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by pjclinch
29 Jul 2021, 8:45am
Forum: Helmets & helmet discussion
Topic: Liberating
Replies: 59
Views: 1152

Re: Liberating

NATURAL ANKLING wrote: 28 Jul 2021, 11:55am While all this controversy exists about whether to wear a helmet or not.
It's very difficult isn't it as a parent or as a teacher or as a trainer or even a person as part of a group.

if you're a trainer you have to go with what is regarded as correct by your employer.
Parents are stuck in the middle.
And yes I can see that a bald head will always raise eyebrows in this type of environment.

until inconclusive evidence exists on the subject which I think will be a long time coming, we just have to respect an individual's choice.
If it's inconclusive evidence you want, we have plenty of that already! :wink:

The thing is we do have the mechanisms to deal with things with the evidence we have. If you've tried a public health and safety intervention for well over 20 years and it hasn't had any tangible effect on health and safety, you stop plugging it as important as a general public level intervention. The end.

But, no, we keep on insisting they're important at a general public advice level.
We assume they're important because people keep going on about them.
People keep going on about then because they assume they're important.

It's the perceived importance that makes it a minefield for parents. They want to do what's best for their children, but pervasive cultural values are not a reliable guide to what's best. If that were otherwise it would surely be a good thing to dress one's daughter exclusively in pink and encourage her to want to be a princess...

Pete.
by pjclinch
29 Jul 2021, 8:37am
Forum: Helmets & helmet discussion
Topic: Liberating
Replies: 59
Views: 1152

Re: Liberating

Mike Sales wrote: 28 Jul 2021, 12:06pm
I think shouted helmet advice must be rare.
I never had it until I started riding around with children, but then? Vive la difference!
Most of Pj's experience is not abuse either.
Again, the rules seem to change as soon as you have kids in there. Having someone walk in to the road pointing at you, shouting at you that you are irresponsible in front of dozens of people in a city centre, a clear act of public shaming, counts as abusive in my eyes.

That my daughter got pulled out in her classes at school at about age 7/8 or so and sternly lectured in front of her peers to always wear a helmet on a bike, no questions, is deeply wrong, and as anyone who remembers being in primary school will know, that's the sort of thing that sets off a chain of (small-time, but still deeply unpleasant) haranguing and power games to put the person "in the wrong" down.

If an adult rides without a helmet then they're widely regarded as an idiot, but if they ride without them with children and let their children ride without them too then that is seen as deeply irresponsible and worthy of very public rebuke. Hence the complaints against me that ultimately had me abandon my teaching involvement in Bikeability Scotland. It's not much like fun when the thanks you get is being treated like dirt.
I have found that when I have had a chance to have a word with drivers who have endangered me (I usually manage this reasonably amicably) they bring up the subject of helmets. It is almost as if they think that they would not have to take as much care not to harm us if we would only wear a helmet.
Second hand anecdote, I'm afraid, but I was once told the tale of a rider who was approaching some lights and was quite pleased that the following car was being driven just as it should be, hanging back and giving him time and space.
When he'd stopped at the lights the car came alongside, down came the window, and as well as being told he should have been wearing a helmet he was told why: so it would've been safe enough for the driver to squeeze by!

Pete.
by pjclinch
28 Jul 2021, 10:48am
Forum: Helmets & helmet discussion
Topic: Liberating
Replies: 59
Views: 1152

Re: Liberating

mattheus wrote: 27 Jul 2021, 11:45am
No, you probably haven't - whereas everyone that rides bare-headed will at some point receive some "advice" about it.
(if they go on the internet, they will DEFINITELY get this advice!)
I'm a qualified Bikeability Scotland instructor. I gave my time away to teach it as a volunteer, but I always made a point of riding like I usually ride in that sort of un-sporty context, not using any special gear. Last time I did it I had anonymous parental complaints that I "set a bad example". There is nothing in the curriculum or National Standards requiring or even recommending their use for training, but despite that the Local Authority didn't back me up, and now none in Scotland will let me give my time away to teach (Cycling Scotland were happy to pay me as a consultant to feed in to the last revision of the resources, but Local Authorities actually in charge of delivering the course can't have the likes of me being seen by children learning to ride). I get a lot of respect from people that actually know what they're on about, but as far as Local Authorities are concerned I'm a dangerous heretic and can't be trusted.

