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Joined: 10 Feb 2005
Posts: 93
Location: Leeds, W Yorks
PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 05 8:33 am    Post subject: Benefits of cycling  Reply with quote    

I saw the article briefly, and the post that it wasn't quite ready for publication. I don't remember who is writing it so I'll post these links here?

Don't know if they're of any use/interest or not, but fwiw

http://www.atob.org.uk/Bike_Rail.html - bikes on trains; [tear hair out smiley] - taking 3 kids + 1 adult is a massive logistic operation unless the guard is unusually friendly!

http://www.sheldonbrown.com/ - lots of wacky stuff on bikes, with good practical suff on cycle maintenance and repair; step-by-step on adjusting gears is invaluable

http://www.sustrans.org.uk/ - Sustrans (lots of cycle routes)


Sure there's lots more - these just happen to sleep in my bookmarks

All best - Gavin


Joined: 08 Mar 2005
Posts: 1139
Location: Jauche, Duchy of Brabant (Bourgogne-ci) and Charolles, Duchy of Burgundy (Bourgogne-ça)
PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 05 8:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

There is an interesting section on the CTC website about childseats.

"An infant is old enough for a child seat when she can sit up unsupported – like in the middle of the floor – and the journey should not be any longer between stops than the length of time she is happy to sit and play like that at home. Usually that’s about 9 months, but let physical development rather than age be your guide. "

None of my children would sit still for nine months, the most I would expect is about 20 minutes.


Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 44175
Location: Essex
PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 05 9:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Fonant has written the first part of what (I think) is a series on alternative transport, it'll be up as soon as it's been through the system, shouldn't be long.


Joined: 01 Feb 2005
Posts: 24
Location: West Sussex
PostPosted: Sun Apr 17, 05 5:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

A first edition is there at

"Have you Tried?" > "Transport".

Feedback welcomed, there's lots more I could add!


Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 364
Location: Bristol
PostPosted: Sun Apr 17, 05 5:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Brilliant thanks for this posting. I am applying for a job as a bike/wlaking transport planner and knowlege that these site offer will be a big help should I get to interview.

Nice one.


Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 10744

PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 05 7:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

The article is up for good now! At


I've also put this thread as the "discussion" space (not that you have to stick to that, it's just a starting point!) so chat away, and thanks for all those links Gavin, will be investigating.


Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 10744

PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 05 8:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I love cycling, but at the moment, I'm a 10 minute journey by train from work, with a 5 minute walk either side (all that assuming a good day!).

Shops...well, on a Saturday we generally visit friends, walk their dog, and shop on the way back (although thanks to Suma even that has been cut down).

Apart from long journeys that's our main travelling, so at the moment not much cycling gets done in the Bugs/TD household. I do really enjoy reading the tips and experiences though - one thing that struck me reading Fonant's article was the tip about riding in the left-hand car-tyre tracks to be visible and more protected from punctures.

Neither TD nor I have much "real" (as opposed to leisure) cycling experience so any tips on learning to ride in traffic etc will be squirelled away avidly


Joined: 10 Feb 2005
Posts: 93
Location: Leeds, W Yorks
PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 05 11:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Good 'un!

Just another wee thought - navigation to avoid traffic. There's a lot more cycle-friendly things than cycle lanes along the main traffic arteries - avoid them ;D.

I'm cycling to work these days - 7 miles away; nearest thing to a straight line (it'd be probably 10 miles if I did it by car?).

Along the beck banks, through the woods - and then on the main York road for about a mile. Through another park, and then another mile of busy road. Quiet back roads through to the Middleton railway (weekend steam trains ); and follow a bridleway by the railway (nice gentle slope) up through Middleton woods. And all this in urban Leeds - we're lucky having so much green space, I expect; but worth finding and using. 45 minutes biking, 1 hour plus by bus, 25 minutes (plus - depends on city centre) by car.

Other schools I've been in - along a disused railway line through the country side for the most part; and along the Leeds-Liverpool Canal bank.

All best - Gavin


Joined: 01 Dec 2004
Posts: 19023
Location: Leeds
PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 05 8:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Ooh the Leeds Liverpool Canal is a dangerous place!

My neighbour was out for a very early morning (works for the post office) run last summer on the west Leeds section, when he startled a deer which nearly knocked him into the canal.

I should use mine more but I'm scared, lazy and live on the top of a hill.

Downsizer Moderator

Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 26626
Location: escaped from Swindon
PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 05 8:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I really envy people with the bike lanes and routes.

Swindon has recently started fining cyclists caught cycling in the pedestrain area of the town centre. This is not entirely unreasonable as cyclists are a hazard there. But the centre is a 3/4 of a mile pedestrian circle surrounded by hazardous roads, the roads indeed where a ccyling friend of ours died

The town centre has undergone so much redevelopment in the last 20 years that it really should not have been impossible to accomadate cyclists.


