Thursday, December 15, 2011


Each rider has their own thoughts on diet whilst riding their bike . My personal needs are for natural food and in the main that is all I eat but I always carry muesli bars and Power bars in my back pocket . As stated in many of my Blog Posts , every time I go out on the bike I am loaded in the same manner thus avoiding having to deliberate on individual rides and then finding myself caught short should I extend the ride for any reason .

Each breakfast is either Oats or muesli followed by boiled eggs and toast , this will generally carry me through the afternoon should I decide to skip lunch . Eating the main meal around 1730hrs sets me up for the next day and an untroubled nights sleep . Hot chocolate drink before sleeping also adds to that sense of well being that allows for a last minute read to be cut short as I nod off .

Fat cyclist has this week had the help of Dr Allen Lim , whom I have met many times with Team Radio Shack , in advising cyclists on the best ways to avoid digestion problems and thus avoid the dreaded “ Bonking “ problem that so many suffer from time to time . The article which best sums up the situation contains advice from a variety of male and female pro racers and I have copied the highlights rather than say go to the article , which is :


Could not copy the correct link , but going to fat cyclist and the directory if the link doesn’t work will achieve the same result .

Some of the advice copied here :

Craig Lewis

1/ Eat what you’re used to: Don’t try anything crazy or different on your big ride.

2/ Start eating early: Eat before you’re hungry so you don’t have to eat everything at once. You need to make sure to spread what you eat out over your whole ride rather than making it up when you start to bonk.

3/ Everything in moderation: Don’t just stick to one food. Eat a variety. Nothing is bad in moderation. It’s when you eat too much of one thing that you start to have problems.

4/ Avoid too much sugar: When there’s too much sugar in your stomach things start to go bad. So avoid a lot of sugar or make sure you balance it with enough water.

5/ Stick to foods with really basic ingredients: I like really simple foods and simple bars when I ride. Really basic stuff with all natural ingredients work for me. The simpler the better.

Evie Stevens

1/ Don’t eat a lot of fibre before a ride: I try to avoid a lot of fibre before training and riding, especially on days when I know there will be a lot of hard efforts.
2/ Eat real food rather than packaged bars : Sometimes, all we have to eat in races are pre-packaged bars and foods. So I try as much as possible to eat real foods to balance things out, especially in training. One of my favorites is bread with cream cheese and a creamy honey.

3/ Avoid gels: I mostly eat gummy foods or foods that have a solid consistency when I ride. Occasionally, I might have a gel in a race if I’m desperate, but I don’t like them. They’re messy and gross. I’m fascinated by how people train or race with gels. I can’t really fathom it.

4/ Figure out what works and what doesn’t: I find that certain foods trigger problems for me. Bananas don’t work for me even though they are pretty popular in cycling. Also, depending on where I am in my monthly cycle, I can be sensitive to certain foods.

Danny Pate (HTC-High Road / Heading to Sky)

1/ It’s about moderation: Just like in life, you need to be sensible. You can’t be flying off the handle doing crazy stuff. So don’t overdo it. Some riders are concerned about their weight and try to start light so they don’t eat much before and they have nothing in them. Then they need to eat a ton in the race and that just overloads their stomach.

2/ Trial and Error: It all comes down to trial and error. You need to figure yourself out. Normally, I can eat or drink anything. I once had 2 liters of Mountain Dew before the Athen’s Twilight and won the “most laps led” competition. Mainly I was just buzzed on sugar and caffeine and was really scared. Anyway, I had no stomach problems — and I almost never have stomach problems. But there are two products that jack me. I won’t mention the brand, but one is a product that other guys have no problem with, but one bite and my race is over. I can eat bags of gummy bears or jellybeans, but I can’t eat this stuff. The other is a particular sports drink. I don’t know what’s in it, but I can’t use it. I have no idea why.

3/ Those directions weren’t written for you: I think most of the directions on these energy bars and drinks are written to be on the safe side, but they still may not work. You need to write your own directions.

Christian VandeVelde (Garmin-Cervelo)

1/ Stay away from high fructose corn syrup: Anything with it screws me.

2/ Stay hydrated: When I get dehydrated I’m busted…every time. But it’s not just about water, it’s about keeping the sugar to water ratio right. Once you get too much sugar and not enough water it’s all over.

3/ Avoid Gas Station Food: I had a coffee drink and some food from the gas station on the ride today and within half an hour I had the worst gas ever. So do what I say, not as I do, and avoid gas station foods, even though sometimes you can’t do anything else. Just stay away from processed foods and stuff your pockets with real food – a Panini, or bread with jam. Those small packages of SDM are great. If you have that, you can just get water at the gas stations and you’re set.
4/ Figure out what works for you: It’s all about keeping it simple. For me, the Clif Kid Z Bar is so much simpler than other bars. It tastes great and easy to eat and digest. It’s 130 Calories. One of those bars every half hour and a bottle of sports drink and I’ve got 350 Calories an hour, which is perfect. What I can’t eat when I’m racing are foods with yeast, soy, and dairy. They wreak havoc. If I stay away from those foods then it’s all good across the board.

David Zabriskie (Garmin-Cervelo)

1/ Go easy. (Note from Lim: Dave didn’t follow up this comment with anything. He just stopped talking after he said it, and there was an awkward moment of silence. But it’s actually some pretty sage advice. When you’re going really hard, blood flow is shunted away from the gut to working muscle and that makes it hard to digest anything. Often, the rate-limiting factor isn’t one’s heart, lungs, or legs, it’s your stomach. And one of the easiest ways to avoid gut rot is to just go easier or to time your food intake when you are going easy.)

2/ Avoid crappy food: Anything processed is just bad. Some people out there might be adapting to it, but whatever.

3/ Keep your diet simple: The simpler you make your diet the easier it is to figure out what doesn’t work and what does work. I mean I could eat nothing but potatoes tonight and tomorrow morning I know I’ll wake up looking terrible. I had all those food allergy tests done and I’m allergic to everything but some things I’m allergic to are fine for me and other things aren’t. So who knows. I just keep things simple so I can hone in on what works.

4/ I’ll sell my colonic machine for a hundred dollars. (Note from Lim: Again, Dave didn’t follow this up with anything. There was just some awkward silence.)

Taylor Phinney (BMC)

1/ Avoid gels: I’ve never had any terrible stomach problems, but if I do the gels, I’m screwed.

2/ Eat what works for you: I particular love Almond Snickers as well as homemade rice cakes with pieces of scrambled eggs and bacon.

3/ Drink: I also try to drink water or a mix with low acidity and a solid amount of salt. For me, drinks like Gatorade have too much sugar and not enough salt.

Dr Allen Lim wrote a Cook book together with Chef Biju :

The Feed Zone Cookbook strikes the perfect balance between science and practice so that athletes will change the way they think about food, replacing highly processed food substitutes with real, nourishing foods that will satisfy every athlete’s cravings.

Chef Biju and Dr. Lim vetted countless meals with the world’s best endurance athletes in the most demanding test kitchens. Now, in The Feed Zone Cookbook: Fast and Flavorful Food for Athletes, Thomas and Lim share their energy-packed, wholesome recipes to make meals easy to prepare, delicious to eat, and better for performance.
The Feed Zone Cookbook provides 150 delicious recipes that even the busiest athletes can prepare in less time than it takes to warm up for a workout. With simple recipes requiring just a handful of ingredients, Biju and Lim show how easy it is for athletes to prepare their own food, whether at home or on the go.

Could be a Great gift for Xmas !

Friday, December 2, 2011


These have been cold but dry days in the Tirol recently but normally at this time of year cycling is all but over unless you wish to soak up the rain or more likely the snow . Tomorrow , Saturday there is a likelihood of Snow so about a month of unexpected extra cycling has been very welcome .

What has been apparent is that being one of the few prepared to extend their cycling season I have noticed increasingly difficult drivers . Fact is some of the moronic behaviour on the roads have caused me concern . Had it been seen by the “ boys in blue ” the drivers would have had lighter wallets and some may have collected “ points ” that would have reduced them to other forms of transport whilst their license was suspended . Several Blogs and Forums have seen my comments in recent weeks and I have followed those causing me grief onto their destination to point out their shortcomings . That I am able to follow the short distance in many cases demonstrates that the manoeuvre causing me alarm was down to their careless and thoughtless behaviour , could be they have always driven in this manner without penalty .

Interestingly the “London Cyclist ” has posted about driver attitudes this week and here is the link :


The article is fairly brief with Video but the comments are numerous and many have valid points even though “ Gaz ”gets an unfair amount of Stick !

