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Cycling for exercise

On road, off road, Mamils, Club rides or just share your routes and tips
Dod101
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Re: Cycling for exercise

#346953

Postby Dod101 » October 11th, 2020, 4:09 pm

UncleEbenezer wrote:
Dod101 wrote:I was just saying to someone recently that in my youth (a long time ago) I must have cycled many thousands of miles with no helmet and have survived to tell the tale.

But would you have survived if you'd worn an encumbrance on your head? Of course that's counterfactual, but we can consider additional risk factors:

- Adding a lever to the head makes a bigger target to hit, and a much greater risk of rotational injury up to and including serious damage to the spinal cord. Which is, I understand, a higher risk than a straight blow-to-the-head.

- Adding encumbrance and overheating may impair your alertness and reaction times. Accidents are rare, near misses are common: the latter happen routinely when alertness from A takes quick action to mitigate B's mistake. Almost all accidents happen not (just) because B makes a mistake, but because that mistake coincides with at least a lapse in alertness from A. I want my maximum faculties to stay on the right side of that line!


I think I am agreeing with you. In my cycling days, I can recall a couple of accidents. One was when my brake cable snapped and I went straight into the back of a bus going downhill. It caused me no injury fortunately. The other was more serious and I live with the consequences to this day. I came off my bike I think cornering on ice, went down head first and smashed a couple of my top front teeth. I was fairly young, maybe early teens and in these far off days, dentists were not as efficient as they are now or maybe my parents were not. The upshot was that I had the two teeth removed and got a plate. Otherwise there was no damage to me as far as I recall. Certainly no protective headgear would have made the slightest difference. I am therefore rather sceptical of the helmets now worn by most cyclists nowadays and in fact they may give a false sense of security.

Dod

UncleEbenezer
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Re: Cycling for exercise

#346957

Postby UncleEbenezer » October 11th, 2020, 4:32 pm

Dod101 wrote:I think I am agreeing with you. In my cycling days, I can recall a couple of accidents.
Dod

Last time I had a fall was when my left handlebar sheered right off! As my head headed for some rocks, I thought momentarily this was the moment I should be wearing a silly hat! But in the event I avoided hitting the head at all (which might or might not have been possible if a helmet had been making a bigger and less-natural target of it) and ended up with nothing worse than school-playground-grade grazes to my arm and knee. Note when I say "less natural" target, I think (speculatively - I have no expertise) that may be crucial to *instinctive* reactions that protect us in moments of danger: my strong instinct is to protect the head, but will be thwarted if the head is bigger than its natural size!

Not all accidents are like that. If you come off at speed and bounce along the road, you want a round motorcycle-style helmet that'll shield the head without catching on anything. Not one that sticks out front and back to become a lever on your neck!

Gerry557
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Re: Cycling for exercise

#347057

Postby Gerry557 » October 12th, 2020, 10:56 am

Dod101 wrote:) I must have cycled many thousands of miles with no helmet and have survived to tell the tale.

I doubt that the average touring cyclist's speed has changed much. Are there touring cyclists today?

Dod


Ive never had to use my seat belt ........ I always put it on though!

Depends on what you mean by touring cyclists, I've done many multi day trips, some supported. Ie a van and driver that brings all your kit whilst you cycle unloaded. At other times you can load all the gear on the bike and go "solo" Usually I use a different bike for that sort of thing. I also depends on where you are staying, Credit cards and B&B's, so no camping or cooking kit to lump or fully loaded and a bit of wild camping.

There are some nice sustrans trails such as the C2C or Way of the Roses that can be done over several days depending on how fit and how much sightseeing you want to do. They can be done in a day saving you carrying too much. You can also book "cycling holidays" to cover most routes and they often include a return journey if you dont want to ride back and collect your car!

Ive ridden the C2C several times and it would be nice to do a dry one!

UncleEbenezer
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Re: Cycling for exercise

#347063

Postby UncleEbenezer » October 12th, 2020, 11:13 am

Dod101 wrote:Are there touring cyclists today?


I see them from time to time. Though this year it's been suppressed.

