Disagreement with AGM resolutions

Cyril Haearn
Posts: 14189
Joined: 30 Nov 2013, 11:26am
Location: Leafy suburbia

Re: Disagreement with AGM resolutions

Postby Cyril Haearn » 14 Aug 2020, 9:52pm

And brown meant fascist or dog-muck
..
Cyclists in Berlin taking trains into the country are strongly urged to leave their machines at home and hire at the destination
Multipurpose carriages fill up quickly. If one cannot get on, just take the next train. Some lines run every two hours :?
..
Seems quite bizarre that CUK left the ECF (if true), is that related to This Madness (b***t)? How much did ECF membership cost? Whatabout Mr Mayne? He was a real cyclist, used to ride from Caerdydd to Godalming to work
Entertainer, intellectual, idealist, PoB, 30120
Cycling-of course, but it is far better on a Gillott
We love safety cameras, we hate bullies

pwa
Posts: 12758
Joined: 2 Oct 2011, 8:55pm

Re: Disagreement with AGM resolutions

Postby pwa » 15 Aug 2020, 11:03am

CJ wrote:
pwa wrote:Do you want a cycle touring organisation that offers any product that allows enjoyable cycling experiences, or do you want a green cycling organisation that only offers products that are "green"? You can't have both. I'm not a member so I don't care which of those two is chosen. Either would be honest, but pretending to be green whilst promoting destinations you can only, realistically fly to is dishonest nonsense.


Green is not a black and white issue!

There are many different shades of green, some are greener than others and some are just green enough not to be brown. Perfection is the enemy of good. We cycle and that is good. But parts of our bicycles are not at all green in their production and distribution. And don't get me started on driving to the bikepath. If Cycling UK were to dissasociate itself from any kind of cycling not as purely green as a new leaf in spring, it wouldn't be left with much to represent or many supporters!

We have to live in the world as it is now, in a far from perfect state, whilst trying to make it better. So the first thing to ask about Cycling UK is whether it's trying to make cycling greener. Is it doing all it reasonably can to make the bike-rail alternative more attractive to cycle-tourists? I put it to you that by ducking out of the ECF and its Trains for Cyclists campaign it's falling a long way short of that. Get this: we do not want to fly. We want to go by train - just like we used to. But alienate us with this empty, useless gesture and Cycling UK will only become a smaller, narrower, less representative organisation, unable to change anything much.

Yes flying is horribly dark and brown. But given a whole year of bright green cycling from home, inspired by the thought of those two weeks somewhere sunny, with careful drivers, better bikepaths (pick two!) and you should be able to add a couple of short flights without completely changing the colour!

Chris, much of what you say I agree with, and I am certainly not in the business of shaming people who compromise to make their lives nicer. I do that all the time, just not in this particular way. But flying is so polluting that it is easy for a non-car-driver who flies to end up being responsible for more transport related greenhouse gas emissions than a non-flyer who drives a Chelsea tractor. Again, I don't condemn the individuals who make these choices, but I don't see how an organisation that purports to be green can support flying. In the same way I'd be amazed if they ran adverts for Landrover. It just looks and feels bad. It is like a Weighwatchers mag running ads for Greggs.

But I am not a member and really this is none of my business.

Suffolk audaxer
Posts: 6
Joined: 25 Jul 2020, 9:19am

Re: Disagreement with AGM resolutions

Postby Suffolk audaxer » 15 Aug 2020, 7:11pm

pwa: If it's none of your business, why did you post in the first place?

Being Green is a question of balance and being as conscientious as possible but it doesn't involve giving everything up, which for the vast majority would just be impossible Yes, there will be some who go on CUK tours that involve flying who couldn't care less, like those (I don't mean CUK members) ignoring lockdown rules. There has to be some faith in members, I think we can fairly say most members are pretty 'green' conscientious.

As I said in an earlier post, if there is that much concern about CUK's 'green' credentials they should do something about all the cars parked at HQs for events. CUK's main argument is for more cycling and less car use. The point is made by the fact we know why that won't happen!

