Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Report from the commute

This was going to be more of a ping to register I'm still commuting other than reporting anything significant. It's been pretty much uneventful over the last few weeks apart from the disruption of the roadworks at Bastwell and a couple of vehicles driving too close for comfort. Then, yesterday, a major (well to me anyway) incident happened and I was closest on the scene. As I came under the bridge on Plane Tree Street in Little Harwood, the roar and rattle of a truck approaching greeted me, but as I looked ahead, I could hardly believe my eyes. A 40ft tipper truck was heading down the road in the opposite direction to me with the tipper elevated. It clipped some telephone cables and I only had time to stop before it came to an almighty crunching halt when the top of the tipper struck the metal railway bridge. The cab was thrown up in the air and then came down again. Bystanders were all agog, many having tried to warn the driver of his error. Luckily the driver got out all right. I usually carry my camera but had left it at home as it was raining hard so I can't show you the scene.

Apart from that, the riding has been easy with fine weather and bright days. It has signalled the change from the winter gear to lighter wear for the warmer days. I've taken to going out on longer routes home to get some extra mileage in. Two or three times a week I've managed to add an extra 10 or more miles by doing a circular route down to Whalley and back. Over the weeks my average speed is increasing. The extra stamina makes longer rides at the weekend more enjoyable. This is leading up to a tour in the summer, which reminds me I've still some house-keeping in my 'to-do' corner of the blog - quite a few things I haven't followed up but still mean to - like more details of last year's tour experience and some review bits. Stay tuned and I'll try to find time to get those finished.

Stay safe and enjoy the ride.

Thursday, 9 April 2009

Getting Busy Out...

In the 12-15 minutes it takes to ride home after work I usually only see one or maybe no cyclists. Recently I've been seeing more. On a couple of occasions I've seen 5 cyclists. Shock horror - I know, it must be a record. Warmer weather and lighter nights might be a reason. Only time will tell if it is a trend. Most of them weren't the regular riders I sometimes see.

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

It's just a Plane Street

Talking of potholes ...the last few weeks has seen daily disruption around Bastwell as resurfacing of Plane Street and the Bastwell junction has been underway. Long overdue, it has been the location of a number of potholes I reported as dangerous. Thankfully someone concluded, like me that the surface was worn out and needed replacing. It looks like the the final surface coat of tarmac is being laid. No more holes and dodgy manhole covers, it will be just a plain street again.

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

In the news

Talking Cycling
Today University of Bolton held the fourth in a series of conferences entitled 'Encouraging cycling conference'.

Also at the Bolton conference, the subject of potholes was to be discussed. Bolton appears to have a problem similar to neighbouring Blackburn in that many roads are breaking up and becoming dangerous to cyclists. I've heeded the CTC's advise and been reporting a number of holes, some of which have been filled, some still remain.

The subject of potholes is a serious matter and one that councils need to respond to. The cost may not just be repairs (£76m in Bolton) but also compensation for injured cyclists. Recently a CTC member who was injured when he hit a pothole was been awarded £7,600 in compensation. The cyclist took advantage of the CTC Accident Line.

Thursday, 2 April 2009

Cyclinks #2

Stuff related to cycling.

Potty cycle lanes
Blackburn cycle lanes have been much in the news of late. with usual comments from disaffected residents. Not new news, but the debate rages on.

Gisburn Forest update
Singletrackworld reports even more investment in Gisburn forest. The Forestry Commission is putting £60,000 into cycling trails. Overall that's £180,000 total investment under the umbrella of Ribble Valley Sports and Physical Activity Alliance (SPAA), with £60,000 coming from Sport England via lottery funding, £60,000 from project partners, who are: Gisburn Forest Volunteers, the Forest of Bowland Area of Oustanding Natural Beauty, Ribble Valley Borough Council, Ribble Valley Strategic Partnership, United Utilities and the Forestry Commission and now a futher £60,000 'in-kind' investment from the Forestry Commission in materials. Also reported in the Telegraph and cycling news sites.
Facebook group for the Gisburn trails. This is where to find out when trailbuilding is happening and where to go if you want to volunteer. A mailing list exists for volunteers. Subscribe by emailing Martin.Charlesworth@lancashire.gov.uk Oh, and the main message about the new trails is to stay off them until they're bedded-in.

Photos:Nigel Pilling

Lee Quarry
Dave Hygarth has put up a website about Lee Quarry over near Bacup. I'm somewhat ambivalent about these boilerplate 'community' social sites as they over use scripting and end up pretty slow. They also spring up in parallel with communities that already have a social site. Lee Quarry seems pretty specific though.
Brownbacks (what a name) are organising two series of four races each at Lee Quarry, the first being sponsored by Hope.
Also running a race at Lee, Singletrack magazine are getting in on the action in July. Lee Quarry official info.

SIS launch organic nutrition
Science in Sport suppliers to the British Cycling team and based down at Brockhole near Blackburn. The photo below is entrance to Brockhole Village as I passed tonight.

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Health and Fitness not Bikeability

The government's Bikeability scheme was in the news today with investment for training an extra 200,000 children.The bikeability website includes a page where you can find out if bikeability training is available in your area.

Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council, from today, allow people aged 16 to 49 from Blackburn with Darwen to enjoy a wide range of free sports if they sign up for a free beeZ card. However, this does not extend to Bikeability, which is not on offer. Email health&fitness@blackburn.gov.uk for further information.