Search found 254 matches

by pga
24 Apr 2021, 9:57pm
Forum: Touring & Expedition
Topic: Birmingham canals
Replies: 8
Views: 1128

Re: Birmingham canals

It is many years ago since I walked through the Netherton tunnel. If my memory is correct it was well lit in those days.
by pga
23 Mar 2021, 9:57pm
Forum: Campaigning & Public Policy
Topic: Should Cycling UK hold it's own Census?
Replies: 13
Views: 1179

Re: Should Cycling UK hold it's own Census?

I too was disappointed with the Census questions - how few there were and none relating to our main form of transport. The 1968 Census gave a wonderful picture of how cycling to work was still dominant in many areas. 27,000 cycled to work in Hull, yet the New Towns that had segregated cycle networks, eg Stevenage, showed lower that national average usage. If only our transport policy had protected this usage, as the Dutch did at the time, rather that base transport policy on the motor car, we would not be in the situation today where the majority of would be cyclists are deterred by the high level of motor traffic.
by pga
25 Feb 2021, 9:27pm
Forum: Health and fitness
Topic: Would you take a vaccine against CV? Vote now please!
Replies: 1354
Views: 40680

Re: Would you take a vaccine against CV? Vote now please!

In this digital age our lives are monitored, whether we like it or not, in more ways than we are prepared to acknowledge and it does slightly disingenuous to refuse the Covid vaccine on the grounds that it somehow is an attack on personal freedom. For those of my generation we did not have this choice. During national service, serving in the UK and abroad, I was forced to have preventive injections. I survived as I did later when I travelled the world when you had to show evidence of up to date smallpox and other vaccines if you wished to cross a border. In Cambodia I had blood poisoning and my life was saved by a village doctor who gave me Penicillin.

Medical science has made the world a far healthier place. My father had Scarlet Fever, my mother had Typhoid and my sister in law Polio. Thankfully all survived but many did not. Today we hear little of these killers.

Please think again those of you who are reluctant to have the vaccine. There are far more attacks on personal liberty out there.
by pga
24 Dec 2020, 11:30pm
Forum: Health and fitness
Topic: Would you take a vaccine against CV? Vote now please!
Replies: 1354
Views: 40680

Re: Would you take a vaccine against CV? Vote now please!

Thanks to the NHS, and the medical science it encouraged, this country has had a freedom for many years from the serious illnesses that plagued the pre NHS years. I worry that there are some out there who do not recognise this and seems to think that the NHS is out to get them and that they know better. My parents, my first wife and myself owe our lives to medical intervention when it was needed.
by pga
7 Dec 2020, 3:37pm
Forum: Cycling UK Topics and Discussions
Topic: Editorial in the current edition. Dec/Jan
Replies: 38
Views: 3121

Re: Editorial in the current edition. Dec/Jan

Nothing better to look forward at this difficult time than to cycle on our ever changing country lanes to meet up with a friend or friends, depending on the guidelines, for a coffee and cake in the open air even in spite of the cold weather like like we have today. Keep apart and watch out for those thorns on the road.
by pga
7 Dec 2020, 3:26pm
Forum: Cycling Goods & Services - Your Reviews
Topic: Go Outdoors
Replies: 24
Views: 2539

Re: Go Outdoors

During the Lockdown I have had to resort online shopping - but NOT Amazon. Most purchases do not create a problem but clothing does. Sizes are so variable and even identical garments in the same size fit completely differently. Buying shoes online also seems a risky business. Lucky I have enough pairs to last a lifetime.
by pga
7 Dec 2020, 3:13pm
Forum: Bikes & Bits – Technical section
Topic: Shimano Catalogues etc.
Replies: 22
Views: 1721

Re: Shimano Catalogues etc.

An excellent list. Is the Veteran-Cycle Club involved?
by pga
17 Oct 2020, 6:00pm
Forum: Campaigning & Public Policy
Topic: Northampton Cycling and Walking Plan
Replies: 3
Views: 304

Re: Northampton Cycling and Walking Plan

Even the mildest of challenges to motor vehicle dominance is usually opposed by vehemence rather than logic. The case for cycling and walking is obvious but the public sadly in most cases is unaware, and if it is, chooses to ignore it.