I don't think it does go against the grain to have some tours that involve flying. Yes, encourage the alternatives as much as possible and campaign to make it easier for cyclists to use them. I understand CUK is no longer affiliated to the ECF, which raises serious questions. That is surely the very organisation we should work with to campaign for better bikes provision on European trains. Are we supposed to believe it was to prevent too much flying by HQ staff? In any case, I expect HQ staff will still attend international conferences. How will they travel? The sheer numbers at those events would almost certainly make online meetings impractical

Rogerh
Posts: 3
Joined: 14 Aug 2020, 8:43pm

Re: Disagreement with AGM resolutions

Postby Rogerh » 15 Aug 2020, 10:03pm

Look at the maths.

Using a Chelsea Tractor produces 2 or 3 times the CO2 produced by flying on a plane. Thus instead of driving 15000 miles a year, you could fly round the world every year.

Is flying so polluting compared with private transport?


Roger Hill

SA_SA_SA
Posts: 1922
Joined: 31 Oct 2009, 1:46pm

Re: Disagreement with AGM resolutions

Postby SA_SA_SA » 15 Aug 2020, 10:58pm

1) Surely, the proposal should be specified in terms of Greenhouse effect etc rather picking a form of Transport (which could get greener while others get worse)

2) Is it feasible for some CTC Holliday Tours to hire a BikeExpressStyle coach per holiday?
How green/grey would that be compared to train/plane/car-driving there with relatively low vehicle occupancy.
------------You may not use this post in Cycle or other magazine ------ 8)

pwa
Posts: 12758
Joined: 2 Oct 2011, 8:55pm

Re: Disagreement with AGM resolutions

Postby pwa » 16 Aug 2020, 6:23am

Rogerh wrote:Look at the maths.

Using a Chelsea Tractor produces 2 or 3 times the CO2 produced by flying on a plane. Thus instead of driving 15000 miles a year, you could fly round the world every year.

Is flying so polluting compared with private transport?


Roger Hill

Flying allows you to splurge out vast amounts of CO2 and methane (methane in the upper atmosphere being much more damaging than CO2) in one day. A return long haul trip could be 4000 miles or more in not many hours. How long would it take most of us to get those distances in a car? Part of the problem is that flying gets all the polluting and travel into a small amount of time, making it practical to do it. It is some time ago now, so I need more up-to-date figures, but I once heard it said that a family of four doing a return trip to New York were likely to do as much damage to the atmosphere (CO2 and methane, don't forget the methane) as they do all year with their two family cars. For one holiday. Remember the cars are being used for practical things like shopping, hospital visits and the like but the air pollution for their holiday is for pleasure and nothing more. Yes, I know there are other problems with car use, and even with car pollution, but don't trivialise the damage done by flying for holidays.

Individuals make their own choices but organisations have to take a position consistent with their ethos.

User avatar
Graham
Moderator
Posts: 6361
Joined: 14 Dec 2006, 8:48pm

Re: Disagreement with AGM resolutions

Postby Graham » 16 Aug 2020, 9:58am

Mass tourism by flying => satisfying a whim . . . . . .

Travelling in a motor vehicle => largely satisfying a whim . . . . . .

Fictional anecdote :
Man in the rainforest, with a chainsaw at the ready thinks . . . . . .
I'm doing this to provide for my family - the basics : food, shelter, health care . . . . . . .
I see the people in the wealthy countries, They make no sacrifices. They just want more, better, shinier, faster . . always . . . .
They have forgotten just how lucky they are. All the basics just taken for granted.

^ This is deliberately emotive.

Methinks we really are in trouble . . where the "we" is the next generations.

PH
Posts: 9434
Joined: 21 Jan 2007, 12:31am
Location: Derby
Contact:

Re: AGM Flying with Bikes

Postby PH » 16 Aug 2020, 11:17am

CJ wrote:Get this: cycle tourists DON'T WANT TO FLY. ?

