Cyclecraft

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
thirdcrank
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Cyclecraft

Postby thirdcrank » 12 Jun 2019, 7:13am

http://www.cyclecraft.co.uk/

I see there's now a third edition. Has anybody any views? (I'm partly motivated to ask by some recent sharp comment about the author John Franklin by mjr.)

The publication of the first edition coincided with my taking an active role in cycle campaigning and I wrote a review for our local group. My general view was that most of it was pretty much what I did instinctively, but that the section on ankling was debatable. AFAIK, JF coined the expression primary position even if a lot of riders who bandy it about know nothing about the origin and not everything about its purpose. (glueman used to have strong views about this.) JF was also an expert witness whose evidence helped Daniel Cadden's successful appeal in the Crown Court when he had been convicted at Telford, involving riding on the carriageway when there was an adjacent farcility.

Some of the reviews on Amazon are critical of the excess length. The publicity highlights 15% extra pages.

I'm in the old dog, no new tricks department so if I buy one, it will be more as a reference source.

DaveReading
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Re: Cyclecraft

Postby DaveReading » 12 Jun 2019, 7:59am

Are you talking about the June 2014 edition (ISBN 978-0-11-708243-4) ?

I can't see any editions newer than that on Amazon or, come to that, on the Cyclecraft website.

The new content in that edition sounds pretty uncontroversial:

NEW: Photographs to illustrate many of the manoeuvres described
NEW: Aims and assessments for each chapter to check your progress
NEW: A standard system of cycle control to make it easier to deal with hazards on busy roads
NEW: Consolidated advice on dealing with the hazards associated with long vehicles

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Re: Cyclecraft

Postby bikepacker » 12 Jun 2019, 8:55am

I wasn't aware of any new edition but will make enquiries and I like to keep an up to date copy.

John Franklin was indeed an very good expert witness and put together a brilliant case when he testified on cyclists behalf at a public inquiry in which I was involved.
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mjr
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Re: Cyclecraft

Postby mjr » 12 Jun 2019, 9:04am

John Franklin may be an expert on road cycling and right to ride but I believe he is dangerously defective about cycling infrastructure. I pointed out errors in his analysis of the Redways while making a fairer assessment of them at http://mjr.towers.org.uk/proj/cyclynn/redways (which links to an older page which concentrates on JF's errors more) but other more recent more comprehensive critics include https://departmentfortransport.wordpres ... -franklin/ (warning, contains swears) http://www.voleospeed.co.uk/search/labe ... 20Franklin https://chestercycling.wordpress.com/ca ... -franklin/ and https://aseasyasridingabike.wordpress.c ... -franklin/ - the first post on that last link comments on the new 2014 edition of cyclecraft.
Last edited by mjr on 13 Jun 2019, 9:07am, edited 1 time in total.
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thirdcrank
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Re: Cyclecraft

Postby thirdcrank » 12 Jun 2019, 9:15am

DaveReading wrote:Are you talking about the June 2014 edition (ISBN 978-0-11-708243-4) ?

Yes (I have the second edition from 2007)
The new content in that edition sounds pretty uncontroversial:

NEW: Photographs to illustrate many of the manoeuvres described
NEW: Aims and assessments for each chapter to check your progress
NEW: A standard system of cycle control to make it easier to deal with hazards on busy roads
NEW: Consolidated advice on dealing with the hazards associated with long vehicles

If I didn't make it clear, when I read the Amazon reviews I read the entire entry as well as the publisher's stuff in my link. I know what's being claimed. I'm hoping to hear from somebody who's read it to see if it's worth buying. (It looks as though I won't be getting a free tv licence, after all :wink: )

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mjr
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Re: Cyclecraft

Postby mjr » 12 Jun 2019, 12:09pm

thirdcrank wrote:
DaveReading wrote:Are you talking about the June 2014 edition (ISBN 978-0-11-708243-4) ?

