• Annual Oxford bike lights crackdown sees 171 cyclists fined1 year 7 weeks agoI'm not against this, though

    I'm not against this, though there is much to say cyclists without lights in Oxford are at such a critical mass that all motorists look out for them the moment the sun is no longer visible...

    However...

    Two years ago I was cycling at around 10pm with a group of friends, some of which had no lights. A couple of police officers at the side of the road beckoned us to pull over so they could admonish the offenders (they weren't fined btw)...

    They did however pull us over, across a busy junction with cars waiting to turn left.

    TVP also decided to pull a van over, which if it hadn't been due to their being enough space to my left for me to escape, would have driven sideways into me.

    I've also seen officers overtake cyclists with less than a foot to spare, slowly roll into ASL whilst the light was red and been tailgated by them fairly regularly.

    I don't feel hugely confident about TVP lecturing people about using the roads...

  • Birzman Roadster I Reflective Saddle Bag1 year 7 weeks agobarkingfishes wrote:I stuff

    barkingfishes wrote:
    I stuff all this into an old water bottle plus more and put this in a bottle cage. Does the trick.

    And me .... then an 800ml bottle in the other cage ... job done Smile

  • Be gentle with me....1 year 7 weeks agoHaving just had a quick look

    Having just had a quick look on the decathlon site, the triple gearing, carbon fork and lower weight would win out for the Triban to me.

  • DeFeet Woolie Boolie 2 Merino socks1 year 7 weeks agoI use mine a lot, no seam

    I use mine a lot, no seam issues here. Extremely comfortable and also work well in temps up to around 20 degrees as they wick so well. I plan on buying many more!

  • Be gentle with me....1 year 7 weeks agoWelcome. Both to the forum

    Welcome. Both to the forum and the slippery slope lol.

    Both bikes have a good rep. I think the triban took over from the TdF as the entry level bike of choice. Currently I think the TdF is sitting at nigh on £600 which is what halfords do so they put it 'on offer' at the price it should be Smile

    I'm not sure what weight the triban is (anyone?) But I know a bit about TdF. Not the lighest obviously (no carbon fork plus heavy wheels) and the gearing is high for entry level (52 / 39 so no compact).

    That said, it rides well and I like the look (a personal thing). The gears are 2300 which work well. The brakes come with cartridge brake blocks which means they seem to have more bite than the solid rubber block variety (again IME).

    How good halfords are seems to depend on your local store but that is with any chain. Although the online comments seem to point to more negative than positive build up experiences. I can't comment, I bought 'ours' as last stock / display model at huge discount then rebuilt it at home!

    Hope this helps.

    BTW, allow extra in the budget for helmet, gloves, padded shorts, shoes, etc.

  • Be gentle with me....1 year 7 weeks agoTo answer your questions -

    To answer your questions - and some more general but essential advice...

    First thing up is training - have a scout around on the Bikeability for training courses near you. Most important thing is that you come home from a ride (am sure SWMBO will agree on this one), and getting yourself genned up on road awareness and positioning from a cyclist's perspective will help.

    Getting on to a cycle repair course wouldn't be a bad idea either, if only to brush up on knowledge from 30-40 years ago.

    For a returning cyclist, my thinking is that a hybrid would be ideal. The recently reviewed Hoy Shizuoka looks pretty tasty if you can squeeze £700 out of the family budget (added a bit for lights, lock, miscellaneous bits and bobs). But there's plenty of decent similar bikes out there at a more budget friendly price - previous year's models and so on. Spend as much as you can, nothing worse than crawling around on a beast that needs repairing every 2 days (this from personal experience).

    Once you've got a few thousand miles under your belt, time to starting getting an n+1 bike, or moving up to a full on road/cross/mtb bike, depending on what you fancy doing.

    Take puncture repair kit - mini pump, sticky patches, tyre levers, spare tube - everywhere. And a chain repair tool.

    Cycle with friends. Load up lunch in a pannier or backpack, take wife and/or children. Join a local club. Have a look at GoSkyRide, and turn up to collect yellow bib and a couple of hours of fun. Or just find a cafe in a village 10-15 miles away, ride out, have some coffee and a slice of cake, come home awesome.

    Turbo trainers are okay..ish. I use one when it's vile and wet and windy, and watch old episodes of Star Trek or some Sufferfest. But road is where the heart is, for me anyway.

