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Re: Tour of southern Turkey - suggestions?

Cycling UK Forum - Touring & Expedition - 21 February 2016 - 8:48pm
I've cycled most of the western and southern coastlines of Turkey from Tasucu in the south to up past Gallipoli in the North and into Bulgaria. If you like climbing then there are plenty to go at along the coast. You will find a lot of roadside water taps along the way to keep your bottles topped up and it will be needed on the big climbs in hot weather. The main road D400 is fine for cycling along. Just take care around Izmir as it is all a bit hectic entering and leaving the city. There are cycle paths along the city foreshore and ferries are available to cross the bay. Accommodation along the way is cheap and plentiful if you need it. I used budget hotels on tour from Antalya to Tasucu at around a tenner a night and also stopped at Calis Beach in Fethiye, Kas and Ayvalik. All clean, basic and good value.

My ride from Antalya to up past Izmir is covered here: http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/codheadontour2015

I've done Marmaris to Antalya and Antalya to Fethiye sections as well on previous tours and thoroughly recommend the Turkish coast for cycle touring. There are plenty of resources along the way and I never hand any trouble at all from the Turkish people. Quite the reverse in fact. I found them to be very friendly and supportive which didn't come as a surprise as I had a villa in Camyuva near Kemer (south of Antalya) for 6 years so had done a lot of acclimatisation along the way. The food is wonderful and cheap. Nice and fresh and very tasty. One of my favourites is Tavuk Sis which is chicken kebab. It is basically grilled chicken on skewers with bread, rice, onion and salad. Lahmacun is also nice. A round, thin piece of dough topped with minced meat and minced vegetables and herbs including onions, tomatoes and parsley, then baked.

There is a big climb out of Kas and also a big climb out of Kumluca heading towards Antalya. My favourite section is probably Fethiye to Antalya. When you get to Camyuva check the maps as minor roads can be taken heading towards Antalya to keep you off the D400 as it starts to get busy from there with a series of tunnels. When you get closer to Antalya you will have to rejoin the main road.

Good luck with the tour.

Re: Bware the Smombies are here!

Cycling UK Forum - On the road - 21 February 2016 - 8:28pm
There is a good article by Gareth Rees about iPods, and also how Edmund King has his own agenda here :

How the anti-cycling lobby poisons public discourse

Gareth Rees, 2009-12-11
Cyclists: “lycra louts”, “mindless maniacs” or “iPod zombies”?

The Guardian is normally free of the usual “Cyclists: Threat or Menace?” nonsense, but on 2009-11-30 it published an article by Edmund King, “Beware the iPod zombie cyclist”. Here’s how it starts:

Beware! There seems to be a new type of cyclist out there – not the Lycra lout but the iPod zombie. I must declare an interest as a keen cyclist, pedestrian, train passenger, driver and, indeed, iPod user. However, like drinking and driving, I don't think iPods and cycling mix. On my bike, audible warnings are just as important as visual ones. Even if you can see what is in front of you, you have to hear what is behind you as you move out to avoid potholes or raised manhole covers.

Your personal stereo gives you personal music which may affect the way you ride. Research shows that loud, fast music can raise blood pressure and adrenaline, which might just tempt you to take chances.

I suppose most people see zombies as creatures staggering steadily forward towards their goal, undeterred and unharmed by all that is being used to try to stop them. But this new breed of zombie evolving on the roads of Britain is finding its way into road casualty reports.

I normally ignore this kind of prejudicial nonsense, but it was brought to my attention when someone whose opinion I respect—someone who is himself a keen cyclist—appeared to fall for it.

My first instinct was to point out the myriad ways in which the piece is nonsense. But I have to say now that this was a bit of a mistake: I fell into a trap that the writer set for me. Once we find ourselves spending our time debating whether and to what extent cyclists are a bunch of menacing zombies, then we’ve already lost that round of the propaganda war.

Instead, the questions I propose to consider are, what is this opinion piece doing in the Guardian, and what it its agenda? I’ll come back to the zombie question at the end.

Let’s start with the author. Who is Edmund King? Is he a sensible, neutral, commentator whose opinion on whether cyclists are “lycra louts”, “mindless maniacs” or “iPod zombies” is one we ought to take seriously? No, he’s the president of the bloody Automobile Association, that’s who he is. He has a history of writing pro-motorist articles for newspapers, appealing for speed limits not to be reduced (for motorists), for motor vehicles not to be fitted with speed regulators, for Vehicle Excise Duty not to be increased, and so on. He’s a propagandist for the motor car, and no sensible person should read anything he says on the subject without checking their pockets afterwards.

