Thursday, December 30, 2004
Hopefully this never comes to Darlington.
Friday, December 24, 2004
And there are some surprises in the list too...
Tuesday, December 14, 2004
Friday, December 10, 2004
Activities planned or underway to improve facilities for cyclists include:
- Construction of new traffic free cycle paths (former Barnard Castle and Darlington – Stockton rail lines).
- New pedestrian/cycle/equestrian bridge crossing the A66.
- Upgrading of traffic free cycle paths (Eastbourne cycle path).
- Installation of toucan crossings (Yarm Road, West Auckland Road).
- Work with Sustrans to link Darlington to the National Cycle Network.
- Input into the joint publication of a Tees Valley cycle map.
- Publication of a free Darlington cycle map and guide
- Installation of cycle parking at rail stations.
- Revision of the Darlington Cycling Strategy.
- On road cycle training for year 5 and 6 school pupils.
- Installation of cycle parking facilities at schools.
- 2004 Programme of cycling events.
Monday, November 15, 2004
Thursday, November 11, 2004
Wednesday, November 10, 2004
Monday, November 08, 2004
Not that it comes anywhere near Darlington.
Hopefully, we'll get some useful bike lanes when the North Road project is completed (or be able to use the bus lanes) and the Central Park project off Haughton Road has a planned pedestrian/bike bridge over the railway which runs parallel to the too-narrow road bridge.
Sunday, November 07, 2004
I'll probably still post bike- and/or Darlington-related bits and pieces here, but more personal bike stuff over at my personal site, with a link to it from here.
Tuesday, November 02, 2004
muddy Hell 2
Originally uploaded by Mike Mc.
This photo was taken on the first ride with my new On-One Inbred. This is Percy Lane, heading south, about here.
As you can see, it was a fairly muddy ride, but the Inbred coped much better with the mud than my other bikes. The 2.25" Panaracer Cinder tyres shed even Darlington's clay well, and the huge clearances on the frame (particularly between the rear tyre and the front mech) stopped everything getting too clagged up, even with leaves on the ground.
I took a lot of photos which, when I get around to uploading them all, will be found on Flickr tagged as ride20041031.
My Bike: On-One Inbred
Originally uploaded by Mike Mc.
Well, here it is, eventually; my new On-One Inbred.
I'm really pleased with it so far, though had to replace the dodgy inner tubes ("Woods" valves - eh?) with some Slime-filled presta-valved ones, and have added a chainstay protector, Crud Catcher and Crud Guard. (And, the front V -brake has a broken piece that I need to email Brant about.)
More (muddier) photos to follow...
Saturday, October 30, 2004
Thursday, October 14, 2004
It's a fully built-up geared On-One Inbred (photo). All Shimano Deore and On-one/Planet-X components. Quite a bargain, too, as they're selling off a load from a cancelled order; £525, reduced from £899!
Photos (garden and muddy) when it arrives...
Update: According to the On-One website, they're in stock tomorrow, not Friday as Brant originally thought, so my new bike could arrive even earlier than I expected. I'm currently making important decisions, like whether to use cable ties or electrical tape to tidy up the cable outers along the top tube, and which colour ties or tape to go for.
Oh, can anyone tell if it's presta or schraeder valves in the picture? I need lots of spare tubes - I got two flats on one short ride the other day.
Update 2: I got worried yesterday when Brant from On-One phoned, but it was just because they thought my credit card details had been lost when their secure server died. They recovered them.
The bikes are due at On-One's Doncaster (DN6) warehouse this morning and will be getting dispatched this afternoon. I could have my bike tomorrow (depending on whether anyone's in and what the courier does if no one's in)!
Monday, September 20, 2004
More (here) later.
Tuesday, September 14, 2004
Wednesday, September 08, 2004
SUNDAY 19TH SEPTEMBER - CYCLO CROSS AT DARLINGTON
ROUND 2 OF NORTH EAST CYCLO CROSS LEAGUE
BRANKSOME SCHOOL, DARLINGTON
The course is a good mixture of some fast singletrack, river crossings and some parkland. There is a good prize list thanks to sponsorship from local businesses House to Homes, and Halfords in Darlington. There are races for all ages and abilties so if you want a good day out, to ride a fast and exciting race or simply to watch feel free to come along.
Under 12's : 10:00
Under 16's: 10:30
Seniors/Juniors/Vets/Women : 12:00
You can get more info by emailing the guy via the forum. I'm going to email and put more up here.
Update: I've found The North East Cyclo Cross League website
Thursday, September 02, 2004
Monday, August 30, 2004
Monday, August 23, 2004
Wednesday, August 18, 2004
This 'website' includes a link to the Cycle Access and Parking Plan.
Tuesday, August 17, 2004
Not bikes, but some people might be interested. You might also want to avoid the walks taking place, so you don't get stuck behing a huge line of people being introduced to walking...
Tuesday, August 10, 2004
The first part of the track is slightly overgrown, broken tarmac, which is singletrack in places, becoming more open and dirt-road after the motorway bridge. The second half is a farm track running past a farm building and through fields. The Blacksmith's Arms sells Black Sheep ale and has a large beer garden. The tracks seem like they'll cope with a lot of rain, and could be good for local rides through the autumn and winter.
