Search found 278 matches

by recumbentpanda
13 Jun 2021, 8:16pm
Forum: On the road
Topic: and what YOU have done to improve your favorite path ???
Replies: 40
Views: 1466

Re: and what YOU have done to improve your favorite path ???

A bit later in the year I will be packing secateurs on my rides to cut back the many long bramble suckers that grow out over most of my local routes. After storms I often pack a viciously sharp Japanese folding saw with which I have cut up and removed most of a medium sized hawthorn tree, various large fallen branches and on one occasion, cut up a small (8” dia) beech tree into logs -in a torrential rainstorm, natch, -it was the only way to get home 😬
I did have a plan to strew wildflower seeds along the verges as I rode along, but my beloved nicked them for a different project. I may get back to that next year.
by recumbentpanda
28 May 2021, 7:59am
Forum: On the road
Topic: Deliberate Close Passing /Assault and now just too scared to ride to work.
Replies: 47
Views: 5025

Re: Deliberate Close Passing /Assault and now just too scared to ride to work.

This is indeed a sad state of affairs. Twenty years ago I was reading comments online from cyclists saying they felt they had been forced off the roads. With the arrogance of youth I swore it would not happen to me.

Today I realise that all my regular routes for utility rides are ‘cringe routes’ -I just can’t deal with the stress of even light traffic, given the behaviour of drivers and the other big car problem: the sheer weight of on street parking reducing many roads to single carriageway with passing places and blocking sight lines at junctions.

Thirty years ago I did touring rides as well as utility and exercise rides. Back then I had a real feeling that I belonged to a class of road user recognised as legitimate. Now I feel the overwhelming weight of opinion among drivers is that cyclists shouldn’t be there, are a nuisance, are ‘children playing in the road’, and deserve everything they get.

My recognition of the situation has been slow to develop, I didn’t want to believe it was true, but an incident the other day brought the pigeons home to roost. It was a regular utility ride of mine that is normally quite OK, but on this occasion I happened to hit ‘Early Friday Bunking Off Rush Hour’ coinciding with ‘School Chucking Out Time’. The short, on road section of my route had heavy, slow moving traffic, negotiating with each other through pinch points. The car ahead of me accelerated slightly to pass through a parking-created single lane section. I was about to follow through when I saw a vehicle had already started to move through in the opposite direction, hoping to squeeze past the other no doubt. I slowed, as I would have done in a car, but just then a huge barge of a car behind me pushed past me very close, accelerating hard, only to stand on the brakes on seeing the traffic coming the other way. If I on a low rider recumbent could see the problem, why couldn’t they? I and the traffic behind me were forced to an emergency stop. What chilled me was that this was done within yards of a school gate and pedestrian crossing with large numbers of children and parents on foot. The sheer level of feral aggression in that driver, and the apathy towards the safety of other displayed by many others there made me just despair. I got off the bike swearing and walked it through a field rather than have to pollute my eyes with the sight of another car. This is a wretched state of affairs, and is only going to get worse. It is not going to be easy to solve, but needs root and branch change to so many aspects of society, mental, physical and economic. Right now I feel like the canary in the mine. It’s going to blow up, people.
by recumbentpanda
18 May 2021, 8:11pm
Forum: On the road
Topic: Greetings whilst riding
Replies: 35
Views: 3731

Re: Greetings whilst riding

To greet is nice if you like to do it, but some people seem to get quite passive aggressive about being responded to. Some of us remember, may be types, -and there are many- who find even simple social interactions challenging. If you don’t get a response, don’t worry, it isn’t necessarily personal! :)
by recumbentpanda
11 Feb 2021, 5:54pm
Forum: Health and fitness
Topic: Would you take a vaccine against CV? Vote now please!
Replies: 1354
Views: 40810

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

Had mine. Rode there and back to get it. Nice day. Feeling mildly ropey today, but nothing a paracetamol wouldn’t fix if I could be buttocked to take one :lol:
by recumbentpanda
19 Dec 2020, 5:17pm
Forum: Cycle Camping sub-forum
Topic: Gas stove or petrol?
Replies: 126
Views: 8165

Re: Gas stove or petrol?

Read the section on stoves in Three Men in a Boat. Tells you all you need to know.
by recumbentpanda
5 Sep 2020, 11:56am
Forum: Non-standard, Human Powered Vehicles
Topic: HP boats
Replies: 14
Views: 824

Re: HP boats

Pedal power is interesting, but there is a huge gap between the needs of racers, where hydrofoil canoes are probably the way to go, and the pedal power of touring boats (which interests me). Gear ratios , prop angles etc, and not least how you get the drive from pedals to prop.
by recumbentpanda
5 Sep 2020, 11:51am
Forum: Helmets & helmet discussion
Topic: Two separate threads?
Replies: 37
Views: 2358

Re: Two separate threads?

I think the idea of to separate threads is great -just not separating the discussion into two partisan echo chambers. Instead, I propose: one thread, for the discussion of the efficacy and desirability of helmets, as per the present discussion, and another for those wishing to wear helmets and who wish to discuss the pros and cons of different models, design features etc etc, free from partisan objections from either side.
by recumbentpanda
5 Sep 2020, 9:11am
Forum: Bikes & Bits – Technical section
Topic: Gears: are 3x setups extinct?
Replies: 65
Views: 2602

Re: Gears: are 3x setups extinct?

Us recumbent pilots have a similar need for a wide spread of ratios. I find Sugino, Sunrace, still make decent triples, and you can always buy a set of bare cranks, and suitable bolts and spacers to build up your own using rings from TA or others. (Although this is a route I have not personally tried yet.)

As for mechs, a front mech doesn’t get nearly the same use as a rear, so good quality second hand ones are not too hard to find. When wrestling with the set up, don’t forget the importance of B.B. axle width, and remember that a B.B. spacer ring can work magic - the aim being to get the chainweels positioned centrally within the range of movement of the shifter mechs cage.

