• Lightless cyclist locked up by Lancashire Police1 year 12 weeks agoeurotrash, I would expect a

    eurotrash, I would expect a dead light to be the same as no light. The prospect of finding myself in the same predicament is why I now carry small backup lights (Electron Backupz, Aldi had some recently, about £4?) at this time of year.

  • Wiggle rides into Twitter storm over 'make helmets compulsory' blog1 year 12 weeks agoForester wrote:I have only

    Forester wrote:
    I have only had one fall in many years of cycling and due to the head injury can't remember how it happened- front wheel may have slipped off the edge of the tarmac into a gravel gulley. A cracked helmet in my shed is testimony to the severity, a CT showed a subarachnoid haemorrhage, as well as fractures into double figures. I am now cycling again, this time on a stable hybrid with big tyres, at a slightly slower speed. And with a new helmet (personal choice).

    This is not a debate about whether helmets can make a difference to an individual who has an accident and hits their head, this is a debate about making helmet wearing mandatory and criminalising those that don't wear helmets.

    If you make helmet wearing mandatory the population's overall health will suffer - obesity, heart disease, stoke, cancer, these are the big killers, if you deter people from one of the easiest safest forms of exercise, then you are condemning some of them to early deaths. The deaths from non exercise would be 30x - 100x that of the deaths from head injuries. And another thing, all this over-reaction about helmets is also scaring people off of cycling, regardless of whether they would wear a helmet when cycling, it is very wrong.

    I had a nasty accident, my head hit the tarmac damn hard, I was knocked unconscious and like someone else's relative was mentioned on this thread, was dragged off the road to safety, I wasn't wearing a helmet, I'm not brain damaged, I'm not dead. And this is all irrelevant because anecdotal evidence means nothing and whether or not helmets protect peoples heads is besides the point - the point which I made in the previous paragraph.

    Pedestrians also have accidents, they are at the same risk from head injury, why is it that no-one is demanding they wear helmets, shouldn't we also criminalise pedestrians that foolishly choose not to wear helmets?

    I defy anyone to read this report (fully) and still support law on the issue:
    http://www.ctc.org.uk/sites/default/files/file_public/cycle-helmets-evid...

  • Study finds paracetamol helps cyclists' endurance - but health and ethical questions arise1 year 12 weeks agoAnyone tempted to experiment

    Anyone tempted to experiment with paracetemol in this way should have a thorough read of this first:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paracetamol_toxicity

  • Rapha Merino Drawcord Hat1 year 12 weeks agoCan we agree to stop clogging

    Can we agree to stop clogging up the comments with price moans and links to things that cost less money? It's really tiresome and, believe it or not, no one comes here to read your opinion on a product you've never used and have decided you don't need.

  • Cycling sales boom at Halfords as retailer posts interim results1 year 12 weeks agoI worked in various Halfords

    I worked in various Halfords stores as a 6th-former and Uni student 10-15 years ago. Halfords were just starting to get a good range of bikes in (GT, Voodoo) and their own "premium" offerings (Carrera, Real) were quite credible at the time. We were also able to get hold of Pace, Hope and almost any other desirable brands at competitive prices.

    The service from the shops was highly variable though; perhaps as it is now, based on reading around forums. In my time, you either got a bike nut like me or a numpty from the motoring side of the shop.

    At times, we were encouraged to offer bikes just boxed to customers, complete with a "tool kit" (piece of metal with spanner holes stamped into it). You may know that bikes tend to come with forks reversed when packaged from the factory and, for the reason above, I think this is why you see so many people riding with them like this - they don't know that you need to twist them 180 degrees.

    You have to remember that Halfords is what Debenhams or Currys are to their respective sectors. I still think they're streets ahead of the likes of Motaman or Argos for cycles.

    Find a good store, with good staff; and Halfords take some beating as a package for the Everyman cyclist (with some bargains, too, for the rarified road.cc reader). Just be careful to spot the bad ones...