I've had abuse shouted at me in the streets for riding with my kids without helmets, back when they were at school they were frequently lectured by peers and teachers that they were in the wrong (I demanded that staff at their primary school not do that, backed up with a lot of evidence, and while the school complied with my request it made me persona non-grata as far as the Head was concerned).

And on the Internet, of course, I've been subject to a constant stream of abuse ranging up to pretty much having blood on my hands.

I'm not going to try and pretend it's anything like as bad as everyday racism/sexism for folk that suffer from those, but I think it's fair to say that it's difficult to understand just how much grief one can get for breaking with the main UK helmet culture if you always ride in a lid.

Pete.
by pjclinch
27 Jul 2021, 2:27pm
Forum: Cycle Camping sub-forum
Topic: Bivvi bags - advice please
Replies: 126
Views: 7983

Re: Bivvi bags - advice please

The missus and I use Exped inflatable pillows, they work very well and have a tiny pack size. For years I'd just gone for the fill the stuffsack with clothes option but I find the Exped genuinely better, https://www.exped.com/usa/en/air-pillow-ul-m

Pulling a Buff around it as a cover makes it a bit comfier and less prone to slip out of place.

Pete.
by pjclinch
27 Jul 2021, 10:26am
Forum: Non-standard, Human Powered Vehicles
Topic: Recumbent Chain
Replies: 6
Views: 193

Re: Recumbent Chain

Yes, you just splice multiple chains together.

Because you're spreading the wear they do last longer, and also because road crunge thrown up by the front wheel doesn't go straight on to the chainwheel IME they last longer by way of staying cleaner too.

Pete.
by pjclinch
26 Jul 2021, 10:55am
Forum: Helmets & helmet discussion
Topic: Liberating
Replies: 59
Views: 1152

Re: Liberating

I have a T3 I use walking, though I find the T1 better suited to the bike as the brim doesn't get so twisted in the wind (be that self generated or ambient).

Crown pocket handy for a "just in case" face-mask now the nice weather is lowering other pocket possibilities.

Pete.
by pjclinch
25 Jul 2021, 2:28pm
Forum: Helmets & helmet discussion
Topic: Liberating
Replies: 59
Views: 1152

Re: Liberating

Blondie wrote: 24 Jul 2021, 5:47pm You’ve seen the light. A nice cycling cotton cap does a great job in hot weather and rain.
Having used cotton ones for years I'm now using a synthetic Walz three panel in summer and find it generally more comfortable (for winter they do nice merino ones with earflaps, they do cotton too)

I also use a cotton duck Tilley T1 bucket hat if it's very sunny, as that gives sun protection to my ears and a bit at the back too. With the turned down brim it works better on the bike at anything like speed than a "normal" Tilley.

Pete.
by pjclinch
25 Jul 2021, 10:29am
Forum: Cycle Camping sub-forum
Topic: New tent?
Replies: 57
Views: 2062

Re: New tent?

nsew wrote: 22 Jul 2021, 10:14am Hubba Hubba NX

Fabric:
Flysheet: 20D Nylon ripstop with Durashield coating (1200mm HH)
Groundsheet: 30D Nylon ripstop

That’s a 1 season tent - dry season and “please God I hope this wind lets up”. Pitch on wet cold ground and you’ll think it’s leaking. It’s not (yet), it’s the condensation seeping through under your mat. Think puddles. Clearly the tent needs the footprint (pay up) which I believe is 70denier 2000mm HH. The bare minimum 1200mm HH fly will induce prayers in a sustained heavy downpour. Fabrics and coatings deteriorate over time with use and exposure. There’s very little room for deterioration in that tent.
We have the older, and actually chunkier, HP model of the Hubba Hubba, and what I dislike most is the too-thin-for-my-liking groundsheet, which behaves exactly as above on boggy ground (sometimes inevitable in Scotland, our usual stomping ground).

It's not a bad design, but IME suffers if the campsite isn't fairly benign. According to one's taste in touring, benign may be the general case, but where our use doubles with mountain backpacking in potentially damp places I'm not thrilled with it.