I don't know what that's based on but it certainly isn't universal and I expect cycle tourists are no different to the rest of the population with some loving to fly and others hating it. I know plenty who wouldn't contemplate spending a day on a train however easy it could be made, let alone a coach: Why else would Bike Express have cut their service in recent years other than due to lack of demand? Flying is quick and cheap, those two things for many people outweigh all other considerations. This forum has people recommending flying to Scotland for an E2E, is anyone saying there aren't alternatives to that?
I'm voting against the motion, it isn't going to have a slightest impact on the choices people make. I fly, I'd rather go by other means so the four return flights I've made in my adult life have all been long haul, I'm hoping I'll get the opportunity or another one or two. But I'm not kidding myself that I need to go to these places, if I can't get to X I could go to Y without flying, it's a choice. It's not like I've seen everything in the World that I can get to without flying. Neither is my infrequency helpful, you either support the aviation industry or you don't. It wouldn't exist without frequent flyers, if people weren't jetting off half a dozen times a year my affordable once a decade trip wouldn't exist.

slowster
Posts: 1620
Joined: 7 Jul 2017, 10:37am

Re: Disagreement with AGM resolutions

Postby slowster » 16 Aug 2020, 12:41pm

If we, i.e. the human race, are going to make the sorts of changes that will have a significant impact on mitigating and hopefully reversing the impacts of climate change, then we are going to have to make sacrifices.

If as individuals we take the approach that we are not going to make those sacrifices on the grounds that there are others who have higher carbon footprints than we do, then we are doomed. It will always be possible to find people who are using and abusing the earth's resources more than we are, and pointing to them as justification for taking no action ourselves is no justification. Arguing that it's OK to fly on holiday because you don't have a car is self-serving, specious reasoning. Most of the people on this planet do not have a car and do not fly. I suspect that the carbon footprint even of those in the UK who do not have a car and do not fly is still probably much higher than the global average.

However, I agree that whereas as individuals we have a responsibility to make sacrifices, organisations like CUK have a responsibility to take a lead role in making low carbon alternatives available and practical. If all that CUK does is effectively to impose a sacrifice on its own particular constituency, then it is not part of the solution but part of the problem. As CJ points out, it's not acceptable for CUK simply to do the very easy thing and ban/discourage its members from doing something, unless it also does the (admittedly much more difficult) task of making alternatives available. The latter is as important as the former. Obviously engaging with the train operating companies and ferry companies to try to develop practical and appealing holiday alternatives for cyclists is not something that would be easy, but it is precisely the sort of activity for which CUK exists.

The lack of success in getting good cycle provision on trains generally, and the difficulties and complexity of accessing and booking what spaces there are, do not bode well for making provision for groups of cyclists on an organised holiday. Neverthless, CUK needs to try and keep trying.

It might be that whereas trains often being at or above capacity during peak commuting hours will be a major barrier to increasing cycle capacity for commuters, organised holidays using non-peak hour trains might be something which the train operating companies could accommodate much more easily. It's something which they could probably do by starting with a small trial, e.g. transporting a CTC tour with bikes from London to Scotland for a one week tour and then returning, or from Manchester to Portsmouth or Poole ferry terminals. Such an organised holiday would probably involve mostly administrative and planning issues and costs for the train operating companies, as opposed to cycling commuter provision potentially requiring expensive new or modified rolling stock and/or loss of revenue as a result of reduced passenger carrying capacity. An organised cycling holiday would be a relatively easy thing to accommodate by comparison, and future growth in the number of such trips should also be relatively easy to manage and plan. The revenue from such holidays might not be particularly attractive to the train operating companies given the trouble involved, especially for the first few holidays when any difficulties and snags would be likely to arise and need to be solved, but they would provide the train operating companies with very good PR, and that might be enough to persuade them to give it a go.

User avatar
CJ
Posts: 3062
Joined: 15 Jan 2007, 9:55pm

Re: Disagreement with AGM resolutions

Postby CJ » 16 Aug 2020, 3:34pm

slowster wrote:An organised cycling holiday would be a relatively easy thing to accommodate by comparison, and future growth in the number of such trips should also be relatively easy to manage and plan.

It should be, but won't be until the 'sets' of carriages of which modern passenger trains are composed include a space or spaces in which you can park, stack or hang a sufficient number of bicycles. Because the technology of trains has become more sophisticated. The operator can no longer simply slot in a luggage van: it would interrupt the continuity of service and data connections between the carriage sets and the locomotives both ends, which connections are not necessarily compatible with other carriage sets and their dedicated locomotives. So a luggage van would have to be specially made to fit.

