Cycling General

Road Tax Is Dead, Long Live Road Tax!

In 1926 the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Winston Churchill, introduced measures that would ultimately do away with Road Tax in 1937. His reasons for doing so included a concern that some motorists felt they enjoyed a special entitlement to behave on the road in any way that they pleased. They did, after all, pay for […]

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The Magpie and Sputnik

Another helmet theme … The magpie is a most illustrious bird Dwells in the diamond tree One brought sorrow, one brought joy, Sorrow and joy for me Sorrow and joy for me ...(Donovan)

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The Helmet Debate. Again

On the last day of August I fell off my bike. Again. A graphic I never ended up using in the promotional material for an event I organised. (It was designed by a former colleague of mine)

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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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Steve Abraham attempts to break the cycling year record…

... or the Highest Annual Mileage Record, if you prefer. Steve Abraham set off just after midnight this morning in an attempt to beat the record – established by Tommy Godwin in 1939 – of 75,065 miles ridden in a single year. At the time of writing there are a few links scattered about in […]

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A Cyclist’s Paradise?

“Smooth, open roads. Stunning scenery. English road signs. An ingrained cycling culture. Stellar road safety.” Do we have your attention yet? I was lying in bed, flipping through a magazine when I paused over a two-page colour advertisement. Graphically, it was terrible – I had flipped past it at least three times previously. But once […]

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A Cycle Seven Champion!

Do you recognise either of these cyclists? I don't expect you to recognise 2014 AAA (Audax Altitude Award) champion Martin Malins but perhaps his companion and winner of the Opposite Sex award may look a little familiar. It is, of course, Mary who won this years Audax Altitude Award points championship with a magnificent 137.25 […]

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A Farewell Tour

The past two summers I have ridden through Winnipeg. As my project started to wind down, I began to think of my evening rides as a “farewell tour”. Every ride started here, at the corner of St. Mary and Carleton. I would ride down Carleton, to the right. This photo of St. Mary Cathedral in […]

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Bracket racket: what's the bottom line?

I've been spending too much time lurking about on online cycling forums again. I must cut down – or cut it out completely. Maybe. I know that amongst the true gems of genuinely fascinating information there will be the inevitable verbal fisticuffs, misunderstandings and completely random tangents taken. Sometimes I think I post comments just […]

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Prudential RideLondon Grand Prix 2014

Last weekend I had a day in London between destinations. Pity. It was an opportunity to aquaint myself with one of the world’s great cities. By late afternoon my feet ached – I had walked for hours and decided to try a Boris Bike. Well, I couldn’t get the kiosk to work, nor could 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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Le Grand Depart

Who could resist going to see the Tour de France's first visit to Yorkshire? Certainly not me. We have a friend in York whom we'd been meaning to visit for some time (since our last visit when CycleSeven cycled the Dales in fact!) so this was the perfect opportunity. We took the train from Southampton […]

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The Thaw

Spring (finally) came, and now it has gone. It was only a few weeks ago that the last of the frozen water pipes in Winnipeg finally thawed. Winter’s frost was over 7 feet deep. The late weather did not help the cycling season, but eventually the legs started turning.

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A Little Man at Large

James turned three earlier this month. For his birthday last year his main present was a balance bike – a Tiny Bike from a shop in Hull. He now has an Islabikes Cnoc 14. I was sceptical about the claims made by advocates of balance bikes, but within a week of his birthday James was […]

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Seven Day Forecast

From my bed I could see it; blue sky and its attendant promises. Lift and lower. My old Marin came down from its hook. Lift and lower. The pump restored new life to the tires. Except the the rear one, which had a flat. “You can take my wheel,” offered Mary chivalrously.

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Wight Bike Bus

A few years ago we visited California. One of the things that most impressed me was the way that all the buses had racks on the front to carry bikes. Roberta wouldn't dream of travelling in such a manner but it struck me as a very good idea. I've always thought that one of the […]

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Who is she?

