How was your cycle commute?

Discussion in 'transport' started by ChrisFilter, Feb 19, 2009.

  1. gentlegreen

    gentlegreen sproutarian

    Fitted new transmission on Saturday and somehow didn't notice that the front gear cable was hanging on by a few threads, so when gear changing started getting problematic, I thought maybe it was down to the righthand crank somehow having settled on further or closer ... whatever it was I spent a lot of time thinking about it and no time actually checking it ...
    Luckily I spotted it as I was getting my bike off the rack at work last night and managed to get home with minimal gear changes ... luckily I had a new inner cable at home.
    When I was using SRAM front shifters, they used to fail before the cable rusted through and I usually fitted a new cable at the same time.

    It only took me an hour to fit :facepalm:
  2. DownwardDog

    DownwardDog Riding a Brompton with a power meter.

    How are your cables rusting? Can you even buy not stainless steel cables these days?
  3. gentlegreen

    gentlegreen sproutarian

    I tend to buy rubbish ones in Wilkos :oops:

    It could be I clamped it too tight ...
  4. Crispy

    Crispy The following psytrance is baṉned: All

    Even Shimano branded SS cables are only £1.70!
  5. gentlegreen

    gentlegreen sproutarian

    Oops - apparently Wilkos' are only galvanised.
    The replacement as it happens is genuine Shimano :)
  6. iamwithnail

    iamwithnail Well-Known Member

    What's with all these cretins playing music out of bluetooth speakers as they commute? I understand (and would do it) if you were out on a day trip somewhere, but sitting at the lights playing Big Band versions of Marvin Gaye's Sexual Healing is just fucking obnoxious (not least because it was a terrible version, and terrible shitty tinny speakers.) Bad enough people playing music on speakers on buses and trains, now I have to endure it cycling? Fuckers.
    a_chap likes this.
  7. gentlegreen

    gentlegreen sproutarian

    Because Boris told them headphones were dangerous.
    BigTom likes this.
  8. iamwithnail

    iamwithnail Well-Known Member

  9. gentlegreen

    gentlegreen sproutarian

    There's an American cycle-vlogger who always has a crappy local commercial station playing in the background.

    Personally I wear (open-back) headphones and play calming music - a bit like this :-

  10. BigTom

    BigTom Well-Known Member

    Yeah, what GG said. So much abuse for wearing headphones but want to listen to music so open speakers.
  11. Dogsauce

    Dogsauce Lord of the Dance Settee

    I quite like the speakers on bike thing, especially when there's a kind of mismatch like the burly tough guy I saw on a bike a couple of years ago blasting out George Michael's 'Faith'.

    I have a portable record player/hifi system that would fit in the front tray of my Pashley very comfortably, but the potholes of North London might make spinning my favourite Adge Cutler records a bit impractical, that and I'd look like a hipster douche.
    gentlegreen, joustmaster and a_chap like this.
  12. a_chap

    a_chap When the world came apart, where were you?

    One of my favourite memories is from the 2003 edition of Paris Brest Paris.

    Understandably most people get a little bit 'giddy' when they start the return leg from Brest - 600km done, just 600km to go. Me, I had a radio strapped to the handlebars linked via a little FM transmitter to a minidisc player. I must have ridden for an hour or so playing music at full volume and singing at the top of my voice.

    I like to think I helped raise the morale of the poor sods still riding to Brest.
  13. gentlegreen

    gentlegreen sproutarian

    The lunatics have taken over all the asylums - including now the Bristol to Bath railway path - which used to be the most enjoyable part of my working day.
    Not just the idiots cutting up all and sundry, but the retina-piercing lights - alternating dangerously with the unlit - - I estimate that maybe 10 percent would comply with German regulations.

    I've been sent to casualty once with a suspected scaphoid fracture and another bike crashed into the back of me, but I managed to stay upright.

    So I will be going to work via suburban side streets and possibly the Frome valley river park - with all its extra wildlife, and on the way home there is a bus lane.
    It has the added advantage of connecting me more with the local community - the railway path during rush hour is now more like the M32 than a linear park.

    I suppose it's a reasonable option for someone with 40 years' experience on two and four wheels.

    I feel sad for the pedestrians and wobbly cyclists left to the mercy of the thugs and idiots, but my remonstrations appear to have fallen mostly on deaf ears.
    There is a meeting being held locally at the end of the month to discuss what might be done about it, but I will leave that for others.

    I have about 3 years left at work - which is going so well, post-restructuring that I will probably miss it, and I want my journeys to and from there to not detract from that.
    Doubtless in a week or two I will wonder why I didn't do this years earlier.
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2017
  14. DownwardDog

    DownwardDog Riding a Brompton with a power meter.

    What have German regulations got to do with the Bath to Bristol bike path? :confused:
  15. gentlegreen

    gentlegreen sproutarian

  16. a_chap

    a_chap When the world came apart, where were you?

    German lighting regulations.

    I only know this because, in the years before LED lights became seriously bright, Audax riders used to be vexed that dynamos were limited to 3 watts due to "German lighting regulations".

    I have no idea (i.e. can't be arsed to Google it) what that current German regulations are, but I suspect they require lighting to be less bright than they could be. And certainly a lot less bright than gentlegreen would like them to be on the Bath to Bristol bike path.
  17. gentlegreen

    gentlegreen sproutarian

    The key thing is that they insist that front lights have a proper cut-off - as does mine - while actually still being very bright.
    I'm not up to date with whether in Germany these days, rear lights are restricted to a sensible level.