As I wrote in a previous post, I have organised more group tours into Europe using trains than any other CTC Holidays Tour Manager and am the last to have succeeded in doing so (in 2016 to Salzburg). It was very difficult and risky and is now impossible, due to CUK's failure to persuade Eurostar not to reduce from ten to only two spaces, the bike capacity of their new rolling stock. As Eurostar has a monopoly on direct rail travel to the rest of Europe, that effectively shuts the door until their trains are next renewed or refurbished. And as I'm 65 now, that probably does for the rest of my cycling lifetime.

Those tours using trains were always very popular. Many of my regular participants are either very reluctant flyers, will try almost anything else to avoid flying, even resorting to inferior rental bikes or folders, that detract from their enjoyment of the tour itself, or will ONLY come on such holidays as I am able to organise using trains or ferries. Even those who often fly with their bikes, view this as a necessary evil, they hate what they have to do to their bikes to pack them small and protect them from damage, which they nevertheless continue to worry about. That is why I say touring cyclists are reluctant flyers. I don't know about racers (whose minimal bikes are much easier to pack), but for tourists I know it is true. All you have to do is make it just as easy to take your intact bike by train and cycle-tourists will flock back to the railways. It doesn't need to be as quick as flying - within reason - especially if one can sleep on the train. And we'll happily pay a bit more. It just has to work without the mental stress of byzantine booking proceedures or the physical stress of dragging a bagged-up bike around when changing trains.

And don't talk to me about buses. I've used the bike-bus twice and that's enough for one lifetime. I cannot bear the stress and pain of trying to sleep - or trying not to sleep - in a sitting position. I don't care how little space or how many others it's shared with, old-fashioned couchettes or one of those Japanese filing-cabinet-hotel drawers would do for me, I simply need to get my head down at night.
Chris Juden
One lady owner, never raced or jumped.

mattheus
Posts: 1559
Joined: 29 Dec 2008, 12:57pm
Location: Western Europe

Re: Disagreement with AGM resolutions

Postby mattheus » 16 Aug 2020, 5:12pm

pwa wrote:Individuals make their own choices but organisations have to take a position consistent with their ethos.

[As you're not a CUK member] what orgs meet your criteria?

Where should my money go - as a cyclist with green concerns?

pwa
Posts: 12758
Joined: 2 Oct 2011, 8:55pm

Re: Disagreement with AGM resolutions

Postby pwa » 16 Aug 2020, 7:10pm

mattheus wrote:
pwa wrote:Individuals make their own choices but organisations have to take a position consistent with their ethos.

[As you're not a CUK member] what orgs meet your criteria?

Where should my money go - as a cyclist with green concerns?

If CUK were still CTC and simply a club enabling and promoting cycling for the love of it, I'd see no reason to object to it running holidays that require flying, though I'd not be a customer. I'd readily urge members to go for greener holidays but it would be their decision and it would not be something the club would need to take a position on. But CUK seems to want to be more than a cycling club, and be seen as green and clean. Flying doesn't square with that. It is the delusion that bothers me.

I hope nobody will question their membership or support for CUK just because of my reservations, and I can't think of a greener alternative for cyclists. I wish I could, but I can't. I wonder if CUK would have been better off just promoting cycling for the love of it and leaving green issues to Friends of the Earth or Greenpeace. Cycling offers much for those wanting to be greener, but holidays you have to fly to are not part of that.

slowster
Posts: 1620
Joined: 7 Jul 2017, 10:37am

Re: Disagreement with AGM resolutions

Postby slowster » 16 Aug 2020, 7:39pm

CJ wrote:As I wrote in a previous post, I have organised more group tours into Europe using trains than any other CTC Holidays Tour Manager and am the last to have succeeded in doing so (in 2016 to Salzburg). It was very difficult and risky and is now impossible, due to CUK's failure to persuade Eurostar not to reduce from ten to only two spaces, the bike capacity of their new rolling stock. As Eurostar has a monopoly on direct rail travel to the rest of Europe, that effectively shuts the door until their trains are next renewed or refurbished. And as I'm 65 now, that probably does for the rest of my cycling lifetime.

Eurostar would undoubtedly be the hardest nut to crack. I think the various operating companies involved in the Channel Tunnel probably have a lot of debt, and consequently have to maximise revenue/profit on a line which is probably at full capacity. Hence my examples of rail journeys either in the UK or to UK ferry ports: start on a very small scale with something that is probably relatively much easier for a train company to do, and build from there.