Samples of my recent comments :

London Cyclist :

“ @helen at 7.36am , i too follow people where i can with the aim of embarassing them by reminding them of their ” faulty Driving “! So often it means a bit of a detour from my original route or destination but unless these people are confronted they will think there are no consequences for bad behaviour .
Just yesterday on a narrow Austrian country lane i was bowling along at 40+kph and saw a car wait at the corner up ahead . Knew it was not for me and saw that a ” Sprinter type Tray truck ” was following , after it rounded the corner with screeching tyres it honked to let me know it was coming . This Truck width lane does not allow a truck to pass a cycle safely so continued on with more honking from behind . As the road turned left and uphill i had enough so pulled up in the middle of the road stopping the inconsiderate driver ! truck was marked with his employer’s logo so i wenr to the window and told him that in the morning he could expect me at their office .
His attitude was so what , and was no better this morning when i saw him in their transport yard . His boss was there and he had another employee translate what i had already reported in their office . One point i made to the translater was ” How do you feel about a colleague behaving in this way and making you and your company look bad “? His reply was that the driver was ” Stupid and needed education ” !
As the offending driver was driving out of their yard he was holding the Mobile telephone to his ear , an offence in Austria also , and contrary to the company’s policy sine they provide ” ear pieces” !
What will the company do , possibly nothing , but before arriving in the yard i was passed by another of their Rubbish collection trucks that had signalled overtaking me and then signalled returning to the kerb lane as is required by Austrian Law . Seems this company has a few Good Drivers but suffers ” Smart alecs ” driving their smaller vehicles .
Lets hope that they sort out the idiot that is damaging their good name ! “

Comment on road.cc

“ Driver attitude is the major problem everywhere ! Consider the fact that I am pedalling at 35kph in a 30kph zone and can’t go faster as the car & trailer in front of me are limiting my speed , so for safety I am about 5m behind drafting and a car comes up alongside me on this narrow winding lane . Of course I ease the pace and the next car barrels into this gap for about 50m then takes a right hand turn following the other car . Followed both up the driveway to their houses . First of the cars was slowest getting out so approached him and asked for an explanation . Attitude was F…Off , you are on private property , went next door and the young woman admitted she thought it safe since the other car had passed me .

Apologised that she didn’t see me in time and was very concerned that I planned to call the Polizei since she hadn’t meant any harm as she was hurrying to get to the family lunch . Lost for words when I reminded her that in hitting me she would have not reached her lunch let alone been able to eat when the ambulance or mortuary vehicle departed .

Would the Polizei do anything ? No injury , no interest ! ”

Time to invest in a Helmet Camera ! Any advice welcomed !

Friday, November 25, 2011


Tomorrow , 26th November , is the Opening of the Mayrhofen Ski Season ( www.mayrhofner-bergbahnen.com ) and much anticipated by all in the neighbourhood . Normally November has a layer of snow on the valley floor but where ever you go at present you see green even on the highest peaks where there should be some snow . I guess I am better off with dry roads even if they have a layer of frost at 9am of a morning .

Today was a bright sunny and frosty morning that required the long sleeved cycle shirt and long hose under the Vivo uniform and a Wind Jacket with heavy gloves and a beanie under the helmet .

Look at tonight's sunset which bodes for a repeat of today's in the morning . As I turned corners I was watching the road surface to make sure I stayed in the parts cleaned by vehicles to avoid any slippage . Still heard the odd moron testing their Klaxon as I headed west to Schwaz and the odd chores that needed dealing with . My “ local bike shop “ there is run by Peter and I am still trying to convince him that 20mm or smaller patches are what I prefer when fixing punctures in my tubes .

Related the story of the prat I came across yesterday and he was able to assure me that the 2km ride to his shop each day is so filled with motoring misadventure that nothing would surprise him ! Briefly I was heading west into a roundabout when I spotted a 7 ½ ton truck barrelling into the junction with the right hand holding paperwork and the steering wheel and the left across the chest holding a mobile phone to the right ear . Little wonder I pulled up in a hurry since had he lost hold of the wheel I would have been carried away as he mounted the pavement . Annoyed I gave chase and on arriving at his destination went looking for the “ manager ” of the business that he was supplying service .

Short story was I asked for them to check the times on his phone or call the Polizei . No luck so I got them to supply pen and paper and took down the details that would be required and headed to the Schwaz Kommando Post . Having found the English speaking Junior there , I related the full story reminding them that since they were not on the scene I was not expecting any favourable result . About 5 mins after arriving the driver showed up to toss his “ penny worth ” into the mix , wonder WHY he should go out of his way to save face ?

After lunch I headed out east to Worgl for my afternoon ride but found most of the southerly road edges still heavily frosted . Lunch time was spent listening to more of the “#Occupy Wall Street actions that have captured the attention of the ORF radio Station FM4 , unbiased reporting with live updates makes for interesting and informative information .

Returning from Worgl I came across the Cyclist run off the track last week by a speeding tractor that I was following at a distance , he being a local had had the similar experiences over the years . Whilst I realise these roads were originally for the farmer as gravel tracks , now that they are sealed asphalt and designated “ Stephan’s weg ” they are for all and slowing down and moving the right wheels onto the grass does not harm the tractor particularly when the cyclist has to ride into the bushes to avoid a collision .
This same tractor driver I have forced to a stop when I have refused to leave my side of the road . Followed him to his farm yard at about the 40kph pace and told my local Kramsach bike shop who and where he lives .

About the same time I came up behind the Skier you see here practicing his skills . Arno of Worgl has been cross country skiing about 15 years and the equipment he is using is similar to that I tried to put together about 4 years ago when I was considering taking up this sport .

Luckily for me the ski touring season started early that year although I fancy the idea as a great cross training exercise as an alternative to the “ rowing machine ”on nasty weather days .

Saturday, November 19, 2011


Too often we read of others misfortunes with the Big C but there are some who are able to act more positively than others to assist families whose Child is in a “ No Win “ situation !

Fatcyclist.com has just posted about a child in their neighbourhood and whilst it may be too late to buy a book , there is a button where you can “ Donate ” through the “ Paypal Facility ” ! Those “ Donations ” apparently also are included in the prize drawing ?

Access to “ Donate ”is via :


In the Fatcyclist comments section I referred to my button for “ Charles Pelkey ” and I know some of you have used that button to donate to assist “ Charles ”! Hopefully you will leave a comment on Fatcyclist to encourage Fatty to add the facility to transfer this button onto Other people’s blogs ?

" TheCyclingLawyer.com " has added two new posts to his Blog about Coroner Court findings about recent Cyclists deaths . One of these findings was “ Obscene ” , driving at 30% faster than the speed limit is not “ Negligent ” it is CRIMINAL ! That the cyclist was turning right at the time of collision suggests that the truck driver was overtaking another vehicle at or near an intersection !


When will Coroners get it into their head that Cyclists are the same as themselves , deserving of a “ Full Life ” and that even if they are “ single people ” they still have friends , co workers and family that will miss their presence . Should a Cyclist strike and kill a pedestrian then they are made an example of to the community BUT it is all right to kill a Cyclist with a vehicle ?

What message is being sent ?

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

INNSBRUCK revisted

Fallen off your stationary bike recently ? Happened this morning through lack of thought when sorting out a loose cassette yesterday . Nothing worse than a rattle is there ? Started on the weekend and after tightening a loose bottle holder , I thought problem solved but then it continued and then after fingering the cassette decided it was loose so stopped off at my local bike shop to get the Long crank to open the cassette and put in a slim shim . When Harry applied the tool we found it was already loose thus explaining the rattle , but since the 10th gear had been tingling the spokes I put the shim in anyway .

This morning being sunny and sufficiently warm for short sleeves and bib shorts I took off west through Munster but lacking power I struggled up the incline there and had to come to a fast stop as a car cut across me as it decided “ might has right ”! Dropping gears to get going again took the chain into the space between the wheel and cassette , locking everything up and not getting the foot out of the cleat I collapsed onto the bus stop area just as a bus arrived . No danger as he was travelling slowly so he moved up the road and off loaded his passengers whilst I struggled to free my foot from the pedal that was flat to the asphalt . Bus drove off without bothering to check whether help was needed .

