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Re: Loved Spain, hated France

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 28 July 2015 - 4:30pm
I tour for two week in France most years, usually the last two weeks in June. The roads are quite ,the accommodation plentiful and reasonably priced. I wouldn't dream of going there in July and August.

Re: Way of the Roses..an accident waiting to happen?

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 28 July 2015 - 4:25pm
531colin wrote:The sort of RIDER who runs out of road on Greenhow Hill will also run out of road on Peat Lane.
Greenhow Hill is a wide road with reasonable sight lines most of the time.
I have tried to link the start of the tricky bit of the descent of Peat Lane.....its the worst bit of film I have seen from the Google van....https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@54.074111,-1.769164,3a,75y,90h,49.44t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sIghmynM4PqmAnYEeH9kv2A!2e0!7i13312!8i6656
You can come flying down a straightforward descent (narrow, but open with reasonable sight lines) to be faced with this....the road dives into a tunnel of trees, the stone walls converge to line the gutters. The road is liable to be covered in debris washed down, there is no fast motor traffic to clear the debris. Right on the bend there is a stone water-bar in the road surface.......how close did you have to get to see it on the Google image? How soon would you see it plunging into the semi-darkness under the trees, wearing fashionable cycling sunglasses?
Follow down Peat Lane on Google until you get to the house on the left, and thats the worst of it finished......if you make the first bend, you will be going slow enough to make the rest.
There is an excellent farm cafe at the top of Greenhow Hill, I went there with a group of "new cyclists". We went up Peat Lane, (walking the steep bit), the plan was to return via Duck Street, but that was closed by a road traffic accident (one of the quarry lorries in the ditch). Nobody fancied going down Greenhow Hill, so we went back down Peat Lane. We got to just above my link (where the camper van is parked ) and everybody else got off and walked: I was the only one to ride down the tricky bit.
They all think I am reckless, I'm inclined to think they lack skill.........but perhaps I would have got off and walked if I had been on a fashionable bike with twitchy steering, narrow tyres and dual pivot brakes.
My view is that anybody whose brakes work can get down Greenhow Hill in safety if they exercise reasonable care, but I would not send an inexperienced rider down Peat Lane on their own.


Some good points there. Can't argue with the bit about not going down peat lane unless experienced rider, that's good advice to be fair. In many ways it's better going UP peat lane than Greenhow if you are going into Grassington etc. Yes a steep section at the start if going up, but it's very short and advantage is almost zero traffic.

Be tough with panniers mind

Loved Spain, hated France

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 28 July 2015 - 4:20pm
I'm back from my tour now. I had a great tour of Spain. I went from all the way down the Mediterranean coast from Roses, went inland in through the Sierra Nevada to Ronda and Gibraltar. Then I cycled up through the interior of Spain via Seville and Salamanca and northern Portugal and eventually to San Sebastian. Spain was such a great country to travel around with cheap plentiful accommodation and empty roads, particularly once you are away from the tourist areas.

I was going to cycle back through France, but it was a bit of a culture shock! I'd come in their peak holiday time and everywhere was full even campsites. Hotels were 80 to 100 € plus, in spain they were only 20 to 30€ mostly. French campsites were over €30 with wifi and electricity extra. The roads were worse than Spain and very busy. So I decided to call it a day and come home. I was pretty weary after nearly 6 weeks on the road and was pleased with what I did. It's a shame about France as I probably could have done it in a week and the terrain would have been easy. Maybe next time!

My highlights were Ronda, Seville, Salamanca. I did nearly 2000 miles and 88,000 ft of climbing.

Re: Horses: modern ones selected from what stock?

CTC Forum - On the road - 28 July 2015 - 4:12pm
I'll agree with the lack of training being the issue. In the USA the Amish use horse drawn traps as their transport. The horses use the main roads and don't react to cars at all because they are used to them. I spooked them on my tourer with 4 panniers even approaching head on when they could see me properly. So either they aren't used to bikes or with 4 panniers it didn't look like a bike.

