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Re: How to convince others cycle touring is safe?

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 15 February 2015 - 5:58pm
I think that by the age of 30 you have to stop worrying too much about their anxieties, and they need to let you go ...
If they are really concerned there's probably no cure, but obviously you will want to minimise their anxieties. I think the best approach is probably to do what you can to show them that you are preparing sensibly, researching your route, and any specific legal requirements applying to cyclists in the countries you will pass through. And so on. Arrange a way to keep in touch (and make sure that you do so!)
Have a dip into http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/?o=Sh Look to see how others have fared. You could even consider showing some accounts to your folks - it might help them, to realise others have been before - and survived!
If you can post an outline of your route you could hope to get tips from members who have been that way.
Going a long way sounds like a bigger deal but isn't necessarily more dangerous.
How are you planning to return?

Re: Tipper crash in Bath

CTC Forum - On the road - 15 February 2015 - 5:34pm
I think its more likely to be simply because its a small engine. Accelerates well with the help of a turbo, but on overrun there's no turbo assistance. I have been told that the reason for preferring slowing on the brakes these days is because it uses less fuel and produces less pollution.

A couple more technical points: Trucks have something more than the engine braking that car drivers might experience. It's variously called the retarder or the exhaust brake - a metal flap in the exhaust manifold swings into place and almost completely blocks the exhaust. At the instant this happens the fuel supply is cut off and the work of compressing air and forcing it through the exhaust has a braking effect that can help avoid overheating the brakes on a long descent. It often only works on the top couple of gears. You can't do this on cars and vans because the engines just aren't built strongly enough to survive the pressures.
Its been a while since I've used a truck with a crawler gear but the ones I saw were a super low gear, non synchromesh and quite difficult to get into if moving. More for steep ascents really. Automatic trucks have a crawler (snail actually!) setting, but that is strictly for manoeuvring. You have to be briefly stationary to be able to select it.

I was shocked by his age too - when I took my class2 you had to be 21 even for 7.5 tonnes, so I looked it up. Today, as long as you successfully complete a New Driver CPC first you can hold an LGV provisional from your 18th birthday. Personally I feel that some practical experience of driving would be appropriate too, but the law doesn't. A loaded tipper is a bit of a beast to cut your teeth on.
I feel as much sympathy for those who have perished, and their friends and families as anyone. I also feel a deal of sympathy for the young truck driver. He and his family have invested a lot of time and money to get him his licence, and at the time of writing there is no reason to believe that he has done anything outrageous. Something went horribly wrong and he didn't have much experience to help him cope (but then he wasn't required to have that experience). I see a young man who has worked hard towards a goal and now sees his dreams in ruins. I imagine it'll be a while before he can sleep without "assistance".

Re: Pannier Security on Tour

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 15 February 2015 - 5:32pm
If I stop 'en route' fully loaded its often not practical or possible to put the bags somewhere safe or carry them. The Bar bag goes where I go, it has all the valuables and is never left unattended. the other bags I lock up to the bike. Of course pump, bottles, tool kit etc are removed and 'hidden' inside a bag. Yes its not exactly high security and anyone could get into the bags however there is nothing in them that couldn't be replaced, an inconvenience yes but its a chance you take after all a locked car is only as secure as the location of a nearby brick! Much like leaving your tent on a campsite, there isn't much point in locking it, that may well attract attention, thieves want shiny stuff they can sell on quickly and easily not a grubby sleeping bag and dirty stove - even if they did cost £400!

I think you are making something of a statement by leaving the bags under 'light' security that there's nothing worth stealing inside.

That said, I would probably be more circumspect in a big city, poorer countries etc where the very fact I'm a tourist/foreigner means I am rich and my stuff must be worth stealing.

Re: How to convince others cycle touring is safe?

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 15 February 2015 - 5:19pm
You won't be able to convince anybody back home that it is safe; also their sentiments probably include 'missing you' as well as genuine concern for your safety. You are as likely to get knocked off your bike or mugged in London or Manchester as you are in any overseas city, but there is an intrinsic xenophobia amongst us that can heighten the fear of overseas travel. Of course, some countries are very dangerous, but not really Rotterdam to Istanbul.