    Personally I don't care what happens on winding country roads - I might even deploy a bright flashing rear light myself, but when the oncoming cyclist is close enough to touch, cycle lights are obscenely bright now.

    Judging by the helmets and hiviz and comments on local fora, it's largely fear of a collision that will never happen when they are nose to tail on an off-road path - and I am one of only a handful of people heading in the opposite direction to 99 percent of the traffic so the offenders almost never experience it done to them - and my endeavours to make up for that fact have not had the desired effect.

    Over the years I've tried polite requests, covering my eyes, sarcasm, and last night - hopefully my last commute on the path, I shouted "bad dog" as I retaliated in place of "your lights are too bright". I considered riding the whole distance with my flood light switched on, but enough is enough.

    My new commuting routes will involve using the recently upgraded zebra crossing on the path and I anticipate plenty of future interactions with the selfish - using my bike as a shield as I encourage pedestrians to assert themselves - perhaps it's a cue to fit some RGB lighting designed to be visible from the side.
    So in effect my last 3 years in Bristol will see me acting a bit like the lollipop man who patrolled that crossing 30 years ago as well as tending a rock garden at that spot.
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2017
  18. gentlegreen

    gentlegreen sproutarian

  19. gentlegreen

    gentlegreen sproutarian

    Today's cycle mechanical farce ...

    I fitted new brake pads in my back brake and decided it was time to replace the front cable so I chopped off the frayed end anticipating using the brand new "universeel" (sic) cable I bought from a Dutch supplier a while back...

    I'm guessing it's "universeel" on a Dutch bike, but instead of having a cylindrical lever end (C) it had a ferrule (B). :mad:


    To save wasting it, I may have a go at soldering on an end from an old cable at some point. I assume the type C fitting won't be made of meltable metal ...
    Around the same time I ordered new tyres from Germany and accidentally ordered inner tubes with 60mm valves. :(

    I was panicking for a bit because I had no front brake, but fortunately after giving up on peeling off strands from an old cable so it would go up the outer, found a stash of crappy, but brand new Willko cables...
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2017
  20. DownwardDog

    DownwardDog Riding a Brompton with a power meter.

    That's not a ferrule. A ferrule is the metal or plastic cap that slides over the end of the outer housing.

    A universal (or universeel) cable has an MTB terminal on one end and a road terminal on the other end - you cut off the end you don't need. Check the other end of your Dutch bargain.

    You can make a new terminal by casting it on to the end of the cable but it's going to cost far more in noxious materials (propane, lead, flux, methyl hydrate) than a new cable and the process probably gives you cancer. I made some for a tandem once and I'm fairly sure the process took 5-10 years off my life.
  21. gentlegreen

    gentlegreen sproutarian

    The other end is plain wire

    Sent from my Moto G (4) using Tapatalk
  22. DownwardDog

    DownwardDog Riding a Brompton with a power meter.

    I reckon they've done you up the bugle then. That's not a universal cable.
  23. gentlegreen

    gentlegreen sproutarian

    I reckon since the cable is already tinned, I shouldn't have too much trouble soldering it :)
  24. gentlegreen

    gentlegreen sproutarian

    First ride in off the railway path - not the pleasant steady gradient, but I will cope OK.
    Given it's still light in the morning, I will try the river path tomorrow.

    The journey home will be more interesting, but it's just one mile downhill in a quiet bus lane, so I reckon I will be OK.
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2017
  25. DownwardDog

    DownwardDog Riding a Brompton with a power meter.

    You don't just have to solder it, you have to make a new terminal that's not going to come off and send you under a bus. A V-brake lever has a mechanical advantage of 2:1 and an average man has a grip strength of 40kg...
  26. gentlegreen

    gentlegreen sproutarian

    Oh well, the outer is still useful ...
  27. beesonthewhatnow

    beesonthewhatnow going deaf for a living

    You know what part of a bike I really wouldn't want to risk a home bodge job on?

    The brakes :hmm:
  28. gentlegreen

    gentlegreen sproutarian

    The scenic river route to work was not a great success - perhaps I will use it in the summer.
    Firstly it was a nightmare crossing a main road at the worst possible point - 3 way junction near the M32.
    Secondly there were a lot of slopes in the park and along the lake and river with wet leaves, and the two cyclists I encountered both had hideous bright flashing lights - so I think the suburban street option is the best bet - with only a few builders in their vans to get trained-up.

    Last night's ride home along the bus lane was OK - I didn't hold up the very few buses - and just one taxi eager to share it. Biggest problem was traffic lights slowing me down.
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2017
  29. gentlegreen

    gentlegreen sproutarian

    Day 3 avoiding using the railway path ...

    Last night's journey home along the bus lane reminded me why I don't usually do it.
    I used my high beam several times on people illegally parked in it, plus those who seemed likely to take a chance and pull into it.

    And this morning, the long suburban road with cars parked either side I used to only ride a short part of ... masses of drivers rushing to beat others to the queue at the junction with the main road into town.
    I used my high beam a lot to stop them taking the piss.

    I have been rationalising the experience by thinking perhaps it's better to be agressive with car drivers than clueless cyclists.

    I will give it till the end of this week so I can at least say I tried ...
  30. gentlegreen

    gentlegreen sproutarian

    I lasted three whole days.

    Last night's ride home in the bus lane reminded me why I gave up riding motorcycles.
    There was a car lurking over the line at every junction. The first one pulled out anyway and there was also one to my right planning to turn left, and the potential of a right hook from the other direction.
    And some serious drain covers ...

    So I'm back to the chaos on the railway path :(

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