When horses were common on the roads in cities they were used to the hustle and bustle hence were usually OK. Though even then there were deaths from out of control horses. 1589 UK fatalities in 1875 for example.

http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/1218 ... ng__Speed/

Re: Loose stones on the road

CTC Forum - On the road - 28 July 2015 - 4:08pm
Tonyf33 wrote:al_yrpal wrote:Its actually your District Council that is responsible for clearing road debris NOT the County Council. If they ignore your warning that gravel is a hazard and a cyclist is injured as a result they are responsible and will have to pay up for damages.

Al
The highways dept are responsible for maintenance and the legal duty - Highways Act 1980 \chapter 66 section 41 & 56 http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1980/66 falls upon the County Council of which the highways forms part of, the district council has nothing to do with it, they are only responsible for litter and general detritus. The contractor was employed by the highways agency and the debris/stones are not detritus, ergo it is definitely the CC that is duty bound by law within 28 days to fix it.

Well, that was a quote from the Oxfordshire County Council pothole inspector who I stopped and pointed it out to. Jobsworth mate… ”Its South Oxfordshire District Councils responsibility"

Al

Re: Edinburgh

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 28 July 2015 - 4:03pm
Hopefully there will be an expert along shortly but from Leith you can take the coastal path most of the way to Cramond and then head out over the Forth Road bridge. Maybe head down to Culross on the west fife cycleway.

http://www.sustrans.org.uk/ncn/map/rout ... unfermline

Could do part of this.
http://www.sustrans.org.uk/ncn/map/route/route-76

I don't recommend heading to Dunbar on the John Muir Way. It's just a mud track in places.

Check out Spokes for more info around Edinburgh.
http://www.spokes.org.uk/links/local-re ... ggestions/

Re: Pedestrians' view of bells ?

CTC Forum - On the road - 28 July 2015 - 3:54pm
Yes, drop bars. A london road from Planet X with/for 31.8mm clamp their own brand road bars. They are narrow around the tape region but go wider where the tape ends and through the clamp area. The cables under the tape make the taped region of the bars on the top a similar diameter as the clean, fatter section of bar. If that makes sense. Not sure why it is like this as my old road bike had smaller diameter drop bars.

Re: My first touring 'fail'

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 28 July 2015 - 3:54pm
Gearoidmuar wrote:Atrial fibrillation affects endurance cyclists more than the ordinary man. You had some kind of arrythmia, but it could be several different ones. I would say from your description of the day, that you grossly overdid it. 90 miles on a hilly route into the wind for a 65y old (I'm 65 myself) is just too much. Because you can do it, is not sufficient reason to do it. Flogging yourself excessively is not good for you, in respect of the risk of getting atrial fibrillation. It sounds like you got ectopic beats which are common enough. I occasionally get them myself when I'm at top fitness and when I get them, at my age, it's a sign to me that my heart is getting irritated and I ease up.
More is not necessarily better.

P.S. I'm a retired doctor and have had the time to read this stuff in detail.
When I was young (I'm touring since I was 38) I used to do 70m av per day touring. I've cut that back and now average 50 ish and in hilly terrain less. I still enjoy it just as much.
Nareloc well done and its a case of being sensible rather than failing in my eyes.

Gearoidmuar I think your right us at the age of 65 or 64 in my case do have to moderate our efforts when out on our bikes but I think the problems at our age and perhaps older is that mentally we are still in our 20's.

Re: Brest to Presqu'ile de Crozon ferry, Brittany

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 28 July 2015 - 3:44pm
To help you I’ve phoned « Le Brestoâ »…fortunately my French is not so bad. They accept bikes for 4 €, but if you are 12, they prefer to have a reservation to reserve the places for the bikes. Bernard

Re: Horses: modern ones selected from what stock?

CTC Forum - On the road - 28 July 2015 - 3:15pm
Breeding has a role in temperament. A thoroughbred is on average more highly strung than a lot of other breeds, for example. But there are always exceptions.

