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Re: Touring Japan from Tokyo to Fukuoka in October

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 27 November 2015 - 9:10pm
I've been inspired. I'm going to do this in 2016. Thanks Sylwester

Re: safety advice for commuter

CTC Forum - On the road - 27 November 2015 - 8:53pm
I do a route where I have to move across two lanes on a rural dual carriageway to do a right turn, into a right filter lane on a long left hand bend. The speed limit is 60mph. I have to choose between moving out very, very early on the straight section before any signs or countdown markers appear and staying in the far R of the RH lane next to the wide central verge in case a maniac comes speeding round the bend in the RH lane (I can't wait for the signs as by then you can't see the traffic behind for the bend) , or doing as the OP does. Even the OP's option isn't wonderful. You can't cycle across it- you have to push the bike and run to the filter lane across the two lanes (again, due to the bend and vehicle speeds).

I find it more daunting than cycling in heavy London traffic. At those speeds, unless there are no vehicles behind you at all when you look, you can't move out, eye contact doesn't come into it.

Basically, which method I choose depends on weight of traffic and how brave I feel. I don't do this route at all at peak commuter times, I can't think how anyone would manage it.

Drivers on this road have killed at least two cyclists on a straight bit half a mile away since we moved here - just ran into them from behind both times, IIRC. So no way will I move out on the actual bend.

Re: Tour for the spring

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 27 November 2015 - 7:42pm
RobinS wrote: Also the Rhine route - which side is best? There is a choice between France and Germany for a couple of hundred kms.
I think the west side is probably best, the Bikeline guide keeps you on the west side most of the time. There are numerous ferries so It is possible to dot back and fore when you want a change, just check your map first!
Duisburg area is quite industrialised, best to keep to the west side of the river there and time things to cycle right through as campsites are non existent in that built up area( although motor traffic not a problem). The campsite at Nijmegen is a bit out of town and in a hilly area. Both Gorinchem and Dordrecht are worth a visit but on opposite banks. If you are tiring at Dordrecht you can catch a fast ferry from there to central Rotterdam at reasonable cost.
Given the choice I would choose Germany before France where there is an option.

Re: safety advice for commuter

CTC Forum - On the road - 27 November 2015 - 6:46pm
Si wrote:The common problems people have when doing a right turn .......................

......................... it's also telling that driver that you are about to do something, and it humanfies you by letting them see your face - emphasises the fact that you are a real person and they need to take care, or tells them that you have seen them so if they do something stupid you know who did it.

Excellent post.

I think one of the things which keeps one alive in traffic is to always be predictable. As Si says: indicate decisively, move purposefully. When road users are unpredictable then other road users are caught by surprise.

Re: Is it just a state of mind?

CTC Forum - On the road - 27 November 2015 - 6:34pm
I was fuming when the DVLA took my licence, but by the time I got it back five months later I'd git used to doing without the car, so I never put it back on the road. It stood on the drive rusting away for nine years until I scrapped it in 2013.

Re: Is it my road position?

CTC Forum - On the road - 27 November 2015 - 6:24pm
I think you're being advised to pull in, not pull over. That is, simply ride a bit closer to the kerb from time to time, when it seems best and safest to you, not stop and wait at the kerb while people pass.

Re: Is today “Peak Idiot”?

CTC Forum - On the road - 27 November 2015 - 6:14pm
I had two perfect overtakes yesterday by an oil tanker and by a HGV from Barry Ives (of Essex) haulage, the latter of which I emailed to pass on praise of their driver for a bob on overtake in every respect. They've done cycle awareness training for all their drivers. Out of all the drivers I encountered I only had one that got a bit close.
Maybe time of day has an impact on the idiocy quotient

Re: Commuting - is a rucksack always going to be sweaty?!

CTC Forum - On the road - 27 November 2015 - 6:05pm
al_yrpal wrote:Bar bag is my default bag of choice. Never leave home without one. Easy to unclip and carry around town with a shoulder strap. Just dont overload them.
OK, I'll bite: what bar bag? Can it cope with a good lock and mini toolkit (say 2kg) or is that overloading?

I've found unclipping bar bags more troublesome than rack bag or panniers and the shoulder strap is about the same.

One of my slimline panniers has started to disintegrate today. I think I can stitch it back together, but does everyone have to do this sort of thing or are Norfolk's roads especially rough or something?

Re: Is today “Peak Idiot”?

CTC Forum - On the road - 27 November 2015 - 5:56pm
Well, the evening ride home after this post featured a wonderful full moon, and not one but two motorists were so carefully hanging back I had to wave them through.

Not a single problem since, other than freezing cold and soaking wet tonight.

So I reckon peak idiot has indeed been passed.

Is it just a state of mind?

CTC Forum - On the road - 27 November 2015 - 5:54pm
My wife and I have been edging towards becoming car free. We both commute by bike (my wife every day, me a couple of days a week - its a 34 mile round trip!) and we now have hack folders and trailers that mean we do all our shopping by bike. The car is reduced to occasional weekend visits to distant family and a couple of days a week in my car pool.

The interesting change has been in our state of mind.

We went to cycle the short trip to a youth club on a cold and wet Thursday night without even considering the car as an option. We both found ourselves remarking how off-putting we now found the prospect of the hassle, cold and aggro of driving and parking the car. We arrived at our destination warm and enlivened and looked forward to the ride home - and maybe a glass of wine.

I think I need to spread the word!

Re: Is it my road position?