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ASA Banned Advert (the Horse Cyclist)

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Sometimes letting go is hard to do…

My name is Chris, and I'm a hoarder. I find it difficult to throw things away. Not everything, you understand. I don't keep my urine in assorted milk bottles or that sort of thing, so I'm not about to feature in a Channel 4 documentary – at least not for a while. I only keep […]

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Hung Up On Winter

I have a very simple conundrum. To hang or not to hang? Winter approaches. This past weekend was gorgeous, and what was I doing? Raking leaves. If I don't do it now I will be staring at a pile of leaf mold in spring. it is time to put the bikes away. My question: Should […]

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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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A Muddy Water Summer

This weekend is the equinox. All places on the planet will have 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of darkness. Evenings are now too dark for safe riding. My Mistress is in a box and on her way home. Last night was my last ride in Winnipeg (“Muddy Water”). Mistress and Wife Winnipeg’s cycling […]

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Tour de France 2014 (Yorkshire) – official First Stage route preview

Le Grand Depart 2014 – Le Tour visits Yorkshire! A preview of the first day's route, from Leeds to Harrogate via the Yorkshire Dales. Saturday 5th July 2014. 190km (119 miles). Swaledale, North Yorkshire – 80 miles in, 40 to go.. STAGE 1, Saturday 5th July 2014

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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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The ManxCat is BACK

Been a long long time. But on the 1st July, if I promised to take things easy, I have been given permission to ride my bicycle again. It has been the longest 14 weeks of my life, but its over and now I have to think about getting bike fit again.

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The Wind in my Wheels

The Wind in my Wheels is the first of seven books by my favourite cycling writer, Josie Dew. I've read all her books more than once but I've read this so often I almost know it off by heart! Whenever we go for a 'normal' holiday without my bike this is the book that always […]

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Fixed Gear Interim Report

Stopping is the issue. Stopping and standing still. I was standing on the pedals, horizontal position, balanced over the handle bars, shimmying the front wheel to stay upright, waiting for the light to change. I cranked the pedals backwards two full revolutions and for a moment I was actually riding in reverse. Then I woke […]

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Thought for the day: Roadside Detritus and the socially-responsible cyclist

There are many things one can do on a bike that one can't do in a car (though the converse is just as true). For many, the delights of cycling include being closer to the sights, sounds and smells of the world around. If the pace is also slower and the journey less urgent, other […]

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Muddy Water Breached

Winnipeg is like a medieval town, except it isn’t. Being a prairie city there are no limits to its geographic expansion, except for a perimeter road that allows long distance traffic to bypass its innards. And, being on the flood plain of the Red River, it has been encircled on three sides by a floodway […]

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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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Muddy Water Fixed

I blame it all on the man with the Golden Voice. Winnipeg is about 100 miles north of the United States, and just about smack dab in the middle of Canada (east to west). The prevailing winds come from the west. The nearest wind break is over 1,000 prairie kilometers distant. Portage and Main is […]

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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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Big Smile

Skull cap: check. Helmet: check. Merino wool layers: check. Cycling shorts: check. Long pants: check. Long-fingered gloves: check. Cycling shoes: check (note to self: replace). Wind breaker: check. Tyres: check. Chain: check. Water: check.

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'Women's Cycling' Magazine

I'm quite used to cycling being dominated by men. I'm the only woman in the group I cycle with on Sundays and I can't say that it worries me at all. As a kid I was always a tomboy and as a cyclist I just feel like one of the lads but on the rare […]

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Wintry Weather in the Windy Wolds

The only person to turn up today for one our club's three planned rides (apart from me) was a chap who had driven to the start in case anyone else fetched up for his ride. He explained that everyone had been informed by telephone that the ride was cancelled. (I didn't expect that any of […]

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A Manx Patriot – Sir William Hillary, a cycle ride in his honour

