Cycling

Naughty_Felid

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#1
Thought it was about time we had a cycling thread and not go off-topic on other threads. I've been cycling and commuting for 20 odd years. I'm also a ex Adult Cycle skills instructor, (I didn't keep it up to date), and A Bike Buddy - (ride with less confident cyclists to show them the ropes). Sort of Cycle Advocate, (taking a break as got burnt out). I have x2 road bike, a touring bike, a cyclocross bike, x2 mountain bikes and the longest ride I've done is 200 miles took me 14 hours as it was very hilly!

Anyhow if you have anything to share about cycling here's the place!
 

Analogue Boy

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#2
Yes. Perhaps some of the gentlemen could confirm whether they actually do imagine they're superheroes in the Lycra outfit.
 

GNC

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#3
Yes. Perhaps some of the gentlemen could confirm whether they actually do imagine they're superheroes in the Lycra outfit.
Dunno about Lycra, but there was Bicycle Repair Man in Monty Python.
 

Novena

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#4
My other half's just taken up cycling a few months ago. He hadn't cycled for about 20 years so it was a bit of a struggle learning at first re-learning how to ride, look after it properly, change tubes etc. but very rewarding in the end. I don't cycle myself but was helping him out with the maintenance etc. A few weeks after starting to ride regularly, he found he was getting a puncture on the same wheel every time he went out. Changed tubes a few times to no avail, then we looked at the tyre very closely and found a tiny (not more than about 6mm square) piece of flint that had lodged in the tyre and was poking through on the inside. Solved that little mystery! :cool:
 

Loquaciousness

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#5
I would love to cycle more, but shan't be risking my life on Leicester's roads again. If there were proper cycle paths by the side of roads ( not just green lines ), I would cycle to most places and save myself the hassle of having to fit exercise into my weekly routine.
 

OneWingedBird

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#6
Yes. Perhaps some of the gentlemen could confirm whether they actually do imagine they're superheroes in the Lycra outfit.
I'm reliably informed that there's a variety known as MAMILs - Middle Aged Men In Lycra!
 

Frideswide

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#8
I believe I have spotted one - my brother in law! he does the running, cycling, swimming races.
 

Heckler

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#9
Cycle every day to work, used to be very very into cycling (did a few of the mad century plus sportive rides) but fell out of love with it due to the grind of the daily cycle commute until very recently. Last summer I started going out in the evenings again but when I wanted to rather than because I had to when I was training for an event and enjoyed it immensely again.

Managed to build a bike from the frame up teaching myself along the way how each bit worked, as I begrudge paying someone £140 to service a bicycle, so I can fix most issues. The one thing I can't do and have no desire to do is truing a wheel, unlike most fettlement, if you do it wrong you can either make it much worse or even buckle the wheel.
 

Swifty

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#10
How to stud your mountain bike tyre for ice and snow, a cheap(ish) DIY tutorial .. You only need two spare tyres, two old inner tubes a screwdriver and some screws .. stops you falling off on black ice, a lot cheaper than buying the real deal and they look cool :cool:

 

Novena

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#12
I would love to cycle more, but shan't be risking my life on Leicester's roads again. If there were proper cycle paths by the side of roads ( not just green lines ), I would cycle to most places and save myself the hassle of having to fit exercise into my weekly routine.
Yes, it can be treacherous if there isn't a proper, separated cycle path. I've seen buses bearing down on cyclists at some speed - one hesitation or slip and they'd be under :eek:.
The other half only cycles on the dedicated lane round these parts which is fully off the road and luckily goes for quite a long way. He can't cycle to work as it's a bit too far and involves some very dangerous stretches of road.
 

escargot

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#13
Round here the cycle paths're mainly tacked onto the main roads and they're lethal. Pedestrians and cyclists have to cross at roundabouts and junctions together which is dangerous for everyone. You're better off pedalling on the road.

However, there's a new purpose-built cycle path to the next town which is totally off the road and even has its own road crossing with lights an' everything. That road has been a deathtrap for years - crashes, boy racers, people killed and maimed, demolished fences and walls, you name it. The police advised cyclists to stick to the paths rather than risk the road. (Source - liaison with the police on Young Offender Panels.)

It is much safer for cyclists these days. Lots of commuters and Sunday cyclists use it. There's a nice pub halfway...
Can't get Techy to do it though!
 

Ulalume

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#14
Our neighborhood is on a popular training route for bicycle racing teams. Some weekends we can see hundreds of lycra-clad bodies racing past.

The geography is good for that sort of endurance training, not so good for someone who wants a relaxing jaunt. It all makes me feel very unhealthy. :p
 

Heckler

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#15
There was a great new cycle lane created in Brighton, painted across a kerb, so you don't see the kerb until you're diving over the handlebars.

Four people were injured in one day: Link

Thankfully the council have now added a ramp.....
 

OneWingedBird

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#17
Has anyone come up with an idea for what to do with those used inner tubes?

I have a stash of them in the cellar that I don't want to throw as I'm sure there must be a great use for them, just when I googled it didn't come up with anything that great.

Although the DIY Gimp Mask might be some people's thing.

 

Swifty

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#25
Phew ..thanks for the rescue Mythopoeika :D
 

Naughty_Felid

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#26


The Take a Look mirror - Has saved my life more times than I care to remember. This picture shows how to place it properly.
 

Naughty_Felid

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#27
I was going to post this in the books that changed your life thread but it belongs here as well.

