Author Archive (Patrick)

Cycling and (my) pes cavus 'type of feet'

A chiropodist (or podiatrist as they are now known) told me recently I have pes cavus 'type' feet. She said it as soon as I took my shoes off (my feet look normal to me although perhaps my toes do look a bit curled). I went to see the chiropodist because three doctors (general practitioners, […]

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Pretty Pretty: the Derbyshire Dales (Cycling)

We have travelled around England and Wales a fair bit this year, with our bikes but not always cycling. Some places lend themselves to it more than others—our kind of cycling anyway (that's me and Sandra). This week, in the Derbyshire Dales, where strangely I have never been before, we rode our bikes in the […]

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Light on Cycling

It's almost a year since I cycled regularly. I've been out on my bike less than 20 times since last August. It surprises me to see this written but it's true. However, I have not given up cycling by any means. Nope. I've just had other things to do, beginning with re-roofing part of our […]

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Who is she?

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ASA Banned Advert (the Horse Cyclist)

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Boris & the Blame Game

Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, has been criticised for what he said in a radio interview following the deaths of several cyclists in road accidents in London (six have been killed in November). He has widely been accused of victim-blaming and insulting the dead after suggesting – in the interview – that cyclists have a […]

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8 weeks with no cycling (plus 6 to go)

It might be a bit longer than 8 (it was in France in September when I last rode my bike) but 6 is fixed (because that is Christmas). The re-roofing job at my house must be finished by 22nd December or else. I have not ridden my bike because I am doing a lot of […]

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Loches again, cycling (sort of)

A September week in Loches, Touraine, France: cloudless skies, 34° afternoon temperature, quiet roads, empty villages, lovely châteaux, walks, some cycling. Heaven! Loches, Touraine, France Unfortunately our hosts for the past three years are moving on; they have bought the outbuildings of the Château de Chavigny near Chinon and are taking their antique French furniture […]

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Level 3 Action and Tinderbox Britain

Golden haze – my favourite weather This is worth writing if only as a reminder to be read again in August when Prof Stephen Belcher's calculations come true and the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation restores our weather to its now familiar wetness. He is from the Met Office and is "excited about this work, it's a […]

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Cycling in the Vale of Wenning (from Settle)

I take back what I said about map cases in my recent bar bag review. In the car park at Settle, getting ready to ride in the Yorkshire Dales, I accidentally deleted the route from my Garmin GPS. Either that, or I had forgotten to put it on when the route was planned in May. […]

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Altura Dryline bar bag 'review'

It has taken me almost 30 years to try a bar bag. Handlebar bags (I don't mean shopping baskets) are not a new idea; they were apparently listed in the 1890 Brooks catalogue, but I'd hesitated buying one in case it would interfere with the front cables, and also my GPS, front light and bell. […]

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Lancashire's Unchanging Lanes

An ancient lane on Healey Nab near Chorley, Lancashire ('B' on the map) I am not particularly into local history (I could be persuaded) but when you cycle on country roads, especially the narrow lanes that meander amongst ancient oaks and crumbling stone barns from years beginning with 16–, it's hard not to imagine how […]

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Carelessness, the sheriff's sentencing guidelines, and road justice for cyclists

There was some indignation recently over an apparently lenient sentence handed down by Sheriff James Scott to the 'careless' driver who killed cyclist Audrey Fyfe. The guilty man was given a five year driving ban and 300 hours of community service, prompting a successful campaign for the sentence to be appealed. The Sheriff will now […]

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A cycling holiday in Austria (that wasn't)

It was in Austria. It just wasn't much of a cycling holiday. I'd asked the chap in my local bike shop if he'd cycled in Austria and what it was like. Superb, he'd said. Bike paths everywhere, as wide as roads. Then I'd asked our son, who works in Vienna, what the weather was like. […]

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Get Britain Cycling: "redesigning our roads, streets and communities"

Via the CTC I received an email from Jon Snow the other day informing me that the All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group (APPCG) is aiming for 10% of trips by bike by 2025 and 25% by 2050, and £10 per person per year in funding for cycling. Those are the headlines of the APPCG's Get […]

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Cycling up down Ilkley Moor

Ilkley Moor In Skipton, as we set off to cycle up Ilkley Moor, an elderly chap shouted: "Tiny Thomas!" "Who's Tiny Thomas?"