Shaken up I got going again and before I got out of the village’s 50 kph zone was passed closely by a small truck who then promptly slowed , signalled a left turn and having slowed me turned into the place of business they occupy . I followed and went past to their office but no one was there and thus when they asked me what I was looking for I asked if there was anyone speaking English ? When they gave agreement I asked how they thought stopping me to turn was good road behaviour ? Having said there was a car coming , I asked why it was necessary to pass anyway and was told they were late for breakfast ! As they had their hands full it was obvious that there were many more workers involved , they being the delivery team . Was then told that I was on “ Private property , so F##k off you stupid c##t before we get the Polizei to deal with you ! Little choice since I at present do not wear a helmet camera nor had the necessary witnesses and was not injured in the incident .

Later as I entered Schwaz I passed the Bus depot so went into the office and found all four there understood English pretty well so explained the Bus Incident and went onto the lack of “ Signalling” passing that I have observed over a period . Generally Busses make little effort to signal passing cyclists and will move out a little when at speed but that lack of signal means following traffic do not see the cyclist until a collision is all but inevitable , thus there are some scary moments for even experienced cyclists . Trucks and light vans also cause the same problems with close following vehicles not being able to see through them . Following vehicles should not be so close but here in Austria we have some drivers with the Italian and French attitude of trying to crawl up the tail pipe of those in front ! Are they trying to save fuel by this stupidity or are they trying to wear out their brakes ?

The general attitude was that they would remind the drivers to do as required , signal overtaking but also mentioned the availability of the cycle paths in their area . Later I returned home on one of these paths which for the most part were in good condition for Race bike tyres . Over the years I have had several chats with people such as these and the outcome is usually agreement to remind their drivers that courtesy to Cyclists encourages the Tourists thus bringing more into their area and increasing their passenger numbers . People driving seeing “ Professional Drivers ” signalling would be reminded that they could improve their driving skills by doing the same ?

Cycling Lawyer has recently posted about his involvement with the London Met Police initiatives and it is clear that HGV owners are not being encouraged to comply with fitting the mirrors that are deemed necessary for safe operation of their larger vehicles . Since each vehicle with the older type mirrors have to be inspected annually I think that they should be given warning that they will fail the next inspection if the lack of this facility is not rectified . Surely the Road Tax on larger vehicles makes fitting these extra mirrors seem like a petty cash matter ?

Where in the Road Rules does it allow an aggrieved vehicle driver to chase a cyclist and try to stop them or even knock them from their bike so as to call the cops to report what they think is a “ Riders “ bad behaviour ? Heard of several incidents recently that would raise your blood pressure if you were involved ! Trying to ride on two postage stamps whilst the car is on four A4 pages is not an easy comparison . One thing I am sure of is that “ slapping the window “ of an irritating driver is better than hitting the panel work , but make sure you can get up on the kerb so that they can scrape their wheels if they try to cut any further into your riding area !

Just finished rereading “ It’s not about the bike “! as enjoyable as always and reminded me of how even the best riders find themselves in life threatening situations either by chance or losing track of where they are . Lance taking downhill corners at speed near Nice and running head on into a car through a lapse of attention I am sure has been repeated by others so many times . When riding the Tour Routes I am trying to emulate their pace but make certain to stay on my side of the road and even here in the off season I find enough drivers on my side of the narrow roads as they squeal their tyres through the smaller villages . My locality has just reduced from 50kph to 40 kph and to see the “ boys in blue ” hiding with their radar guns and unmarked cars trying to balance the budget is laughable but it is so much easier than stopping a driver who is talking on a mobile phone .

Papp has been featured by Cycling News as if he was a saint , for rolling over and offering up as much as he can to save himself from a lengthy prison confinement . Shame those on the various “ forums ” praising him for his offerings , forgot about all those slaughtered by the various “ Drug Cartels ” as they seek to increase their profits in places like Mexico . Whilst in Sydney in 1974 I had occasion to report some for dispensing so called soft drugs , not sure of the results there but year by year I see the growing threat to society of the acceptance of this “ Human Failing ” and no where do I see why it should be tolerated . 10 years with hard labour , preferably breaking rocks , would have sent a stronger message to the Cycling Community Clowns who think he is being a good boy ! Guess it is a NIMBY problem , not in my back yard , not reading the thoughts of this miscreant for the present is a happy situation but there are some of the commenters who are in withdrawal .

My recent post to the CNF/mushroom farm :

“ At about the 150th page of a book i have just finished rereading i came across the " motivation " that prompted the setting up of " LiveSTRONG " ! I find the " It's not about the bike" quite motivating and from the comments in this thread it is obvious that most of you have read it more than once also !

No doubt some of you have marked the various quotations with Highlighter and may even have your own index of contents so as to go back to refute assertions made by others !

HOW so many of you having read ( perhaps your perception skills are lacking ) this book and others and then twisted those quotations to suit your own purposes defy my imagination ! That LA is not a saint is made clear in his own writings and musings but he definitely has not been " Convicted in a Legal Court " of ALL that some of you wish "! Trying to liken him to papp , flandis , shamilton and others belittles your own intellect , that is if you ever had this faculty ! Reminds me of some of those odious comments that arrived on my blogs by " anonymous " , gutless and thoughtless would have been a better moniker !

That we have passed 7900 comments on this thread alone makes me wonder how much bile is out there ? SHOULD LA find himself in a Court of Law , i doubt that any of you will treat him in the same way that you treated papp now that he has been silenced ( perhaps only temporarily ) ! Last month i was waiting like so many others with bated breathe for the predictions to be fulfilled but the Astroid sailed past Earth last night without headlines ! Which of you is going to stand in the sand pit on a soapbox and make the next pronouncement of his difficulties with this " Court of public opinion" ?

Not sure what i will do for amusement when this thread comes to a grinding halt , perhaps take to reading his other books for a start !

Having sent the Innsbruck Parking Police Authority several emails I finally received an automated reply yesterday so had an Austrian friend phone this morning on my behalf ! He was told that their computer has a “ virus ” so they do not read or answer emails ! He was also tolsd that since I had left it until today to ring that I should pay up as I HAD LEFT IT TOO LATE to seek redress ! My employer’s vehicle is shown on their computer screen and the comment was that “ they
Can afford to pay ” ! A$$hole forgets it comes out of the pocket of a 66yo non pensioned individual who can ill afford the loss to a sneak thief employed by their sub contractor ! I have had to advise the vehicle owner of this lack of co operation and the fact is my recompense for the work will be reduced by the Euro21 as a result . Had I been driving a rental vehicle the result would have been a double payment since those like AVIS choose to collect double the amount to cover their involvement . The parking people are aware of this situation and must be severely brain damaged to treat people in this way , they continue to try to justify their existence by creating a profit on others misfortune .

Paralympic Games started as the “ Stoke Mandeville Games ” in 1948 and have grown throughout the years into the first “ Paralympic Games ” at Rome in 1960 ! The reason for mentioning this is the death recently of a well known benefactor and fund raiser of the hospital . This truly remarkable character raised over £40 million as well as contributing massive amounts of personal monies and daily visits to the unit that he caused to be built . Sir Jimmy Saville was an extraordinary person and there are many I know who have met him although I only sighted him on one of my visits to the Hospital .

Follow this link to the better description of his efforts on behalf of Spinal victims , the author describes his before and after contacts :


A truly remarkable story and a man that will be greatly missed by all who had contact with him

R I P Sir Jimmy !

Monday, October 31, 2011


Inspiration comes from many directions thus motivating us to achieve better results in our everyday life ! Over several years I have enjoyed visiting “ Fatcyclist.com ”

whose blog started whilst his life was in turmoil and after the loss of his wife Susan in the recent years has turned into an inspirational journey that has raised an estimated $us 3 m for a variety of causes !

Today he has followed through on a commitment made in march with the pre release of his first of three books . Released in good humour it offers various options in price relating to a person’s budget and desire to personalise the book .

Judging by the quality of the Blog posts over the years it will be a sellout ! Pre order by 10th November or get trampled in the rush ! These two photos would fit in well with some of the topics that he has raised in the blogs I have recently read .

In my early life I never contemplated the possibility that I would arrive in my 67th year in good health but with no income . Along the way I have had both success and failures so it will come as no surprise to hear that like so many I got horribly burnt by the collapse of the “ financial markets ” in 2008 ! So I am happy to see the “#OWS ” movement flourish in all parts of the world . Dismayed to see so many countries forget the “ Right of Free Speech “ that democracies afford us .

Friday I was driving some Polish visitors from Innsbruck Airport to their destination in Hintertux where they will spend the week skiing . Their desire to visit the centre of Innsbruck to have a look around brought us to the square where the “ Occupy Innsbruck ” was a few Saturdays before . Being a paved area I was not surprised to find no tents in view .