If I were you, I would remain resolute in your determination to travel and try to allay fears of others by keeping regular contact and explaining to them how you are going to do this. This can even include tracking your progress by various apps; social media; blogs; or just plain old regular contact.

It won't make the depart any easier, but it will make it more manageable the further into the trip you complete!

Good luck - it sounds like a great trip!

Re: Pannier Security on Tour

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 15 February 2015 - 5:17pm
I've padlocked panniers to my bike before but that won't stop anyone rifling through the bag. On tour I quite often have washing hanging from my panniers (buckle the bag through the leg of cycling shorts for instance) and I figure that acts as a slight deterrent . Otherwise all valuables are in the bar bag which gets taken everywhere I go (except my tablet computer that's too big so is stuffed at the bottom of the cloths pannier... don't tell anyone!).

But still I'm not happy leaving it unattended like that for long. Once we asked the ticket office of a tourist place whether we can store our panniers with them and they said yes. Otherwise maybe you can find left luggage at a station? Or the Dutch fietsenstalling often have lockers and in the past we have kept our panniers there whilst sightseeing. Not sure carrying your bags with you is an option unless you pack very light!

The pacsafe looks good but I've always wondered whether you're drawing attention to the fact you've got something valuable in there.

Re: What bicycle parts have you carried onto a plane?

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 15 February 2015 - 5:17pm
I've certainly taken shoes and pedals in the cabin but I really wouldn't risk anything else. I once had a cable, to use with my lock, taken but they left me the cable lock! It really is luck of the draw getting stuff through. In theory nail scissors are allowed but I know several people who've had them stolen by 'security', and it is stealing, you have no option to claim stuff on your return, they take it and you lose it.

Re: What bicycle parts have you carried onto a plane?

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 15 February 2015 - 5:10pm
In theory, anything that is not on this list can be carried in the aircraft cabin. The unpredictability of the whole exercise starts with the caveat "Airport security staff won’t let anything through that they consider dangerous - even if it’s normally allowed in hand luggage".

The key thing to success is being very polite and allowing plenty of time to call for supervisors if need be. You could print out the Govmint list and take it with you to show you had done your research and were taking its advice in good faith.

Re: Marrakech to the High Atlas - December (Parts 1 - 5)

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 15 February 2015 - 4:47pm
That made me smile Phil. Great pic.

Re: Marrakech to the High Atlas - December (parts 1 -3)

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 15 February 2015 - 4:27pm
Farawayvisions wrote:Thanks Phil The goats climb into the Argan trees to eat the argan nuts.

Re: How to convince others cycle touring is safe?

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 15 February 2015 - 3:58pm
Rotterdam to Istanbul is probably just as dangerous as spending the same amount of time cycling around England.

Re: What bicycle parts have you carried onto a plane?

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 15 February 2015 - 3:44pm
I regularly fly wearing cycling shoes (with cleats) and have never had a problem. (You just have to remember to take them off and put them through the x-ray machine at the security check, or they set off the metal detectors.) Bike helmet is also straightforward.

The other stuff I'd be inclined not to risk -- unless you're confident that you'll be able to pick up replacements at the other end if a security person decides that an inner tube is a potential weapon...

Re: How to convince others cycle touring is safe?

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 15 February 2015 - 3:22pm
Hey there,

I am in a similar situation, I am planning a round the world tour with my girlfriend from Reading, Berkshire to Reading, Pennsylvania heading east. My Parents have expressed similar concerns and to be honest they would rather us stay home as opposed to a round the world 2 year trip!

I think parents are always going to worry and there is not much you can do, but what I have found helpful is involve them as much as possible in planning-talking about the trip seems to have calmed them down and I have agreed to certain sensible conditions to keep them sane like regular phone calls/skype and a spare credit card if we need to get home in a hurry.

I think cycle tourist have a different view of the world and that it is not as dangerous as the news/media make out so don't let them dissuade you, enjoy yourself since you don't want to look back in thirty years regretfully.


