Search found 725 matches

by rfryer
3 Jul 2013, 7:47am
Forum: On the road
Topic: Steep descents
Replies: 60
Views: 3204

Re: Steep descents

One other thought about braking. I find that if I'm on a road bike, the limiting factor for braking (in good conditions) is when my rear wheel starts to lift, which happens all to easily on very steep terrain. To avoid this, I've made a habit of getting myself very low on the bike, with hands in the drops, and my rear end (a substantial contributor to my centre of gravity :wink: ) well behind the saddle in order to keep as much weight on the rear wheel as possible.

Of course, if you're carrying panniers, etc, it's much less of an issue.
by rfryer
2 Jul 2013, 8:43am
Forum: On the road
Topic: Steep descents
Replies: 60
Views: 3204

Re: Steep descents

Mark1978 wrote:Any advice?

I'd start by checking your equipment. If your bike is not that stable when descending, you'll never build up much confidence. It's hard to tell someone what to look for here; there's no alternative to just experiencing how different bikes behave. Though, I suppose, you can always ask the forum :lol:

Second thing is to check your brakes. If they're not effective, or if they grab or judder rather than modulating smoothly, you'd be a fool to trust your life to them on a steep descent.

Finally, there's technique. For building confidence, I'd recommend repeatedly going as fast as comfortable, then practicing fast, controlled braking in a straight line. As you gain experience, you'll probably find that you can give the bike its head on safe sections of the descent, and have the confidence to be able to brake for corners, hazards, etc.

Then there's cornering technique, but that's a whole different poost...
by rfryer
26 Jun 2013, 11:56pm
Forum: Does anyone know … ?
Topic: Of Stubborn Moobs and Other Stuff...
Replies: 124
Views: 4017

Re: Of Stubborn Moobs and Other Stuff...

jqdsffjdsoge wrote:Thirty miles a day, after an omelette and a couple of slices of toast (and the juice of a beetroot, carrot and two apples that I slurp every morning) would be just what the doctor ordered.

Interesting, your report for the day only mentioned a carrot for breakfast, no apples or beetroot. I was surprised to learn that many dieters find it incredibly hard to make a reliable record of their calory intake; is this an example of that difficulty?
by rfryer
21 Jun 2013, 6:01pm
Forum: On the road
Topic: Do cars still have indicators fitted?
Replies: 148
Views: 4947

Re: Do cars still have indicators fitted?

reohn2 wrote:She went ballistic when I told her I was in no hurry and started laughing at her :D

We (cyclists) need to do more of this. By infiltrating the drivers and making them hate each other, maybe we can make cyclists less of a focus for their ire!
by rfryer
19 Jun 2013, 8:37am
Forum: Touring & Expedition
Topic: Where to Tour in Scotland?
Replies: 18
Views: 1315

Re: Where to Tour in Scotland?

I've heard good things about "Smidge" as as a midge repellent, though I haven't tried it myself. I have tried "Skin So Soft" and found it to be both horribly greasy, and utterly ineffective. 100% deet has proven to be 100% effective, though it has the downsides of melting plastics, clothes, and probably your DNA.
by rfryer
17 Jun 2013, 9:11pm
Forum: Touring & Expedition
Topic: Kyle of Lochalsh to Lochinver
Replies: 10
Views: 1149

Re: Kyle of Lochalsh to Lochinver

I've only driven it, rather than cycled, but the coastal road immediately north of Lochinver is absolutely bonkers, with some seriously steep climbs and descents. I'd definitely give it a go if I was in the area outside of the midgie season!
by rfryer
13 Jun 2013, 12:19pm
Forum: On the road
Topic: Do cars still have indicators fitted?
Replies: 148
Views: 4947

Re: Do cars still have indicators fitted?

meic wrote:If a car is about to overtake another car who is intending to turn right, then basically whoever indicates first is "in the right".*

* I know it isnt quite that simple but it is a major point of deciding.

I'd have assumed that overtaking a car that was passing a potential right turn would put the overtaker in the wrong. What if the indicator wasn't working on the car being overtaken? What if a car pulled out of the junction and failed to look for high speed traffic coming on the wrong side of the road?