Parking on a street adjacent to this square , the visitors went walkabout whilst I waited with the vehicle . Not knowing how long these people would be I stayed with the vehicle . When a traffic warden ( not sure what you would call these subcontract employees ) came by she said nothing but looked the vehicle over . Later she returned and said I need a ticket . Not having coins I was unable to feed the section ticket dispenser and so I showed her the Euro50 note that was all I had with me . Having been out on the bike earlier I had left my coins and small notes in the cycle jacket . She then pointed to the bank so off I went and returned to find that this miserable baggage had put a ticket on the vehicle .

Normally I drive a UK registered car so as the vehicle was sign written by the owners with Austrian reg plates I chased down the road and confronted her . Being a small untidy looking woman she went to “ Nicht Verstehen ( don‘t understand)” several times with an ugly grin on her untidy visage . Several passersby told me that she was known locally for this sneaky behaviour . They said that she is responsible for local motorists avoiding doing business in that area and so those businesses have suffered .

After these comments I spoke with the owners of several empty shops and they also were of the opinion that this behaviour has impacted their shops . At 1500hrs of a Friday afternoon you would expect to see the street busy with passersby and people in those shops . Guess there must have been a reason for there being few people in the street on a bright sunny afternoon in the centre of this thriving City ?

Tirol Tourism spends large amounts of money to attract people to Innsbruck and the surrounds but this Euro21 ticket will guarantee that they get publicity ! Guess they are desperate to keep vehicles out of the city so I will not be carting people there any time soon . As regards the Junior Olympics in January I will not now attend and if the ticket is not cancelled I will regrettably recover the bike on loan to an Austrian Para Athlete ! Living on my savings is hard enough without “legalised Pickpocketing ”!

Sunday, October 30, 2011


Horrified to see Truck driver with “ defective eyesight ”has killed for the second time !

The family of Notting Hill victim Eilidh Cairns are outraged about the February 2009 incident being shoddily investigated and in June 2011 that complacency has resulted in a death being repeated two years later !

Those interested to see more of these stories can use these links :




Has the Police Authorities taken any action regarding “ Investigation Procedures ” or even retraining of any of the Police Officers involved in the Feb 2009 incident ? Likely answer is NO !

Cyclists in traffic are constantly “ bullied ” and yet we have the “ Polis ” trying to get more people on their bikes ! Seeing “ Boris ” riding without a helmet encourages people to emulate the risk . Many people I find with facial injuries have these in places where the helmet strap could have been and in one of my reports from the Tour de France I stopped to help Touring Cyclists who left their helmets at home . The damage to the scalp was enough for an ambulance ride , and disrupted their touring holiday , “ it can’t happen to me ” attitude prevails .

This latest death was on a pedestrian crossing involving a 97yo lady that survived the Nazis by moving to London . Marlebone Road is dense traffic day long and the pedestrian crossings are mostly on traffic lights but I will not go into detail . Driving this stretch of road over the years I have found it either free flowing in excess of the speed limit or crawling at a snail’s pace and it is never a pleasant experience .

Had the Authorities investigated the first accident in the correct manner then there is every chance the driver would have been “disqualified from driving ” or even possibly served a custodial sentence but the £200 penalty and 3 points is derisory for “ uncorrected eyesight ” ! Did the CPS decide this was the minimum charge that could be presented in court as a result of the incompetence exhibited at the accident site ?

Coroners Courts have an important job and rarely do they fail to satisfy the needs of all concerned but on this occasion there have been failures that need to be addressed for the future benefit of all ! As it stands both the magistrate handing down the £200 penalty and the Coroner in the first incident must be asking themselves if they could have done more and thus one hopes they will be more rigorous when they deal with further Traffic Deaths ?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011



Cyclist “ flicks ” at the Oakland Police and gets shot ?

First Amendment of the Constitution in the USA is now totally irrelevant ! Watching the “ Livestream ” from Oakland the world is seeing “ Nazi style behaviour ” in the land of the FREE ?

Who in their right mind authorised the “ Policing Tactics ” that are taking place these last days ? All year we have been witnessing the third world countries demonstrating and gradually winning their Freedom despite the “ Terror Tactics ” used against them and with encouragement from the White House and other US Government Officials BUT in their own backyard in the USA , the Local and State Authorities are “APEING ” the repressive tactics that are being used in Syria , and earlier in Egypt and Libya !

President Obama has spoken about what is going on with the #Occupy Movement and in what I would describe as a conciliatory manner BUT is he now going to have to call in the troops to guard the “ Protesters ” from the Local Police Authorities ?

Many times I have called for the “ #Occupy Protesters to guard against “ Infiltration ” by radicals and trouble makers who want to provoke the Police , seems these elements are the justification for the use of “ RUBBER BULLETS ”! Tear gas used on a MOB bent on violence is understandable but the majority of these protesters are simply US citizens expressing dissatisfaction of the current situation in their lives and looking to wake up the authorities so that changes can be made for the betterment of their communities .

Internet access allows the WHOLE WORLD to see and Judge what is taking place and the fact that these events are “ Infiltrated by the occasional Rotten Apple ” does not justify a repeat of “ CRYSTAL NIGHT ” in any part of the USA !

Comment by someone on the scene :

" Coming to your town soon , thrills , chills , pepper spray , mace , water cannons , rubber bullets & live ammo. This is exactly what the power elite want a excuse to use force , unless the other 98% stop watch the boob tube , wake up and get out and protest nothing will change.

"They've got the guns, but we have the numbers " Jim Morrison

An Item from another report :

" ‎Let’s remember the words of Abraham Lincoln: “any people anywhere, being inclined and having the power, have the right to rise up, and shake off the existing government, and form a new one that suits them better. This is a most valuable — a most sacred right — a right, which we hope and believe, is to liberate the world.”

Sources :





















Thursday, October 13, 2011


It's Cold and raining , so i thought to clean up some of my overdue correspondence !

HA ! FAT CHANCE ! AUSI.com won't let me ! Now 14.30 and still can't email !

Since 4am this morning I have been trying to access “Ausi.com ” email facility , to send emails ! During that time , I have had annoying  repetitions of their ads interpose on to the “ Compose ” function thus cancelling the connection ! Seems that , Ads are so important to the Server Owner , that they swamp the available Broadband " Bytes !

Over ten and half hours have passed , and despite repeated efforts , I am unable to send the emails ! Now I admit I make mistakes , thus putting the wrong letter , in the frame , with my clumsy one digit efforts , but transferring from login to compose just does not work recently ! Thus I have to go to the emails and then try to go to “ compose ” and this is when “Ausi Travel ” or “ Sydney Accom ” drop in and my Ausi.com connection drops out !

I HAVE NO INTEREST IN READING ABOUT THESE ADVERTISERS and if i was given a million dollars tomorrow , I would not spend one cent with their organisations !

For nearly 10 years I have used “ ausi.com ” as my principle email address and whilst I realise that ads are providing me with a free service I AM NOT PREPARED TO WASTE 15MB to send one email ! And that is what I have used today and I have still to send those necessary emails !

CONGRATS “ everyone .com ” YOU OWN THE WORST SERVICE that money can buy ! Continual requests to upgrade what should be a FREE service are WASTED EFFORT ! When your free service is THIS BAD , why spend money to get , “ same old, same old ” !

In 2004 whilst I was at the Athens Olympic “ ausi.com ”, changed server and I lost many contacts , when this happened ! One lost email address was , the family who sent the “ Aussie Flag ” to The Athens YHA . Having met them at the roadside of the 2004 Tour de France , I did not have their Perth Address with me in Athens , so email was my point of contact . Well I am still hopeful that they will one day send a reminder via “ ausi.com ” , but they are not the only ones , I hope will one day renew contact .

These days when I encounter anyone I ask them to Google “ Skippydetour ” so that they have a choice of contact point . Regrettably like my bank accounts I am stuck with this shameful service , no doubt I will have to replace my email address with a more reliable service and would ask that anyone contacting me start using “ cc ” Skippydetour@hotmail.com so that I get to see any emails sent to me . Transitioning will take huge amounts of effort since so many of the places I correspond to have “ ausi ” as the referral address and like so many others I cannot recall all my current correspondence let alone all the previous !

Is is now 11½ hours since I tried to send an email and 25MB lost in this endeavour , and even when I go to “ Hotmail.com ” I find that “ Ausitravel & Sydney Accom “ arriving on the screen and after losing another 5MB I have still not sent the emails . Having “ ausi.com ” as my screen saver obviously is part of the problem . The other major part is that “ BOB ” the cheaper of “ A1” the local broadband provider’s choices is a disaster offering 12bytes U/load & 15bytes d/load most of the day !