Cart horses/heavy breeds bred for driving are built differently to riding horses. They have different proportions. Very, very approximately, they are proportioned for high torque low speed. And they are broader in build, which makes them difficult to ride- the width can cause hip problems in smaller people. A narrower riding horse means a rider can get their leg further round, making the rider more secure and making it easier to communicate with the horse, control its speed, and steer it (this is done by leg movements more than reins, in fact). Horses bred to plough tend to walk with their feet more in a line as they have to cope with walking in furrows, that's not ideal for a riding horse as it goes much faster and is less stable on fast bends.

Heavy horses (plough, draught, etc.) tend when deliberately misbehaving to stop and refuse to go forward (called 'jibbing'). Lighter breeds tend to take off, rear, or buck.

Some ponies (horses below a certain height) are built like smaller versions of cart horses, can carry a lot of weight, and and were used for pack horses/pit ponies etc. Others are built more like riding horses.

Training has a role in behavior, as does rider skill. But the best horse in the world can still, though of course rarely, play up if it is suddenly surprised, and riders do try to be prepared for this. Cyclists should make the effort to understand and allow for it, just as we expect drivers to allow for us suddenly having to move out if there is a pothole, even though cars don't need to.

I linked to this in another thread, please do read it if you haven't already.

http://www.bhs.org.uk/~/media/BHS/Files ... aflet.ashx

It urges politeness and consideration on riders as well as us if you read the whole thing, and tries to explain things to those who don't know horses.

And thank you to all cyclists who try to give horses space. It is appreciated, though it may not always be safe to take a hand off the reins to thank you. Riders may nod instead...that's the convention for thanks when riding with other riders.

Re: Pedestrians' view of bells ?

CTC Forum - On the road - 28 July 2015 - 3:09pm
Tangled Metal wrote:What is a good bell to get BTW? My son bought me a large dringdring bell for fathers day but it has a bracket too small for my handlebars. The bars are wide in the un-taped part and the stem is too big too. I'm kind of on the lookout for a very small and good looking bell that is effective but also discrete or that adds to the look somehow. Not too expensive would be good too.
What sort of bars? The mention of tape makes me think we're probably talking typical drop bar size (15/16ths inch) and yes, most nice bells are really designed for modern upright size (⅞ths) which you can fit to an old-style stem. On a modern bike, you either have a limited choice (Lion or Crane bells, which are basically richer pingers but compare well https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yo76L7S7DzM - or harder-to-find imports like Spanninga and Widek which either ding-dong or brring often have bands that will open enough for road bars) or bodging your own bracket to fit.

Do you have a good bike shop nearby that will let you test them?

Sorry that there's no easy answer - such is the UK market at the moment Maybe if more start asking for good bells, more places will stock them?

Re: Loose stones on the road

CTC Forum - On the road - 28 July 2015 - 3:00pm
Lawrie9 wrote:We often hear about pot holes and the damage hey cause but there seems to be a lot of loose stones, scree and stuff that has washed off hillsides from landslips. I had to replace a front wheet from hitting a stone and it seems to be that the cutbacks has meant more stones and debris is left on the roads.
I notice that you live in Powys. From what I'm reading in the local press it seems they are making some dire cutbacks in spending to stick with the grand plan for austerity. They also have a very extensive road network to up-keep.

Here in Shropshire, the roads are being kept in what I would describe as a 'just about acceptable' state. Any worse and it will be unacceptable.

Re: Pedestrians' view of bells ?

CTC Forum - On the road - 28 July 2015 - 3:00pm
I found that people were less likely to turn round startled when I used a dringdring style of bell, so that's what I now use. I think that perhaps the distinctive sound is more readily associated with a bicycle (at least to British ears).

Re: My first touring 'fail'

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 28 July 2015 - 2:54pm
I've had similar on long days, with heat and climbing thrown into the pot and you've got over a decade on me! It's basically your body telling you to take things a bit easier. Heat exhaustion, dehydration, physical effort all go into the pot so try to avoid them - in league with each other at least!