    On the fitness side of things, cycling is a pretty good (and amazingly fun) way of improving general and cardiovascular fitness, and for weight control. Eat a sensible, varied diet with loads of fresh stuff and fruit and veg. And just pile on the miles in the saddle (some core work is a handy complement - I think there's some articles on yoga somewhere on this site).

  • Castelli Prima Gloves1 year 7 weeks agoI went for the Giro Bravo LF

    I went for the Giro Bravo LF full finger glove at about £20.

    I use them in the summer to stop my hands burning (sun allergy...) and they're very comfortable in 25C full sun. For winter they sufficed to about 5C before the cold really got through.

    No "capacitative touch technology", but at least some thumb and palm padding which does me just fine.

  • Front Light for Really Dark Nights _ Any Recommendations??1 year 7 weeks agoNo, no issues at all with

    No, no issues at all with charging. It's a very good light indeed. No mains charger supplied so I just use any phone one that's knocking around.

    On that, the light has two charge modes, one green flash on low power charging and one blue flash on high power. I've found, so far, that only the old style Apple charger (big one) provides blue charging. There may be others.

    On the rest of the range I'd consider the Power Drive XL the minimum for a serious commute but, reallly, the Mega Drive rocks. Extra battery, should you not get the loaded box, is only about £20?

  • Shimano Road Discs: Final thoughts (for now)1 year 7 weeks agoJugular vein, carotid artery-

    Jugular vein, carotid artery- js; discs on my Cube Hyde are great, especially when ridng with old stagers on my Tuesday riding group!

  • Third cyclist killed on London Cycle Superhighway, tipper lorry involved1 year 7 weeks agoI just do not see how any

    I just do not see how any sentient human being can sleep at night directing cyclists on to "super highways" that are regularly used by HGV' s. It is criminally negligent and at least the coroner in the most recent case is putting TFL on the spot.
    Upper Thames as mentioned above is in my opinion one of the most dangerous roads in London with all the industrial traffic along it and the Southwark bridge intersection (on the superhighway) is just horrible. I have contacted TFL about this accident waiting to happen but you just get the usual BS back.
    My condolences to the family, we do not know the circumstances but we do know the outcome and it is tragic.

  • Be gentle with me....1 year 7 weeks agoYes, yes and yes. Next

    Yes, yes and yes. Next question please (just kidding). Just the simple process of getting out there in the fresh air, building your distance and fitness will sort the surplus pounds out. It is important to have a think about what you put in the tank as beer and fast food will not help the situation (you Don't mention if it is a factor and I'm not assuming it is). What you will find is that as you build your distance, you will naturally start to think about what you eat etc.
    The health/wellbeing benefits alone make it worthwhile as the more you get into it, the leaner you will become. Do you have a local cycling club as they tend to be helpful, friendly and a good source of advice ?
    Turbo training has its fans but it's not for me as I would rather get out on a mountain bike in crappy weather than remain indoors. However if you can cope with the monotony there is a reason why people use them !
    This probably is the hardest time of the year to get started (shortening days and worsening weather) but if you're enthusiastic go for it. Perhaps set yourself a goal of entering a shortish sportive for the spring ?
    As for bikes you broadly get what you pay for with better quality components that will last better as a general rule. That said, I have heard good things about the btwin as an entry level bike. Do you have a local bike shop (LBS) ? Another good source of advice and worth supporting as I would recommend going there for servicing over and above your other thoughts....
    In your shoes and if you could stretch things a little further I would look at some of the 2013 clearance models reduce to the 500 pound level as you will get a lot more for your money - some retailers are cutting 20-30% and if Halfords is your choice, have a look at Boardman bikes - all fine bikes in their own right.
    Good luck and go for it. Just one cautionary word, if you get into it, you never buy just one bike.....

  • Just in: Charge Plug 51 year 7 weeks agoIf it's from Charge and it's

    If it's from Charge and it's not the return of the Blender, I don't want to know.

  • Castelli Prima Gloves1 year 7 weeks agoTwice as good as DeFeet Dura

    Twice as good as DeFeet Dura for £12.60 ?

  • Third cyclist killed on London Cycle Superhighway, tipper lorry involved1 year 7 weeks agoA V Lowe wrote:First can you

    A V Lowe wrote:
    First can you explain your maths - 2 dead on CS2 at Bow Roundabout, 1 dead on CS2 at Aldgate/Commercial Street, plus now a further death between those locations on Mile End Road? That makes four?

