Johnny says…

The ASL shows how much drivers would rather be on a bike!

Advanced Stopping Lines

ASL

…you know ASL, those little boxes at junctions with badly thought out hazardous filter lanes into them which enable cyclists to navigate a junction with “increased safety” by getting ahead of the game?…
Well from what I can see they just show how many drivers of cars, lorries, vans and motorcycles would rather be on a bike, since none of them can resist entering into them, blocking them from their intended purpose.

Now the The Highway Code’s rule on advanced stop lines (Rule 178) says that drivers and motorcyclists

“MUST stop at the first white line reached if the lights are amber or red and should avoid blocking the way or encroaching on the marked area at other times, e.g. if the junction ahead is blocked.”

The Code also says that if a vehicle has proceeded over the first white line at the time that the signal goes red, the driver (or motorcyclist) must stop at the second white line, even if their vehicle is in the marked area. The relevant legislation is the Road Traffic Act 1988, section 36 and the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 10, 36(1) and 43(2).

So it could be argued that a car in such a position has been caught out by traffic and light changes, and that is fair enough and reasonable… but not in the case of this serial offending White Astra Driver… KY04 TLK

ASL Offender KY04 TLK

ASL Offender KY04 TLK

ASL Offender KY04 TLK

ASL Offender KY04 TLK

I reckon the best thing this driver can do is give into the natural urges, dump the car and get on a bike, then she can enjoy using the ASL in the way it was meant to without any guilt! Ah one day all drivers will obey the highway code – you know that thing they constantly accuse cyclists of flouting?

First Youth Bike Race Day

Ready to Race #107Yesterday my lad had his first taste of a youth bike race day, and despite being nervous, he loved it.

Due to his age, he was in the mixed u14/u16 race – bit tough when you are only a small 12 year old. I’m not sure who was more worried, him or me, as his fellow competitors towered over him and sported some exotic carbon.

I’m not one to be pushy though, and I just repeated to him to have fun, do his best and enjoy. This he did.

He got dropped early on as they set off at a high initial pace, but he stuck to it and the gap was held throughout the 20 mins plus 1 lap race.

At the end he was still only about 60 yds off the back, and I was dead chuffed for him and proud as anything.

Does he want to go again next week? You bet he does, great stuff :)

So it would seem that I am destined to spend my Tuesday evenings at the new Odd Down race circuit in Bath, carrying bottles of water and snacks, as he gets to grips with cycling as a competitive sport – no doubt leading to him dropping me on the weekend rides as he develops more speed and stamina.

Will it ever take over from his love of football… not sure about that, as his first comments at the end of the race were getting rested up for football training on Thursday :D

crossing the finish lineCrossing his first finish line of many, I’m sure.

Future young cycling star?

front_room_cycle

Well they don’t stop growing, do they?!?! My very own young cycling star of the future!

So here we have junior on his new bike, a 48cm Decathlon Triban 3, churning out an hours session on the turbo in the front room. He’s building stamina nicely, and has already completed a couple of 35 mile Sunday rides.

Being lightweight I swear gravity turns a blind eye and he climbs really well – I guess he will only get better and in the future have me chasing his tail!

The bike has had a few initial customisations, white bar tape, his Bontrager white saddle, and now some white SPD-SL pedals. In addition he has added a new Bontrager cycle computer and an Elite bottle cage – white with red highlights as it’s all about looking the part, eh? :)

Aside from greasing the wheel bearings the bike has been fantastic, although this week I will be swapping the 12-25 rear cassette out for a SRAM 11-28 and adding a SRAM PG-971 chain, this should give him a bail out gear when the legs fade and make everything run smooth as can be.

Sunday rides have taken on a whole new pleasure, and it is fantastic to get out with the group whilst riding with my lad – a very proud dad indeed, and very much looking forward to Sunday, Fathers Day, and his first 40 mile plus ride.

