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Re: What do you do when the going gets tough?

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 1 hour 33 min ago
I get in touch with the support crew. Weather that's the people I'm riding with or someone who really knows me at the end of the phone. I've never been somewhere so remote that I can't get in touch, if I was even writing a letter might have the same effect. Just sharing it helps me, I once thanked a girlfriend from talking me out of packing something in and her recollection was that she'd said no such thing I'd done all the talking!

Re: What do you do when the going gets tough?

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 1 hour 50 min ago
Very good question.

My 'strategy' has always been - since I was a young cross country and long distance runner - was counting 1 to 8 and repeating, timed with strides or pedal strokes and breathing. Sometimes when climbing out of the saddle I would take this up to twelve. Counting and concentrating on breathing are crucial to me when I am finding it difficult - it is a bit like a mind game where you take the focus of the actual cycling. Everything else is immaterial - your movement, breathing and focus are fixated on simply moving forward.

Also, another technique I found that worked when I was recently cycling a lot of ascents in western Scotland was to focus on your 'sphere of influence', that is, the space immediately around you and taking control of it. Don't look into the distance but concentrate on the road right in front of you - can you cycle what you see, that small amount of road in front of you? Of course you can! And keep on pushing on within this 'sphere of influence', counting, deep breathing through your nostrils and letting it all out from your mouth. Big gulps of air! Counting! Before you know it you are at the top of or over the descent. Change down gears straight away to slow down your cadence and switch from cardio-vascular to muscular strength. This alternating, I have found, is brilliant for improving your cycling.

When I am climbing long ascents on my touring bike I very often change down a gear or two to make this switch and sometimes go over the summit half way down my cassette rather than being in the 'granny gear'.

Sometimes my strongest riding has been the final 2-3 hours of a 6 or 7 hour ride, when earlier on I have found myself really struggling. Eat and drink plenty. Keep on feeding your muscles with oxygen and you should get your 2nd, 3rd or 4th wind.

Another one, and this is a real beauty and probably the best one, is to shout out loud, ''Living the dream, baby!!''

Take a moment to take stock of what you're doing and where you are, relax, be positive and get going again.

Hope some of this helps.

PS: I have just read a couple of other comments and I have to agree - if you really are in a position where you can not go any further or you have had enough, come to a decision quickly and go and find yourself somewhere to stop for the rest of the day - wild camp, camp site, B&B, etc. You will immediately take the pressure off yourself and this can have immediate affect - you've suddenly changed all the demands you were facing into newer, more tangible ones - put up your tent, cook some food, hydrate, write a post card, have a sleep!!

Re: North Coast 500 - Scotland???

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 1 hour 58 min ago
FarOeuf wrote:I wouldn't recommend relying on NC500 signs, better to have the route mapped out before you go.


Indeed, though that's been true of every signed route (UK, France, Germany, Spain) I've been on.
The worst are those with loads of signs that lull you into a false sense of security, than have one missing at the bottom of a climb or the end of a long day.

Re: Red light jumper arrested fined and point on licence

CTC Forum - On the road - 2 hours 14 min ago
I appreciate that this (OP) incident took place in Germany NOT the UK.

I understood that in the UK, should you be caught committing a road offence that you could not be given points on your driving license. Assuming that is the case (I'm no expert, just what I've read/picked-up), what would happen if somebody with a UK license got booked for the same offence in Germany ? (points on their UK license). Or somebody from the UK without a license (probably similar situation to somebody with a UK license) ?

Ian

Re: Pontypool/Usk area

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 2 hours 47 min ago
I'm cycling to Usk next week but apart from that (and irresistable puns like "I was going to Usk...") I cannot help.

Re: Red light jumper arrested fined and point on licence

CTC Forum - On the road - 2 hours 56 min ago
Mark1978 wrote:reohn2 wrote:Manc33 wrote: I got told by a bus driver buses being too early is a far worse thing than buses being too late, that's good standards isn't it lol.

I suspect that's because if a bus is on time or late it'll collect more passengers than if it's early

It's because if a passenger arrives at the bus stop say 2 minutes before the scheduled time and the bus has already gone they won't be best pleased. I've had this happen to be more such that I had to go to the bus stop 10 minutes before the scheduled time, at which point it invariably arrives late and it gets to being that you're spending more time waiting for the bus than on it.

