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England

Friday, 22 May 2015
Blowingstone White Horse Audax

So on Sunday I did my third Audax of the year, again tackling about 100 km, starting at Uffington and looping out to Marlborough and back. It was a great day with most of the steep climbs in the first half of the ride, and the last quarter of the ride being a fast return to base. I rested a few times on the way, sometimes unintentionally such as when I stopped to assist another rider and I wasn’t very tired at the end of the ride. My stats were: distance - 108.3 km, time - 5:15, elevation gain - 1,185 metres.  Each minute on the video above represents about one hour of the event.

Posted by bigblue on 22/05/2015 at 09:56 AM
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Saturday, 16 May 2015
LC07XBJ - Dangerous Sevenoaks Driver

In a notoriously bad spot for cycling (see for example here) due to poor and impatient drivers, I had this run in yesterday.

Firstly the driver was tailgating and overtook me in “follow-the-leader” mode (seemingly not noticing that the car ahead was turning right). This resulted in the driver left hooking me. Then the driver tailgated me until just before the oncoming traffic cleared (and it would have been safe to overtake). At that point he/she “squeezed past” (overtook too close).  This was not necessary - the road widens a short distance ahead where it is safe to overtake.  Notice too that the driver triggered the speed sensor after overtaking.

Posted by bigblue on 16/05/2015 at 08:37 PM
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Friday, 15 May 2015
A stupid restriction on cycling

About a year ago, I was cycling through York when I discovered that there’s a pedestrian zone where cycling is prohibited during daytime over the weekend.  A police officer (or possibly a PCSO) called to me and informed me that I would need to push my bicycle through the town centre (or out of it, so that I could cycle round to the other side).  Less than a minute later a driver drove his car down the same street, “hooted” at me to get out of his way, and then rushed out of the zone (despite there being other pedestrians in the road ahead).  I was a bit miffed that the York policeman hadn’t warned the driver, as he warned me.  I was even more surprised when I reviewed the footage when I got home, and noticed in the rear footage that the policeman was right behind me when the car drove off dangerously.

Posted by bigblue on 15/05/2015 at 06:28 PM
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Monday, 04 May 2015
P750AWU - Dangerous Driver in Sundridge

Let me count the ways:

  1. Speeding;
  2. Doesn’t slow down despite cyclist and on-coming vehicle;
  3. Overtakes too close for that speed; and
  4. Should have moved into the oncoming lane to overtake.

 

Posted by bigblue on 04/05/2015 at 02:36 PM
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Saturday, 25 April 2015
RX02ZVC - Godstone driver cuts up cyclist at junction

This driver managed to shave precious seconds out of her important journey.

Posted by bigblue on 25/04/2015 at 08:38 AM
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Saturday, 18 April 2015
DN56EVM - Another Lingfield Idiot

Perhaps he expected the cylist to share the road?  Well firstly, I was avoiding the pothole and cracked road zone on the left of the road.  I was also taking an assertive position because I had suffered a number of close passes and I needed to make it clear to cars behind me that there was not enough room in my carriageway for them and me.  Thirdly, if he wanted to “share” why didn’t this driver slow down?  This is two rides in a row that I have gone via Lingfield and this is the second such incident. Lovely Lingfield they say…Well the driving is far from lovely.

Posted by bigblue on 18/04/2015 at 10:23 PM
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Wednesday, 15 April 2015
X147BAA - Lovely Lingfield (not)

I had cycled over 90 kilometres, and was on my way home. This driver kept coming at me on my side of the road, and showed no signs of slowing down. So I stopped and put my foot down. He was annoyed with me, and gave me lip. I told him to put his drink down and he drove off. A charming fellow.

Posted by bigblue on 15/04/2015 at 07:54 AM
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Tuesday, 31 March 2015
Stevenage Start of Summertime Special 115 km


On Sunday past I cycled out from Stevenage on an (as it turned out) ironically named Start of Summertime Special.  As you can see in the video it didn’t feel like summertime, and I didn’t even want to get out of bed when I heard the rain pounding on my window.  Still, when I arrived at the parking the rain was holding back. I discovered my front brakes weren’t working and borrowed someone’s pliers to fix them. I met the Mayor of Stevenage, the very charming Sherma Batson:

She then gave us the “go” and we headed off, less than enthusiastically.  It seems that for the first 58 km or so I had the wind at my back (it didn’t feel like it though). Coming back I discovered that I was cycling into 75 kph gusts of wind, which slowed me down considerably.  At the arrivĂ©e another finisher told me proudly that his mate had hailed a taxi at some point.  Talking of hail, besides for the wind I endured rain and hail showers.  I also passed through the hamlet of Ugley, and the village of Nasty. Both were appropriately named for the day.  At the end of the day it was good to complete the ride and I brought my cycling tally for the year to over 1000 km.

An honest description of an English church:

image

An honestly named English village:

image

So in summary the ride was incredibly boring. It felt boring and grey on the way out, and on the way back the only thing keeping my mind occupied was how hard I would have to peddle on the downhill stretches in order to move my bicycle forwards.

Posted by bigblue on 31/03/2015 at 10:04 PM
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