Archive for the ‘cycling’ Category

Living Streets – Try20

May 3, 2016

It has come to my attention that it is National Walking Month. I realise I might not be the target audience for this (honourable) campaign, because I will actively avoid a walk which looks like it will exceed 10 minutes. I’d prefer to jump on a bike and ride for 10 mins, an hour, several hours, as long as have the time and energy for.

Ten minutes is about the break-even point for walking versus cycling for me.

I wish Living Streets the best for their efforts.

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You sir, are a buffoon.

January 7, 2016

On the grounds you’ll never enforce the legislation you are suggesting, therefore it’s pointless and redundant from inception.

As a road user, on both four wheels, two wheels etc I have always felt that cycle lanes are dangerous because they bring cyclists in to potential confrontations with motorised vehicles. Given the contemporary increase in the interest in cycling there will be greater numbers of cyclists who lack the experience of joining faster-moving traffic.

My solution is so simple it’s hidden in plain sight; remove all cycle lanes so there are no points where cyclists are merging in to motorised traffic.

Therefore car drivers will have to share the roads, as they are obliged to do so. Similarly, cyclists will have to share the road, and because there are more of them now that task will be made easier.

Garmin Edge 800 – Disk Mode

December 28, 2015

A data point; having read it recently on a talk forum. If your Edge 800 does not automatically switch to disk mode when you plug it in to a PC, do this:

  1. Disconnect the USB cable, at the PC end because that’s easier.
  2. Hold the Lap/Reset button down while you plug the USB cable in.
  3. Keep the button held down for a few seconds, and release.
  4. Disk Mode – every time. Yay!

For people like me who are minded to open gadgets to fix them, in the Edge 800 the USB and micro-SD slot are on a daughter-board PCB which is siliconed in to the base. I didn’t fancy prying it out to attempt a repair. If you need to replace the internal battery, that’s not a hard job. The flex cable for the touch-screen is fiddly to reconnect on reassembly.

Putting the record straight…

November 30, 2015

… one thing at a time.

Something happened yesterday’s mountain bike ride, which saddened me a little. As someone who participates in what is (sometimes) seen as a minority sport, there may be pockets of ignorance and fear among those looking in from outside.

I’ll try and set the scene. It’s a wet day, not “otter’s pocket” territory but not far removed. I reach the brow of a tiny incline, and see there are pedestrians sharing the trail. I’m at sufficient distance to shout out a friendly “Hello!”.

At this point I’ll interrupt the narrative to let you (dear reader) know that hydraulic brakes sometimes make a lot of noise in the wet. This is undesirable, but does not indicate a malfunction. The reason why I run hydraulics is that they continue to work in the wet.

So I’ve dabbed the brakes at the summit. Squeeek!
Shouted out to indicate I’m here, and I’m just human like everyone else.
I start to roll down the incline.
Squeeek!
Controlling my speed sensibly, so people don’t feel like they’re in danger.
Squeeek!
I need to keep two hands on the handlebars, I’m modulating the braking force to prevent skidding.
Squeeek!

In a blatant display of ignorance, some old biddy says “Bell?”

Having slept on it, and scratched my head several times, I still can’t think of a reasonable explanation for comments like the above.

Therefore I conclude it was borne out of ignorance.

In conclusion the time is now to set the record straight:

  1. There is no requirement (in common or criminal law) for any cyclist to carry a bell.
  2. While I have a tongue in my mouth, and breath in my lungs, I will shout out to any other trail user. I will not change my behaviour depending on the mode of transport of the other trail user(s).
  3. While I am riding any bike it is often dangerous to remove my hands from the controls. I can retain control of the bike with my hands at the controls.
    This applies on and off the roads, by the way.
  4. I will always share trails in a responsible way, and will always make the safe choice.
  5. If a trail is a right-of-way or not is beyond the scope of this statement.

In the situation I described above, the ignorant walker was aware that I was present. She was aware there were other trail users present. Yet she chose to behave in an arrogant and confrontational manner, while clinging on to an incorrect presumption. To be honest, I feel sorry for you that you’re stuck in that cognitive loop from which you’re unlikely to escape.

This trail is a permissive route for cyclists. As the landowner has given informed consent, then the opinion of a minority of walkers counts for exactly nothing.

Thank you for reading.

Cheers Hammond!

January 26, 2015

The BBC’s Top Gear is back for another series, they are spoiling us with 10 episodes.
That’s not (exactly) why I’m here in front of my computer, although Top Gear is certainly entertaining.
What I’m actually here is to express my disappointment over Richard Hammond’s “shouty angry man act”. I ride a bike to work, and I’ve seen some inconsiderate and dangerous driving (from drivers and cyclists alike). Perhaps it’s a symptom of age (although he’s about five years older than I am) but I felt his yelling and cussing did nothing to improve the image of cyclists.
I find that a directed look of calm derision is much more effective at making me feel better, rather than chasing the driver down and tearing a strip off him or her.

I also felt Hammond’s occasional cycling-in-the-door-lane sets a poor example. I’d want to be further away from the door of the parked cars, experience teaches this sort of thing just as well as the UK’s Highway Code.
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(Highway Code, rule 67 paragraph 2)

“Proper” maps in Strava!

June 1, 2014

(While I’m on the theme of acknowledging and celebrating other people’s good work)

This page has some useful bookmarklets: http://veloviewer.com/mapFlipper

They allow you to substitute more useful maps within Strava, more useful if you are a mountain biker anyway.

Jeremy, you can do better.

January 16, 2014

Yes, it’s about another daft posting on twitter:
https://twitter.com/JeremyClarkson/status/421676710107811841/photo/1
I’ve long held the view that, if you ought to put your own house in order before casting criticism towards others. In this case: using a mobile phone while driving, Jeremy Clarkson.

Clearly the ‘holding up the traffic’ argument is baseless, and rule 191 of the Highway Code is unambiguous here:

You MUST NOT overtake the moving vehicle nearest the crossing or the vehicle nearest the crossing which has stopped to give way to pedestrians.

Jeremy’s own photo suggests that the cyclist has stopped to give way to a pedestrian on the crossing there.

As a cyclist I am not interested in “strict liability” (which is being considered and lobbied-for), I am only interested in using the roads fairly and legally.