The only bad side to it is riding behind him as he clocks 35mph plus downhill, making me pray to a deity I have no belief in! :D

 

Wiggle – what has gone wrong?

It has been an age since I wrote anything here, and that due to life getting in the way really, and whilst there is much I would like to have written, it is a shame that my first post back is a whinge…

My lad has recently bought himself a new bike, a Decathlon Triban 3. He’s only 12 and not the tallest, but the 48cm frame is spot on, and a smashing bike at a brilliant price point it is too. Certainly £300 well spent. He’s been on the turbo with it a few times, and has been out the last two Sundays with a local group, and his climbing and legs are developing nicely.

Given his love of riding, I decided the time had come to make the switch from flat pedals with little toe clips used with training shoes, to road shoes and pedals for him, and without hesitation I placed an order with Wiggle for some Shimano SPD-SL pedals and DHB road shoes. I’ve ordered a load of stuff from Wiggle over the last 5 to 6 years, and always been perfectly happy with it, plus the DHB kit I  have bought has always been of a good standard and well priced into the bargain.

Well this time things didn’t go quite so well. The kit was ordered at the start of the half term with the idea it gave him plenty of time to practice with a clipless system whilst off school, but firstly Royal Mail tracking reported it was being “returned to sender” due to an unreadable bar code, then Wiggle informed me it was back with them a couple of days later – whilst at the same time it turned up on my doorstep! Well, ok, stuff happens and it arrived at least despite Wiggle not really knowing what was going on.

Unfortunately the shoes were tight (order a size up with DHB shoes), and so I used the return system and sent them back, ordering the next size up for next day delivery so that he would still have time to get used to them before the Sunday outing.

So the next day I set off to work leaving the rest of the family waiting in for the shoes to arrive – I am sure they would rather have been out in the sunshine, but hey ho!

They hadn’t turned up by lunch time, so I checked the tracking which said they hadn’t yet been shipped, and yet Wiggle said they had been – confused.com! A simple phone call would have given the answer, but Wiggle don’t want you to talk to them anymore, instead you can only email, and if you are lucky you get a reply in 48 hours! Customer Service at its worst.

I did manage to call the courier, and they confirmed the package hadn’t been collected as yet, and so despite next day delivery being selected and paid for, I wouldn’t see the shoes until after the weekend – not what I wanted to hear, but honest and truthful, and I appreciate that.

I sent Wiggle an email asking for the surcharge for next day to be refunded, and highlighting the lack of service – to be fair the refund on next day was processed, but here we are 2 days later and I still have no shoes! The tracking says they were signed for by a name that is unknown to us, and a card through the door said “Parcel OUT BACK”, but no parcel could we see.

Two days ago I brought this to the attention of  Wiggle, simply asking them to either refund me or supply the goods as per the order – honestly I’ve had enough of it… they acknowledged the email, but it has been radio silence from them for 24 hours. So as it stands we have no shoes, they have the money and the chances of me shopping with them again have rapidly taken a nose dive!

Indeed I shall be removing the links to them that I carry on the site as a favourite retailer, and I certainly shan’t be recommending them to friends any more – many of the cyclists I ride with have been appalled with the tale.

So, I will give it until this afternoon, and then I will start phoning any number I can find for Wiggle, and one way or another get this farce sorted.

Come on Wiggle, play the game, there is a 12 year old lad waiting on his shoes, it’s only been 10 days, eh!?!?!?!?!?!

 

rant over ;)

New BB Fitted!

Well the sun shone, and the garden was calling… but Scarlet need the new Ultegra BB fitting.

So out with the workstand, out with the grease and the tools and I set about the task.

I was rather pleased to find it a relatively easy job too, and made sure to give everything a thorough clean whilst I was at it. I also found a very useful video on the web, and it is well worth a watch if you are attempting the removal/service and refit/replacement of a HollowtechII BB.

So, maybe this will prove useful for someone else too… great video!

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