What is the purpose of the article? The clue is in the last sentence I quoted:

But this new breed of zombie evolving on the roads of Britain is finding its way into road casualty reports.

The purpose of the article is to push the impression that cyclists are largely to blame for their own deaths and injuries. It’s not hard to understand why the president of the Automobile Association might be keen to place the blame for cyclist fatalities anywhere but on the motorists he represents.

King also suggests that any government action aimed at reducing the number of injuries and deaths to cyclists, should take the form of campaigns directed at cyclists, rather than laws or enforcement directed at motorists:

The government THINK! campaign has warned of the dangers of pedestrians texting. The time has come for a campaign aimed at iPod users on the road.

Why did King write this article now? There’s a clue in the penultimate paragraph:

With 820 cyclists killed or seriously injured in the three months to June—a 19% rise on the same period last year—we need to do all we can to make cycling safer.

What’s happened is that early in November, the Department for Transport released its Transport Statistics Bulletin for April–June 2009. The most notable figure in the report is that whereas other categories of road user largely saw similar numbers of casualties in 2009 as in 2008, the numbers of cyclists killed or seriously injured in this period was up by 19% on the same period in 2008.

This worrying figure obviously provides ammunition for pro-cycling campaigners in all their on-going battles for better facilities and changes to legislation. One current battle is over strict liability: a number of groups (for example, RoadPeace, the DfT's Cycling England, CTC) are campaigning for European-style strict liability laws for operators of motor vehicles. Edmund King already spends some of his time campaigning against such a change in the law: for example, you can see him quoted arguing against it in this Sunday Times article.

I’m sure you can see how important it is, when something like the DfT report emerges, for the AA and other anti-cycling campaigners to get their spin in quickly. And in this case, the spin is that cyclists are to blame for the increase in casualties because they are “iPod zombies”.

Writing in the Guardian, a newspaper whose readers might be considered to be less anti-cyclist than most, King has to be somewhat circumspect in how he goes about his demonizing of cyclists, and in the context of a piece clearly labelled as opinion. But in more sympathetic newspapers, the same opinions are reported as if news, with the allegation that cyclists are to blame for their own injuries and deaths made explicitly. For example, the Daily Mail:

The fashion for wearing iPods while cycling has been blamed for a rise in the number of riders being killed or seriously injured. Dubbed the iPod zombies, cyclists who are distracted by thumping tunes blaring in their ears have become the latest menace on Britain's roads. Road safety campaigners fear the fashion for cyclists to wear earphones is partly responsible for the recent upsurge in injuries and deaths. Edmund King, the president of the AA, called for the Department for Transport to launch a campaign warning cyclists of the risk.

Much the same article appears in the Sunday Times.

Note the phrase “has been blamed” in the Mail piece. The journalist is hoping that you’ll think that the connection between iPod wearing and the casualty figures is something that comes out of the official statistics. But it doesn’t. It’s completely made up. There are no figures available for the number of “iPod zombies”, or even any evidence that they exist at all. As the Sunday Times says, “It is not known how many of these [deaths and injuries] were caused by people listening to music because the DfT and the police do not record the information.” In other words, maybe none of them.

But that doesn't matter, because the prejudicial echo chamber is happy to repeat the spin. Newspaper headlines, which should says, “Big increase in cyclist deaths and injuries”, become, “Beware, iPod zombie cyclists are on the rise”. And the president of the AA can pose as a “road safety campaigner”.

*

So does the zombie threat make sense? Of course the argument has a kernel of truth, otherwise it wouldn’t fool anyone: no doubt some iPod-wearing cyclists zone out and pay less attention than they should. (But where's the evidence, other than King's say-so? He doesn’t even bother to present an anecdote.) And it’s possible that an audible warning of hazard may prove useful. But really, the case is absurdly overstated. City streets are so noisy with motor vehicles that you can’t depend on your hearing. Some vehicles are silent (for example, other cyclists); others are too quiet to hear against the background noise of traffic; and in any case you can’t tell their intentions from the noises they make. I don’t wear an iPod myself, but I doubt that it would make any measurable difference to my safety if I did. When I was run down by a bus, I heard the bus coming, but I didn’t realise that the driver meant to run me down until it was too late to escape. (Maybe this makes me responsible for my own misfortune, in the opinion of Edmund King?)