Joined: 01 Dec 2004
Posts: 19023
Location: Leeds
PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 05 8:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

It took Leeds, 20 years to re-accomodate pedestirans, the main road from the University end of town had a path all the way down to the edge of the city centre until it disappeared into a convoluted subway/toilet - all the more annoying because the path continued 10 yards on the otherside of the barrier. Naturaly people jumped the barriers and naturally the council had to do something, so they put uneven cobbles on the little strip of concrete the pedestrians were using. Needless to say there were injuries. they've finally removed the barrier and people can now cross safely.

Pedestrians and bikes don't mix as the 'road rules' are so vague in shared areas. I took a tumble avoiding some peds in an underpass. They were on the 'bike' side of the underpass but it was that poorly lit and marked you could hardly blame them, I was probably going too fast as well.


Joined: 16 Dec 2004
Posts: 638
Location: Kent
PostPosted: Mon May 02, 05 9:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

we dont cycle much nowadays.Just every now and again we will get in the car (bikes in racks) and go to a cycle route.
I used to cycle to work through london (nw to SE) and came off 3 times in the 9 years.Twice through cars turning in front and once through a child running in to me from the pavement.The trip used to be about 15 miles each way so mile for mile the odds were pretty low that I would have an accident.
The costs of cycling are still far lower than driving or public transport especially if you buy your tyres etc from wilkinsons and not a cycle shop.


Joined: 16 May 2005
Posts: 342
Location: Oop North-ish.
PostPosted: Tue May 17, 05 12:15 am    Post subject: Cycle Helmets Reply with quote    

Only because of his remarkable physical fitness is my now 79yr old dad still alive. One sunny afternoon in 2000, after cycling 45 miles, he was knocked down by a carelessly driven Securicor lorry pulling out from a junction. Dad had never worn a helmet.

He had dreadful skull fractures. He spent seven weeks in hospital. For a very long time he looked dead. The photograph shows him on a general ward about 7 - 10 days after the crash, (note: not accident, but crash). There was no High Dependency Unit and subsequently, and probably consequently, dad developed pneumonia and suffered a heart attack.

Three years later he is finally about as good as he'll get, mentally slower, physically much slower and, having failed a fierce DVLA re-test, unable to drive.

Dad is of that generation of cyclists an apparent majority of whom believe(d?), and he probably still does, that helmets are an uncomfortable imposition and that he would rather not wear one and be killed outright, than "cabbaged".

Me, I believe that

1. Skulls are not as strong as roads, vehicles, lampposts, etc.

2. Helmets can save lives and reduce, (the severity of), injuries.

The lorry driver had a nervous breakdown, a divorce and lost his job.

Given the choice, (as one is at present), whilst a lorry collides with you, would you rather wear a helmet, or not?

Blue Peter

Joined: 21 Mar 2005
Posts: 2400
Location: Milton Keynes
PostPosted: Tue May 17, 05 7:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Definitely a helmet for me,



Joined: 03 Apr 2005
Posts: 770

PostPosted: Tue May 17, 05 8:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

milo, i'm so sorry to hear what happened to your father! it can't be easy to talk about but thank you for illustrating to us from your own experience the necessity of wearing a helmet.

i'm planning to make my husband read this when he comes home as he trys anything and everything to get out of it

we have started our daughter out using a helmet even when she just had a tricycle. now she just thinks the helmet is another hat and she likes hats so she wears it without fuss.

i have one too though i rarely ride a bike myself because i am so overweight. i was actually wanting to ask people if they had any suggestions for how i can reduce the amount of pain inflicted by riding the bike... in the long run i know that riding one would be an excellent and practically effort free form of exercise (if it is useful to me for something other than just losing weight it's effort free, like walking to the dvd shop, dancing with my daughter etc)

i've heard of those seats that are split in two so that they go up and down with the movement of your thighs and i think that might be helpful after i've lost some weight. but i was thinking perhaps buying a larger seat one of those wide ones you find on older bikes...

if there are any other gadgets out there that might help please do tell... it's a bit frightening thinking of seriously riding a bike now, my balance isn't what it used to be on a bike i suspect because last time i rode one regularly (18 years ago) i was a slip of a thing... i'm also concerned about riding in heavy traffic. when i was young i rode 15-30 miles per day during the summer but i only HAD to ride on the road for a 3 mile stretch after that i could ride on the pavements or through parks etc. that's not really an option for most of the places i'd like to go in edinburgh so it does concern me. using the bus lane as a cycle lane is no comfort, i regularly ride the bus so i KNOW what those bus drivers are like

also, has anyone used those little bike trailers that have seats in them for the children and a bit of storage space? we would love to have one but they are so expensive so i'd like to have a personal recomendation...

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