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Google Earth .kmz to BaseCamp .gpx

A slight update to Creating a GPS cycle route on Google Earth. Things have a habit of moving on, and that includes converting a Google Earth .kmz file into a Garmin BaseCamp file I can then transfer to my Garmin GPS unit. Things move on but they don't necessarily get any simpler. I still use […]

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Cycling in the year 2040

The future of cycling (image courtesy of CTC) In 2040 I will be 92 and one year older than my father when he finally became too old to cycle. That is 27 years from now. Possibly, given that life expectancy in the western world is on the increase, I will still be cycling maybe ten […]

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Let's cycle to Limbrick

Windless, cloudless, it's almost a perfect morning. Just 3.5 degrees. The sky is hazy blue but towards the east the light is gold. Limbrick is a tiny village about half way between our house and where Bradley Wiggins lives. In all the years I've been cycling I have never (knowingly) seen Sir Bradley although Jason […]

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Non-cycling winters and my next bike

Last October we cycled in France (not much) and then in Dorset (a couple of short rides). Since then, Sandra has not touched her bike and I can't remember my last ride – probably some time in December, or maybe I went out once early in January. There were weeks of torrential rain, then ice, […]

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Searching for Cycling in Denmark

Why does your page not come up for "Cycling in Denmark"? asked Sandra. Because my page is not about Cycling in Denmark I answered. It's about "Cycle Touring in Denmark." As a matter of fact 'my page' is not even about that, but our cycle tour in Denmark. And there are two pages as we've […]

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Structural Cycling

Structural Cycling is a term I recently thought of to characterise the type of cycling I do mostly. It signifies cycling as a structural part of one's life. It is not essential for survival as are eating and drinking but has status equal to, say, tooth cleaning, nail cutting, shaving, hair washing, tidying the house, […]

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CTC strategies, the parliamentary enquiry, The Times, going Dutch etc

Making Britain better for bikes (latest CTC Cycle magazine), Making Cities fit for Cycling (The Times Manifesto), 'promote the use of bicycles as a mode of transport' (All-Party Parliamentary Cycling Group), MPs launch a cross party inquiry into cycling (Press release) and the CTC Strategy 2013-20 are just a few of the things now happening […]

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WP-Routes plugin

A WordPress plugin is available for cyclists. Just installed it here, and it seems* to work. The following example (for testing) is the ride we did on July 24th, 2011. Instructions for use are on bikes.org.uk. Thanks for the suggestion Chris! From ClubShorts e-newsletter for CTC Member Groups.

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Dorset: a couple of short cycle rides (and signs)

Darkening skies over Dorset Does anybody object to commercial add-ons to normal road direction signs? I do, especially when the original one is a nice old-fashioned type with interesting place names – even when the add-on points to an award winning country pub like the Drovers Inn at Gussage All Saints: Dorset Country Pub Of […]

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Not (much) cycling in France

The plan was to put the bikes in the van, drive to various places in France, then ride. It had worked in Germany but not this time. I have come to the conclusion that generally, the French do not cycle very much. Col du Tourmalet (near the top)

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USADA and Lance Armstrong

USADA announced: ... Lance Armstrong ... has received a lifetime period of ineligibility and disqualification of all competitive results from August 1, 1998 Read the whole USADA news release August 2012. Not that I know very much about the rules or protocol of international cycle racing but it seems strange how a non-governmental agency in […]

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My old bike project (not restoration)

French onion: Peugeot Black Mamba ATB frame I've no idea what I'm going to do with this bike. Actually, now, it's just a frame and fork as I've removed everything else and not much is fit to be re-used. The bike, a Peugeot Black Mamba ATB, is all I rode from the mid-1980s until 2008 […]

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Cycling technique: pedaling in circles

"So can I ask how many of you actually use the push and pull method of pedaling and if you do does it make climbing hills that much easier?" "Will push pull make hill climbing easier? Yes it will, but you have to learn how to do it and repeat it often to develop underused […]

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Bike van

Vans to carry bikes and which you can sleep in Two or three bicycles can easily be transported on a car rack, roof bars, or in a trailer. However, there are advantages in using a van: the bikes are secure, dry, and can be loaded and unloaded quickly without removing a wheel, mounting a rack, […]

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Being overtaken by another cyclist (and doing your own thing)

I like to think I am reasonably fit, able to cycle 80 miles or so without too much trouble (although my usual spin is nearer to 25 miles). I am not 'super fit' nor do I particularly want to be. I don't cycle fast but generally ride at a pace I can keep up all […]

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Cycling along the Mosel

The rivers that flow northwards from Germany and Eastern France are interesting. The Rhine, really a German river (Rhein), flows from Switzerland through Germany as far as Holland where about two thirds of its water volume becomes the Waal, going west where the river splits just before Nijmegen. The other third goes north to Arnhem […]

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CTC cycling campaigns

CTC, the UK's national cyclists' organisation since 1878 and its largest cycling charity, recently appointed Gordon Seabright as its new Chief Executive (I think he started work on 1st March 2012). If I had been appointed, the first thing I would do is get an overview of what is currently going on in the organisation. […]

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3-valley bike ride round Snowdon