It's been a while since I did any touring. I get too many aches and pains these days to dare to embark on a long distance. But I'm beginning to think I'll need to do a 500-mile round trip if I'm ever to see my dad (who I last visited in January) again now that public transport is long-term out-of-bounds. I certainly can't do 250 miles in a day, so that'll mean digging up the camping gear.

Dod101
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Re: Cycling for exercise

#347094

Postby Dod101 » October 12th, 2020, 1:13 pm

What I had in mind by touring cyclists was what I used to do and that was stay in youth hostels so no wild (or otherwise) camping as such. I had a saddlebag and two paniers. One could also get them to attach to the sides of the front forks although I do not think I ever did. As nowadays when I travel solo (or used to BC (before Covid)) on aircraft, I always travelled light.

I was quite fit in these days and could comfortably do 90/100 miles per day. In fact, it was really just hunger that stopped me. These days on main highways, without suitable cycle tracks, are really not appropriate or particularly safe I would have thought.

Dod

daveh
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Re: Cycling for exercise

#347940

Postby daveh » October 15th, 2020, 11:43 am

Dod101 wrote:What I had in mind by touring cyclists was what I used to do and that was stay in youth hostels so no wild (or otherwise) camping as such. I had a saddlebag and two paniers. One could also get them to attach to the sides of the front forks although I do not think I ever did. As nowadays when I travel solo (or used to BC (before Covid)) on aircraft, I always travelled light.

I was quite fit in these days and could comfortably do 90/100 miles per day. In fact, it was really just hunger that stopped me. These days on main highways, without suitable cycle tracks, are really not appropriate or particularly safe I would have thought.

Dod


Cycled across Scotland mostly off-road a few years ago - Stonehaven to Oban stayed in a mixture of Youth Hostels and B&Bs, took 5 days without any days that were too long, just three of us and we got picked up by car at the far end.
Day 1 Stonehaven to Braemar - mostly through forest, though we took the road from Balmoral rather than go through Madge's place
Day 2 Braemar to Blair Athol - down Glen Tilt in the pissing rain
Day 3 Blair Athol to Rannoch Station, mostly on quiet back roads
Day 4 Rannoch Station to Bridge of Orchy via Glen Coe Ski Centre. Rannoch moor was truly awful to (not) cycle across, the bit of the West Highland Way we did from Glen Coe to Bridge of Orchy was great.
Day 5 Bridge of Orchy to Oban mostly done off road on some brilliant down hill single track down a Glen whose name I can't remember and a can't find on Google maps

Dod101
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Re: Cycling for exercise

#347979

Postby Dod101 » October 15th, 2020, 1:07 pm

That is interesting Daveh. This sort of thing was available in my day although not of course the West Highland Way. I was and still am most fond of the north west highlands. I suspect many of the areas you mention tend to be over run by tourists, especially this year.

Dood

daveh
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Re: Cycling for exercise

#347983

Postby daveh » October 15th, 2020, 1:23 pm

Dod101 wrote:That is interesting Daveh. This sort of thing was available in my day although not of course the West Highland Way. I was and still am most fond of the north west highlands. I suspect many of the areas you mention tend to be over run by tourists, especially this year.

Dood


It might be now as we are all stuck staying local, this was 8 years ago in a very damp summer (we were really lucky, just the one wet day when we did Glen Tilt) and it was relatively quiet - midweek though and it must have been school summer holidays as one of the team was only 12 at the time. We started 28 July 2012 according to facebook and my recollection was that being midweek was pretty quiet on the roads and tracks though we'd booked all the B&Bs, Youth hostels etc in advance. Carried everything we needed for the week on the bikes, but no camping.

didds
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Re: Cycling for exercise

#348048

Postby didds » October 15th, 2020, 4:49 pm

WRT the overrun by tourists ... around the key tourist spots and closer to main roads possibly, but on the whole the further you are from a decent road the fewer people there are. Look at the average beach - its busy near the entry points to the beach but the further you move along the shotreline (and i mean 200m not 2 Km :-) ) it just empties out.

Even back roads/minor roads wont be as busy as more major routes and you are more likely to encounter locals just living their life than Bert and Ada on holiday.

didds

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Re: Cycling for exercise

#368813

Postby dundas666 » December 22nd, 2020, 3:17 pm

Yeah you rarely see cycle touring these days, though when driving past Bristol Airport this summer I passed one, complete with panniers and a plastic sleeve on the handlebars holding her map.