  • Wiggle rides into Twitter storm over 'make helmets compulsory' blog1 year 12 weeks agoIf the govt make it

    If the govt make it compulsory i'm going to switch off my laptop for a day or two because i dont think it could take the strain if i logged onto the road.cc forum !

    I wear one, i look like a numpty, it does not make me feel any safer nor will it stop a runaway car if i try to stop it with my head nor does it make me think i can go even faster now i'm wearing me lid. What it does do though is IF i come off and bang my noggin on the road, street furniture etc it MIGHT stop me getting a concussion or a split head and thats enough for me to wear one.

  • New Cervélo S2 launched +video1 year 12 weeks agoNo, Cervelo launched a new S3

    No, Cervelo launched a new S3 at Eurobike - http://road.cc/content/news/91938-cervelo-launch-all-new-versions-r3-and...

  • Annual Oxford bike lights crackdown sees 171 cyclists fined1 year 12 weeks agovbvb wrote: Anyone got any

    vbvb wrote:

    Anyone got any stats on how many cyclists are killed or injured when cycling w/o lights and whether the cyclist who knows they are unseen is more at risk than one who thinks they have been seen? I wonder, do drivers go more slowly if they are constantly coming past ninja cyclists. Does this then save pedestrian lives?

    I am not sure whether this is what you are looking for, but it seems that not having lights is a very minor cause of cyclist casualties. Most bike/car collisions are down to the driver, it seems.

    http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2009/dec/15/cycling-bike-acciden...

    "A tiny proportion of accidents involving cyclists are caused by riders jumping red lights or stop signs, or failing to wear high-visibility clothing and use lights, a government-commissioned study has discovered.

    "The study, carried out for the Department for Transport, found that in 2% of cases where cyclists were seriously injured in collisions with other road users police said that the rider disobeying a stop sign or traffic light was a likely contributing factor. Wearing dark clothing at night was seen as a potential cause in about 2.5% of cases, and failure to use lights was mentioned 2% of the time.

  • Beginner's guide to cyclo-cross essentials1 year 12 weeks agomonty dog wrote:A jet wash is

    monty dog wrote:
    A jet wash is also the quickest way to ruin your wheel and BB bearings and incur expensive bills....

    I was surprised to read in 'Cyclist' about pro mechanics using high pressure jetwashes to clean down the team bikes each night, then again it also said that they replace the grip tape every two days and brake blocks as often as every day so I think they can afford to replace shot bearings each week too!

  • Another, deeper fantasy idea1 year 12 weeks agoWe have one last-minute

    We have one last-minute opening: Katusha with Uran, van den Broeck, Fuglsang, Hushovd, Goss, Goos, Polanc, and over 60% of their budget still untouched. The auctions are very intense right now, so only sign up if you have free time this very weekend.

  • Wiggle rides into Twitter storm over 'make helmets compulsory' blog1 year 12 weeks agofelixcat wrote:ColT

    felixcat wrote:
    ColT wrote:
    Every time someone mentions helmets, the same old stuff gets trotted out by...

    ...oh, never mind, I can't be bothered.

    Move on. Nothing to see here.

    Are you familiar with John Adams's work? Do you know it all already? Do you understand risk homeostasis?

    I suppose you have made up your mind and will not change it.

    Nope you've lost me there. I'm an art historian.

    Careful before you make assumptions, my friend. The point is precisely the opposite to what you are supposing; I have not made up my mind and will happily change it as and when incontrovertible evidence is presented one way or the other.

    What I am getting at is that each time the H word comes up we get the same old stuff:

    - anecdotal evidence about how 'my helmet saved my life'. It may well have done, but there is no way of knowing this, so why keep trotting out this kind of information. I've previously cited evidence about people wearing hard hats on building sites and the increase in the occurrence of head banging incidents (head made bigger etc, etc.) to illustrate the point.