CTC Forum - On the road - 27 November 2015 - 5:48pm
Hi all,

Thanks for the responses so far.

The road is an A-road, 40mph with many cars attempting to go over 40. That stretch is also windy with blind bends - hence the solid double white lines in the centre of the road. Once you're on that stretch there's nowhere to turn off (no pavement) - so I'd say pulling-in to allow cars to get past would make restarting the journey hazardous?

Regarding primary vs secondary, due to the narrowness of the road, surely cars will always have to cross the centre-line in order to leave a suitable gap when overtaking? My opinion is that it's the windy nature of the road and the frequency of oncoming traffic that prevents overtaking - not my position as such.

In any case, I'll try shifting to the left a bit and seeing what happens. Thankfully I only use that road once every week or two.

What do you use to judge your distance from the kerb? I try to keep about 3 drain-widths from the kerb (on the possibly flawed assumption) that a normal drain is about 30cm.


Magical Ride

CTC Forum - On the road - 27 November 2015 - 5:41pm
The only way to describe the ride home from work on Wednesday. I cycled for 10 miles on quiet unlit country lanes towards a brilliant full moon rising through the clouds. The air was cool but still and the moon was so bright that I thought my lights were failing. On reaching a gridlocked Northampton I took to the cycle paths, stealing occasional glimpses of the moon between trees and houses until my penultimate run along the riverside with the moon reflected in the water. I dawdled so much that my wife was beginning to wonder where I was. I kept thinking to myself 'well this is what it's all about'!

Re: Is it my road position?

CTC Forum - On the road - 27 November 2015 - 5:21pm
Mick F wrote:Looking at both vids, I reckon you were riding a couple of feet wider than I would have done.

I know SLOW signs painted on the road vary a tad, but looking at where you crossed them over the O, I would have been slicing between the S and the L.

Can't comment specifically because I wasn't there and I wasn't behind you, but take my comments in the spirit I give them. I reckon you ride a couple of feet too far out.

I'm well away of standing your ground and giving yourself wiggle room and making sure people see you, but there were a couple of occasions there where you had a tail-back and you need to be aware of it. It only antagonises drivers.

Pull in and let them pass, then pull out again.

I'd agree with Mick here, I would personally cycle a little further over (to the road edge) myself. I know the road is usually littered with junk and uneven drains and the like but generally I rough it out especially if there is a build up of traffic behind me. Either that or pull in to let them all pass.

Re: Is it my road position?

CTC Forum - On the road - 27 November 2015 - 5:20pm
I agree with the comment above, too much riding in primary. Without a forward view, it's difficult to be sure, but I'd suggest giving following vehicles a chance to pass now and again, avoid a queue building up. This isn't a road with a lot of parked vehicles, so you don't run the 'dooring' risk. Drop to secondary position for a few seconds. It won't hurt!

Re: Commuting - is a rucksack always going to be sweaty?!

CTC Forum - On the road - 27 November 2015 - 5:09pm
Hi Martin,

In common with several other posters, I'm going to say that I've found panniers to be a godsend, and if you can fit them to your bike I'd encourage you to think about doing so.
Not only do they remove feeling of a sweaty back but its far more pleasant and stable to not have a load on your shoulders.
The other advantage is that they increase your footprint on the road, thus making you a more obvious and wider obstacle to be avoided.


Re: safety advice for commuter

CTC Forum - On the road - 27 November 2015 - 4:59pm
Hi Oliver.
I don't think you're doing anything wrong in stopping and waiting for a chance to turn right. I have to do that sometimes myself. If the following traffic is so heavy and fast that normal filtering across to the right lane is practically impossible, do what you are doing.

Many years ago I used to have the same situation at this junction:

The junction doesn't look like that now. The traffic lights are gone, the main A23 is a dual carriageway, and there is a LH slip road and underpass to get onto the road to the right of the petrol station (the A273).

But in those days I had to filter across somehow to the RH lane (where the Volkswagen is) to turn right. That was difficult! The traffic lights weren't much help, the ones for traffic going straight on, only rarely changed to red. So I often had to stop on the nearside and wait. And wait....

Re: Pyrenees

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 27 November 2015 - 4:57pm
AndyB wrote:
We stopped for a couple of days in various places - I particularly recommend Luz St Saveur (below the W side of the Tourmalet), from which we had a day trip up to the beautiful Cirques de Gavarnie and Troumouse.

I second this advice. When I looked at the typical route most people chose I thought they just by pass so many nice areas.

Gavarnie can be a bit swamped with tourists at times, but is well worth it. Stay at the campsite there and enjoy the mountain scenery when the coaches have long gone. Cycle up to see the Circque de Troumouse and there is a small basic campsite at Heas. Check to see if open in May.

Re: Is it my road position?

CTC Forum - On the road - 27 November 2015 - 4:45pm
Think you might find its Romanian - the latest plates are almost identical to UK in layout

Re: Commuting - is a rucksack always going to be sweaty?!

CTC Forum - On the road - 27 November 2015 - 4:44pm
al_yrpal wrote:Carrying a rucksack on your back on a bike, riding on road on a MTB with the original knobbly tyres, having the saddle too low, being in the wrong gear. All these things say to me "that guy hasnt a clue".
Well, can I get away with 1/4 then? Or perhaps 2/4: I do sometimes get in the wrong gear, just like everyone else who makes the occasional mistake, especially at night or in filthy weather.

I don't have an MTB, but if I did, I would probably ride it on the road for a short distance to get to my favourite off-road track. So then it would be 3/4...
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