Pages

Index

The index is firstly under broad headings and then in alphabetical order.  It directs you to a date (month/year) which you can then jump to via the archive on the home page.
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All photographs may be enlarged to full screen size by clicking on them. Most of them are taken in landscape 16:9 format to take advantage of widescreen viewing.
Your comments and suggestions are welcome.  Each post has a facility for you to do this.

Routes

Local Routes (Derby area)

Ashbourne from Derby...........................................November 2016
Attenborough Nature Reserve ...............................June 2015
Best Way to the Shops ...........................................February 2016
Borrowash to Derby ...............................................Dec 2013
Breadsall for Beginners ..........................................Oct 2013
Breadsall Greenway Phase 2 ..................................May 2014
Breadsall Greenway Video .....................................Feb 2014
Burton-upon-Trent from Derby ..............................Oct 2015
Carsington Water ....................................................Aug 2015
Catch Early Train (Mickleover/Derby Station) ..April 2016
City Centre Rides ........................................................June2017
Cloud Quarry and Loughborough from Derby .......Dec 2013
Cromford Canal ......................................................Nov 2013
Derby to Mickleover ...............................................Oct 2013
Derby Orbital Route ................................................July 201
Doveridge to Waterhouses ....................................Dec 2016
Elvaston Castle from Derby....................................Nov 2013
Egginton to Mickleover (High Speed Video) .........Feb 2014
Five Parks Ride........................................................Nov 2013
Five Pits Trail (Chesterfield to Derby) ...................Feb. 2015
Infinity Park ............................................................March 2016
Kedleston Hall Circuit ............................................Nov. 2013
Mickleover to Hilton ...............................................Oct 2013
Monsal Trail ............................................................June 2015
Nottingham City Centre Ride .................................July 2017
Nottingham - The Big Track ....................................August 2017
Nutbrook Trail (Long Eaton to Heanor) .................April 2015
Pastures Hill .............................................................March 2016
Sinfin Moor Lane ....................................................March 2016
Swarkestone to Derwentmouth (Canal Ride)..........June 2015
Tissington Trail .......................................................Oct 2016
Uttoxeter from Derby .............................................Jan 2014
Willington to Stenson (Canal Ride) ........................June 2017


Further Afield

Biddulph Valley Way (Stoke to Congleton) ...........May 2015
Birmingham to Sandwell Valley Park ....................May 2017
Blackpool to Fleetwood ...........................................June 2017
Boston, Lincolnshire ...............................................April 2017
Brampton Valley Way .............................................Sept 2015
Caldon Canal ...........................................................Nov 2016
Cannock Chase ........................................................July 2015
Cardiff Bay ..............................................................May 2015
Caernarfon to Felinheli ...........................................Oct 2016
Derwent Dams ........................................................Oct 2015
Ely to Cambridge ....................................................June 2017
Foxton Locks ...........................................................Oct 2015
Grantham Canal .......................................................April 2015
Hambleton Peninsular (Rutland Water) .................Feb 2016 
Humber Bridge .........................................................Oct 2017
Keswick Railway Path .............................................Sept. 2015
Lancaster to Blackpool ............................................July 2017
Lancaster to Morecambe ........................................July 2017
Leicester to Watermead Park ...................................Oct 2015
Leicester Village Tour ...........................................July 2016
Mawddach Trail (Wales) .........................................August 2015
Nantwich to Crewe .................................................Dec 2016
Newark to Lincoln ...................................................June 2014
Norwich to Reedham Ferry ....................................March 2017
Norwich (Marriot's Way).........................................Nov 2013
Nottingham to Newark ...........................................Dec 2016
Rugeley to Fradley (Canal Ride) .............................July 2015.
Scarborough to Whitby (The Cinder Track) ...........Jun 2015
Sheffield to Chesterfield (The Cuckoo Way)...........Jun 2015
Sheffield to Rotherham ...........................................May 2015
Sky Rides ................................................................Sep 2016
Southwell Trail ......................................................Nov 2016
Stoke-on-Trent to Leek (Canal Ride).................June 2017
Stoke-on-Trent to Stone (Canal Ride) ..............July 2017
Taff Trail (South) ....................................................May 2015
Tamworth to Derby (Canal Ride) ..........................Nov 2016
Water Rail Way (Part 1) ..........................................May 2015.
Water Rail Way (Part 2) ...........................................July 2015
Worcester and Birmingham Canal .........................August 2017
White Peak Loop .....................................................March 2016
York to Selby (The Solar System)...........................June 2015



General Information and Comments
Introduction ............................................................Sept 2013
Take Your Bike by Train ........................................Dec 2013
The Derby Velodrome ............................................Sept 2013
The Park Bikeworks ................................................June 2014

Safety
If you are a seasoned cyclist you will not need to read this. It is intended for newcomers to cycling and for those who may be apprehensive about venturing forth on two wheels.