Yes (I have the second edition from 2007)

That's curious. I have a copy that says it is the 2004 third impression of the second edition from 1997, published by TSO. It says the first edition was published in 1988.

http://cyclecraft.co.uk/book_details.html agrees with that and calls the 2014 edition the fifth edition, not the third.
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thirdcrank
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Re: Cyclecraft

Postby thirdcrank » 12 Jun 2019, 7:26pm

mjr

Sorry about that. Any confusion is down to my junking earlier copies as they have been superseded and now guessing at the numbering. I only keep all four editions of Fowler so I can look back at earlier pedantry (and boast about having all four Fowlers )

Thanks for the links in the earlier post, although the one you particularly mention seems to knock the 2014 edition on the basis of the earlier ones.

The overall message is that few forum members have read the latest edition, or those who have done so don't bother with my posts.

wjhall
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Re: Cyclecraft

Postby wjhall » 12 Jun 2019, 8:23pm

thirdcrank wrote:http://www.cyclecraft.co.uk/
.... JF was also an expert witness whose evidence helped Daniel Cadden's successful appeal in the Crown Court when he had been convicted at Telford, involving riding on the carriageway when there was an adjacent farcility.....


My recollection, supported by surviving accounts is that JF was the unsuccessful expert witness in the trial that produced the original conviction. (2) Possibly a demonstration that what you want in the lower courts is a local solicitor who has known the magistrates since they were in short trousers, not a cycle theologian, using strange terms. However it is possible JF provided a further expert statement to support the barrister employed for the successful appeal. (1)

Alternatively, there seem to be some hints that standards in the judiciary need improvement.

(1) https://www.cyclinguk.org/news/2007-01- ... s-re-trial

(2) https://www.bikebiz.com/judge-condemns- ... in-future/

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Si
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Re: Cyclecraft

Postby Si » 12 Jun 2019, 8:51pm

wjhall wrote:
thirdcrank wrote:http://www.cyclecraft.co.uk/
.... JF was also an expert witness whose evidence helped Daniel Cadden's successful appeal in the Crown Court when he had been convicted at Telford, involving riding on the carriageway when there was an adjacent farcility.....


My recollection, supported by surviving accounts is that JF was the unsuccessful expert witness in the trial that produced the original conviction. (2) Possibly a demonstration that what you want in the lower courts is a local solicitor who has known the magistrates since they were in short trousers, not a cycle theologian, using strange terms. However it is possible JF provided a further expert statement to support the barrister employed for the successful appeal. (1)

Alternatively, there seem to be some hints that standards in the judiciary need improvement.

(1) https://www.cyclinguk.org/news/2007-01- ... s-re-trial

(2) https://www.bikebiz.com/judge-condemns- ... in-future/


Yes, JF was at the trail where he was convicted. At the appeal the case was chucked out before the defence witnesses got to say anything.....some might suggest that this was on account of having a judge who understood law, as opposed to a magistrate who was an enthusiastic petrol head.

thirdcrank
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Re: Cyclecraft

Postby thirdcrank » 12 Jun 2019, 9:15pm

I regret starting this thread, not least because it has had me searching the forum to confirm I am not losing it completely.

Here's a post from SimonL6 dated 1 Feb 2007 about the successful appeal.

I can tell you that Roger Geffen and team entirely agree that this is one event in a long trail.

I'll ask him to post a summary of the CTC's position, and the efforts that we are making

I was at the trial and I believe that Mr. Franklin's written report, submitted prior to the appeal and referred to by Judge Onions on more than one occasion, was of considerable benefit

(My emphasis)

viewtopic.php?p=29483#p29483

FWIW SimonL6 was a CTC councillor and at one time a mod on here.

Here's the tread about the original case in the magistrates' court.
viewtopic.php?p=17906#p17906
Here's a thread about the appeal.
viewtopic.php?p=28654#p28654
It's all long ago so most of the links don't work.

Finally, if anybody has read the latest edition I'd still be interested to hear their views.