    - rabid pro vs rabid anti helmet use. Let's face it, the scientists and experts cannot agree, so why do so many spring up on some forum trying to berate/belittle others for not agreeing with their particular stance? By all means have an opinion, but keep it to yourself unless there is incontrovertible evidence. (See above re experts unable to agree.)

    - the dropping a rock on a bare head vs helmeted argument. Meaningless.

    - the perpetuation of the primacy of vehicle use. i.e. this is what demonisation of cyclists - with or without helmets - contributes to each time this comes up.

    It is really unhelpful for we cyclists to be fighting amongst ourselves on this. Every post could simply be redirected at getting drivers to take more care and/or getting certain idiot cyclists to engage their brains.

    For what it's worth, I wear a helmet when training, largely because I have to wear one when racing. As a design engineer explained to me, in the event of a fall/accident, a helmet may save you, it may cause you injury, but most likely it will make no difference at all. My concern is that people continue to bang on about compulsory helmets as if they are always going to save your life.

    In the end, what I find most exasperating in this debate (hence my initial 'can't be bothered') is that so many seem able to accept that they could be wrong. I'd love to see this 'evidence' I've been alluding to, but I shan't be holding my breath.

  • Lightless cyclist locked up by Lancashire Police1 year 12 weeks agoeurotrash wrote:Question: a

    eurotrash wrote:
    Question: a week ago I started my commute home and my front light battery died. So I cycled most of the way back with only a rear light. I did feel like a twat.
    Well my question is, in that case could I be fined? Is it just for riding "without" lights, does the fact that I have a non-functional light attached mitigate anything?

    Personally speaking i would give you the benefit of the doubt and ask you to change your battery asap, pointing out the possible ramifications ie accident and to be careful on the way home.

    You would end up being a happy chap having been spoken to politely and left with some honest advice.

    Off the top of my head there is an offence called "lights, not in proper working order" which would cover what you described, however i'm not sure if this only applies to motor vehicles. Its under the road traffic act (construction and use section) if you really want to get mindnumbingly bored and read up about it.

  • Lightless cyclist locked up by Lancashire Police1 year 12 weeks agoCritchio wrote:Stopped for no

    Critchio wrote:
    Stopped for no lights - offence, fair enough. The Police have a few options I'd say. Advise, gain co-operation and get the guy to walk, or deal formally with offence by way of ticket. If the Police do nothing and the cyclist carries on riding and gets killed just up the road in a vehicle collision..... well the consequences are not good for the Police.

    I dont go with this whole attitude test thing, I reckon most Police decide what they are going to do before they engage the person, you know being impartial and all that... I'd be utterly disappointed if that were the case and the norm. So it looks like the officer decided the formal method - issue a ticket. Thats the officers call and we should not judge them on it. The cyclist fails to give his details necessary for the ticket. The officer has no choice in that case - the Police cannot back down and nor would I want them to. Its actually the cyclist that is now dictating what move the Police have to do next. The cyclist might have refused the ticket. Either way he gets nabbed for failing to give details so that he could have be summonsed. If the cyclist was being gobby then the Police would have nabbed him for that I would suggest.

    So he's locked up in a Police cell. The Police now have to deal with him. How, exactly? What are their options? They can release him without charge. Having established his details at the station they could release him after reporting him for summons which is what appears to have happened. I'm not sure why he went to court, maybe he refused to accept a caution, or a penalty notice and there was no other option, or not all options were considered because of the circumstances in the station. I would also suggest that if he had a legal representative at the station they can often give bad advice, such going "no comment" if interviewed or not saying anything other than confirming identity. I do agree that its not the best offence to take to court, but if this cyclist has been very awkward sometimes the Police have to go down a course of action that they even find themselves cringing over.

    The Police always release press statements that are very, very carefully considered - they have to because of potential litigation. The press can be a monster if not treated with care. The Police never reveal the full story or go into detail because of this and very often I'm sure they'd love to shout, "Hang on a minute this is what actually happened, so wind yer feckin necks in!" But they can't and always take unfair and unwaranted criticism as a result, which they take on the chin, keep calm and carry on.