Although cycling is not, in itself dangerous, on a bike you are vulnerable in traffic and will come off worst if in collision with a motor vehicle, so it is important to take all precautions to minimise risks.
Your personal safety must be you primary concern.
You must be visible to other road users at all times, so dark clothing is inadvisable, particularly at night.  The introduction of flashing LED lights has been a major step forward in cycle safety.  They are cheap to buy and to run, so are highly recommended, as is reflective clothing.
Local councils have made efforts to introduce cycle lanes on roads and shared pavements alongside, but we have a long way to go on this one since most on-road lanes are not continuous.  Roundabouts are a particularly dangerous place for cyclists, but some have toucan crossings over the highways and these are much safer.
It is vital that your bike is in good mechanical order, particularly with regard to brakes, so that you can come to a halt quickly and safely when necessary.  Disc brakes are best, maintaining 100% performance even in wet conditions, where rim brakes have reduced effectiveness.  Bear in mind that even the best brakes are limited by the adhesion between tyre and the road, but a good feature of the bicycle is that it has two independent brakes.  The front brake is most the effective, as under braking weight is transferred to the front wheel increasing the grip of the tyre on the road surface. However, a front wheel skid must be avoided at all costs as it is difficult to correct.  A rear wheel skid is more manageable, but gives less effective braking.  Avoid skidding where possible since it reduces braking effectiveness and wears out tyres. Let off the brake if a wheel begins to show signs of skidding.  Maximum braking is with the wheel still rotating but brake hard on. This is the principle of automatic anti-lock brakes which have become standard on motor vehicles.
So if the bike is upright, use both brakes equally. If cornering do not use the front brake.  Try to do your braking before turning, that is with the bike upright. 
Avoid manhole covers, wooden edging, potholes, tramlines, ridges and fallen leaves, all very dangerous when wet.
On a bike, your forward and peripheral vision is good, better in fact, than most other road users. However, rearward vision is poor even by turning your head, so use your hearing to deduce the proximity, speed, and type of vehicle behind you.
When turning right take particular care as motorists may try to overtake you on your right side. Make sure that the road is clear behind you and give a good clear hand signal.  If in doubt, pull over to the left and wait until you are sure that it is safe to turn.
Turning left is safer, but beware of drivers cutting you up on the bend and never get on the left side of big lorries whose drivers have limited visibility. Watch out for articulated lorries and vehicles towing trailers and caravans. Many roads are badly designed with poor provision for cyclists at junctions.
Choose your route carefully to maximise your safety avoiding potentially dangerous situations.  Use cycle paths and lanes where they are available.

Two relatively recent innovations have improved road safety, these being speed cameras and advanced stop lines at traffic lights. The introduction of 20mph speed limits on urban roads may improve matters, but is difficult to enforce and not welcome by automotive hotheads.

Your worst enemies as a cyclist, are aggressive car drivers. Watch out for drivers of big expensive German cars, big 4x4s, the dreaded "white van man" and worst of all "boy racers".  None of these will have much concern for your safety.

Safety recommendations would not be complete without a few words on helmets.  By all means wear one if you feel safer, but remember that it will not give much protection in really serious contact with a hard and unyielding object such as a motor car travelling at high speed.  Their protective capability is somewhat overstated by advocates, especially by people who are not cyclists themselves.  Cycle helmets do not compare with those worn by motorcyclists.

The wearing of cycle helmets is unusual in many countries such as Holland where cycling is much more popular than it is here in UK. True they have a better cycling infrastructure than we do and perhaps more tolerant car drivers.
However, the compulsory wearing of cycle helmets would be a bad move - impossible to enforce, and negating the current advances in cycle use as many people would not take up cycling.  Numerically the benefits would not compare with the increased overall health aspects of cycling. 

One of the most dangerous situations for cyclists is the proximity of heavy lorries, who drivers have limited vision, and efforts are being made to reduce this risk by fitting such vehicles with extra mirrors, cameras, warning sirens, and signage.  A number of cyclists have been killed recently in London when in conflict with left turning lorries.




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