And something that’s completely missing from the piece is the fact that motorists, cocooned in their airtight cars, can hear very little at the best of times, and many motorists are listening to their own iPods via their much louder in-car entertainment systems. If it’s fine for motorists to cut themselves off from outside sounds, then why pick on cyclists? Conversely, if it’s bad for cyclists to do so, how much worse for motorists? The answer is that the point is not to construct a rational case, but to reinforce the stereotype of cyclists as reckless scofflaws, so as to deflect attention from the motorists who cause the vast majority of deaths and injuries on the road.

How much of the rest of the “lycra lout” material that we see in the media is also being pushed by well-paid propagandists for the motorist?

Update 2010-01-09. I have noticed, in the recent cold weather, a number of cyclists wearing woolly headgear. This covers their ears and impairs their hearing. Do earmuffs and cycling mix? When will we rid the streets of the scourge of the balaclava bandit?

Re: Charging stuff in French campsites

Cycling UK Forum - Touring & Expedition - 21 February 2016 - 8:16pm
Pop in a cheap hotel / hostel for the night...with the strength of the pound its worth it for not only charging devices but washing your kit, drying your kit, nicking soap and topping up your shower gel etc...its a no brainer

That aside loads of sites have a spare plug somewhere....

Re: Cycling opportunity Keswick -Kendal

Cycling UK Forum - On the road - 21 February 2016 - 8:15pm
cycleruk wrote:It showed the bus on TV last night running around the temporary route but didn't mention bikes or walkers.
The Border News footage showed a cyclist on the road in front of the bus.

Re: Best camera for touring

Cycling UK Forum - Touring & Expedition - 21 February 2016 - 8:05pm
I had a nice little Lumix that was small enough to stow and although only 8mp bit the dust after a rain ridden month tour around Europe.....damn shame after 8 years.

The problem is the market encourages you to go bigger in the pixel states so I ended up going 20mp Nikon however its much larger, which is fine for everyday use but too big for touring. The potential for damage / water ingress etc means that I will be buying a cheapo point and shoot £50 job for my next tour....it will probably be the same capacity as my now defunct Lumix but the ability to whip out something small with semi decent picture ability completely overrides something that takes some handling.

Re: Our last trip: Italy - Vienna - Salzburg - Italy

Cycling UK Forum - Touring & Expedition - 21 February 2016 - 8:02pm
andymiller wrote:(Note to cyclingovereurope - I couldn't get the links from the index/sommario page to work on my iPod - presumably because it uses Flash animations. did I miss something? It might be worth putting in some normal links as a back up - otherwise there doesn't seem to be any way to navigate through the articles).

Hello Andy, thank you for interest and for suggestions. I think you should navigate better by a desktop/notebook computer (It's a css problem ). In the meantime this is the link to first stage (http://cyclingovereurope.blogspot.it/p/season-2-stage-1.html) I will try to improve the smartphone version soon (Hoping to find time!!! )

complimenti per il tuo sito!!!

Re: Bware the Smombies are here!

Cycling UK Forum - On the road - 21 February 2016 - 7:52pm
Flinders wrote:When we were kids, our parents talked to us and showed us things as they took us around, they didn't treat us as fashion accessories and ignore us.
When I was a kid we got booted out the door at first light and called back in for dinner, tea and bedtime.

Mind you it was great, building sites, abandoned factories and derelict houses. Then there were dumped cars, scrap yards and no cash. I built all my own bicycles, found and repaired dumped appliances, radios and TV sets.

But I too don't understand the folk walking the kids in the park (or their dogs) whilst staring at their phone whilst life and nature passes them by...

Get your bike back on the road advice...

Cycling UK Forum - On the road - 21 February 2016 - 7:48pm
From Halfords:

1-Clean your bike (Branded frame cleaner)
2-Lube the chain (Branded lube)
3-Replace the chain (Unbranded chain)

Genius...

Re: Cycling opportunity Keswick -Kendal

Cycling UK Forum - On the road - 21 February 2016 - 7:14pm
Flinders wrote:A new article on a new route up there:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-cumbria-35625340

I hope they will continue to allow at least road bikes on the new stretch of temporary road, as the trail route is not likely to be a good enough surface if horses are using it as well.
But a new walkers' route from Dunmail Raise (not Rise, BBC) to Thirlmere would be good- previously there wasn't a good path.

So is the temp stretch now open for cyclists? I'm planning a lakes foray next weekend.