The cost benefits of building safe and attractive cycling and walking routes is enormous compared to prestige projects much loved by our political leaders. The return on every £1 invested in HS2 is roughly the same, and going down daily, whereas cycling and walking projects can produce a return of up to £8 for every £1 invested. Yet the government is proposing to spend billions on roads and a minute amount from petty cash on cycling and walking.
by pga
11 Sep 2020, 10:54pm
Forum: Campaigning & Public Policy
Topic: Aren't Electric Scooters illegal?
Replies: 28
Views: 1200

Re: Aren't Electric Scooters illegal?

Three E scooter hire companies are undergoing trails in Milton Keynes at the moment. The MK Cycling Forum have not been consulted as yet but we are pressing for representation on the assessing group. They are being allowed on the Redway and some roads, and perhaps on leisure routes through the parks. They have pre set controls to stop use on most roads.

They have been left all over the city. You may open your front door and find one outside.
Local comments vary. As usual cyclists and walkers are most concerned. Most support seems to come from motorists who are happy not to be affected very much and see the Redway as wonderful and which all cyclists should be forced to use.

At the same time there is growing widespread use of private E scooter users on Redway and some roads. This is clearly illegal but there is no policing to keep these is check. In London, on the other hand,the police have stopped illegal users and in some cases issued fines.

As I grow older I am renewing my early admiration for the Luddites and see new technology as part of the capitalist need to inflict new inventions on the general public,brought up for instant gratification. Are we any happier now than we were all those years ago when I was growing up? Our children certainly appear not to be if reports that they are the unhappiest in Europe are to be believed. They certainly do not have the freedom to cycle from a very early age that my generation had.
by pga
17 Aug 2020, 12:32am
Forum: Campaigning & Public Policy
Topic: Highway Code revisions: Consultation open until 27 October 2020
Replies: 201
Views: 6923

Re: Highway Code revisions: Consultation open until 27 October 2020

Generally I welcome the proposed changes to the Highway Code. However there remain several areas that concern. In most of our European neighbours the legal responsibility for incidents involving motor vehicles and other road users is placed on the motorist unless the other road user was negligent. Cycling in those countries always feels safer. Is the legal responsibility the reason or are continental drivers just more cycling friendly?

Another concern is how few road users buy let alone read the Highway Code. New drivers quickly forget and adopt the often poor driving behaviour of other drivers.

A further concern is how the proposed changes tie in with the new Cycle Infrastructure Design. The latter is not a draft and is fundamental as to how local highway authority designers provide for and encourage cycling by denying government funding unless schemes meet the Cycle Infrastructure Design standards. Both documents are indeed lengthy and it is hard work comparing how they relate. Cycle Infrastructure Design is introduces a fundamental change or priority with cyclists given priority where a cycle track is crossed by a road. This is always the case in Europe and this was the case in Stevenage and some other towns with cycleways. Alas here in Milton Keynes, a driver's city, the driver has always had the priority. I fear even with the new initiatives drivers will take some time to adapt to the change. In the city centre there are roads where there are double stopping lines to allow pedestrians to cross. Most motorists give way but over the years I have many a close miss.

Overall, I very much welcome the government initiatives to encourage cycling. I think we should support the Highway Code proposals which are designed to give more protection to cyclists and other vulnerable road users The online consultation is easy to process. This would very much give added support the valuable work Cycling UK is doing.
by pga
5 Aug 2020, 11:47pm
Forum: Does anyone know … ?
Topic: Erotica and retro-cycling
Replies: 54
Views: 2652

Re: Erotica and retro-cycling

I did go to the Cycling Erotica exhibition at the Mildenhall Cycle Rally several years ago. There was one room with a sign on the door warning those of a certain age might be advised to not go in. It did not stop me of course.

As to the Eroica events. The original one is in Italy on gravel roads. Too far to go for a one day ride and shortened for older riders. The Loire Valley events were brilliant and I once rode in a small group with Thevenet, Zootemelk and other old TDF stars. The Peak District events seemed a rip off and I gave them a miss. Overcrowded trails and busy roads are not my idea of fun.
by pga
8 Jul 2020, 7:41pm
Forum: Does anyone know … ?
Topic: Daniel Rebour; a cyclist's eye view
Replies: 51
Views: 1461

Re: Daniel Rebour; a cyclist's eye view

Thanks Brucey for taking me back to the wonderful world of Rebour. I have been a fan for years.
by pga
16 May 2020, 12:06am
Forum: Campaigning & Public Policy
Topic: Junction improvements - Council's obligation to consult ?
Replies: 8
Views: 624

Re: Junction improvements - Council's obligation to consult ?

