All entries for March 2005

March 22, 2005

Getting started

I started cycling about 3.5 years ago, after over 20 years without owning a bike. It was quite a shock in lots of different ways:

  • I knew nothing about maintaining a bike. The last time I had a bike, the way to get it fixed was to say, "Daaaad, it's broken…"
  • I knew nothing about cycling technique. The last time I had a bike it had three gears (it was a Chopper:-), and suddenly I had 21 to figure out. Then there's the "front brake or rear brake" question, and lots of others.
  • I knew nothing about cycling in traffic. My route to work is all road, and most of it quite busy. I've been driving for a long time, but driving techniques don't always translate to cycling.

I've figured much of this out now, through reading books, suggestions from friends, helpful discussions on my blog, and experience.

I wonder if concerns about this sort of thing contribute to people's reluctance to start cycling, and that maybe it would be helpful to build up a body of advice for people who are just starting out, so that the learning curve isn't so steep.


March 20, 2005

Bournemouth shows the way forward

Newspapers this week carried stories about some universities offering free bikes as incentives for students. All students at the Arts Institute of Bournemouth who are in receipt of a maintenance grant of over £1,000 will be offered vouchers to the value of £150 which can be spent on bicycles and cycling accessories. Having purchased a bicycle, students will be offered vouchers to the value of £50 on accessories in subsequent years. Read the coverage in The Times (link) and The Guardian (link)

March 18, 2005

Bike pool suggestions….?

You may remember that I was until recently on the University Environment committee as the Bicycle User's group representative. This has now been restructured, and we now have a 'cycling working group', for want of a better name for it, which reports to the Environment Committee.

We've been asked for suggestions as to how to set up a bicycle pool for use by University staff/students.

After some discussion of this we came to the conclusion that several variations on this proposal could be sensible, depending on the precise aims of such a scheme.

Some possible aims could be:

1) reduce intra-University car travel
2) reduce extra-University car travel
3) improved the general health of members

So: this is a request for proposals as to how such a scheme might be organised, and/or aims which would be met by various features of the proposal.

It would be helpful, I think, if you would post your suggestions to this blog, to allow other BUG members to consider and comment on them.

This would also give me a better idea of what is most popular (at least amongst current cyclists, anyway!) The next meeting of this group is 27th April so there is a bit of time for you to think.

Cheers!

Jen Marsh


March 12, 2005

Pictures

In case you wondering why the "galleries" section is a bit of a mess…....

I wanted to use pictures to illustrate a route from Coventry city centre to Campus. Each picture having a dozen or so accompanying words.

I tried using "gallery" technology. But you can't even delete your mistakes. As bloggs admin wrote (08-Mar-05) "I'm (sorry) there is no edit gallery screen right now. We will be adding this feature in the future, so for now, you're stuck with your gallery"

Some time over the next few weeks I'll try direct input of html.


March 11, 2005

Panniers, baskets and rucksacks!

I started off with just having a rucksack but the sweaty back got to me. I then bought a canvas detachable basket which I used to put my rucksack in. After a term of constant use, it broke! After much thought, I decided to buy a rack and panniers, and mainly due to reading this review: link

I have to agree with the person who wrote it, this bag is brilliantly designed. Its not particularly cheap (I got mine for £44) but it is a tough, durable bag.


March 10, 2005

Cycling from Leamington

Here's my standard route into Campus from Leamington:

Starting from Radford Road where it meets Willes Road. Head up Willes Road, go up the hill and over the traffic lights, and take a right at the crossroads with Warwick Street. At the next crossroads, take a left and take the second right on this street (you should be on Kenilworth Road).

On Kenilworth road, keep going straight, past the various traffic lights and pedestrian crossings. At the roundabout, turn right onto Stoneleigh road, and keep going straight. Go over the roundabout, past Stoneleigh Park. After you go down a big hill, follow the road round onto a small bridge and take the first left. Keep going straight, and go straight over the crossroads. Go over the A46 bridge/junction and at the roundabout take a right. Go over the two hill and go straight over the crossroads (Take first hill easy, as the second one does tire you out!) Take the third right onto Gibbet Hill campus and use the cycle path to get back to main campus.

There are other routes I use to get home, but these are more like "detours" than cycling to and from Warwick.


March 07, 2005

Speaking of the Claycroft entrance…

Writing about an entry you don't have permission to view

How do people approach the supposed cycle path that is usally occupied by pedestrians? Ignore it and use the road, which tends to have more pedestrians but is at least wide enough to cycle around them? Is there any point in asking for the signage of this path to be improved?

March 2005

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