Sunday Apr 19, 2009

Horsham and around

Today we had six riders out today and headed out over Coombe Bottom At the top of Coombe Bottom one rider turned for home but the rest of us continued over Pitch Hill towards Horsham. Just outside Rowhook one rider took a bath in an enourmous water filled pot hole. Fortunately no harm done. In Horsham food was required but no open Cafe could be found so we had to make do with a corner shop and then headed for Henfold Lakes.

The nasty 10% hill between Horsham and Rusper was a bit of a shock but once over we had good run to the Cafe. Henfold was very busy, there was a CTC group that arrived while we were there so the place was awash with bikes.

My invitation to include Ranmore on the ride home was declined due to tired legs so we went the flat way through Dorking and Leatherhead.

Ended up with 70 miles done and I think I have been sun burnt (very mildly).

Thursday Feb 26, 2009

Fill that hole RFE

Fill that hole is a web site set up by the CTC for reporting pot holes and road defects so that they can be reported back to the relevant authority. You don't have to be a cyclist to use it and all road users benefit from it's actions.


I Just put this suggestion on the http://www.fillthathole.org.uk site:


You should look at getting a twitter feed that can report holes when a certain tag is used.

A phone with a camera, GPS and network link could be used to report holes accurately with supporting evidence from the side of the road.

Also apps for the various smart phones to do the same would be good. I would love to be able to use my Nokia E71 to snap a photo of a hole and then just upload it. The phone has GPS so it really should not involve any extra work.

The next level of having the camera watch the road and automatically recognise holes look them up in the database of known defects and report new one. Possibly over engineering the solution a bit there;-)

Wednesday May 30, 2007

Highway Code Success

Success. Well at first glance this appears to be success. According to the CTC the Department for Motorists Transport have agreed to change the wording of 40 of the rules in the new Highway code including the notorious Cycle lane rules. Here is what the CTC claim the new rules will be:

Rule 61: Cycle Facilities. Use cycle routes, advanced stop lines, cycle boxes and toucan crossings unless at the time it is unsafe to do so. Use of these facilities is not compulsory and will depend on your experience and skills, but they can make your journey safer.

Rule 63: Cycle Lanes. These are marked by a white line (which may be broken) along the carriageway. When using a cycle lane, keep within the lane when practicable. When leaving a cycle lane check before pulling out that it is safe to do so and signal your intention clearly to other road users. Use of these facilities is not compulsory and will depend on your experience and skills, but they can make your journey safer.

Now the CTC are claiming that this is “Following a high-profile campaign from CTC” which is a bizarre way to describe a campaign driven by the internet and the Cambridge Cycling Campaign where the CTC has been almost silent. I'm thinking of joining the Cambridge Cycling Campaign even though I live in Surrey.

I look forward to seeing the other rules that have been improved. I wonder if the Helmet advice has been dropped as well. I live in hope but not expectation. Still the cycle facility rules, if true, are actually better than the old rules in the code. Fancy that, the code actually getting better.

Anyway the CTC are still asking people to sign the petition so if you have not yet please join the 20,856 who have.

Thursday Feb 01, 2007

Fill that pothole

This is a huge win. No more posting the pot hole reports lots of different Council Websites. A one stop shop for Pot Hole reporting in the UK thanks to the CTC.

http://www.fillthathole.org.uk/

Sunday Apr 16, 2006

Night Ride

I'm not out riding today with Molesey BBT. The same BBT that was mentioned in the back of the Times Magazine on Saturday (Beta Male).

On Saturday morning I did my first ever CTC ride. The ride was from Hyde Park Corner to Brighton via Gatwick Airport. The reason for travelling via the delights of Gatwick Airport was that we left at Midnight and so there are not many Cafes open in the early hours of the morning. The ride went out through South London, Balham, Tooting, Mitchham, Wallington and then out into the Surrey. Despite the near full Moon the darkness was complete thanks to Fog which made for no view allowed the shadows created by the lights of the following cyclist to form strange patterns. It also limited our speed since only two of the four riders had lights that allowed to safely travel at a moderate speed without street lights. The good lights were both SON powered lights, mine traditional lights but wired for 12V operation, the other a very bright LED. Another vote for “Dynamo” lights in particular SON generators wired to deliver 12V.

In Surrey we climbed out of Wallington and into the Fog. Fog that would be with us until we dropped down into Brighton at Dawn. Along Chipstead Valley and up over the North Downs at Rigate. Dropping down Rigate hill some riders managed over 40mph which as the street lights cut through the Fog was not as crazy as it would have been on the hill down into Chipstead Valley.

Out of Rigate, turning onto Lownsome Lane into the back of Horley. Here we took to the back roads and paths to suddenly find ourselves on the Gatwick cycle route. Then our leader rode into what looked like a cupboard in which there was a Freight Lift which took all four of us, plus bikes onto the Check-in area of Gatwick airport's South Terminal.

At the airport we had a Coffee at Costa Coffee to perk us up a bit. By now I was beginning to feel the loss of sleep so this was good.

Out of the Airport via Schlumberger's car park and a short path, a road with seed bumps that were hard to see and then turned into bumps with a gap for cyclists in the middle, then a mud track. This was the only time I wished the SON could deliver 12V at less than 10mph as the extra light would have helped to pick out the path.

After this we were on the same road as the annual London to Brighton bike ride so things were more familiar and our progress quicker. We reached Ditching Beacon as the light was beginning to break through the Fog and by the time we were dropping into Brighton day light was with us and the Fog a memory.

On the front we posed for a photo, taken for us by someone returning from all night out, who found it hard to grasp that we had also been out all night and even harder to grasp that we may have enjoyed it.

Our Leader then caught the train home leaving me to lead the other to back via Devils Dyke and St Leonards Forest for a breakfast at Henfold Lakes then home the usual way: Dorking, Leatherhead, Oxshot, Esher.

Home by 10:45 116miles, slower than I expected but it was just brilliant fun. It did however mean I was even more useless Saturday afternoon and today decided that riding some more would be pushing my luck. Still the first 300mile week of the year.

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This is the old blog of Chris Gerhard. It has mostly moved to http://chrisgerhard.wordpress.com

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