But I've not read the highway code for far too long... :oops:
by rfryer
13 Jun 2013, 1:55am
Forum: Fun & Games
Topic: Three Word Story Game (again)
Replies: 8528
Views: 325540

Re: Three Word Story Game (again)

An unexpected rock from space landed in our back yard privvy, ruining Boris's hairdo. Luckily, Boris was using Harmony Hairspray with Nourishing Marrowbone Jelly Gel, which gelled suddenly under his Brooks. NASA experiments confirmed that it had travelled by Oyster Card as far as Mornington Crescent but pontefract, Rasberry liquorice, and black cab preferred cash payments in Monopoly money, tiddilywinks, buttons-n washers, Sapim silver spokes, and bitcoins yesterday.

Following the rock concert, our hearing WAS RATHER IMPAIRED, SO WE TYPED in upper case so he'd hear without having to resort to bold and daring manoeuvres driving a no.67 golf ball off the top deck, using a slice of carrot cake. Dundee cake is a bit cakey for my liking. Now Malt loaf can sink ships, and MEAT LOAF Bat out of Hell for six.

A Blackpool tram travelling to Fleetwood got lost in outer space but the muppets rescued Diana Dors transparent jelly fish mold, before it went ballistic, and fired Kermit for toadying his way into Miss Piggy's handbag, where Basil The Hotel Proprietor Fawlty had hidden Manuel in the Kitchen. Naturally, Manuel knew about single panniers: he stowed away in Boris's Carradice Barley until the coast was clear. The hamster gnawed through a Schwalbe everlasting tyre. Kitchen cupboards opened furtively, searching for a tin of Hamster Fois Gras, the Hotel Inspector's favourite nephew sighed despondently, he'd been caught with the evidence. Polly knew he'd opened a tin, because the contents had a nasty Ortlieb plasticised whiff unlike anything that the Major could remember. Carradice however, produce canvass structures made from ducks' backs - odourless, except with orange sauce haribos, forgotten since Drake chewed one whilst playing bowls on the hoe down floor. When on the horizon, fleets of Bromptons unfolded and prepared to take off the covers from Brompton OB's cricket and tiddly winks playing field. Why, on earth, they used 16x1 3/8th's tyres only they know, the secret was locked away forever. Then one night, having been overinflated, the hamsters exploded, leaving a trail of Phytoplankton along Blackpool's illuminated mile - guiding the tram home. Michael Gove was left at the tea stop with a huge, and frankly disturbing,
by rfryer
13 Jun 2013, 1:05am
Forum: Does anyone know … ?
Topic: Fixies. Something I can't figure out.
Replies: 30
Views: 2158

Re: Fixies. Something I can't figure out.

horizon wrote:If anyone could just explain to me the umbilical connection between fixed wheel (i.e. no free wheel?) and single speed, I would be genuinely very grateful. I can think of lots of good reasons for single speed (or even just very few gears) but not why it should be fixed. And vice versa. Thank you.

I'm not quite sure what you're asking. The technical difference is that "single speed" is used to mean "single speed with a freewheel" and "fixed" is used to mean "single speed without a freewheel".

Why choose fixed over single speed? I find that it promotes a very different cycling technique, which is a fun challenge, especially if (as I do) you try to avoid using the brakes. It's much more involving than a geared bike, constantly weighing up how fast I can afford to be going?, how early do I need to start slowing?, can I let the bike run going down this hill?, etc.

I've particularly noticed that I'm much happier looking over my shoulder on when riding fixed, especially when braking, as I have continual feedback (and control) of bike speed through the pedals.

I sometimes compare it to skiing; I choose Telemark rather than Alpine because it's more satisfying and feels great, despite being slower, harder to learn, and more physically demanding. Riding fixed is much the same; I can't justify it in terms of efficiency, but it's just more fun!
by rfryer
11 Jun 2013, 5:30pm
Forum: On the road
Topic: Do cars still have indicators fitted?
Replies: 148
Views: 4947

Re: Do cars still have indicators fitted?

Mick F wrote:Take your advanced driving test and see what the examiner says if you indicate when no-one's around.

I was wondering when this would come up! I can see why this is a useful crutch during advanced driving instruction, providing a regular reason to prompt the trainee to be working on their observation.