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Re: Cyclecraft

Postby rfryer » 13 Jun 2019, 12:06am

I have a copy that claims to be the "Third TSO Edition, published 2014". I'm happy to answer any questions about it, but can't compare it to any earlier versions s it's the only one I've read!

thirdcrank
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Re: Cyclecraft

Postby thirdcrank » 13 Jun 2019, 6:45am

rfryer wrote:I have a copy that claims to be the "Third TSO Edition, published 2014". I'm happy to answer any questions about it, but can't compare it to any earlier versions s it's the only one I've read!


Did you find reading it worthwhile? eg learning anything.

I suspect that the typical age of people taking up cycling seriously - as opposed to children playing locally - must be increasing. ie Fewer people gain experience gradually in their teens through riding to school, longer rides and even things like YHA. OTOH, Bikeability seems a lot better than the old cycling proficiency. Would you recommend the book to somebody taking up cycling as an adult? When people have asked questions on here about coping with traffic, I've tended to recommend Cyclecraft. Would you?

Incidentally, having another look at my 2007 edition, I see the "Getting started" section recommends borrowing a bike, something I generally suggest anyway.

Re the numbering of editions, I see mine notes that the first TSO edition was 1997, so there must have been something different earlier.

rfryer
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Re: Cyclecraft

Postby rfryer » 13 Jun 2019, 7:11am

My background is cycling a lot in my youth, then switching to driving until my late 30s before "getting into" cycling again as a reasonably fit bloke with a lot of confidence on the road. Then reading Cyclecraft maybe 5 years after that.
I did cycle proficiency as a child, but I've not done any training as an adult.

In that context, I didn't find that reading Cyclecraft changed my cycling much. It validated a lot of my behaviours, and I think it may have encouraged me to explicitly practice cycling whilst looking behind me. I don't regret reading it or consider it a waste of money, though - it was a good opportunity to analyse my own behaviours, even if I didn't follow up on every recommendation.

I'd recommend it reservedly. For a timid cyclist, I suspect that training would be better unless they respond particularly well to written instruction. For a confident cyclist that is keen to improve, I can see it having value.

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Re: Cyclecraft

Postby pjclinch » 13 Jun 2019, 7:44am

I have the latest and previous editions, and previously had the one before that (lent out and never returned).

If you're a competent cyclist already up to some speed with vehicular cycling (i.e., cycling as part of busy traffic) familiar with previous editions I don't think you'll gain that much from the latest, but the newer on is IMHO better by way of photography rather than diagrams as illustration of points. I like having the latest and greatest when I'm doing my cycle training thing, but not having it won't have you miss out on crucial stuff if you're already somewhat in "the zone" (sounds like you are).

Whatever JF thinks of infrastructure these days (I don't know) is rather beside the point: Cyclecraft is a manual for riding in UK traffic conditions as they stand, and if you need to do that then waiting until someone builds some decent infrastructure isn't a viable option. Having gotten myself involved in a review of Bikeability Scotland revisions back in 2011, JF was a willing and remarkably useful correspondent and once I'd made sure he got invited to the final review meeting it very much helped in dragging Cycling Scotland's level 2 resources somewhere near the 21st Century.

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mjr
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Re: Cyclecraft

Postby mjr » 13 Jun 2019, 11:06am

pjclinch wrote:Whatever JF thinks of infrastructure these days (I don't know) is rather beside the point: Cyclecraft is a manual for riding in UK traffic conditions as they stand, and if you need to do that then waiting until someone builds some decent infrastructure isn't a viable option.

Stop putting up Aunt Sallys: no-one here is suggesting waiting for building before cycling. JF has done a lot of good and his views on cycling infrastructure should be beside the point in what is a book of good tactics for on-carriageway cycling, but sadly they're not because he has chosen to use the book as an official platform for his political views.

rfryer wrote:I have a copy that claims to be the "Third TSO Edition, published 2014". I'm happy to answer any questions about it, but can't compare it to any earlier versions s it's the only one I've read!

Do the following examples of dodgy politics still appear?