Wildgoose Lane On the map this looks like it follows a disused railway line, but it actually runs just to the south of it. The railway line has been turned into what looks like a running track for horses (soft, sandy, private). The bridleway is seriously overgrown with nettles, thistles and brambles. I tried riding a little further into the field, but the freshly harvested remains just cut my shins rather thans stinging and scratching them. Result: lots of stings and cuts on my legs, which actually swelled up (despite taking antihistamines before and after the ride) and were still tingling two days later.
Catkill Lane I believe the cat droned, after getting stuck in the mud. I've got clagged up with mud on this track in the past, but thought I'd give it another go after all the warm dry weather we've had, but that just seems to have made the mud stickier. Perhaps passable on a disk-brake equipped bike, with wide clearances and mud-tyres, but otherwise avoid.
Wednesday, August 04, 2004
Wednesday, July 28, 2004
Jorgen Leth, Denmark, 1976
Monday 2 August 2004 9.30pm-11.20pm; rpt 12.20am-2.05am
Considered one of the best cycling films ever made, A Sunday in Hell focuses on the 1976 Paris-Roubaix single-day bike race. "
Monday, July 26, 2004
I started out along Patches Lane bridleway, from Whesso Road to Coatham Lane, which I'd ridden before. It starts off as a gravelly track, but eventually becomes a mud track. It was pretty muddy on the top, but the mud was fairly hardened by the recent dry weather, so wasn't too bad; there were hoof-prints about 8 inches deep in places, however, so it could be bad in wet weather. This is about 2km long climb/decent. Tyre marks showed someone else had ridden it recently.
An unnamed bridleway starts only a hundred metres or so from the end of Patches Lane, just the other side of the motorway bridge and leads to a track around Filtronic's factory. The start is pretty difficult to find (it's next to the bridleway sign, not through the gate) and I had to push through some undergrowth to get on the track. The bridleway itself is pretty uninspiring, just a slog through a grassy field, though the track around the factory is well defined and quite fast. I got spiked on my arm by a loose branch. About 3km in total.
To avoid the grassy slog on the way home, I took a short bridle way from nearby, to the A167. This was just a short 1km track, but it avoided a bit of road-time.
From the A167, I used the minor road through Brafferton to loop around the Coatham Mundeville again, and rerode Patches Lane in reverse, though there are a couple of bridleways from Brafferton itself which link in with those behind Barmpton village and Salter's Lane, and eventually up as far as Sedgefield and Trimdon. In fact, there are some very long stretches of bridleway out that way.
From Newton Aycliffe, I've found a few BWs on the map, leading over to Shildon, and there are some interesting looking BWs west of Shildon/south of Bishop Auckland, which could be linked to the disused railway lines to create an almost off-road route to Durham.
Saturday, July 17, 2004
Friday, July 09, 2004
Thursday, July 08, 2004
Tuesday, July 06, 2004
Saturday, July 03, 2004
Friday, June 18, 2004
Kottke has some commentary on this.
This does make a lot of sense, though the examples of 'no rules roads' given are all in places that have never had rules. Simply getting rid of the rules would lead to chaos. However, cyclists who take their space on the road are much safer than the cyclists in the gutter.
Wednesday, June 16, 2004
I needn't have worried. The pace was, erm, leisurely; we took 2-and-a-half hours to travel around 10 miles and everyone managed to keep up. We even had an ice cream stop half-way.
Though the pace was slower than I'd have liked, it was an enjoyable ride out and very well attended - the biggest turn-out yet for a guided ride in Darlington with around twenty riders. There was a huge range of bikes, from me on my 'jumpy' GT, to women with baskets on the bars, to a shaft-drive bike to a Dawes Galaxy, almost all manner of bike was represented.
We travelled out past the Darlington College to Nunnery Lane, where we took a bridleway out onto one of the roads behind Cockerton, then along a bridleway by the motorway (over an old railway line) and finally to Walworth Grange. From Walworth, we headed back into Darlington via the Brinkburn Nature Reserve and Greenbank Road.
Many thanks to Own Wilson for leading the ride, despite his bad knee.
Given the pace of this ride, I'd considered entering the 50 mile Tourist Trial, but it was last Sunday. The 70 mile ride on the fourth of July may be a touch too far for me.
If you'd like to have a go on one of the guided rides remaining this year, there are still a few to go. Next up is the Cycle Treasure Trail through Skerningham Woods, meeting at Asda, 11:00am on Sunday July 25th, for a ride of around 1.5 hours. Free entrey, with prizes for all.
A less scientific experiment last month discovered thatbikes are faster than cars in Darlington.
Saturday, June 12, 2004
Thursday, June 10, 2004
Wednesday, June 09, 2004
Lots of debate between MPs here, some of which makes you wonder how old they are. Basically, this is a debate about a Private Member's Bill to make wearing of helmets while cycling compulsory for under 16s.
Personally, I always wear a helmet while riding my bike, but I'm sure this bill would have reduce participation in cycling in under 16s if made law. I'm also fairly sure it would be pretty difficult to enforce.