    I am personally a little miffed by the CPS lawyers comments when nearly all of the time its the CPS who get it wrong. There are also ways of doing things to resolve matters that does not involve the blame game, which is how this looks.

    Fab reply mate, someone with a bit of common sense Applause

  • Wiggle rides into Twitter storm over 'make helmets compulsory' blog1 year 12 weeks agoThe compulsory helmet law

    The compulsory helmet law here in New Zealand was introduced after a batshit crazy 'helmet lady' went around all the schools after her son was hit by a car (note 'hit by car' not 'hit car') berating the kids about how dangerous it was to cycle.

    All the helmet law has done is increase the number of cyclists hit by cars. Cyclist numbers never recovered from the drop when the law was introduced in 1994 and the number of injury causing accidents has doubled.

    It's interesting that the first nationwide survey on the effectiveness of compulsory helmets for children in the U.S. found that in States with a compulsory law, head injuries dropped by 15%, but cyclist numbers dropped by 9%. The kids that stopped riding chose to take up other wheeled activities like: roller blades and scooters and the change in the total number of head injuries was statistically insignificant.

    A paper in the New Zealand Medical Journal attributes an additional 54 deaths annually from the loss of health benefits as a result of the drop in people cycling. This is compared to ~ 10 cyclists and 50 pedestrians killed by cars and trucks on the road each year.

    The main safety impact of the helmet law has been 20 years of lack of investment in cycling infrastructure due to helmets being the only safety intervention. The financial costs are likely to be considerable as Auckland is now the world's (TomToms) 15th most congested city, which our bloated Transport Minister is intending to solve with $20 Billion worth of motorways.

    It's actually refreshing to see Christchurch intending to be a pedestrian and cyclist friendly city as part of the rebuild and the plans for that are pretty stunning.

  • Study finds paracetamol helps cyclists' endurance - but health and ethical questions arise1 year 12 weeks agoFor what it is worth, as a

    For what it is worth, as a cyclist with dodgy knees, the Sunday lunch break often gave me a problem getting back on the bike. The stiffening up gave me a lot of pain setting off again but I found after a couple of paracetamol taken after or during lunch the pain subsided and getting home was much easier. I can't say the same for time trials, the pain is always the same, acute.

  • Bearing race fitting advice1 year 12 weeks agoThanks for your offer

    Thanks for your offer drfabulous0 unfortunately i'm in Bath, i'm sure i can cobble together something from bits n bobs in the garage.

    At least i now know that they should be a tight fit, i was previously unsure as i recently built a Dolan winter bike and the race just dropped straight down on the fork.

  • Beginner's guide to cyclo-cross essentials1 year 12 weeks agoA jet wash is also the

    A jet wash is also the quickest way to ruin your wheel and BB bearings and incur expensive bills....

  • Study finds paracetamol helps cyclists' endurance - but health and ethical questions arise1 year 12 weeks agoIt appears that these studies

    It appears that these studies all took place indoors on static turbo trainers (obviously this makes it easier to standardise the test), where getting too hot is a real problem. Overheating in these kind of indoor tests is well known to significantly reduce one's effective power output even with the use of fans (see Bicycling Science by David Wilson, chapter 3 for details of how much). So while I don't find these claims about paracetamol use surprising, I'd bet the effect on real outdoors riding to be much much less significant or possibly insignificant.

  • Wiggle rides into Twitter storm over 'make helmets compulsory' blog1 year 12 weeks agoI have only had one fall in

    I have only had one fall in many years of cycling and due to the head injury can't remember how it happened- front wheel may have slipped off the edge of the tarmac into a gravel gulley. A cracked helmet in my shed is testimony to the severity, a CT showed a subarachnoid haemorrhage, as well as fractures into double figures. I am now cycling again, this time on a stable hybrid with big tyres, at a slightly slower speed. And with a new helmet (personal choice).