However, I completely fail to see in what way failing to indicate can be viewed as a benefit in normal driving. By all means (PLEASE!) keep up the level of observation, and be as aware as humanly possible of who will be affected by your manoeuvre, but I can see no value in not indicating when there is even the faintest possibility that someone you aren't aware of might find it useful. If my signalling is automatic, so what?, that's a benefit to everyone on the road so long as I don't take the attitude that the signal has given me a right to manoeuvre.
by rfryer
11 Jun 2013, 2:30pm
Forum: On the road
Topic: Do cars still have indicators fitted?
Replies: 148
Views: 4947

Re: Do cars still have indicators fitted?

Mick F wrote:If there are no other roadusers than you, don't indicate.

I quite agree. A great strategy in a post-apocalyptic world, where you are the sole survivor. :mrgreen:

However, if there are other roadusers, including ones that you haven't yet spotted, or who haven't yet ventured onto the carriageway, indicating can increase both your, and their safety. I can't see a single reason not to indicate as a matter of course.
by rfryer
9 Jun 2013, 7:16pm
Forum: On the road
Topic: Potholes, beyond acceptable levels
Replies: 30
Views: 1878

Re: Potholes, beyond acceptable levels

I agree, improving road surface quality would be my number one request for improving (my personal) cycling safety. It's often not individual potholes that are dangerously deep, but broken up road surfaces that force you to cycle "erratically", and holes or manhole covers on the natural line round corners, where changing line in a hurry can be dangerous.

I've long had a particular beef with the fact that when the council do get round to producing a lovely smooth road surface, it's often only a matter of days before a utility company digs it up, and leaves an inferior quality patch which breaks up the following winter. I can't see why it can't be a condition of digging up the road that the repair must be of good quality, and must be maintained promptly by the culprit until the entire road is next resurfaced.
by rfryer
7 Jun 2013, 6:14pm
Forum: Bikes & Bits – Technical section
Topic: sram apex gears
Replies: 83
Views: 8485

Re: sram apex gears

Interesting. I read this whole thread, thinking "Odd, I've had no problems with double-click shifters". I actually prefer them to STI, because the brake levers don't swivel!

But, the first thing I did when I got the bike was to fit a larger cassette, and a new (longer) KMC chain to go with it. Maybe that made all the difference?
by rfryer
5 Jun 2013, 11:24am
Forum: Does anyone know … ?
Topic: Audax vs Road Bike
Replies: 46
Views: 4770

Re: Audax vs Road Bike

Like mig, I have a choice of bikes for my commute. My experience is...
- a 'fairly light', fixed, track bike with 23c tyres and light mudguards for 95% of the time
- a 'medium weight' cross bike with 28c tyres for 5% - usually if the fixie is out of action or I just feel like a change
- the 'seriously light' carbon road bike stays safely at home, where it's less likely to get damaged or stolen!

And my take on Bob's points

Mudguards - absolutely, though light-weight ones are fine.
Rack - only if you need to carry more than will comfortably go in a messenger bag
Tool kit - yep
Brakes - only need a front on fixed-gear, but enjoy learning not to rely on it
Lights - if your commute is long and regular then dynamo lights (possibly supplemented) - agree
Gears - enough to get you there and back, in the simplest possible form - ie one!
Spare - You can never have too many bikes!
by rfryer
5 Jun 2013, 7:42am
Forum: Does anyone know … ?
Topic: Audax vs Road Bike
Replies: 46
Views: 4770

Re: Audax vs Road Bike

I'd second the idea of getting a fixed gear for commuting. They're simple (less to go wrong/maintain) and ought to be lighter & cheaper than a geared bike of similar quality. They're also less desirable to steal (the thieves that broke into my garage stole my Tricross, but left the fixie behind!).

Most importantly, though, they're fun to ride! You can practice new skills such as trackstanding and braking using leg pressure. Steep descents become a high cadence challenge, and a steep climb is akin to a weights session at the gym! Low speed riding (ie around traffic) is far more controlled in a way that you can't appreciate without having tried it.

Finally, as already stated, they have the potential to make you super-cool. Though it doesn't seem to have worked on me :D