One book that not so much changed my life but confirmed that the way I ride my bike is the right way is Robert Hurst's The Art of Urban Cycling Lessons from the Street.

http://books.google.co.nz/books/about/The_Art_of_Urban_Cycling.html?id=kiEIAAAACAAJ&redir_esc=y

The book is written by an ex-bike courier and looks at cycling survival skills which partially rejects the Vehicular Cycling philosophy http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vehicular_cycling approach of John Forester, which underpins a lot of cycle training around the world.

Vehicular cycling states that by acting as a vehicle you will be safe and other road users will treat you the same way as they treat other vehicles. VC does have it's good points hence I taught a lot of it as part of Bikeability cycle skills training, but it does have it's problems.

The simple fact is as Hurst points out is other road users DON'T treat cyclists the same as cars, lorries etc. Hurst's philosophy is that to survive your journey on your bike, you have to take responsibility for your own safety as you cannot rely on all car drivers seeing you and treating you with respect.

The book lists various scenarios and gives tips of the safest way to manage them. Hurst does bend the road rules occasionally, he advocates the use of riding on a footpath should this be the only viable option and that has been criticized by the Vehicular Cycling brigade.

The one point shortly after doing my Bikeability Instructor training which showed me how right Hurst is and how deluded VC advocates can be was when I "took the lane". (VC term to ride in the middle of the road on narrow roads where riding at the side of the road would be unsafe from passing cars)

I'd indicated that I was moving out into the middle of the lane. The road was very narrow, the side was a sheer cliff face. No white line to cycle in just cliff. I took the lane and behind me was a pretty large lorry. The Lorry decided not to respect me taking the the lane and passed me squeezing me up against the cliff face and the side of the vehicle itself.

I could literally touch the side of the lorry as it passed at speed, another half a foot I would have been dragged under the wheels of the lorry and I had to stop and lean against the cliff with my bike. I've never been that close to a moving lorry at speed and hope I never have to be again. Very scary incident.

The other point with VC is making eye contact with a driver of a nearby vehicle. They say once you have established eye contact you are safe to maneuver around or in front of a vehicle. This simply isn't true.

I got run over passing the mouth of a junction with the right way, in broad daylight in high-viz clothing thinking I had made eye contact with the driver. After running me over he claimed he never saw me.

Now when I'm approaching a junction with a vehicle waiting to come out I shoulder check, (look behind), or use my mirror. After checking there is nothing close behind I move over a foot into the road giving myself a bit of extra space from the vehicle should I need it.

I make eye contact but watch the driver all the time, if he makes any move before I've crossed the junction I'm up out of my seat and moving quickly. I also again try and change my angle slightly so he won't hit me dead on.

I use the same approach for passing parked cars so I don't get "doored". I'm also checking the driver's side and the right passenger side door for any movement. You can't rely on people checking before exiting a car door. Most do but not everyone. It's your responsibility to get safely around parked cars.


I've "met" both Hurst and Forester on a cycling forum and Hurst always comes across as the most reasonable of the two. His cycling philosophy is superior as well.
 
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#28
I was going to post this in the books that changed your life thread but it belongs here as well.Vehicular cycling states that by acting as a vehicle you will be safe and other road users will treat you the same way as they treat other vehicles. VC does have it's good points hence I taught a lot of it as part of Bikeability cycle skills training, but it does have it's problems.

The simple fact is as Hurst points out is other road users DON'T treat cyclists the same as cars, lorries etc. Hurst's philosophy is that to survive your journey on your bike, you have to take responsibility for your own safety as you cannot rely on all car drivers seeing you and treating you with respect.
Great recommendation; that book looks excellent - and exactly what I've been looking for.

As a mainly fairweather cyclist and proud owner of a mid-price BSO from Halfords* :oops: I tend to avoid very busy roads and would frankly be very nervous about cycling in central London, for example. But even I have discovered that behaving as if you actually have a right to be on the road is crucial. I lose count of the number of cyclists I see trying not to be a nuisance as they trundle along apologetically in the gutter...thereby becoming invisible.

* Actually it's not given me any real trouble - brakes and gears still fine after a few years, but the frame is on the heavy side. You get what you pay for...
 

Naughty_Felid

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#29
Always found Halfords to make pretty decent bikes. They say your first bike tells you what you need to upgrade in your second bike.

Agree being confident is crucial to getting around safely and riding in the gutter is dangerous. I've done rush hour in a couple of capital cities and having that confidence helped.

Commuting is always finding the best and safest route and that may not be the quickest.

The only thing I really try to avoid are School run zones in the morning. Stressed out mums and dads, supping McD's coffees with screaming kids in the back are deadly.

The other real menace to cyclist are Courier Drivers - They don't give a f*ck about anyone.


One tip about cycling that is invaluable is realizing that your bike goes where you are looking.

Try it out the next time you are cycling and you see what I mean. Therefore if you are negotiating a tight corner or a switchback look just where you want the bike to go and it will go. For really tight angles you want to break the natural arch of a curve and go slightly outside it.

Does that make sense?
 
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#30
One tip about cycling that is invaluable is realizing that your bike goes where you are looking.

Try it out the next time you are cycling and you see what I mean. Therefore if you are negotiating a tight corner or a switchback look just where you want the bike to go and it will go. For really tight angles you want to break the natural arch of a curve and go slightly outside it.

Does that make sense?
Yes, I think I know what you mean...that's really interesting. I'll be giving it a go at the weekend, ta!
 
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