The level of consultation varies from one local highway authority to another. When I was the Oxfordshire Cycling Officer in the 1990s I did cycling audits on highway schemes both at design stage and on completion. I worked alongside the highway engineers which helped. I also encouraged the Council to engage with local cycling groups but this was not widely supported by my colleagues. They tended to have the 'we know what is best' attitude.

In Milton Keynes, as Cycling UK rep,I get notice of rights of way and minor highway changes but not of major highway works which always disadvantage cyclist. I am a member of the MK Cycling Forum which tries to advice the Council but it is hard work. I myself was knocked off my bike by a passing car the first time I rode through a newly safety improved road junction. I was so lucky. I was hit so hard that I flew into the air for a distance and landed on grass.

The Andrew Gilligan Report on Cycling in the Cambridge-MK-Oxford Arc recommended that Milton Keynes has a cycling commissar and that local cyclists should be paid to carry out full time audits on major planning and transport schemes to ensure that cyclists's interests were protected and advanced, Of course nothing has come of it, let alone the £25 million to resurface the Redway cycle network.

It is hard for individual efforts to be effective. Cycling Forums carry more weight. We are making progress in MK but it is a long job especially at this time when how the future is shaped is important. There are big things happening but we need to be part of the process.
by pga
15 May 2020, 11:37pm
Forum: Does anyone know … ?
Topic: Mudguards
Replies: 59
Views: 2143

Re: Mudguards

You could write a book on mudguards. I have mixed feelings about mudguards. Hence I have some with and others without. As I commented recently, when I was younger most club cyclists had a frame built to measure and then built it up ourselves. In those long ago days mudguard eyes and wide tyre clearances were the norm. The big tour riders rode bikes not much different than those we rode.

Today the ready built bikes bought by most usually lack mudguard eyes and fitting mudguards even if there is clearance is cumbersome and they do detract from the lines of the bike. Yes, to some of us how a bike looks is important. So the bikes I have with mudguards are the everyday hybrids and the touring/Audax ones. The bikes without are the aluminium and carbon racers. The former,a Giant Defy, has mudguard eyes and Giant produce specific Defy mudguards. However these have two defects, They lack quick release safety devices and are far too close to the tyre making up a stone or stick a potentially safety risk. After a French tour where newly tar sprayed and chipped roads were often met I got rid of them.

The compromise works well. My everyday Hybrid and tourer have mudguards plus one Brian Rourke race built with mudguard eyes which I used on occasion in road races and time trails, less the mudguards of course. The latter I use for a decent ride if rain is likely but generally I ride without mudguards on my daily cycle ride during the present time.
by pga
13 May 2020, 1:53am
Forum: Campaigning & Public Policy
Topic: How to get things done: Chris Boardman
Replies: 67
Views: 3667

Re: How to get things done: Chris Boardman

We are at a crossroad in more ways than one. The Coronavirus has given us an opportunity to reshape what kind of society we want. When we get through the present situation do we want to carry on as before or do we want to make the radical change that climate crisis, a far bigger challenge than the present one, demands. Riding on the road or on segregated cycle ways has always been an argument going back before the War and effectively dividing the cycling community. This is an issue but it is not the main one. Car dominance has to be challenged head on. I am sure we all understand the reasons.

The difficulty we have is that the Government is making up Coronavirus policy as it goes along trying to satisfy all shades of public opinion. Hence we have the current situation where it wants to support walking and cycling yet at the same time it is telling our four wheel friends they can drive as far as they like for leisure.

I have very much cycling the last few weeks given the arrival of Spring and the wonderful weather that has come along with it. The roads were initially very free of motor traffic and I was able to use roads not cycled on for thirty years or more. On the other hand the local cycle ways,usually much underused, were packed with great numbers, cyclists and non-cyclists, making the two metres distance difficult to keep on three metres wide cycle ways. The number of cars on the roads has risen, gradually at first but faster more recently. With the Government latest edict these numbers will soon return to previous high levels making cycling on roads as often unpleasant as before. Then we had the cycle ways to help us avoid the busiest roads. Now they are as busy as the roads with cyclists in a minority of users and with a threat of e scooters to be able to legally use them.

The situation is very fluid. Local cyclists fought a campaign to keep the right to cycle for the over 70s.
This reached the highest level and we like to think that we were successful. The good news about walking and cycling was the icing on the cake. Within days,however, the freedom to drive for leisure has taken the gloss off. Will we be at a different crossroad in a week's time?