Introduction, How Cyclecraft can help you to cycle well: "very often conflicts could be avoided altogether by the cyclist riding more diligently." [Let's open a government-backed cycling manual with victim-blaming, eh?]

Chapter 2, Cadence and sprint speed: "Increasing cadence and sprint speed are two of the most positive steps a cyclist can take to enhance safety. [...] a sprint speed of 32 km/h (20mph) will enable you to tackle most traffic situations with ease." [Widely criticised, including on the "alt dft" and "as easy as" pages I linked above.]

Chapter 3, Sharing the roads (itself a dodgy political term): "no alternative to the general road network has yet been devised which is as safe or advantageous overall for cycling." [weasel words]

Chapter 7, Other cyclists: "the riding standard of many cyclists is not high" [weasel words]

Chapter 8, Choosing routes: "main roads with bus lanes which cyclists can use are often good routes". [weasel words]

Chapter 10, Cycle paths and other facilities, is full of it. As well as the absurdity of leaving where most people would start riding until the last techniques chapter, it's a good way to leave the rant ringing in the ears of anyone reading the book start to finish, because many people will skip the tandem/recumbent stuff and the less excited stuff about poor weather and equipment won't displace it. Most of these claims are debatable, many contain weasel words, all are stated without evidence (often without basic details to allow fact-checking) and all are basically political IMO:
• "experienced cyclists often avoid using cycle paths," [weasel words and implied insult of cycleway users]
• "there is evidence that some facilities are both dangerous in themselves and lead to unsafe cycling practices", [unverifiable]
• "Facilities segregated from the carriageway mainly benefit riders who fear motor traffic", [just plain BS]
• "Using cycle paths can result in these cyclists being more at risk", [weasel words]
• "it is usually easier and more predictable to keep with traffic", [debatable]
• "the lack of regular flexing by wide-tyred vehicles can lead to premature break-up [of cycle track surfaces]", [just plain BS - heavy motor vehicles do thousands of times more damage, breaking up surfaces. The main reasons for cycle track damage near me (on cycle tracks designed to be used by maintenance vehicles) is illegal incursions by heavy motor vehicles!]
• "Even well-designed cycle tracks are notorious for broken glass, persistent mud and other nuisances, for they do not benefit from the cleansing action of motor vehicles," [just plain BS]
• "the consequences of two cyclists, each riding at about 25 km/h (15 mph), colliding head-on are not much different from a single cyclist colliding with a car. The fatalities which have occurred on cycle tracks illustrate this", [just plain BS - the kinetic energy of a car doing 15mph is so much bigger than a cyclist doing that]
• "cycles and pedestrians usually mix less well than cycles and cars, as discipline is poorer", [just plain BS]
• "Roadside cycle tracks increase the number of junctions that a cyclist meets, for they are interrupted by every driveway as well as every road. In each case, it is the cyclist who must give way to crossing traffic, unlike on the road, where there cyclist would have the same priority as accompanying vehicles", [just plain BS - the driveways form junctions with the road too and it's pretty rare to see a cycle track giving way to driveways]
• "On the road, you can use positioning and listening to reduce the angle over which you need to concentrate to less than 90° close to a junction," [just plain BS - if you do that, you're in danger of a surprise left-hook]
• "If you cycle abroad, the use of roadside cycle tracks is often compulsory, although some countries are now reviewing these laws in a bid to cut cycling casualties", [unverifiable]
• "It is quite wrong, however, to think of these [cycle trails] as 'safe' routes, for each year many people are hurt, sometimes very seriously, using cycle trails", [weasel words]
• "Many by-pass facilities are only really suitable for the more timid and slow rider who is prepared to accept the delay and shortcomings of an indirect route" [weasel words and insults]

Also, Chapters 5 and 6 omit useful cycle-specific moves like the hook turn (known in London as the two-stage right turn) and Chapter 11 omits studded tyres. The bits in Chapter 13 about dynamo lights and helmets are noticeably out of date and I've not tried to check the rest of it.
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