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 Post subject: CYCLING IN THE COUNTRY
PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2006 14:53 
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CYCLING IN THE COUNTRY – TIM OLIVER "M.E.N" Journalist

Quote:
I started cycling to work – mainly for health reasons. Now I am wondering whether I should stop for the same reason. :?

News of the horrific collision involving the cycling club members in North Wales came on the eve of my return to work after a break in the French Alps.

Suddenly the commute into Manchester seems more dangerous than a trek up the cable car and hurtling down a mountain on two glorified planks of wood. :?


(Mate – risk involved in everything and cycling like ski-ing is perfectly safe provided you had lessons and know to roll into a fall should the worst happen – and follow some basic rules of good common sense

:lol: – By the way :lol: despite the fact he skis – he is not related to us! :lol:


One poor chap somewhere sees us everywhere... oops! Our view is only the same as 75% of the population :wink:


We do not have journalists in the family :lol: – doctors, lawyers, policemen, accountants, vet and dentist – not journalists, architects, civil engineers! We are trying to get the youngsters to take up plumbing, electrician and roofing as side line secondary skills and qualifications on the basis that this would save us a fortune on these items) :twisted:

Quote:
But it’s not the first time I’ve worried what might happen on my ride to work. One colleague narrowly escaped serious injury when a thoughtless motorist opened his door into his path. Luckily, one the bike was a crumpled write-off, not the rider. Anther colleague’s close family member was left blind after a pothole sent him over the handlebars and he slid face down the road. :( :cry:



(IG suggests COAST skills to help us avoid this kind of carry on somewhere in his useful tips - but bottom line on poor road repair and lack of grtting has to rest at the door of the Highways Agencies and councils and no amount of speed cameras, driver/cyclist training is going to help us against poor road maintenance)



Quote:
It makes you think, I usually cycle from my Peak District home in Chapel-en-le-Frith to New Mills – 7 miles away. There I take the train to Deansgate. I could take the train from Chapel.

Partly the reason is financial. My relatively cheap GMPTE railcard extends only toe New Mills – any further and I have to buy an extra return ticket at £4.34 per day – So cycling saves me £700 per year.


We really do need to have an affordable and reliable transport service. It is matters like this which prove and display a country's wealth and stature as well as the behaviour of its citizens and its culture and tradition.

Quote:
But really – I do it because I enjoy it and the scenery is something to behold – especially when the rain eases up and the early and evening sun sets the hills in a bright and golden beauty.


:cloud9: Nothing matches it.

Quote:
I can cope with some teasing from colleagues over my lycra shorts and leggings because this activity allows me to get some exercise in-between my hectic commitments of trying to juggle work and family


I think I must cut a dashing figure in mine :wink: (No one comments down the pub anyway!) Cannot say the same about the geared up one though! :lol:

yellow leggings - mate? :shock: Fluorescent green ones? :rotfl:


We don’t commute – too far – but we ride weekends as family and I ride to the golf and rugby clubs. Wildy :neko: rides to her health club and back and reckons it’s how she keeps her "sassy figure" in shape after kitten production. :wink:

Quote:
But there is a hidden and punitive cost. “The short cut” Whalley Bridge by-pass is lethal. I used it once when pushed for time. Never again.

:yikes:

Too many early morning lorries and cars on a fast route have been too close for comfort – even with me cycling along the white line marking the “hard shoulder” or carriageway edge. A lorry at speed narrowly missed me in the autumn gloom. I had lights – but he clearly had not seen me – and probably would not have noticed had I gone under his wheels. :shock: :? :( :cry:

Now I take the longer more winding and scenic A623. I reckon the drivers have more to cope with the twists and turns and are thus more alert to the road ahead. So far – 6 months and zero incidents

But for the first time in my life – I began to wear a helmet – much to my wife’s surprise: :o “You are getting sensible and middle aged!” :o :wink:

Now I’m not the nervous type and I used to go rock climbing without helmet and safety ropes, as they were a “hindrance” :? :?

But being a husband and a father changes things - and the news from the roads is not good. Despite all the hype over speed cameras – I have driving standards worsen – not improve.


:yesyes:

Quote:
I cycle to the rail station each morning – even today, the morning after the tragedy. But I am thinking more about my wife and three sons – and how much I want to be there for them and with them – watching them grow to manhood – and I now question whether I want to continue cycling when I have something so precious to lose. :(


Mate – we all want this – whether in a car or on a bike. By the sounds of things – I think the journalist is doing all the right things on the road – and one hopes the gritters are out gritting his route and all routes throughout these remaining winter months....

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