A498: Llyn Gwynant on the banks of Snowdon Nant Gwynant, Nant Peris, Nant y Betws. I don't know if they are official names for the three valleys surrounding the Snowdon Massif in North Wales but they are written large on my OS Explorer map of Yr Wyddfa (Snowdon's Welsh name). Nant means stream, small river, […]

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Anglezarke Reservoir from Healey Nab

Heapey Fold Lane 1st April: Rivington / Sheep House Lane / Ice Cream Corner / Jepson's Farm / Waterman's Cottage / Hen Alley / White Coppice / Heapey / Wheelton / Heapey Road / Healey Nab / Parson's Bullough Road / Sheep House Lane / Rivington Almost the same spot, almost a year ago (later […]

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No sign of Hockney but very fine cycling

Cyclist approaching – the bridleway between Bishop Wilton and Fangfoss After at least half a dozen visits to Hockney Country I thought this weekend we might at last have seen The Man. The weather was gorgeous – warm sunshine and almost windless: perfect for sitting at an easel to paint the English landscape. Sunday's big […]

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Cycling the Monsal Trail

Sandra and I cycled the Monsal Trail the other day. The trail has apparently existed since 1981 but I hadn't heard of it until last year when it was announced that four ancient railway tunnels are now open to walkers, wheelchair users, cyclists and horse riders, after being made safe by the Peak District National […]

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Cycling nude into perspective

After seeing the nude Peruvian cyclists article I casually scanned Google Images for 'nude cylists' (as one does) and somehow came upon this photo: He is fully dressed for cycle touring. I think the reason this came up was because he mentioned on his blog that he'd posted a nude cycling photo of himself then […]

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Bike on moors

Gorgeous light Last Thursday looking north over West Pennine Moors from Winter Hill. Darwen Tower just visible on the far ridge, Belmont Reservoir in the valley.

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Cycle for only 3 minutes a week

Anyone who cycles purely for fitness need travel no further than one mile. But you must ride flat out and do it once a week (a mile is how far you'd go on a bike in 3 minutes at 20 mph). This is because it can "deliver many of the health and fitness benefits of […]

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spring sprang sprung

Well, not quite. This is Hawthorn. Nice though.

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Service: Chain Reaction Cycles

I received an email last Friday (thanks Chris) informing me that Chain Reaction Cycles is selling 9-speed Shimano Tiagra model 4503 triple front mechs for £10 (RRP £31.99). Free delivery. This is the same front mech as the one on our 2008 Ridgeback Panorama touring bikes. With the industry move to 10-speed (why?) they are […]

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Stop the bike, take the photo

It's cold, damp, grey, getting late. Then the sun appears from nowhere.

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Building bicycle wheels: the best builder is you

Fifty miles in, the bicycle wheels I built for myself a few days ago are as true as an arrow from Robin Hood's bow. They did not fly into pieces at the first bump in the road and there is no reason why they should. Bicycle wheel building is much easier than, say, knitting or […]

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New front wheel – the spokes are short

Laced but not tensioned The partly completed loft conversion in use for wheel building. After I laced and trued both wheels I realised the spokes are too short. They are all 288 mm and they should be two sizes: 290 mmm and 292 mm (now on order). Not my fault though. The bike shop supplied […]

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A really useful battery charger

Maha Powerex MH-C9000 WizardOne Charger-Analyzer This AA-AAA battery charger wasn't given to me for Christmas but would have made a good present. My Garmin eTrex Legend HCx GPS and front/rear lights all use AA batteries. For cycle touring, normal batteries make sense as there is no need to carry a charger and replacements can be […]

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A short break from cycling

I haven't touched my bike for almost three weeks. I've not given up cycling or anything. Far from it (new wheel components on order, bike van being prepared, can't wait to get going again). I've simply been tied up with a few things: a loft conversion, lousy weather, a sore toe, very bad toothache in […]

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Bike upgrade: hydraulic disc brakes

... from cables (known as mechanical). My Giant Escape Disc is now equipped with Teppan Yaki SP5 floating stainless steel rotors and Shimano Deore M596 hydraulic brakes (opposed 2-piston design) with sintered pads. These brakes are 'bottom end' MTB (this bike is actually a hybrid) but according to Singletrack Magazine have "gained some of the […]

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Something's wrong: I'm satisfied with my bike

Cateye TL-LD1100 LED rear light The satisfaction is not the one I'm tempted by whenever I cycle over a busy motorway. After all, I'm sometimes down there on the road myself and besides, this is the movement of people and goods that keeps the wheels turning, so to speak. Most of the things society now […]

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Cycling blog birthday

CycleSeven's first Post was 1st November 2009. So we are two years old today. 434 Posts, 3,576 approved comments, and as intended, our team includes two women cyclists. Well done all!

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