A Manx Patriot – Sir William Hillary. The Founder of the Royal National Institution for the preservation of life from shipwreck. Born, 1771, Died, 1847. The Tower of Refuge, on St Mary's Isle, now known as Conisters' Rock

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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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Christmas, Winter and the Five Per Cent

There was no cycling over Christmas other than two outings with Titanium Man – more on that later. Actually there was some other cycling – cycling from one table to the next, each a groaning board of delights. I now need not carry a spare tyre, I have one that is self-installed. The remaining holidays […]

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First ride of 2013 in the Yorkshire Wolds: Kiplingcotes Valley is flooded

A rare day of mild weather today and no rain. Unfortunately, we came upon this scene as we dropped down in to the Kiplincotes Valley. I might have guessed that water would still be covering this low-lying part of the Yorkshire Wolds after my last ride in the area. The road was flooded in three […]

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Look what Santa's brought the Isle of Wight!

OK, I admit that as presents go this doesn't look too exciting, but this is the smoothest stretch of tarmac on the whole of the Isle of Wight and it has just been laid at the Sandown end of NCN23, the Newport to Cowes cycle track.

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Follow up to 'A pound of Perseverence is worth a Ton of Talent' – two years on

After the end of the last post, Lizzie had a mixed year in 2011. She won a lot of races in the beginning of the year, including the Ballycotton Ten, THE big road race in Munster. In the middle of the year her mileage was increased and she had a dip in form, but this […]

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Book Review, 'Barring Mechanicals…' by Andy Allsopp

I stumbled across 'Barring Mechanicals, From London to Edinburgh and back, on a recumbent bicycle' while searching Amazon for a book about 2 guys riding recumbents across Russia. Just before that I'd been idly browsing the LondonEdinburghLondon audax website. At first glance the idea of riding from London to Edinburgh and back seemed quite appealing. […]

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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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Autumn cycling and Higher Ground

What kind of cycling do you do in autumn? Do the type of ride, the routes you follow, your objectives change with the seasons? Do your target distances drop off, and the motivations which get you out the door vary according to the length of the shadows and the height of the mercury? Here's a […]

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Mountain Biking in the good Company of 'Cows' and 'Cat Herders'

Cycling along the top of Peel Hill Photos were all taken by Dave Newsham (aka Foxdale) It’s been a long while since I have contributed to the Cycleseven Blog. I have not had the best of summers this year and my obsession with Audax cycling hasn’t exactly brought forth interesting stories around my bicycling.

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Lady CoMo of the Pyrenees

Day 1 Girona to Olot Aug 27, 2012. Spain. The first day, a big day. We were late getting away – to be expected. There are last minute decisions to make on the first day: what to leave in, what to leave out, how to pack, which route to take. I broke my pump while […]

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'Cyclist's death not the fault of council'

So runs the headline in the Isle of Wight County Press on October 5th. I have previously mentioned this incident in which a 47 year old local woman died after hitting a pothole while descending a steep hill on her bike. On the day in question I climbed the hill and noticed that the road […]

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Different Strokes

Aren't we lucky that our sport/hobby/pastime is one we can do in a group or on our own? Some unfocused musings... Solo ride on the Lincolnshire Wolds A bug swept through the Bailey household recently. I couldn't eat much and I didn't feel well enough to take part in the Standard Ride organised by our […]

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The National Cycle Collection

Poor Dennis, he walked straight into this one! We were discussing where to go for a few days holiday, 'I wouldn't mind going to Llandrindod Wells' he said. 'I went there about 30 years ago and thought it was really nice'. 'OK', I replied innocently, trying not to laugh, 'Let's do that then'. I waited […]

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Going Shopping

In my continuing effort to ride every road in Cornwall, the other day, I decided to ride to the Shops. “Shops as well as roads?” I hear you all ask, “How many shops are there? There must be millions!” “No, not shops, silly – Shops!” In Cornwall we have Shops. These are places/hamlets/villages almost invariably […]

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