My wife and I did one a couple of years ago - the Passa Pais in the south of France - starting from Beziers. I must admit I loved cycling from place to place every day, rather than being based in one place and doing day trips. We travelled light and carried everything in our panniers, and there was a real sense of achievement after completing the whole journey, even if we did cheat a couple of times and took the train ;) This year we were supposed to do part of La Velo Francette (also in France) this June but couldn't because of You Know What. :x

tikunetih
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Re: Cycling for exercise

#368824

Postby tikunetih » December 22nd, 2020, 3:47 pm

Nothing is ever going to replicate the golden age of cycle touring from a time when bikes were the mainstay of personal transport, with a comprehensive national rail network to aid the intrepid cycle tourist.

But today, "bike packing" has helped to somewhat re-popularise touring in a contemporary and often "spendy" manner. Bike-packing bikes tend often to be multi-terrain type bikes able to handle both roads and trails capably, with the off-roading abilities varying depending on how adventurous the bikepacker's journeys are intended to be. The luggage bags have largely changed from Dod's panniers to frame-fitting flat bags and great big seat-post mounted bags out the back. This "look" is good for people who although they may just be planning to bimble down a few home counties bridleways have a bike setup that will photograph well with the appearance (and very possibly the ability) for performing trans-continental trips.

Last year I rode a French end-to-end from the English Channel to the Mediterranean, travelling super light on the bike to make the cycling aspect more fun, but "cheated" as someone else carried all my luggage ;)

dundas666
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Re: Cycling for exercise

#369080

Postby dundas666 » December 23rd, 2020, 12:17 pm

Here's some French cycle tours we've done / are planning to do:

1) Passa Pais - https://www.francevelotourisme.com/itineraire/passapais
80km of old railway line in the mountains in SW France, around 25km inland from the Med

2) La Velo Francette - https://cycling.lavelofrancette.com/
617km from north France coast near Caen to La Rochelle.

3) La Véloscénie - https://www.veloscenic.com
450 km from Paris to Mont Saint-Michel.

Lanark
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Re: Cycling for exercise

#369108

Postby Lanark » December 23rd, 2020, 1:05 pm

Mike4 wrote:
MarshalMcEachern wrote:Btw, interesting fact is that in the countries where wearing bicycle helmets is obligatory, the amount of people who cycle is way fewer.


I wonder which way around the cause and effect is.

Mandatory wearing of bike hats puts people off biking, or so many people killed leads to reluctance to cycle and bike hats being made mandatory,.

The biggest influence on biking safety is how many other cyclists are on the road. When there are lots of cyclists car drivers get used to it and adapt their driving behaviour.
So in countries with strict helmet laws, there are fewer cyclists but those who are still cycling (with helmets) may actually be at higher risk than cycling in a country without the helmet law, because of that change in driver behavior.

Helmets also contribute to a feeling of invulnerability that can lead some cyclists to go faster and take risks they wouldn't do without a helmet.
https://www.cyclehelmets.org/1261.html

dundas666
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Re: Cycling for exercise

#369435

Postby dundas666 » December 24th, 2020, 9:40 am

My daughter went to university in Maastricht (Netherlands) and Copenhagen and the cycling culture is so different there because more people cycle than drive. In the morning rush hour, you might see 4 cars waiting at a red light, and 20 cyclists.

Cars defer to cyclists, and that is the expectation of both cyclists and drivers, and there doesn't seem to be the same conflict between the two. There's also more infrastructure like separate cycle lanes alongside the main roads which I imagine helps a lot.

My daughter lives in London now and says both drivers and cyclists are much worse over here, and a lot angrier!

tea42
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Re: Cycling for exercise

#369462

Postby tea42 » December 24th, 2020, 10:30 am

Cycle touring is a huge scene still. Theres a lot of distress about the 90 day EU tourist restriction. Lots of specialist bikes still made. Wild Camping on the increase. See the CTC forum which has been renamed the CUK forum. Electric Bikes are making a small impact.


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