That was my meaning.

Re: Red light jumper arrested fined and point on licence

CTC Forum - On the road - 3 hours 2 min ago
reohn2 wrote:Manc33 wrote: I got told by a bus driver buses being too early is a far worse thing than buses being too late, that's good standards isn't it lol.

I suspect that's because if a bus is on time or late it'll collect more passengers than if it's early

It's because if a passenger arrives at the bus stop say 2 minutes before the scheduled time and the bus has already gone they won't be best pleased. I've had this happen to be more such that I had to go to the bus stop 10 minutes before the scheduled time, at which point it invariably arrives late and it gets to being that you're spending more time waiting for the bus than on it.

Re: North Coast 500 - Scotland???

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 3 hours 2 min ago
I wouldn't recommend relying on NC500 signs, better to have the route mapped out before you go.

I use one of these (half the size/weight of a normal map) for longer distance riding : http://travel.michelin.co.uk/scotland-mini-map-scale-1400-000-1459-p.asp , it's got all major roads (which in the remoter areas is the only road). There aren't many road choices in the Highlands, so this map is probably enough. There aren't any land features on it, or points of interest though. But you can annotate it by yourself, before you leave.

Small scale OS maps would be ideal, but because of the way they are tiled there's a lot of them which is heavy and expensive.

Whaligoe is well worth a stop, and there's a cafe. Bettyhill has some museum I think. As you'll be by the coast most of the time, this might be an interesting reference document http://archaeologydataservice.ac.uk/archiveDS/archiveDownload?t=arch-352-1/dissemination/pdf/vol_117/117_265_352.pdf (PDF)

Also the Visit Scotland website has lots of good info. If you skim through their itineraries you'll find things on or near the NC500 route that you might want to stop at. http://www.visitscotland.com/see-do/itineraries/

cheers,

Re: Red light jumper arrested fined and point on licence

CTC Forum - On the road - 3 hours 9 min ago
tyreon wrote:I regularly jaywalk. Howabout you(s)?Nope: I live in the UK, not USA (thank god)

Re: North Coast 500 - Scotland???

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 3 hours 18 min ago
sultzer wrote:i did parts of it in june , and it was a nightmare in places , hopefully proper signs are put in place , o and wait until you see the barren lands up top. i cycled over 30 miles never seen a soul .

In what way a nightmare? Other than navigation. The 30 miles without seeing a soul appeals to me.

Re: North Coast 500 - Scotland???

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 3 hours 34 min ago
i did parts of it in june , and it was a nightmare in places , hopefully proper signs are put in place , o and wait until you see the barren lands up top. i cycled over 30 miles never seen a soul .

Re: North Coast 500 - Scotland???

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 3 hours 44 min ago
rualexander wrote:Nothing 'opened', this is just a collection of existing roads that have been cobbled together by the tourist industry to try and promote driving holidays in the region.

I think cobbled together is a bit harsh
It looks like a well chosen route to me, I'm considering it for next Spring.

Re: North Coast 500 - Scotland???

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 3 hours 52 min ago
Thanks for the responses.

I will be travelling clockwise anyway, so hopefully I'll get lucky with the wind. Really looking forward to hugging the coast for the majority of the route. Does anyone have any maps that they could recommend, as someone on here recommended a map for when I toured the outer hebrides, and I found it to be really helpful.

Supplies shouldn't be much of an issue, as I'll be taking my stove, so will stock up beforehand alongside the local oatcakes for nourishment.

For anyone that fancies doing it on a budget, I've just got train tickets from Scots Rail for £68.00 - return from London to Inverness. BARGAIN!!!

Re: Cars Point Of View: Close pass.

CTC Forum - On the road - 4 hours 1 min ago
TonyR wrote:We are quite happy though to pass cars etc with inches of gap and sometimes at quite some speed. And we tend to do the same to pedestrians. The difference is we are in control of the gap, not someone else. I do wonder though whether that conditions drivers to subconsciously think a close pass in OK.