Pete.
by pjclinch
24 Jul 2021, 6:38am
Forum: Cycle Camping sub-forum
Topic: Pertex Quantum, condensation and a sleeping bag
Replies: 38
Views: 693

Re: Pertex Quantum, condensation and a sleeping bag

An addendum, I think nsew's description is on the money (including the probable source of the extra moisture being you, and condensing on the bag shell just after having left in to a colder atmosphere), but...
A problem, as illustrated by my Black Isle anecdote, is you can't necessarily tell before you go to bed whether you want to force up interior temperature by shutting everything or keeping the potential for air moving around greater. The whole thing can swing on a degree or two and/or a small change in relative humidity.

In a humid place like the UK it'll happen from time to time, but good gear will cut it unless everything is getting wetter and wetter day after day. I'd start thinking about an abandon because it's getting miserable, not because you're worried about your sleeping bag.

Pete.
by pjclinch
24 Jul 2021, 6:20am
Forum: Health and fitness
Topic: Diet & Veg.
Replies: 59
Views: 1390

Re: Diet & Veg.

Oldjohnw wrote: 23 Jul 2021, 4:52pm
Sorry, I don’t really consider vegetable extract vegetables.
The word "based" tends to do some pretty heavy lifting in food marketing terminology.

"Processed stuff originally meant to be something like bacon, not using animal products" probably felt less catchy than "veggie bacon"...

As with all highly processed foods, buyer beware.

Pete.
by pjclinch
23 Jul 2021, 9:02pm
Forum: Cycle Camping sub-forum
Topic: Pertex Quantum, condensation and a sleeping bag
Replies: 38
Views: 693

Re: Pertex Quantum, condensation and a sleeping bag

horizon wrote: 23 Jul 2021, 6:25pm ...but this is the first time I have experienced a condensation problem serious enough to consider ending the tour early.
There's a first time for everything, and it's not necessarily the bag or the tent.

On one occasion we camped two nights on the Black Isle, same site, similar winds and temperatures, no rain, summer. First night nothing unusual, second night we woke to the heaviest dew I've ever camped in and the fly was literally dripping inside and out, inner damp to the touch and condensation on the floor and IIRC some on the bags. If you've just experienced a night like that, that might explain everything, and that was with tried and trusted, well respected gear 24 hours after a totally unexceptional night. Camp often enough and a monster condensation event is increasingly guaranteed, but I'd already been going camping for decades before that event.

Down bags don't work well if they're wet, but they need to be pretty much soaked for that to be an issue, not just a bit damp, mainly in the shell. In the UK that'll generally mean the sort of wall to wall rain where you can never dry anything and you'd quite possibly be thinking to hell with it anyway, quite apart from your sleeping bag.

You need to take care of down, but that doesn't mean having to treat it like paper lace.

Pete.
by pjclinch
23 Jul 2021, 4:08pm
Forum: Cycle Camping sub-forum
Topic: Pertex Quantum, condensation and a sleeping bag
Replies: 38
Views: 693

Re: Pertex Quantum, condensation and a sleeping bag

thirdcrank wrote: 23 Jul 2021, 3:00pm
a bit paranoid about getting down bags wet.
Then the obvious thing would be an impermeable liner - then you would know the origing of most of the condensation.
Sold as "vapour barrier liners", and it's a feature, not a bug, designed for seriously cold sleeping. The idea is that otherwise the moisture in the baffles will freeze during the day, which is Not Good, so you stop it ever getting there.

I once saw a grim film of a Russian ski expedition to the North Pole where the first thing they did every day after setting up camp was break apart the icy balls in their sleeping bags. I don't think much fun was being had...

I've never come across anyone using them in the UK.

Pete.
by pjclinch
23 Jul 2021, 4:04pm
Forum: Cycle Camping sub-forum
Topic: Pertex Quantum, condensation and a sleeping bag
Replies: 38
Views: 693

Re: Pertex Quantum, condensation and a sleeping bag

mattheus wrote: 23 Jul 2021, 1:22pm
Meanwhile: why do people want a waterproof bag if you're inside a tent? Isn't breathability/wicking the bigger priority (after warmth, that is!)
/camping_novice
First up, there's a clear difference between waterproof and water resistant. You can get waterproof sleeping bags, but they're rather niche items and very expensive. Most people needing waterproofing will use a waterproof cover like e.g. the Alpkit Hunka.