Click on a story on Twitter or Facebook and Multi MB appear in the computer , as quickly as you can click your fingers , so IF you can receive these whilst awaiting the “ Compose ” function in both email carriers WHAT IS GOING ON HERE ?

Watch several “ SKYPE ” friends flash up and can’t get a connection there either ! Sorry , I am not ignoring people BUT there is obviously a MAJOR PROBLEM with the connections !

With the rain outside and the computer problems , today’s morning , has not been the best way to pass time , I hope that the afternoon will see an improvement !

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

My Personal “ Hill 108 “ for Wouter

The 2011 Giro d’Italia’s tragic loss of Wouter W. remains as a constant memory with many ! Personally I find that as I ride the bike over various different terrains certain memories come to mind with recollections of various events over a lifetime of activity whether from travelling in Australia or Europe . Scenery in the Austrian mountains is similar to the French and Italian Alps so much so that you can imagine you are in another locale as you round each corner of the road . On parts of the road today the colours of the leaves reminded me of views in the Eastern States of the USA where Autumn sees a smorgasbord of startling colours ranging from Reds through Yellows to Greens . Normally I only see Greens on these rides .

Brandenberg Valley is a cul-de-sac and the round trip is about 26km but is shaped like an inverted W. so this is why I am reminded of Wouter !

Mornings I like to take the western road which runs north to Aschau in B. for about 9km and I nearly always side track and ride up into the village thus adding height in the sunlight . Here is a view of the back of the valley on the westerly ascent :

Instead of turning uphill the road veers right with a descent of 15% for about a mile runs along the valley floor and then ascends to another group of houses and farms before declining gradually to a gulley and then there is a sharpish climb of a couple of kilometres to Brandenburg where the descent of 9km to Kramsach begins with several false flats along the route .

Taking this route today was only interrupted on one occasion by cattle being herded through the village on the outskirts of Brandenburg . One old guy only arrived at his gateway after some cows decided to try out the taste of his flowers . About 4km from Kramsach there is a splendid view south of the valley and beyond .

Arriving back in Kramsach I turned about and set off uphill to repeat the route riding the Easterly side of the valley which remains shaded much of the morning on the ascent . As I was climbing through the windy section a clown on a noisy motocross bike scraped my shoulder to show his dimwitted sense of humour . Not only did he pollute the atmosphere with noise and fumes he also demonstrated his stupidity since when I described him to one of his neighbours , the woman said she would have her husband a “ Cop” speak to him ! Love to have been around for the result !

As mentioned elsewhere Alpe d’Huez Annually in June has an event raising Funds for “ Cancer Charities “ , this area lends itself as ideal for doing something similar as a large number of Dutch visit this area each year for Skiing ! Perhaps “ Tirol Tourism “ can find a way to fund the initial event and thus create another opportunity for those who will be surplus to the 5000 participant limit imposed by the Dutch Organisation for their 2012 event . There are any number of other worthwhile events that could locate here as an alternative venue since generally the weekday traffic is minimal by comparison to so many areas and access to Kramsach is by way of the Autobahn Exit there .

Sunday, September 25, 2011


Came across these stories after posting " Traffic Hazards " so since theee are relevant items I have added them separately in this post .:

“ http://road.cc/content/news/44032-motorist-rams-new-forest-cyclist-road-rage-incident

It annoys me so much when you get Mr Irratic Car in a very busy location attempting with every sinew and muscle to squeeze in front of you on a bike only to see them brake harshly in front and stop in a queue which was totally visible way back. When safe to do so you inch slowly past said vehicles and get abuse thrown at you! It's about time everyone looked in the mirror before getting in their car and taking a chill pill and looked forward to an enjoyable drive to their location instead of the stoneage attitude of working out how many people they can upset on their way....

posted by shaun finnis [9 posts] 21st September 2011 - 6:19

Live to Ride, 'cycling a real sport'From the Highway Code
General advice (144-158)
Traffic-calming measures. On some roads there are features such as road humps, chicanes and narrowings which are intended to slow you down. When you approach these features reduce your speed. Allow cyclists and motorcyclists room to pass through them. Maintain a reduced speed along the whole of the stretch of road within the calming measures. Give way to oncoming road users if directed to do so by signs. You should not overtake other moving road users while in these areas.
How often do we see this advice disregarded? The ranting cyclist hating lobby of the Echo seemed to have skipped this page.

posted by giff77 [145 posts] 19th September 2011 - 15:48

Well here..
I am a cyclist and a driver
There are bad drivers.. AND certainly bad cylists as well. Nobody has the right to ram somebody off the road for any reason. But giving somebody the fingers, or shaking heads is not a very good thing to do either. I am always very patient with other cyclist when driving, but sometimes we/they get drivers and themselves into very dangerous situations because we/they think that a cyclist can be a pedestrian and a traffic object at the same time.
I say we should have respect for eachother - mostly people just want to get home in one piece anyways. 
Though I get annoyed when people on MTB's ride in the middle of the road in rush hour when there is a path on the other side of the road.

posted by seabass89 [12 posts] 21st September 2011 - 21:14

Will be interested to see the outcome of this incident !

This further item may remind people of how ineffective the “ Points System “ is in relation to stemming the rise of the “ Aggressive and Bullying vehicle operator “! As all you need is money to employ a Barrister to present your case more and more people are choosing to take this route rather than reconsider their “ Driver Behaviour “ and thus change the manner in which they drive !

“ Having read about this situation before I think the whole system is farcical and just goes to show that despite all the media attention on the "war on the motorist" the whole criminal justice system is setup to treat motorists so carefully that they can literally get away with murder with just a slap on the wrist.
Anyone who mounts up 12 points clearly is a poor driver, if being without your car would cause "exceptional hardship" then maybe you should start using it as the law permits.
As for the people with 30 points why on earth are they still driving? Couldn't the system be changed so that at 12 points *if* being without the car would cause "exceptional hardship" then the courts could POSTPONE the ban however any additional points beyond that result in gradually longer bans and possibly a need for retraining and testing (at a hugely inflated price in the middle of the working week....)
Drivers need to realize that they are in charge of rather heavy machines which are capable of seriously hurting and killing other people and treat them as the potentially lethal weapons they are.
posted by bassjunkieuk [8 posts] 20th September 2011 - 8:57

Someone I know was stopped whilst speeding in his hire car in Australia. Apparently the rozzers over there have the power to issue instant bans, as he was kicked out of his motor and made to get a taxi to pick him up, then arrange a recovery vehicle to return the car to the hire company.
Maybe if the Police had those sort of powers in the UK, and drivers were aware of it, then people might be less inclined to tempt fate in the first place.
posted by jarderich [21 posts] 20th September 2011 - 12:47


Not the only one who likes this idea ! Here is another with merit :

The example of that cab driver infuriates me even more.
Dude, if you were negligent enough to get 12 points as a driver, find another occupation! You are a risk to yourself, other road users and those passengers who're paying you 
Also, would be a good idea for the cabbies, truckers, etc to be made to display their insurance and points gathered on license in the cab. Give the customers a right to refuse to pay if either of them are out of order (expired insurance or points > 12).

posted by rbx [167 posts] 20th September 2011 - 21:51

I like the idea about having to display the number of points on the car - perhaps as a warning triangle on the car, so that other road users can take precautions?
This is truly scandalous and kind of puts paid to stories about motorists getting a hard time.
posted by robbieC [16 posts

Cyclingsilk.blogspot has posted this weekend about a traffic incident that luckily only left him with bruising and a broken front wheel . Reporting the incident to the police will no doubt produce further follow up reports as this matter is processed .


You are riding towards a traffic junction at about 35kph, perhaps only 75m away and you are passed by a car , then it brakes and pulls to the curb , the door quickly swings open so someone can get out but had you carried on in a straight line you would have either been doored or hit the alighting passenger ! So who would be at fault here , and how would the Polizei view the result particularly with no common language to explain exactly what had taken place ? Usually the Polizei side with the driver don’t they!

Hammering along the road you are passed by a car and it passes just in front of you , moves to the right onto the white line then moves back into the centre of the carriageway / traffic lane to continue on it’s journey . What sort of a point do they think they are making by this behaviour , personally I think they may have been drinking and don’t you wish there was a Cop around to check them over ?