This is the important point. In situations where two vehicles or a pedestrian and vehicle are travelling at different speeds, and one wishes to pass the other, the gap will be controlled by the faster one overtaking, who will feel in control. That is precisely why many pedestrians, especially the elderly and less mobile, do not like shared use space, because they have lost control of it, and why many cyclists feel intimidated and threatened by the actions of some drivers.

The solution on roads is for cyclists to take control of these situations from the front, and ride in such a way that they determine when overtaking is safe to take place. That is far easier to write than to do, but it is the reality.

I had a couple of odd incidents happen in the last week that are slightly related to this.

a) A car overtook me very closely at some speed when there was nothing coming the other way, and then drove across to the other side of the road ahead of me before going back to his side of the road. I got the feeling the driver just mistook the length of the gap between him and me as he approached and started to move out from me far too late.

b) Yesterday, I watched as a car overtook me quite safely then pull over right up to the edge of the road (which was a field hedge) and continue driving almost brushing up against the hedgerow. It was very odd, as they were in a line of cars, with all the others taking a far more normal line in the middle of their lane. Perhaps we need a campaign against motorists driving in the gutter?

Re: Cars Point Of View: Close pass.

CTC Forum - On the road - 4 hours 23 min ago
TonyR wrote:We are quite happy though to pass cars etc with inches of gap and sometimes at quite some speed. And we tend to do the same to pedestrians. The difference is we are in control of the gap, not someone else. I do wonder though whether that conditions drivers to subconsciously think a close pass in OK.

Another difference is weight and speed ( how many people cycle 30mph?).

Re: Planning a trip using SNCF (French railways)

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 4 hours 46 min ago
simonineaston wrote:Topics discussing French railway journies often include a reference to capitainetrain, thus: https://www.capitainetrain.com/signin Not bought tickets this way myself, but it looks Good!
Caen to Bordeaux will likely take you through Paris, unless you take steps otherwise...

Yep - I've used the Capitaine for loads of journeys - with and without bikes - excellent! - and if you have a question their email response time is almost instant during an extended working day.

More and more of the TGVs now have wheel-on facilities (i.e. not bagged) ... Cap Train has the details and can make bookings. From experience with quite a few rail journeys in France this summer most of the non-TGV trains have no issue with just wheeling a bike on with you.

Rob

Pontypool/Usk area

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 4 hours 55 min ago
Can anyone please confirm that it's possible to get from the end of the road (Folly lane) beyond the car park (SO 294-026) on Little Mountain, through tracks to north of the property called Troed-y-Rhiw (SO 298 029), in order to move on to Mamhilad and pick up the canal path up to Goetre wharf?
The OS map is pretty unclear, as although it seems to be marked as a cycle route (green dots) they don't quite link up.
Failing that, there's a long detour.
Thanks, fausto.

Re: Driver gave me plenty of room this morning...

CTC Forum - On the road - 5 hours 3 min ago
Mounting the pavement was commonplace along a section of my former commuting route, a narrow-ish residential road with cars parked bumper-to-bumper all along one side, often with no gaps into which a car may duck. But the scenario was most likely to be two cars approaching each other, and the only way they could pass was for the one nearer the pavement to mount it (or a lengthy reverse). I, on my bike, would of course have to simply wait for them to finish their manoeuvres. But on the scale of motorists' sins, I'd regard this as pretty venial, provided that they take every care to give way to pedestrians.

Your incident sounds different though, it bears all the hallmarks of Mr M'Gif who Must Get In Front at all costs...

Re: Pedestrian pushes cyclist off bike and into traffic

CTC Forum - On the road - 5 hours 19 min ago
Yeah, a slapping down would be a minimum trouble is she would probably then let go of the wheel and put both hands round my neck!!!!!

Re: Driver gave me plenty of room this morning...

CTC Forum - On the road - 6 hours 1 min ago
Valbrona wrote:Women don't do things like that.
Sadly, yes they do. I have seen - and been on the receiving end of - plenty of examples of inconsiderate, dangerous, intimidating and/or abusive driving and behaviour from women as well men. Also age, size, race and apparent class/wealth all just as likely to have the mindset 'Must get in front of the cyclist at all costs - shouldn't be on the roads anyway' Probably religion isn't a factor either nor I suspect intelligence.
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