There are better ways of reducing road deaths among cyclists: traffic calming, awareness, tougher penalties for drivers and improved road layouts to name a few.
Do you wear a helmet while riding your bike? Do you support this bill? Would you support extending the bill to cover all cyclists?
Tuesday, June 08, 2004
a gentle midsummer's evening cycle ride through some of the borough's most attractive countryside, according to the Darlington Cycling Festival programme.
Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be a website for the festival, the news section of the council website is lacking in information, and I can't find any more information online via Google, so that's all the information I can give.
I'm planning on going along; any other takers?
# If they don't have a website.
# If their website isn't updated frequently enough to be useful.
# If you want to shine a torch up their arse and see if the light comes out of their ears."
Any takers for Mr Milburn? Or we could blog about the entire council/town (though Darlington Town sort of does that already).
Monday, June 07, 2004
Since I'm skint it'll have to be quite cheap so my budget is something like a miserly £35 :-(
I've heard that the best advice is to actually try out models in one of those ye olde shoppe things, so I'll probably do that if I can make a shortlist of models beforehand. I've heard that a badly-fitting helmet can do more damage in an accident than not wearing one at all so this seems excellent advice.
Apparently Specialised head cases are better for folks with narrower heads and Giros are better for folks with round ones. I'll be looking for a Giro then :-)
Helmets I've seen that I liked were: Specialized 03 Enduro Pro and Giro Animas.
What helmet would you recommend or what should I know about or avoid?
Thursday, June 03, 2004
The starting point. Rigid Konas just look good. Unfortunately, this one has a flat front tyre and the gearing is rather worn.
A box o' bits!
The bike with all the extraneous parts removed. I got rid of the bottle cage, pump mount and crud guard as well, but they may return at some point. It still looks like a geared bike for the moment, but I have no cash to spend on bits to properly singlespeed it.
The chainset with no front mech. An advantage of keeping the rear mech and the chainset is that I can manually change between three gears, for road use, or big hills. Eventually, the three rings will be reduced to just one.
I'm using the rear mech to tension the chain, and still have the seven sprocket cassette. A single sprocket will be added at some point. The mech is aligned with the cog using the high and low adjuster screws.
It might not be a proper singlespeed yet, but it looks like one from the front.
One of the pedals creaks a lot, so I'm going to have to share a pair of flats between my two bikes, and it now has a rear puncture, but it was fun to ride on it's first outing.
34:19, by the way.
Monday, May 31, 2004
Monday, May 24, 2004
Oh, I may soon be joining the singlespeed clique.
Sunday, May 23, 2004
Monday, May 17, 2004
I left the town centre along Coniscliffe Road, to the Baydale Beck, where I took a bridleway north to Archdeacon Newton. From there I followed a set of three bridleways to Burtree Gate, followed by a quick spin along the dual carriageway to find the entrance to the bridleway starting near the roundabout (hint: enter the lay-by from the northern end, the other end is chocked with nettles), which I followed to Coatham Lane, before heading south down Patches Lane and then across to the A167. From the A167, I headed to Barmpton Village, via Ketton Farms, and from there home.
Lots more animal life was disturbed, including loads of butterflies who were sunning themselves on the trail (so, sorry for all the hurricanes).
Very roughly, I estimate I covered about 20 miles, in about 2 1/2 hours, mostly off road. All of it was rideable, though there was some very long grass to ride through in places.
During the ride, I saw way markers for three of Darlington's way-marked trails: the Heighton Boot, Salters Circular and Catkill Trail. I'm going to call into a bike shop in town to see if I can get another copy of the leaflet detailing the rides, so I can attempt each of them as intended, then I might attempt a combination of all three.
This ride was brought to you in association with Benadryl Plus+, Taking the Long Way Home and sunny Sunday afternoons. I think I've found my summer homeward-bound commute.
Of course, she had to park in the Town Hall car park whilst I could lock up my bike outside the Dolphin Centre. Oh, and she had a baby to sort out. But it was almost faster.
While locking up my bike, I had a chat with one of Darlington's Community Wardens about the chainset, as he has the same bike. I don't think any Clio owners chatted to my wife. Bikes: faster (sometimes), friendlier (always).
The first ride was yesterday, so I missed it, but it looks like there are more rides planned.
Sunday, May 16, 2004
Wednesday, May 12, 2004
Tuesday, May 11, 2004
Additionally, I'm looking to add some other bloggers to the site, so if you live in Darlington, ride a bike, use the net a lot and want to get involved, reply to this post and I may add you.
Monday, May 10, 2004
According to the same webpage, another meeting was held on 27th April, but no minutes are available online as yet.
I wasn't at the meetings, but I'm going to email the address given to find out how to get involved.
This is one of the reasons why Darlington is good for cycling; you can be out in the countryside and away from roads very quickly. I put up two pheasants, was examined by some curious cows and rode through a field of sheep. All just 15 minutes from my front door.
Of course, there are loads of reasons why Darlington is bad for cycling - the busy roads, clingy clay, poor drainage and lack of good trails - but today, with a blue sky and slight breeze, it was good.