You are in a large roundabout trying to hold your speed for the far exit and not hold up following traffic and a large HGV pulls into the roundabout with a “ size is might attitude” causing you to have to avoid being the “ meat in the sandwich “. Conversely as you are rounding a roundabout a car drives into the road in front of you without even looking , thinking that there is time for them to be out of your way , having misjudged your speed . Suddenly they look at you with a " What are you doing there " attitude , "why are you there " ?

You are riding down the road tailgating traffic and leaving about 10m for safety’s sake and a car pulls alongside you and THEN decides to start moving towards the kerb with the attitude of you being smaller and smarter will brake/ slow down . Don’t they get upset when you rap on the window to remind them that you are still there ? Recently a people mover owned by a behinderten organisation did this to me ! We were both following a tractor at 40kph when the tractor moved left with the intention of going into a lane on the left so the van moved right so as not to slow down trying to force me out of the road onto the grass verge . Rapping on the window had no effect on the driver or passengers .

Approaching the roundabout you let some traffic through but take position to follow them with others queuing behind you through the roundabout , then having moved towards the curb after exiting the roundabout , the following car steps on the gas to the extent they narrowly avoid shunting the car you were 10m behind at that time .

Truck / HGV starts passing you on the straight road and then someone coming the other way starts to overtake causing the truck to forget you and in order to avoid a head on collision moves right towards the pavement whilst you are still alongside the trailer so as to hold their speed .

Truck passing you too lazy to signal overtaking and thus the tailgating vehicle suddenly discovers you are there and blares the klaxon to tell all that they were asleep again !

Car passing with driver holding the mobile phone to the ear and pointing out to you they think you should be on the farm track that some call a cycle path . How can they drive with both hands occupied , doing anything other than holding the steering wheel ?

Have you ever gone into a roundabout , had a car come alongside you then leave on the same exit and get 300m down the road and they are still there ? When you are at the speed limit they then complain you are going too fast ? Could be they expect that the car has priority over the cyclist ? So often I have cars choose to overtake in the last metres before the roundabout and then they are wondering why you are still there several hundred metres later !

Driving a car I always come up behind a cyclist and signal overtaking or turn on the “ hazard lights “ so as to warn those following what is happening . If I can do this then 99% of the population driving should be able to exercise those digits called fingers to do likewise . Highway Codes exist in ALL countries and I am sure 95% of the time the requirements placed on Drivers towards cyclists are common and so whichever country you are passing through you can expect “ Fair Treatment ” whether this happens is usually down to the vehicle driver rather than the cyclist !

Certainly I can think of many more examples of sheer inconsiderate driving behaviour but would welcome some of you’re the readers observations !


Monday, September 19, 2011

Cycling etiquette

This article caught my attention recently , the writer has certainly had a busy time on the bike this season .


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Friends' Offerings

During the past few days i have received a couple of items which i offer now .

Item one is from Vince in Melbourne who read the blog post on " Cycling Etiquette " from last month . This item was emailed to him .

" " The lost art of a group ride "

By Peter Wilborn


Last week I wrote a post about Melbourne's bunch ride culture and the direction it's heading. Meanwhile, other cities in Australia manage to keep things in line because they haven't lost the notion of "the patron of the peloton". Someone directed me to a post written by Peter Wilborn from South Carolina (where the riding is spectacular I might add) which hit the nail on the head.

With Peter's permission I've reposted his article which nicely articulates what a bunch ride should be, and more importantly, what the leaders of the ride should be.

Every so often, I’ll ride a recreational group ride. I love the camaraderie of cyclists, the talk, the last minute pumps of air, the clicking in, and the easy drifting out as a peloton. “I miss riding in a group,” I’ll think to myself.

The magic ends by mile 10. The group will surge, gap, and separate, only to regroup at every stop sign. I’ll hear fifteen repeated screams of “HOLE!” for every minor road imperfection. And then no mention of the actual hole. Some guy in front will set a PB for his 30 second pull. Wheels overlap, brakes are tapped, and some guy in the back will go across the yellow line and speed past the peloton for no apparent reason. A breakaway?!

I curse under my breath, remembering why I always ride with only a few friends. Doesn’t anyone else realize how dangerous this ride is? How bad it is for our reputation on the road? There are clear rules of ride etiquette, safety, and common sense. Does anyone here know the rules? Who is in charge?

But no one is in charge, and the chaotic group has no idea of how to ride together. As a bike lawyer, I get the complaints from irritated drivers, concerned police, controversy-seeking journalists, and injured cyclists. It needs to get better, but the obstacles are real:

First, everyone is an expert these days. The internet and a power meter do not replace 50,000 miles of experience, but try telling that to a fit forty year-old, new to cycling, on a $5000 bike. Or, god forbid, a triathlete. No one wants to be told what to do.

Second, the more experienced riders just want to drop the others and not be bothered. It is all about the workout, the ego boost, or riding with a subset of friends. But a group ride is neither a race nor cycling Darwinism. As riders get better, they seek to distinguish themselves by riding faster on more trendy bikes; but as riders get better they need to realize two things:
1) there is always someone faster, and
2) they have obligations as leaders.

Cycling is not a never ending ladder, each step aspiring upwards, casting aspersions down. It is a club, and we should want to expand and improve our membership.

Third, different rides are advertised by average speed, but speed is only one part of the equation. This approach makes speed the sole metric for judging a cyclist, and creates the false impression that a fit rider is a good one. Almost anyone can be somewhat fast on a bike, but few learn to be elegant, graceful cyclists.

Fourth, riding a bike well requires technique training. Good swimmers, for example, constantly work on form and drills; so should cyclists. Anyone remember the C.O.N.I. Manual or Eddie Borysewich’s book? They are out-of-print, but their traditional approach to bike technique should not be lost. More emphasis was given on fluid pedaling and bike handling.
Before the internet, before custom bikes, and before Lance, it was done better. Learning to ride was an apprenticeship. The goal was to become a member of the peloton, not merely a guy who is sort of fast on a bike. Membership was the point, not to be the local Cat. 5 champ. You were invited to go on group ride if you showed a interest and a willingness to learn. You were uninvited if you did not. You learned the skills from directly from the leader, who took an interest in riding next to you on your first rides (and not next to his friends, like better riders do today).

Here is some of what you learned:

- To ride for months each year in the small ring.
- To take your cycling shorts off immediately after a ride.
- To start with a humble bike, probably used.
- To pull without surging.
- To run rotating pace line drills and flick others through.
- To form an echelon.
- To ride through the top of a climb.
- To hold your line in a corner.
- To stand up smoothly and not throw your bike back.
- To give the person ahead of you on a climb a little more room to stand up.
- To respect the yellow line rule.
- To point out significant road problems.
- To brake less, especially in a pace line.
- To follow the wheel in front and not overlap.

The ride leader and his lieutenants were serious about their roles, because the safety of the group depended on you, the weakest link. If you did not follow the rules, you were chastised. Harshly. If you did, you became a member of something spectacular.

The Peloton. "

Another item was sent earlier by Georgethecyclist.blogspot which i found thoroughly amusing :

From: david bier
Subject: Fwd: [EBCSocial] Jens Voigt
To: "george christensen"
Date: Tuesday, September 13, 2011, 8:48 AM

Jens Voigt signs for 1 more year with new Radioshack Nissan Trek team for 2012 to ride for the Schleck's at the Tour

"Jens Voigt doesn't sleep. The dark is afraid of him."

"After a race stage, the team mechanic takes Jens Voigt's bike out back and shoots it to put it out of its misery."

"Jens Voigt once rode at the back of the peloton -just to see what it looked like."

"Jens Voigt is the only person in the world who can actually give 110%."

"When Jens gets a water bottle he gives the team car a push."

"Jen's can only motor pace once a week because the scooter needs 6 rest days to recover."

In Jen's first Tour de France he wasn't aware you didn't have to arrive in Paris on the first day. He had to back track almost 3,350km to start stage 2.

When Jens gives you the finger, he's telling you how many seconds you have left until he attacks .

Fabian Cancellara did NOT have a motor in his downtube. He had a tiny Jens Voigt in there instead.

In Germany, nails are described as being tough as Jens.

Should you have any amusing and interesting items to share , please forward them for us All to enjoy !

Please also take a look at :


would like to try and give some Continental 4000s clincher tyres to a Paralympic Athlete but will change the conditions that were applied in the last offering when people let me know what they suggest as reasonable !

Friday, September 2, 2011


FACT that they exist poses danger to all whether on local roads or motorways ! Until the "Rail System" is made to work in Europe there will always be a need for these monstrosities . When you send a parcel/package by DHL , TNT or UPS do you really think that it travels through Europe by Air when the time between despatch and delivery allows the use of road ?