    The other Bow Roundabout fatality of course was Svitlana Tereschenko, three weeks after Brian Dorling, but it wasn't on CS2 itself. The site is at the western end of the new extension that opens today.

  • Third cyclist killed on London Cycle Superhighway, tipper lorry involved1 year 7 weeks agoPS Apparently CS2 extension

    PS Apparently CS2 extension to Stratford makes a very passable canal after even a mild shower.. perhaps they should have thought about drains when building a route with 6" kerbs on each side and then blocking it off with a raised pedestrian crossing point?

    If design of route cannot get that basic detail right what of the more critical designing out of inherently dangerous conflicting movements?

  • Third cyclist killed on London Cycle Superhighway, tipper lorry involved1 year 7 weeks agoFirst can you explain your

    First can you explain your maths - 2 dead on CS2 at Bow Roundabout, 1 dead on CS2 at Aldgate/Commercial Street, plus now a further death between those locations on Mile End Road? That makes four?

    There but for some sixth sense? White rigid 18T with box and tail lift made my alarm system trip first by the way he passed me on Stamford Street - I then passed on way to Southwark Bridge and turned to head up in to the City - somehow I just knew he would be going my way and I made sure I clocked the driver at Upper Thames Street lights - me central position with other cyclists going on up Queen Street. Truck driver in n/s lane not signalling and sure enough he sets off to turn RIGHT probably about 17.45 (as it will be on CCTV). Having made the driver well aware of my presence I was thankful that this was sufficient to make him suitably cautious about pulling away and my presence (and that of a few other cyclists forced him to drive with appropriate to that presence (but still never signalled the right turn!) Vehicle nominally white with green lettering for a produce supplier based in Ockenden (watch out for that guy he needs a bit of 'care around cyclists' training.

    The other of today's 'bads' what news of the cyclist trapped by coach turning Southampton Row-Theobalds Road? Had that attempted by 7.5T (C1) driver a couple of months back - again no signal (initially) - as a cyclist you are invited to use bus lane which then becomes left filter for Theobalds Road. You need to sit well to the right in the lane and make left turning motor vehicle drivers pass behind to make the turn - not this guy - we set off and I wonder why he seems to be taking a course so close, slow and parallel to me - look in to the cab and I realise he wants to turn left and was expecting me to stop so that he could cut me up, but I of course kept moving straight ahead. Could have been nasty. Trying to figure what I'd have done aside from deflection turn and grabbing door handle/mirror bracket or punching in n/s window to get something more substantial to hang on to. Just like CS2 a fundamental flaw in the road layout and traffic management at this junction.

    Oh and @Neil753 next year sees the deadline for the first wave of 35 hour CPC for C+E licence holders. Going around even the big name training providers NONE seems to have a module to address the relationship between users of large trucks and of cycles. Some are even signing off (and being accepted as meeting the standards) by doing same modules each year. Where's the sense in that? Very pleased though that (ONLY in Scotland) Police Scotland and Traffic Commissioner have a Memorandum of Understanding and every vocational licence holder stopped for use of a mobile device is automatically being reported to TAO - expect to hear of short licence suspensions in addition to penalty points if the Commissioner needs to get tough with the crack-down.

  • Third cyclist killed on London Cycle Superhighway, tipper lorry involved1 year 7 weeks agoWilliam Black wrote:Surely

    William Black wrote:
    Surely it's time for the DVLA to seriously reconsider the standards required to pass the HGV licence?

    They are without question some of the most lethal vehicles on the road but seem to be driven almost exclusively by labrador brained knucleheads, that's not to say that any vehicle cannot be driven by similarly labrador brained knucleheads but HGVs by their very nature are more dangerous. [/sweeping generalisations regarding fat lorry drivers>


    A bit extreme, isn't it? As a C+E licence holder, I'd say the testing standards in the UK are among the highest within the EU, We now have to undertake regular professional competence training by law, and stringent medical testing starts when you reach the age of 45. All measures far beyond those required of other drivers.

