Cycle Culture

May 27, 2009

Pleased to see Sheffield Pedalready at Sheffield Station handing out details of their 2009 ride calendar. Of particular interest are their Urban Routes series. These rides are designed to help cyclists find the best routes through the city. Details here. I’ll probably join the Northern Commuter Routes ride on June 13 – Hillsborough tram routes pose a real threat to cyclists – I’ll be interested to see the best ways to avoid them.

Meanwhile, which dedicated cyclist hasn’t sat in the office on a sunny day and thought ‘why can’t I be paid to ride my bike?’ Well here is someone who does get paid to do just that. The reality doesn’t quite match the daydream unfortunately.

FBC Preparation

May 27, 2009

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44 miles on the Tikit this weekend. Julia and I put the Tikits on the train to Stevenage and spent the weekend visiting our parents and exploring rural Hertfordshire. Feeling good about the bikes, but I need to get a rack. Fortunately, Bike Friday have pointed out that a small spacer will enable me to fit the standard rack. The order’s in!

And the picture, well that’s an earlier visit to Knebworth. Waiting for Pink Floyd in 1975 to be precise – thanks for the reminder Ian!

Sheffield Cycle Paramedics get there first

May 16, 2009

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Since November Yorkshire Ambulance Service has been trialling cycle paramedics. The trail follows established cycle paramedic teams in Leeds and York. Now the Sheffield Telegraph reports that the trial has proven the cycling teams can get to central locations quicker than car or ambulance based teams and the service is to be extended.

Photo courtesy of Mike Lee, who also furnishes the following information. The bikes are Marin Point Reyes with upgraded wheels and suspension added, and with the medical kit the bikes weigh in at more than 24 kilos.

And so to Leicester….

May 16, 2009

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Photo by fotorobbie on flickr

Two Tikits folded and on the train to Leicester for a 32 mile round trip to stay with Malcolm in Kimcote. A great ride. Leicester has a good network of cycle routes including the Great Central Way which runs from north to south. an excellent way to get out of the city.

Unfortunately, a nut was shaken loose on Julia’s rear mudguard leaving it rubbing on the rear tyre. Unable to fix it I decided on an alternative course of action. The mudguard was removed and hidden behind a tree, to be collected the next day.

While there we took in Otis Gibbs at the Musician. A great show, albeit a little short as Otis was the support act, and should have been headlining.

On our return, it took a moment to locate the tree, but the mudguard was still there. All in all a successful trip, and few more miles in the saddle for the Folding Bike Challenge.

I can do that!

April 22, 2009

Honestly it is not as hard as it looks (but then I am talking about what happens at 13 seconds)

Alex’s Seasons Speeding Tikit Porteur

April 19, 2009

Alex has put his brazing skills to good use to create a seasons (ie internal hub gear) Tikit. Very envious of the front rack.

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Read about it here

FBC Training Ride 3

April 13, 2009

24 miles. Again the longest so far for our Tikits.

Why there is a phonebox full of coloured balls in Elsecar no one knows.

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Woke up this morning feeling like I had been suspended from my heels all night – the backs of my calves and upper legs felt like they had wire running through them. The position on my Tikit appears to be very similar to my road bike, but I think the different shoes may make a difference to the effective saddle height.

Wear and tear

April 8, 2009

OK so here’s a thing. You buy a new bike and love it. You look after it and keep it for best. In particular you only use it on sunny days. Unfortunately days that start sunny sometimes don’t end that way. This is England after all. But nevertheless when you put the bike away in the autumn you are pleased that you have taken good care of it. You have ridden perhaps 1500 miles and you have only got the bike wet twice, once for 15 miles of a return trip the second time for about 45 miles.

So when you come to retrieve the bike from its nice warm spare bedroom in the spring and inspect it, what do you think you need to replace? Click to see the components which leave you smiling and bouncy and the other one.

a) 10 speed chain
b) Fortezza Tricomp tyre
c) Campag Ultratorque External BB bearings

Grr! And it seems I am not alone, see here

FBC Training Ride 2

April 5, 2009

The Folding Bike Challenge is 240 miles in four days. This requires some training. Not so much getting the miles in, I am fairly confident that by September I could manage that distance. Rather it is getting the folding miles in. Getting the legs and backside used to sitting in a different position for an extended period.

So today Julia and I set off on the Trans Pennine Trail to build a few miles. We made it to Brinsworth before I felt the need to turn round and get a takeaway coffee from Meadowhell. !7.4 miles. The longest Tikit ride to date. Quite pleased.

The Trans Pennine Trail isn’t exactly a cycle path, its a trail. I am remended of the words of Ronald English.

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Adventure Cycling (1959)

‘There is an association of cyclists known as the ‘Rough Stuff Fellowship’. The main object of their members is to take their bicycles over mountains and hills, along rough and little known tracks and almost everywhere that the ordinary person would say a bicycle could not be taken.

You may not wish to join the fellowship; but if you do any exploring you are certain to find plenty of rough stuff.’

True, too true.

Cycling Infrastructure

March 28, 2009

The Cycling Info blog is a good read. The latest post concerns cycling infrastructure in the Netherlands. While I think we in the UK have a lot to learn from the Dutch on this topic, I am not a fan of over segregation of bikes and over road users. Take this cycle path with its own tunnel under road.

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While this might be a good way to avoid a busy road, the design is far from ideal. If you were cycling in the opposite direction you would be approaching a blind corner. Now ask yourself how happy you would feel approaching that corner at night and whether you would prefer to be at road level and pressing a button to halt the traffic – in full view of all the other road users. A more mundane issue is that I know from my cycling in Stevenage, one of the few towns in the UK designed from the start to accommodate cyclists, that tunnels like this attract broken glass on the road. Not sure why, they just do.