I am making a blog on your plans/trip which we intend to depart in may so check it out

Re: What bicycle parts have you carried onto a plane?

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 15 February 2015 - 3:15pm
I once carried my Brookes and seat post but that was pre 9/11.

The only thing on your list that I have taken post 9/11 is a bike helmet. I wouldn't risk any of those other items.

Re: How to convince others cycle touring is safe?

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 15 February 2015 - 3:08pm
My first thought is to tell your parents to grow up, but that probably won't help.

I have no idea of how dangerous it is compared to any other activity, but i am sure that most of us don't think it is dangerous and to be honest Netherlands to Istanbul isn't really very far!

Personally I very rarely think about it and I regularly cycle in some less than safe places eg India, Vietnam and England. I am currently in Thailand which I think feels like a very safe country to cycle but a recent discussion on another forum revealed that there are something like 25000 (yes 25 and 3 0s) road deaths a year, compared to about 1800 in the UK.

I have no idea how to convince your parents. I never had that problem. Mine came out of the war and perceived danger in a different way. I was encouraged to do stuff.

I am sure you can find all sorts of hazards for interailing - I remember stories of people being drugged and robbed a few years ago. Very scarey!

You could collate all the people who have made such a trip and lived to tell the tale. You can tell them that it isn't really a very big trip compared to many. Show them some of the trips on crazyguy so they realise that there are actualy quite a lot of us out here hapily pedalling every day.

You can work out all sorts of strategies to convince your parents but the bottom line is that they have just got to let you go. They have got to realise how much you will get out of the trip and how it all benefit you in so many ways. If the worst happens at least you were trying to do something beyond the norm.

Re: Walking bike

CTC Forum - On the road - 15 February 2015 - 3:01pm
Postboxer wrote:I've always thought about how a rowing machine bike would work, someone must have done it.

Indeed they have, there are even competitions for them in the Netherlands...

Thys Rowbike

My arms are to my legs what T. Rex's forelegs were to his hindlegs, I'm not planning on trying one any time soon.

What bicycle parts have you carried onto a plane?

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 15 February 2015 - 2:28pm
I am flying from Heathrow to Milan for a bike tour. I will be packing my bike in a case and, due to weight restriction, I may have to carry some of my metal and other bits in my carry-on luggage.

My question is what bicycle parts have you successfully taken through airport security in Hethrow?

The things I might need to carry-on:

Brooks bicycle seat
SPD pedals
Road Morph tire pump
Cleated Biking shoes
Bicycle helmet (wear this?)
Aluminum tire levers

Re: How to convince others cycle touring is safe?

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 15 February 2015 - 2:27pm
Its sad though , we live in a world where you cant cycle or camp outside without family or friends worrying. I talk about irrational fear but in another context, then neatly shift it across to camping...

Re: Pannier Security on Tour

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 15 February 2015 - 2:03pm
There is an item called a "PacSafe"

Designed for securing rucksacks, but the 120 l version will encase the back end of a bicycle including panniers, then simply cinch at the bottom bracket and the rack fixings.

Not 100%, but would deter the basic opportunistic theft

Re: How to convince others cycle touring is safe?

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 15 February 2015 - 1:41pm
This topic has been covered a couple of times before


And this one has some stuff about women's clothing that you may not be interested in, but also discussed dealing with parents' worry


Re: Sunday Times: drivers should pass close

CTC Forum - On the road - 15 February 2015 - 1:37pm
irc wrote:Like present day Glasgow then. I'm still amazed despite decades living here at peds who walk across busy roads without looking at traffic and just trust that nobody will hit them.

Indeed - when I first moved to Glasgow 35 years ago I hit 6 pedestrians in the first 6 months . Or be precise, they hit me, sometimes when I wasn't even moving. One was a very smartly dressed woman in a pale Barbour coat which suffered a dirty great smear from my front wheel. In a very posh accent she said, "I'm frightfully sorry, that was was entirely my fault." "Yes, it was!" I replied, and rode off.

Neither they nor I ever hit the deck, and I got wise to their unexpected manoeuvres.
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