So being clear we're in the realm of water resistant here, one might want it because you're a bit paranoid and/or the place you're using it is prone to drips, spills etc. (see also: hydrophobic down treatments). Even a plain Pertex (or similar fine low denier synthetic) shell is pretty good at seeing off drips, be they condensation forming directly, coming off something else, drink spills etc., so for a lot of the UK market it's more about paranoia than need. Also, paranoia sells! My bags are ME ones with a "Drilite" shell, and while I wanted the winter one with a just-in-case shell, I got it on the summer one because that range left me no choice...
There's also the factor of consequence of failure. If I get a bag soaked on a spring-autumn UK road based cycle tour odds on the worst case scenario is a cold, uncomfortable sleepless night. If, on the other hand, I'm snow-holing for a few days backcountry ski touring in Norway, miles from anywhere and any phone signal, things look a bit different.

I've not found breathability of lightly proofed shells a problem unless I'm also using them inside a cover when there's sometimes clear damp spots around the edges of the baffles. I suspect that's an indication that (as you suggest) you can have too much of a good thing with waterproofing, and I only use a cover if I feel I really need one (I'm sleeping outside and there's a good chance of rain, or sleeping at the bag's limits and I want all the layers I can get). So on the "it's never done me any harm" front I do lean a bit towards a resistant shell, but the fact is in over 40 years of using down bags I've only had one soaking bag disaster and that was a pretty extreme situation camped high in a sleety blizzard where the only reason we hadn't abandoned was our pals hadn't returned from a winter climb and we needed to see if they got back by morning to decide to call out Mountain Rescue.

On the premise that your tent should be waterproof... well, yes, but even if it stays up you can end up touching condensation covered walls, and in conditions where it rains for days it's actually really hard to keep things dry. It gets easier with a bigger tent and experience, but especially over a few days it's really hard to keep stuff dry in a lightweight tent, because any time you go outside you get soaked, and then you go back in... This point means that the longer your trip, the better idea a resistant shell is, just in case the rain sets in.

Pete.
by pjclinch
23 Jul 2021, 2:21pm
Forum: Helmets & helmet discussion
Topic: Liberating
Replies: 59
Views: 1152

Re: Liberating

Jdsk wrote: 23 Jul 2021, 1:18pm
kylecycler wrote: 23 Jul 2021, 1:14pmTrouble is, the main shock-absorbing component of a helmet is expanded polystyrene, so it insulates your body heat and doesn't let it escape through the top of your head. Either that or it insulates you from the heat and keeps you cool. Or both - so does that make it a draw?!

Which is it (science was never my strong point!)?
It's complicated... at least three sources of heat, colour of surface and effects on transfer by radiation, air speed, air temperature, evaporative loss...
While it is complicated, my personal anecdote is that during the > decade I always wore a helmet for every trip I told myself it was never really that uncomfortable... and in the nearly two decades since I've never been as uncomfortable about the head as I was back when I wore a helmet (in my case always a well ventilated one, typically a Specialized) on a cooking day.

As a slaphead who burns easily I'm quite familiar with hats and use them a lot, and the only time I put them on to be cooler (as opposed to not burning or keeping my eyes shaded) is when I've just soaked them in cold water, to add to sweat as an evaporative cooling aid. Of course, evaporative cooling is a whole lot easier when the water had somewhere to go, not generally the case when trapped between a hot head and an inch of waterproof polystyrene.

Pete.
by pjclinch
23 Jul 2021, 11:57am
Forum: Health and fitness
Topic: Diet & Veg.
Replies: 59
Views: 1390

Re: Diet & Veg

Oldjohnw wrote: 23 Jul 2021, 8:05am A couple of weeks ago, with some mates getting coffee and a bacon sandwich at a local cafe, I noticed they had ‘Vegetarian BLTs’.

Still thinking about that.
Google "vegan bacon".
There's a growing trade in meat-free "I can't believe it's not <insert meat product category here>" stuff, and those would probably be using something similar.