Re: Horses: modern ones selected from what stock?

CTC Forum - On the road - 28 July 2015 - 2:54pm
I would have thought the problem is more the training of the animal rather than the breeding of.
I don't have experience of horse training, although I've seen some informative examples over the years on Countryfile, especially that of army or police horses. It will surely take extra training to get an animal prepared for scary things. Perhaps most horse owners skimp on this aspect of the training.

Considering how poorly a great many dogs are trained, this doesn't surprise me.

Re: Via Francigena

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 28 July 2015 - 2:40pm
many thanks for all the advise. I will follow up on your suggestions.

Re: My first touring 'fail'

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 28 July 2015 - 2:32pm
Thanks for all the tips. I do 80-100 milers fairly regularly - but not usually on a fully (25+kg) loaded touring bike, more on a 7kg racer so there is a big difference there. Usually on tour, my mileage is more around the 60 mark but the particular day in question was really a 'link' day, getting from one area to another. I find 60 miles an ideal distance giving time to enjoy the places I am passing through, plenty of stops, and a good hour or so for lunch. Thinking now of my next little venture

Re: Way of the Roses..an accident waiting to happen?

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 28 July 2015 - 2:14pm
Hmmm, shirley it's all about staying within the limits of braking performance? My wife and I got the loaded tandem down there last year on rear brakes alone. I'd managed to wear the front pads down to the metal innards and didn't want to score my rims. Cue one Arai, one vee and lots of steam at the bottom when I sprayed the Arai with water.

If you let it get away from you (or suffer brake failure), you're going to struggle to get it back under control.

Re: Pedestrians' view of bells ?

CTC Forum - On the road - 28 July 2015 - 2:11pm
There is a mixed use bridge on my way home that has a real mix of users from cyclists to pedestrians to dog walkers to mothers/fathers with prams. I used to have a bell on my bike and used it. However I found that people were idiots. You found them turning and just moving in front of you. Or if in a group one turns gives you a dirty look then carries on as a group walking across the bridge with barely enough space for you to pass. If you do pass then they give abuse.

I am not saying it is everyone but on that one stretch a bell seems to annoy people so I stopped using it. It is easier and less hassle/abuse if I just cycle up to them and past them quickly without a fuss. This is the opposite to that on a local towpath. A bell worked well there. The shout "excuse me" or "bike" also works well there. The only people it does not work on is the few elderly out for a potter with a little pooch. The regulars fitting that description seem to all be slightly deaf. Some older people also think that they have a lot more right and expect you to stay behind them or at least dismount first.

Dogs are a big issue. Dog owners know their pooches but I do not. How am I supposed to know if your dog is going to stay sat there without a lead or any sign of control from you? I treat all dogs and their owners with distrust. What I mean is I will assume one or both of them will jump out at me and I take car accordingly. I have nothing against them it is just my experience. Also dog mess in plastic bags is worse than dog mess without plastic bags IMHO.

As an aside, some types of mixed path users will never hear or react to a bell. Even a 120dB horn would not get a reaction or if it did it would be abuse. That is what I have experienced. As a commuter and someone with a kid who rides a lot of the local mixed use paths as a leisure rider and commuter this is my findings. A real mixed bag.

What is a good bell to get BTW? My son bought me a large dringdring bell for fathers day but it has a bracket too small for my handlebars. The bars are wide in the un-taped part and the stem is too big too. I'm kind of on the lookout for a very small and good looking bell that is effective but also discrete or that adds to the look somehow. Not too expensive would be good too.

Re: My first touring 'fail'

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 28 July 2015 - 1:45pm
My Mrs has had a couple of periods of palpitations over the last few years. She has had every test known to man with no clue as to why it happened and was given a totally clear bill of health. It was quite worrying.
You can get carried away touring alone, I have done it myself. Whilst I would hesitate to suggest 90 miles in those conditions is too far at your age, personally I like to bumble along and do around 50 mpd which allows you to enjoy seeing things, meeting people and chilling.

Al
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