I think the need for us all to make changes to address climate change, and make them at a much faster rate, might prove to be a game changer much sooner than any of us might expect. What seems a very remote possibility now might become widely accepted, and possibly imposed by legislation, in a very short timescale. The prospect/awareness of that might even persuade some of the train companies that it would be in their interest to engage with CUK now and start doing things even on just a small scale or trial basis.

CJ wrote:
slowster wrote:An organised cycling holiday would be a relatively easy thing to accommodate by comparison, and future growth in the number of such trips should also be relatively easy to manage and plan.

It should be, but won't be until the 'sets' of carriages of which modern passenger trains are composed include a space or spaces in which you can park, stack or hang a sufficient number of bicycles. Because the technology of trains has become more sophisticated. The operator can no longer simply slot in a luggage van: it would interrupt the continuity of service and data connections between the carriage sets and the locomotives both ends, which connections are not necessarily compatible with other carriage sets and their dedicated locomotives. So a luggage van would have to be specially made to fit.

An old fashioned luggage van slotted into the middle of a modern set of carriages would be very incongruous, even if there were not the technical obstacles you describe. I did briefly wonder if sending bikes separately in a luggage van attached to a freight train might be viable for an overnight journey like London to Scotland, for which there is also a sleeper passenger service (I think most freight trains also run at night), but I doubt the freight trains go far enough, i.e. to the tourist destinations at the end of the lines like Fort William.

However, I don't think it is all that difficult. The advantage of catering to a one-off or occasional planned small CTC tour, is that the number of bikes would be relatively small, say a dozen, and it should be possible to transport them without huge costs and major logistical obstacles. I think most seats in the carriages are individually bolted to the carriage floor, so it should be possible to remove less than 20 seats to make space for the bikes. Even if safety rules required that the bikes were in/on stands, it should be possible to bolt some of the standard 3 bike stands used in many of the carriages in the place of the seats. Whilst such a loss of passenger space would be completely unacceptable every day on a peak hour commuter train, I would hope that a train company would be willing to do it even if only as a one-off trial to begin with.

Obviously none of this would be easy for CUK or the train company/companies, but the alternative is to just give up and do nothing. CUK's raison d'être is to promote cycling, and this would be a good opportunity to demonstrate that it works to open doors for cyclists, rather than just closing them.

Cyril Haearn
Posts: 14189
Joined: 30 Nov 2013, 11:26am
Location: Leafy suburbia

Re: Disagreement with AGM resolutions

Postby Cyril Haearn » 16 Aug 2020, 7:43pm

Removing seats is good, makes more room for standing passengers, rails could be provided to lean on, like at football grounds, and big windows
Better than sitting right next to a stranger in 2+2 seats
Entertainer, intellectual, idealist, PoB, 30120
Cycling-of course, but it is far better on a Gillott
We love safety cameras, we hate bullies

Rogerh
Posts: 3
Joined: 14 Aug 2020, 8:43pm

Re: Disagreement with AGM resolutions

Postby Rogerh » 17 Aug 2020, 10:07am

pwa wrote
Flying allows you to splurge out vast amounts of CO2 and methane (methane in the upper atmosphere being much more damaging than CO2) in one day. A return long haul trip could be 4000 miles or more in not many hours. How long would it take most of us to get those distances in a car? Part of the problem is that flying gets all the polluting and travel into a small amount of time, making it practical to do it. It is some time ago now, so I need more up-to-date figures, but I once heard it said that a family of four doing a return trip to New York were likely to do as much damage to the atmosphere (CO2 and methane, don't forget the methane) as they do all year with their two family cars. For one holiday. Remember the cars are being used for practical things like shopping, hospital visits and the like but the air pollution for their holiday is for pleasure and nothing more. Yes, I know there are other problems with car use, and even with car pollution, but don't trivialise the damage done by flying for holidays.

Individuals make their own choices but organisations have to take a position consistent with their ethos.
Top

1. Where does the methane come from?
2. Are cars never used for pleasure purposes like holidays. Swapping my car for the plane (e.g. for a European holiday) will make only a small difference to the CO2 produced. Why not restrict use of cars like you propose for flying. Or better still, encourage the provision of reasonable alternatives to flying and car use so that people will want to use them.

Roger Hill