Next time you are on the Motorway late afternoon through to before 8am , see how many Semi trailor vehicles logoed " Air freight/24hr service " you can count ! Chances are there are other vehicles without logoing that are also carrying these small urgent packages ! We , the public created this need for " Speedy Service " and yet we are unable to face up to the consequences of our desire for instant gratification .

We know Christmas is coming so we leave shopping until the last minute and then demand delivery then and there or go hunt the " gift " elsewhere ! What can the store do other than promise " overnight delivery" and you might hang around whilst they make the arrangements to satisfy your needs . Same goes for so many other things in our lives these days .

Businesses also work on " Just in Time " inventories so there are a bunch of trucks on the road delivering those parts to keep whole factories from having to close down for want of parts that were carried as " Stock " in earlier times . Look around the Air Freight Terminals at Heathrow , Charles de Gaulle & Munich and you will see Boeing 747 Freight Aircraft and the larger Semi Trailors busy loading and unloading .

Ever followed a circus moving around the country , well some of them are 3 units truck , trailor and caravan hitched together . Occasionally you will see a farm tractor towing two or three trailors in the country . Outback Australia allows five or more trailors on specially designated routes but i am certain there are occasions where the rules are bent . To travel from Ford in Sth Melbourne to Geelong you will be on a motorway where you will find Rigs towing two large trailors with official approval .

Truck drivers need various classes of licenses and generally they are professional about their approach to their work but the average truck driver presents a less than appealing visage when seen around the outside of their rig . They dress for comfort and a collar and tie is required in the office but would rarely be considered by a driver who will sleep in their truck when away from home .

Considering the investment and a world demanding results , time is the enemy for the average truck driver . From the sign on through to the return of the vehicle to the depot everything conspires to delay their smooth progress through the day , road works , traffic jams and Police Controls . Leaving home in a less than good mood can add to the stress of the day .

Not being mind readers the truck driver has to contend with what he sees on the road and usually that is in front of him but occasionally viewable in their rear view mirrors . Noticed the sign " If you can't see the mirrors , i can't see you " ?

As a cyclist i daily go up the inside of vehicles regardless of size and make absolutely certain that i am aware of the dangers posed before entering an area of risk . Riding in both the UK and Europe i have to be attentive to risks from both sides of the vehicles i am passing and in city streets i am always watching for the darting pedestrian particularly those that step off the pavement without looking . Remember all to well a pedestrian woman in the Strand , London who bowled me off the bike , apologised , offered to pay the damages and when i arrived at the address given told me that i caused HER injury ! Luckily for me the expenses and skinning was slight otherwise the only winner would have been the lawyer .

With using " Sinitron " i bleed too easily from slight scrapes so have no wish to collect any further souvenirs as i pedal around each day . Drivers pay scant attention to cyclists since they regard them as an obstacle as they motor around playing with their " monile toys ", you know the phone , gps gadget , maps , paperwork , cigarettes and refreshments . All of these tasks are far more important than what is going on outside their vehicle not to mention the conversation they are having with their companions which could be absorbing and even heated on occasions .

Road signs , directional signs and road markings are also distracting and that cyclist they are alongside is so easily overlooked ! Nose past the cyclist so they are no longer part of the equation ! WRONG ! When following a cyclist you should never overtake UNLESS you can continue moving forward at the same speed needed in the manoevre . Why fill the cyclist's safety space so that they have to brake through YOUR NEGLIGENCE ?

So many motorists cannot stand the thought of being behind a cyclist , they might fall over or delay your progress ! Filling the space the cyclist reserves for safety is asking to create the problem you would hope to avoid .

WHEN APPROACHING junctions where HGV or other large vehicles frequently make Left Hand Turns could not the authorities mark the road 100m in advance in a manner that the vehicle and other road users will know that there is a danger posed at the junction by turning vehicles ? Some countries have a series of lines as you approach Ped. Crossings or Narrowing of a road ! Could not a similar road marking be applied at junctions where casualties have already occurred as an interim measure and then when European Road Authorities have had an opportunity to consider the success of this measure institute it as part of European Law ?

Cyclists are aware of road markings more than road signs and that is because of the state of the road surfaces they have to travel over . It would be hard to not see these indicators unless Vehicles are parked on top of them illegally !

Introducing Larger Semi Trailors in the UK is only going to add more damage to the roads as well as more danger to other road users . Should the need arise for their use then they should only be allowed on motorways and in Trading Estates or Warehousing Estates adjacent to Motorways ! Allowing these Larger vehicles to travel through villages or small towns is unacceptable since most of these drivers will be unfamiliar with local conditions and could cause chaos to an otherwise tranquil situation .

European Motorways such as the Autobahns have " U roads " to channel traffic off blocked motorways and i am sure this network was put together with thought rather than a cavalier attitude of " She'll be right mate "!
All Large vehicles should be able to access the outskirts of towns but even Sinbury or Tesco Semi Trailors delivering to their stores is causing difficulty to their local population .

Distressing to read of so many Cyclists killed through the negligence of the parties involved , be it the vehicle driver , road conditions or the unwitting actions of the cyclist . So many accidents are caused by road conditions causing the cyclist to swerve in to the path of a following vehicle or even to tumble from their bike ! Road Authorities should be notified of hazardous conditions and I attempted to do this after taking a tumble in the tunnel under Manchester Airport runway in August ! One tunnel well lighted had the same level for walkers and cyclists so it must have been the newer of the two ! Riding into the dark of the other I saw a cyclist approaching and turned towards the left to leave room for him to pass . As it was he had to scrape me off the pavement as the unseen kerb tumbled me off the bike into the wall at speed ! Luckily the helmet took the brunt of the force and the shoulder and hip the rest ! Had it been on the open road a following vehicle would not have had time to avoid an accident .

How many other cyclists experienced the same situation in that particular tunnel over the past years ?

ADDED comment to Roads.cc :

" One point overlooked in this Roads.cc post are the pictures of the trucks at the top of the page ! So easy at cursory glance to miss the difference in length but as Ciaran points out those two metres make a lot of difference in heavy traffic where the truck driver is challenged with a multitude of problems !

The pressure to introduce these trucks is because they exist in Europe and no doubt the operators want to utilise them in YOUR backyard given the opportunity . Well motorway is what they use 99% of their journey so that is what they should be allowed ! Given that there are areas only accesible by "A routes" then they should have a pilot vehicle to guide them to their destination IF it is a situaton where these monstrosities must use single lane routes rather than multi lane / dual carriageways .

Regardless of " BUY LOCAL " campaigns the Supermarket chains will continue to see " PROFIT " in importing goods to the detriment of ALL ! Frankly if Mr Tesco or Mr Aldi could find a way of closing these markets you can bet that they would do so to " SAVE YOU MONEY "!

This comment added to my blog ! "

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Morning Ride in the INNTAL .

Having ridden through from Kramsach to Kufstein and back to Worgl i was nearing home when i came across an austrian Dad on Paternity leave . Having ridden along with him on previous occasions i turned about and went for another jaunt up into the hills north of Worgl .

Yes he is towing a trailor with a child aboard and since he gets along quite quickly we had a pleasant trek though the countryside . During the time together we discussed the way the drivers behave as well as Austrian Tax Laws on " donations " . Not earning an income these days i allow others to make the payment on my behalf thus allowing the tax relief to benefit the registered charity in those countries that do as the UK and return " Tax Paid " to the charity .

Had i been quicker with the camera there would have been a stunning view west over the River INN and the INNTAL .

Monday, August 8, 2011

Ottawa bike guy: Urban mining on a bike

Currently in Manchester area of UK and trawling the blogs came upon this site . We all know that there are many in the third world countries who use their bike for transporting goods but this would be an unusual sight in most major or Capital cities .

">Ottawa bike guy: Urban mining on a bike: "It seems that the citizens of Ottawa throw away a lot of stuff that easily converts into money. Some wise people take advantage of this. I h..."

Tried to leave a comment but kept getting sent to the sign on page

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Zillertal Ride

During the first days back in Austria i took a ride to loosen up after the car ride back from the Tour de France . Heading east i encountered a cyclist that seemed to be pretty quick so turned and caught up with him . He was heading into the Zillertal and then up the " Alpback pass " then back to Soll where he had started his ride .

The ride up the climb was interupted by road works which meant either a descent to the valley or a walk through the scrub for about a kilometre around the gully bridge that was being rebuilt . During this walk we descended into the stream bed shown here before climbing back to the paddock beyond and then joined the road once again .