  • Wiggle rides into Twitter storm over 'make helmets compulsory' blog1 year 12 weeks agoTo all those who have

    To all those who have 'crashed' had 'offs' and have claimed that the helmet saved them. What have you learnt through your experience?

    I remember years ago being ambushed by some black ice. Bike went one way while I slid for thirty feet on my arse. After that I treated roads like kid gloves in icey conditions. Ride according to the road conditions. Ride defensively. Don't over cook corners. Don't bomb down hills your not familiar with. It's easy.

    It amazes me the number of cyclists here that are prone to falling off. In the last 7 years I have covered probably 45,000 miles. In that time I have come off twice. Once when a pedestrian stepped out in front of me. The other when a couldn't up clip at a set of lights.

    It's easy. Learn not to fall off your bike. And if you are going to fall, learn how to fall.

  • Annual Oxford bike lights crackdown sees 171 cyclists fined1 year 12 weeks agoQuote:Nobody can complain

    Quote:
    Nobody can complain about this, surely? It's for the cyclists' own good and is a sensibly targeted campaign which has a strong likelihood of making a positive difference.

    Anyone got any stats on how many cyclists are killed or injured when cycling w/o lights and whether the cyclist who knows they are unseen is more at risk than one who thinks they have been seen? I wonder, do drivers go more slowly if they are constantly coming past ninja cyclists. Does this then save pedestrian lives?

    If it is for the cyclists own good, why are so many people who are riled up over this issue completely without voice on any other cycling safety concern, bar maybe rlj, helmet compulsion and pavement cycling? Are they all campaigning to stop skip lorries at rush hour, saying it's for cyclists' good? No they are not.

    Most people all fired up about this are not motivated by safety at all, I think - the motivation is the UK's poisonous argy bargy angry media culture and a need to keep outsider groups in their place.

    I use lights so I can go at speeds I can't if unlit and unseen. Not interested in other cyclists' choice on this point. They are not cars and almost never kill people.

  • Wiggle rides into Twitter storm over 'make helmets compulsory' blog1 year 12 weeks ago700c wrote: ... Or when you

    700c wrote:
    ... Or when you come off unexpectedly. in a proportion of these accidents you will hit your head. And in a proportion of these head impacts the helmet will lessen the damage to your head.

    What is wrong with you helmet-wearing types that makes you keep falling off your bikes? What particularly amazes me is the matter-of-fact way you describe such events as if they were entirely normal and routinely encountered multiple times per day/week/month.

    Why don't you just look where you are going and ride at a speed appropriate to the circumstances rather than strapping a piece of foam on your head? Then you won't "come off unexpectedly". It's not difficult.

  • Annual Oxford bike lights crackdown sees 171 cyclists fined1 year 12 weeks agoThey should crack down on all

    They should crack down on all unlit vehicles, not only bikes!

  • Stages Power meter1 year 12 weeks agopwake wrote:You're right

    pwake wrote:
    You're right about the VAT but it still doesn't account for the price discrepancy. I'm in Texas; if I buy a Rival or 105 online from Stages it's $699+$10 shipping; that converts to only around £440. Add 20% to that and you are still a long way off £699.

    You are... although that would be more relevant if the Rival and 105 Stages systems did cost £699, rather than the £599 that they actually do cost.

    And you have to factor in import duty as well as VAT.

  • Wiggle rides into Twitter storm over 'make helmets compulsory' blog1 year 12 weeks agoperfect1964 wrote: I miss the

    perfect1964 wrote:

    I miss the good old days when there were very few of us cycling and no way near the number of clueless accidents waiting to happen.

    I suggest you move to the east coast of Australia, then, where there are very few cyclists and they get treated by drivers with the contempt they clearly deserve for daring to be out on roads that were clearly built for cars.

    Or, as Mike Hall called it after his round-the-the-world ride "the worst place I've ever ridden a bike."