeride.co.uk

Re: Front lights that are too bright

CTC Forum - On the road - 13 January 2015 - 6:53pm
I wonder how long it wil take for pedestrians to be required to carry bright lights and/or hi-vis so that they aren't blamed when they are mutilated by the tin cans in the hours between sunset & sunrise.
Yes some bike lights are very bright, probably too bright for the urban environments they are used in but it's oft that they are pointing too far upwards.
That said when the police start pulling over motors for having overtly bright & misaligned lights (& I encounter them every time I'm out at night without fail) then we can then start worrying about the relatively minor problem of cyclists & their lights.

Re: Default tourer?

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 13 January 2015 - 6:42pm
I see that the "longbikeride" chap, who is pro-LHT, has the surname HEWITT

Re: Butser Hill - proposed cyclepath for the missing link

CTC Forum - On the road - 13 January 2015 - 5:52pm
CJ wrote:I don't think so. What you're talking about is Tar-macadam, i.e. macadam bound with tar usually abbreviated to tarmac. If they say plain macadam, they probably mean plain macadam, as invented by the eponymous Scottish road builder in about 1820, i.e. sharp gravel, graded to a uniform grit size that binds together when rolled.

I am no expert, but elsewhere when they just say "macadam" they seem to use it to mean mean asphalt concrete, which is the hard stuff, isn't it? For example see the same council's specification for installing vehicular crossings - compare the text on the page and the text in the linked technical drawing. But hopefully one of the local CTC folk involved in the campaign will be able to enlighten us with the right answer.

Re: Front lights that are too bright

CTC Forum - On the road - 13 January 2015 - 5:24pm
I'm minded to point out that the same could be true of following someone with ultra bright rear lights as well, especially if on a commute (which could be often).

I have these very bright rear light on a couple of bikes, which I have tilted down (just like a front light). They still give an intense glow, but it's not weapons grade/lazer standard to the eyes. They also bathe the road in a swathe of red light.

Re: Front lights that are too bright

CTC Forum - On the road - 13 January 2015 - 5:08pm
Are we to assume then that the light from the cyclist behind you is somehow stopping your ears from working?

Re: Front lights that are too bright

CTC Forum - On the road - 13 January 2015 - 4:14pm
mjr, you are correct that I should not rely on mirrors, and at junctions and such like I do not, but for keeping a watch for cars etc approaching from behind on the open road mirrors are very useful; except when there is a following cyclist with a dazzling light

Re: Cycle Schemes - are they still worth it?

CTC Forum - On the road - 13 January 2015 - 4:12pm
Its not simply finding out if the shop you want to use does cycle scheme, its whether your employer is signed to a scheme they work with. We supply through @ a dozen Cycle scheme providers but there are still others we don't deal with, its vital for the shop to know which scheme you are buying through as they each have different requirements and schemes like Evan's are only available through their store (Halfords scheme can sometimes be used in other stores, check with your shop!)

Re: Cycle Schemes - are they still worth it?

CTC Forum - On the road - 13 January 2015 - 3:49pm
I didn't realise that the scheme had changed. I'm after a new bike - seen one around the £750 mark and would need panniers and mudguards - so just over £800. I thought that with a 42% saving this would knock the cost down to under £500. The downside for me was having to wait until the end of the year as our scheme is open between November and January - finished now.

I'll have to see if there is any info anywhere at work. They did have a 'benefits' day at work a couple of months ago and someone from Evans was there. He didn't know that much about it - mentioned a nominal payment at the end of the term of probably £1 to buy the bike - but nothing else. That said, this was in November.

This maybe good news in a way for me - although I'll not be saving £300+, I could pick up my new bike earlier. I was looking at using Edinburgh Cycles (not actually sure if they do C2W) and am now wondering whether just going for it and getting the bike and negotiating a small discount may be better.

Will have to start doing my homework now to see if the bike that looks good on paper is actually suitable - thought I had another 10 months to choose.

Re: Default tourer?

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 13 January 2015 - 3:26pm
I have been riding a Thorn Club Tour as a commuter (over dark and dirty country lanes) and a leisure bike for quite a few years. I don't remember when I bought it, but it was when they cost £699! It's gone through a few pairs of wheels and numerous chain rings, and I'm no longer sure how much of it is original, but I still use it as much as I did when it was new.

If it had been a lighter frame it would probably have met its end several years ago when I was floored by a van at low speed. I rolled, and the bike disappeared under the front of the van. I got up (bruised) and the driver and myself pulled the bike out. The frame was practically unmarked, and everything was working perfectly.

For a commute over hilly terrain and with some poor road surfaces this style of bike is unbeatable, especially when you consider the ability to carry panniers with changes of clothing etc. About the only thing I would change if I were buying today would be the brakes. I would prefer discs to avoid having to replace wheels due to worn rims.

Re: carrying luggage on a carbon road bike

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 13 January 2015 - 3:14pm
I am always impressed at how little space people can manage with. Even CC touring i need 4 panniers, a handlebar bar bag and the trailer to pull the small generator for in between cafe cups of tea. There's nothing like being able to get the Swan whistling kettle out with the toasted sandwich maker, whilst grooming one's beard.

Re: Cycle Schemes - are they still worth it?

CTC Forum - On the road - 13 January 2015 - 3:11pm
I bought a Brompton (approx £950) as a higher rate taxpayer. Left at the end of the year and was taxed on a nominal value of £250. So, I saved the tax on £700 of the cost.

Re: Front lights that are too bright

CTC Forum - On the road - 13 January 2015 - 2:14pm
mjr wrote:You should not rely on your mirrors and you have two options to deal with dazzle: 1. stop; 2. ask the dazzler to dip their light.

Dazzling lights are illegal but the number of dazzling cars out there suggests that the police don't prosecute many.

The police in some cases are just as guilty.
Some chap had been pulled over last night and was being questioned by the boys in blue. Their car was parked behind the questioned drivers car and the blue lights flashing for all they were worth. I couldn't see a thing until I was past them.
Further on, a police van was parked on the left right in front of a zebra crossing and again, I couldn't see if anyone was crossing from in front of it.

Re: Cycle Schemes - are they still worth it?

CTC Forum - On the road - 13 January 2015 - 1:33pm
Yes if the company is vat registered I think. Were not so I don't know... Oddly you also save more if you earn more. Higher rate tax payers save something like 40%.
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