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Tuesday, 23 July 2013
Bicycles on a Train

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@SouthernRailUK are rubbish, as you can tell (even if you live in a remote part of the world) by browsing their twitter stream and dialogue.

On Sunday I hopped on this train at Polegate. There were already four bicycles in the space allocated for two, so I added mine.  I also took the last seat in the carriage.  Now, these two bicycle places were the only two on the entire train, which consisted of eight carriages.

Of course more people joined the train at subsequent stations, including people with bicycles.  In my carriage a man stood in the door zone with his bicycle. People in other carriages did likewise.  Although a few people left the train also, many more people joined the train, so by the time we arrived at Gatwick station there was standing room available for new passengers only.

So far a normal day on SouthernRail.  However at Gatwick an official of the train company boarded the carriage in order to give me a lecture on how to stack the bicycles properly.  At this stage there were still five bicycles in the space designed for two, and many people standing due to the shortage of seats.  My response to him was that I was responsible for the last bicycle only, and he then suggested that I should “pass on the message”, and then alighted from the train before we went on our way.

Having considered his advice, I conclude that his method would not result in any extra space being freed up.  Therefore I am happy to “pass on the message” that his train company, Southern Rail doesn’t provide enough space on its trains for bicycles or seats for passengers.

As someone told me,

I bet Chris Froome doesn’t have to put up with this.

Posted by bigblue on 23/07/2013 at 05:11 PM
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Monday, 22 July 2013
Funny moment of the week

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This occurred yesterday as I cycled past this family near Forest Row. Both the mother and father were pulling a child on a trailer wheel behind them.

Mother called back to father: “Let’s stop for a rest”.
Daughter (being pulled behind mother): “But mummy, I’m not tired!”

Posted by bigblue on 22/07/2013 at 08:12 AM
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Sunday, 21 July 2013
His name was Alan Neve

He was 54 years old. On 15th July 2013 he was killed while cycling to work in London. The following day approximatelly 2500 cyclists cycled from Russell Square to Lincoln’s Inn Fields in protest, and on the way they held a minute’s silence at the scene of the accident.  This is a short clip from that protest ride, taken near the tail end of the procession.  One of his colleagues has written a touching account of his death, and the aftermath of it.

The protest ride was organised by the London Cycling Campaign.

Posted by bigblue on 21/07/2013 at 08:48 AM
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Tuesday, 16 July 2013
Drivers overtaking horses in Oxted

I saw a long(ish) queue of cars slowly overtaking some horses and I thought I would post it here to illustrate some points:

  1. This is the countryside, and horse riders use roads.  Get over it, they pay road tax like all the rest of us.
  2. When it is safe for you to overtake the riders will stop at the side of the road and indicate for you to pass.  Wait for them to signal to you.
  3. If the riders are not stopping, or are riding two abreast, this is because it is not safe (yet) for you to pass. Be patient and keep your distance.

This was a public service announcement, by myself.

Posted by bigblue on 16/07/2013 at 07:31 AM
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Monday, 15 July 2013
Poor overtake

I think this is a pretty good example of how not to time and execute an overtake when you are driving a car.

Perhaps the driver was keen to keep up with the cars in front? Well he/she could have waited three seconds to overtake me safely, and would have still caught them up at the roundabout further down the road (without driving like a maniac either).

Posted by bigblue on 15/07/2013 at 07:45 AM
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Saturday, 13 July 2013
Tuesday morning - 4:30 am

And I encountered someone in a hurry ... cutting corners.

Posted by bigblue on 13/07/2013 at 08:00 AM
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Friday, 12 July 2013
York is amazing!

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To mark the spot of a former Roman fortress, the city fathers erected a gents toilet and put up a plaque.

Posted by bigblue on 12/07/2013 at 01:22 PM
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Thursday, 04 July 2013
If you build it, they will come

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I remember the phrase “if you build it, they will come” as the catch phrase of one of the most boring films I have ever seen. In any case two years ago I highlighted that the cycle parking at Oxted station was over-subscribed and last year the council (or perhaps Railtrack) built an additional cycle parking facility in an out-of-the-way spot, near the station (above). Sure enough this is now overflowing, and the pre-existing cycle railings are also fully utilised (see below).

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In fact there has been a phenomenal growth in cycling in Oxted, even though it is not one of Surrey’s cycling hotspots and therefore gets less investment and infrastructure than other parts of the county.

The growth in cycling in just the past three years (see this photo) is phenomenal and mirrors national transportation trends.

Posted by bigblue on 04/07/2013 at 07:36 AM
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