Re: Anyone know what this Italian sign means

Cycling UK Forum - Touring & Expedition - 21 February 2016 - 7:09pm
Several times - it's my favourite bit of a tour! What route have you got in mind?

Re: Cycling opportunity Keswick -Kendal

Cycling UK Forum - On the road - 21 February 2016 - 7:05pm
A new article on a new route up there:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-cumbria-35625340

I hope they will continue to allow at least road bikes on the new stretch of temporary road, as the trail route is not likely to be a good enough surface if horses are using it as well.
But a new walkers' route from Dunmail Raise (not Rise, BBC) to Thirlmere would be good- previously there wasn't a good path.

Re: Anyone know what this Italian sign means

Cycling UK Forum - Touring & Expedition - 21 February 2016 - 7:01pm
nirakaro wrote:Controllo, controle, Kontrol etc. is what language students call a ‘false friend’: it can mean ‘control’, but usually means ‘check’ - as in passport-control, etc. In this case, electronic speed check.
Highest climb is 7000ft - do you mean climbing 7000ft, or climbing to 7000ft? Most Alpine passes, you’ll be starting the day at 3000ft or more, the roads (assuming main roads) are well engineered to a slope of usually not much over 5-6%, and unless you’re in the Netherlands or East Anglia, you’re probably used to climbing at least 100ft per mile anyway. Also you won’t be doing the constant uppy-downy stuff you often get in hilly country - I’ve often climbed nearly as much crossing the Pennines as you do crossing the Alps!

That's interesting. Have you crossed the Alps?

Re: Bware the Smombies are here!

Cycling UK Forum - On the road - 21 February 2016 - 6:57pm
I see lots of people pushing prams, ignoring their kids and talking into mobiles.
No wonder so may kids are backward when they get to school. When we were kids, our parents talked to us and showed us things as they took us around, they didn't treat us as fashion accessories and ignore us.

Re: Anyone know what this Italian sign means

Cycling UK Forum - Touring & Expedition - 21 February 2016 - 6:47pm
Controllo, controle, Kontrol etc. is what language students call a ‘false friend’: it can mean ‘control’, but usually means ‘check’ - as in passport-control, etc. In this case, electronic speed check.
Highest climb is 7000ft - do you mean climbing 7000ft, or climbing to 7000ft? Most Alpine passes, you’ll be starting the day at 3000ft or more, the roads (assuming main roads) are well engineered to a slope of usually not much over 5-6%, and unless you’re in the Netherlands or East Anglia, you’re probably used to climbing at least 100ft per mile anyway. Also you won’t be doing the constant uppy-downy stuff you often get in hilly country - I’ve often climbed nearly as much crossing the Pennines as you do crossing the Alps!

Re: Anyone know what this Italian sign means

Cycling UK Forum - Touring & Expedition - 21 February 2016 - 6:41pm
craggie wrote:FWI bicycle is bicicletta, or bici for short.

Cheers craggie. But I've decided against it now anyway. Too many of the roads look like motorways and the Alps at my age might be pushing my luck.

Re: Anyone know what this Italian sign means

Cycling UK Forum - Touring & Expedition - 21 February 2016 - 6:36pm
FWI bicycle is bicicletta, or bici for short.

Belguim WW1 and further

Cycling UK Forum - Touring & Expedition - 21 February 2016 - 5:56pm
The early seeds are been sowing and as a first trip I'm thinking of going to Belguim , more specifically to visit some of the WW1 sights around Ypres. I have a rough a rough idea of arrive Dunkirk , then from Nieuwpoort to Ypres, I have a route to that then as I can see there is a circular route around Yrpes todo and then not sure! If anyone has any suggestion etc I an only there 5 days and need to return via Dunkirk and not looking todo more than 30miles a day. One idea was to maybe jib it and get the train to Antwerp for a day Bruges and cycle round there for a day.

Re: Glasgow to Oban

Cycling UK Forum - Touring & Expedition - 21 February 2016 - 5:55pm
2008, I rode Oban to Arran.
Nice ride.
Screen Shot 2016-02-21 at 16.54.02.png

Re: Bware the Smombies are here!

Cycling UK Forum - On the road - 21 February 2016 - 5:55pm
One of those idiots pushing a pram was transfixed on her phone and sauntered straight onto the road as I was doing about 20mph downhill. I don't think I've ever braked so hard. Told her she was lucky I wasn't a hgv.
Clearly it was all my fault from the look she gave me
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