3x is by no means extinct. Few things in cycling ever are!
by recumbentpanda
27 Aug 2020, 10:15am
Forum: Non-standard, Human Powered Vehicles
Topic: Linear Frame number or Serial Number
Replies: 9
Views: 449

Re: Linear Frame number or Serial Number

Agreed, it’s a very special’character’ in the bike world. I once said to Peter Stull that the Linear is not so much a bike as a system for building bikes. I like to think my remark inspired his later redesign of the short wheelbase version -but I doubt it! There was a SWB by the way, but it was short-lived as it had poor geometry and consequently terrible handling. Peter’s modern version on the other hand has gathered rave reviews.

I was once on tour in Norfolk and came across a local history exhibition which included a photo of a famous local entrepreneur seated on his 1920s Mochet Velocar. Finished in black and chrome with balloon tyres, it was a recognisable cousin of my Linear with its 2” Big Apples, and black and silver finish. The guy’s recumbent grin was also instantly relatable . . . :D
by recumbentpanda
27 Aug 2020, 9:46am
Forum: Does anyone know … ?
Topic: Trying to find a suitable bike at 27st?
Replies: 38
Views: 1650

Re: Trying to find a suitable bike at 27st?

I’m not sure I would worry so much. Bikes can carry staggering amounts of weight in the form of cargo. Huge amounts of the supplies for Ho Chi Min’s victorious army in Vietnam was transported by bike after all. (Although often pushing rather than riding!). A reasonable quality second hand MTB, or something like a Pashley roadster, or a ‘Dutch bike’ which tend to be built in the old school style, should be fine I would have thought. As with any bike, check weekly for broken spokes, loose nuts etc, and many carefree miles should be yours.
by recumbentpanda
26 Aug 2020, 9:53pm
Forum: Does anyone know … ?
Topic: Bestest ever bicycle brakes... ?
Replies: 129
Views: 4361

Re: Bestest ever bicycle brakes... ?

Brucey wrote:a very common problem with V brakes is that the cable run to the brake fouls on something or is strained in one direction; if so this messes with the brake centring in an apparently unpredictable fashion.


Yup, had that one too! :roll:

And while I’m being splenetic, what about that time when naughty Weinemann put a hexagonal stub on the front of their side-pull caliper bolt, and surrounded it with a plastic bezel so you had to use their special ‘negative allen key’ tool to centre them?

Those plastic bezels got sawn off pretty quick!
by recumbentpanda
26 Aug 2020, 9:43pm
Forum: Non-standard, Human Powered Vehicles
Topic: Linear Frame number or Serial Number
Replies: 9
Views: 449

Re: Linear Frame number or Serial Number

Could go as far back as the 1980s. Pretty sure mine does!
by recumbentpanda
24 Aug 2020, 5:43pm
Forum: On the road
Topic: Bath Bristol Speeder
Replies: 26
Views: 1391

Bath Bristol Speeder

To the roadie on the Bath-Bristol path this afternoon travelling at speed in the vicinity of Saltford, shouting at other cyclists to 'Keep Left! Keep Left!' . . .

. . . I really hope you had nothing to do with the child I encountered shortly after, in the direction from which you had come, limping, crying, and nursing a grazed elbow . . .
by recumbentpanda
24 Aug 2020, 5:40pm
Forum: Does anyone know … ?
Topic: Bestest ever bicycle brakes... ?
Replies: 129
Views: 4361

Re: Bestest ever bicycle brakes... ?

When I first discovered v-brakes I thought they were great -so logical and simple!

Then I discovered how hard it is to get and keep the b*****rs centred.

First there's adjusting the fiddly screws that, like derrailleur limit screws, are an obscure bicycle engineer's joke, being specially designed to fit a screwdriver that does not exist.

Then you despair and start bending the springs to adjust the tension quicker, or dismantling them and trying the alternative location holes . . .

. . . and dismantling them again to see if it's corrosion or dirt making one of the pivots sticky . . .

. . . then concluding it's friction in the noodle pipe . . . or the brake cable . . .

And by the time you've fixed all those, one or other of them will have gone wrong again.

Bah, Humbug! :twisted:
by recumbentpanda
23 Aug 2020, 6:07pm
Forum: Campaigning & Public Policy
Topic: Are drivers aggressive really?
Replies: 25
Views: 1227

Re: Are drivers aggressive really?

I come down firmly on the ‘yes’ side in answer to the thread title question. Not because of any sweeping generalisations about the characters of motorists, but for an even more depressing reason.

It’s called ‘systemic violence’. The whole motor/road system is based on an assumption that is at root, an act of aggression. In the U.K. in particular we have become inured to the idea that the motorist has a right to proceed at nearly all times and places, and that everybody else should get out of the way. It’s dressed up as a safety thing, but actually, it’s just naked aggression embedded into an accepted social hierarchy. The flip side of ‘Keep out of the way of cars it’s for your own safety’ Is ‘Gerrout of my way or I’ll smash yer, and if I didn’t see you it’s your fault.’

You will see pedestrians crossing a side road for example, suddenly skip out of the way mouthing apologies, if even a slow moving car appears. They have totally internalised the hierarchy of aggression and show their tails to the ‘top wolf’ in an act of submission.

Kenneth Graham had it bang to rights in Wind in the Willows, creating the immortal Mister Toad as the poster animal of these attitudes. We think of Toad as a lovable rogue, but in real life he is a blood drenched, amoral killer and maimer.

Until we take these immoral assumptions out of our culture, driving will continue to be an act of aggression, no matter how innocent the journey, or how pleasant the driver.

I know, it’s a big ask.

I said it was depressing.