    It isn't so much the standard of training that is the problem, it is the degree of pressure to which the driver is exposed which increases the chances of a fatal "accident". If firms pay "by the load", or make the "delivery window" quite difficult to achieve in heavy traffic, you just know that safety will be compromised. Subcontracting means that you can ligitimately distance your own organisation from certain health and safety issues. Utter the right sysmpathetic platitudes, instigate another "driver awareness" program, but make sure those contractors keep their trucks rolling ever faster.

    My condolances to the family and friends of the cyclist who died today. Very sad.

  • Third cyclist killed on London Cycle Superhighway, tipper lorry involved1 year 7 weeks agoNeil753 wrote:William Black

    Neil753 wrote:
    William Black wrote:
    Surely it's time for the DVLA to seriously reconsider the standards required to pass the HGV licence?

    They are without question some of the most lethal vehicles on the road but seem to be driven almost exclusively by labrador brained knucleheads, that's not to say that any vehicle cannot be driven by similarly labrador brained knucleheads but HGVs by their very nature are more dangerous. [/sweeping generalisations regarding fat lorry drivers>


    A bit extreme, isn't it? As a C+E licence holder, I'd say the testing standards in the UK are among the highest within the EU, We now have to undertake regular professional competence training by law, and stringent medical testing starts when you reach the age of 45. All measures far beyond those required of other drivers.

    It isn't so much the standard of training that is the problem, it is the degree of pressure to which the driver is exposed which increases the chances of a fatal "accident". If firms pay "by the load", or make the "delivery window" quite difficult to achieve in heavy traffic, you just know that safety will be compromised. Subcontracting means that you can ligitimately distance your own organisation from certain health and safety issues. Sack the driver, utter the right sysmpathetic platitudes, instigate another "driver awareness" program, but make sure those contractors keep their trucks rolling ever faster.

    My condolances to the family and friends of the cyclist who died today. Very sad.

    Unfortunately there are many driving in the UK on EU licenses and other countries licenses of dubious validity.

  • Lightweight offer custom wheels for Christmas1 year 7 weeks agoHow about: Front Wheel: If

    How about:

    Front Wheel: If you have to ask
    Rear Wheel: You can't afford it Wink

  • Boris Johnson admits riding bike without rear light1 year 7 weeks agoWho would the tourists buy

    Who would the tourists buy their drugs and prostitutes from if we got rid of the rickshaws?

  • Front Light for Really Dark Nights _ Any Recommendations??1 year 7 weeks agovorsprung wrote:Surprised no

    vorsprung wrote:
    Surprised no one has mentioned generator powered lights

    The advantage is the run time - infinite and the time to charge them up -zero

    The disadvantage is the cost, a B&M Cyo + a Shimano wheel with a generator hub is over £100

    Lots of pictures of bikes with generator lights on the blog if you are interested

    Thanks for the Blog Link, I don't normally read blogs; but I've just read through your latest page on your blog, and thoroughly enjoyed it! I also have too many bikes (5) at present; and I've been hunting for a second hand touring bike. Although, my cycling is quite minimalist compared to your sortes.

  • Insurance1 year 7 weeks agoWith that value should be

    With that value should be covered for theft by your house insurance at no extra cost, you would need to check that of course. Then join ctc or British cycling, they always used to give you free third party cover with membership. That usually works out cheapest.

  • Front Light for Really Dark Nights _ Any Recommendations??1 year 7 weeks agoLike the idea of the

    Like the idea of the Generator Hub Dynamo! But, I don't need the hassle; all I need is a good quality front light. Looked on the Torchy Site. Wow, there's some food for thought on there. Seems there are some fantastic lights for £30 to £40, But what to choose; and where from in the UK?

  • Third cyclist killed on London Cycle Superhighway, tipper lorry involved1 year 7 weeks agoOne life lost is one too

    One life lost is one too many! Now there have been three cyclists killed in the same area. Something must be done to ensure this sad situation does not happen again.

    My Sincere Sympathy to the family and friends of the Deceased Cyclist. My Condolances.

  • Third cyclist killed on London Cycle Superhighway, tipper lorry involved1 year 7 weeks agoAnother issue that needs

    Another issue that needs addressing is the paying of Tipper Trucks 'by the load' which can only encourage drivers to go quickly and get in more loads.

    The construction industry in London should self regulate and ban this practice. Or Boris should sort them out.

    Not saying it is an issue in this tragedy, but Tipper trucks are far too often involved and need stronger regulation, safety and training.