After climbing a little further we shot this view before continuing over the saddle and stopping at the water outlet on the side of the road .

Further down we stopped so that i could take this view of the "Alpbachtal " .

Arriving back in Brixlegg we parted company after i decided it was time for lunch so as to refuel for an afternoon ride elsewhere .

Saturday, July 30, 2011


Since returning to Austria i have felt like i am back in the winter since just about every day has had rain if not all day . Certainly the periods of the day i would normally choose to ride . Generally i prefer to get going as soon after 9am as possible as with a good breakfast i am able to sustain several hours of effort and after warming up will even go for the climbs but the afternoon sessions tend to be more about passing the time even with a good lunch having replenished lost energy .

Wednesday was a day when i managed both morning and afternoon sessions but Thursday turned out dismal weather all day and Friday only improved in the afternoon and with using the " Specialised Frame " donated during the TDF i found myself doing a few adjustments as i headed out to enjoy the sun . Having ridden with a local for a while i decided against heading uphill with him and continued elsewhere and in doing so incurred a puncture . Of course the wheels i was using were redundant to my normal road use and are used on the Tacx trainer normally . The tyres are older Vittoria kevlar that have seen more miles than i care to think about , so i should not have been using them .

The wheels are Shimano R540 16 spoke style ,about 10year old also and are no longer used for the tours as the spokes are beginning to be unavailable . Whilst i still have some spare spokes i have not found any in the shops in the past 5 years . When the wheels were given to me by Max of MIC , i had no idea how many miles they would be expected to survive . The reason for using these wheels was that the casette is a 9 speed as are the shimano 105 STI levers on the frame . Since returning to Austria i have changed the chain and twitched the brake action so that the right hand controls the rear brake as is the case with all my bikes .

The saddle is about to change since it is a " softy " and i over the years have enjoyed the use of " San Marco " Magna and Carbon saddles which my rear end finds more comfortable . The current item is a " Ritchey Pro " and like all leather style saddles will suffer damage easily .

Chainset cranks are about to be changed also as i have several Shimano 105 cranks that will do the job and look more at home than the " specialised brand " on this frame .

During the crap weather i have enjoyed reading the news reports on Cadel's victory and offer here a selection of the items that some of you may enjoy reading at your leisure :









Contador must be really annoyed about this further delay . At Torino i was photoed by an Italian shaking hands with Alberto at the team hotel but the guy has buttonholed me at the Grand Depart on the saturday , so as to get into the Guest area of a " sponsor " , but once again failed to email the photo ! During the years there have been many photos of which i would have enjoyed getting a copy , so if any of you out there have photos of me , PLEASE let me know so that i can arrange to either get copies or give you credit for them .

Friday, July 15, 2011


After yesterday' s hassles i woke bright and early and was out of Pau to Lourdes and rode the course in reverse until the Col d' Aubisque whereupon i rode back to the Col Souler and descended to Ferrieres and then rode back to Pau arriving in plenty of time to chat to Hondo and a few other riders as well as greeting some of the Team personalities including Bob Stapleton who was grilled by the media about the future prospects of the HTC team .

During the ride through from Col de Souler to Col Aubisque we found cows on the road who would not budge , they arrived first didn't they !

Later there was an amusing message painted on the route just before the arrival on the Col Aubisque , wonder if the helicopters will pick it up and show it on TV to satisfy the scribe . Photo will be loaded at a later date !

Before descending to the valley and riding back to Pau i came across a large number of " Trek Travel and Bikestyle clients " who had been transported to the Col de Souler as this AT LEAST gave them access to ride the route before the Gendarmerie closed the road . Saw the Gendarmerie quizing cars as i started riding up the Col de Souler at 7.30 and there was a presense on both Cols when i passed over them . Why there is a road blockage so early amazes me since TDF can't expect everyone to start arriving so early so as to "twiddle their thumbs " until 16.00 when the racers are anticipated to pass through !

Gendarmes are like you and I , being expected to stand guard on the side of the road from these early hours must bore them to tears .

Evacuation from the mountain last night was "Racers first" i think , then VIPs ", then the Caravan with the "Public coralled on the side of the route and traffic travelling in one direction only ! It was a well planned and executed exercise by the Gendarmerie but there was still the odd glitch with railing/barriers being blown over and one local in his van attempting to force his way against the traffic flow ! Saw the BBC Sport people mover drive through the cordon to join the caravan , not sure if it was Boardman or his helpers ! Congrats to the Presidential Motor Velo Escort for the smooth running exercise .

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Road Rage ?

Checkout this story , seems like cyclists are a problem that the "Met Police " can't cope with :


Tuesday, July 12, 2011


Having met 4 Aussies in Les Essarts i was agreably surprised to come across them in Aurillac on Sunday night . Monday morning the team donated a "Specialised Allez elite Alloy bike sans wheels " that was surplus to their needs and thus was somewhat unlikely to make the journey back to Oz ! This frame is bigger than my black model but with seat height correct it will require a replacement stem to make it the correct length for the best fit for my use !

Perhaps i should ask my readers to nominate a "Para Athlete " who can put it to use as they train up to the level required for National Team ?

Photo of Cadel from some days ago , perhaps friday ?

Passing through the Swiss Border Control after the finish of the TDF i was stopped for a " Contents Search "! There was surprise to find 3 bikes but they went to the Internet and looked at this blog post photo and were thus satisfied that i had the ownership of the bikes . Of course a piece of paper saying you are passing ownership of a bike to another person is really not satisfactory . Yet to hear from these guys about their travels since our parting , should be plenty of stories from their visit to the Galibier and Alpe d'Huez .

Come on Guys add your story !


Rest day in Le Rouget i found the HTC mechanics beavering away preparing the team bikes for the next week of action . Earlier in Aurillac i was at the LeClerc Supermarche and saw the Soigneurs filling three Carts with goodies for the team . Whilst talking with the mechanics the HT C Team Racers arrived back from their training ride . Greeted most by name and watched several weighing their bikes . Interestingly Mark's Mc Laren bike came up as 7.4 kg ! Mark then proceeded to strip the handle bar tape , something he does himself as he said he changes the tape regularly . Now the owner of the old tape but not sure which bike it goes on as yet . Some years ago in Albertville before the depart Of the Dauphine Libere i acquired "Tom Boonen's Tapes that i still use on the " Porsche Carbon bike " .

Later after relating the story about my letter to Pat Mc Quaid i found Mark and Peta enjoying a few moments together and after permission i made the photo that you see here .

AT Les Essarts the Thursday before the Grand Depart i came across a vindictive/aggrieved one eyed "SKY Team " supporter , who contended Mark was nothing without his " train " ! WELL pal chew on friday's victory "sans train " ! Wiggins your " hero " is regretably home and " King Cav " continues to defy those who try to belittle his efforts !

Many in the media and on the side of the road deride Mark because he doesn't get off the bike to greet or spend time with them but i can tell you that up close and personal he is as easy to talk to as Jens Voight and Juan Flecha ! Fact is the guy concentrates when on the bike and does not perpetually wear a smile like Chris Horner who regretably is on the way home also .

Mark's team mates are all approachable and i enjoyed a chat with Mark Renshaw whilst he was in the supermarket opposite my car as i rearranged everything in the car to accomodate the third bike which you will find more about on "skippi-cyclist " !

Friday, July 8, 2011


During the years i have met people of a variety of countries , professions and persuations ! This past week i have encountered by chance a 2 star General of the Gendarmerie on Thursday morning together with a Colonel and their drivers and on Wednesday Afternoon i met his Superior a 3 star General at the Cap Finstrel . Both of these gentlemen were really pleasant and easy to talk to as they had very good english and were prepared to enjoy using their vocabulary .

Explaining my motives for continuing to ride strongly even though contrary to " doctors ' orders " they understood my desire to see that their comrades who are " disabled whilst in the service " are helped to get to a point where they can serve their country once again on the "field of sport " hopefully even at the "Paralympic level " !

Last year as mentioned elsewhere i had met a General of the Pompiers and also of the French Army . At Les Herbieres before the Grand Depart i met a General who i was unsure if he was formerly Army but now with the Gendarmerie . On arriving in the " Arrivee , final km " on Monday the racers passed uniformed Cadets who were training at the french equivalent of " West Point " who with drawn swords saluted their efforts !

Bernard Theveney and Ramond Poulidour are as always at the VIP area to greet the Guests .

Johan has had a nightmare TDF but still takes the time to help the media !