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  1. #1
    Fish'r wish'r Russ's Avatar
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    Bike report from Scotland

    Just got back from a two week vacation in Scotland (city of Ayr, relatively small community on West Coast). This was my first visit to Europe, and I expected to see cyclists everywhere. Not the case, however. I saw maybe 15 transportation cyclists the entire time - not much different from the US.

    This is with gas running 1.10 per liter! On the other hand, the roads are amazingly narrow, with no shoulders, lots of cars, and everyone drives extremely fast. Not sure I'd ride on the road either.

    I did see a few MUP's, but no bikes (lots of walkers and baby strollers though).
    Last edited by Russ; 04-13-08 at 09:58 AM.
    I don't own a cell phone or a pager. I just hang around the people I know. If someone wants to get a hold of me, they just say 'Russ,' and I say 'what?' and turn my head slightly.

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    Gas was $1.10 (US dollars) a liter? I'd drive everywhere too! We see 1.35 euro a liter here in northern Italy. Let's see, that's about $2.13 (US dollars), with about 3.74 liters per gallon. It's insane! (Luckily us military guys get fuel rations, we're paying $1.08 per liter right now)

    There's plenty of cyclists here, you went to the wrong place!

  3. #3
    Senior Member 04jtb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Russ View Post
    This is with gas running $1.10 per liter!
    Wow, where do you find it this cheap, about the lowest i've seen it all year is 1.06 which is about $2.10 per litre

    Quote Originally Posted by Russ View Post
    I did see a few MUP's, but no bikes (lots of walkers and baby strollers though).
    The only MUPs i've ever ridden here in England have had a few cyclists, but mainly pedestrians taking the whole path
    Quote Originally Posted by cc700 View Post
    i jam my thumbs up and back into the tubes. this way i can point my fingers straight out in front to split the wind and attain an even more aero profile, and the usual fixed gear - zen - connectedness feeling through the drivetrain is multiplied ten fold because my thumbs become one with the tubing.
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  4. #4
    Fish'r wish'r Russ's Avatar
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    Sorry - meant to say 1.10 per liter (pounds, vice dollars). Original post edited.
    I don't own a cell phone or a pager. I just hang around the people I know. If someone wants to get a hold of me, they just say 'Russ,' and I say 'what?' and turn my head slightly.

  5. #5
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    That's $7.75/USgal at current exchange rates. By the way, there are no laws forbidding access by cyclists to the countryside in Scotland, unlike England. In effect you have the right to roam on your bikes.

    Tho' take care during the deer shooting season.

  6. #6
    POWERCRANK addict markhr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Russ View Post
    Just got back from a two week vacation in Scotland (city of Ayr, relatively small community on West Coast). This was my first visit to Europe, and I expected to see cyclists everywhere. Not the case, however. I saw maybe 15 transportation cyclists the entire time - not much different from the US.

    This is with gas running 1.10 per liter! On the other hand, the roads are amazingly narrow, with no shoulders, lots of cars, and everyone drives extremely fast. Not sure I'd ride on the road either.

    I did see a few MUP's, but no bikes (lots of walkers and baby strollers though).
    Cycling for transport in the UK is a rarity. Various organisations are trying to improve the situation but they've only just started encouraging children to ride to school. Given that their parents didn't either ride or walk to school and the incredible paranoia about stranger danger it's an almost impossible task though.

    The petrol price has very little to do with it. Even with affordable electric cars available people still continue to buy petrol cars in either ever smaller more fuel efficient models or, more comonly, large and "safer" suvs. Single occupant vehicles are a widely recognised problem but, as ever, it's someone else's problem and voters don't generally re-elect politicians that take away their right to sit in grid locked traffic.

    The one thing, at least in London, that did get more people cycling, temporarily, was the London bombings. Since then public transport is even more crowded than ever and cycling is only up marginally over all.

    The mups are a complete joke as councils get funded by the meter so you'll quite often end up with paths that start and end in parked cars or walls or fences or trees - check out the Warrington cycle campaign facility of the month for more hilarious examples. Basically, if you value your life you'll never use "cycle facilities".

    http://www.warringtoncyclecampaign.c...y-of-the-month

    Cycle training is good and focuses on vehicular cycling (Cyclecraft is the government approved and published VC manual). That said, there is always an effort by some judges, police and mps to try and get cyclists off the roads completely (even though sidewalk cycling is illegal) but fortunately the cycling lobbyists have managed to keep that out of the law books.

    http://cyclecraft.com/

    Finally just to add another headache to the mix cycling is seen as a rich peoples' method of transport, i.e., if you're not rich (this includes a large proportion of the middle classes as well) then you'll never ever ride a bicycle for transport if you can absolutely help it. Something to do with perceived social stigma even with numerous mps and "celebrities" cycling as good examples.

    I know it's the daily wail but they're using http://www.statistics.gov.uk/ figures
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/liv...n_page_id=1770

    Sorry if this seems a little bitter, it's not meant to be. The situation is improving but it's very slow.
    shameless POWERCRANK plug
    Recommended reading for all cyclists - Cyclecraft - Effective Cycling
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    Don't run red lights, wear a helmet, use hand signals, get some cycle lights(front and rear) and, FFS, don't run red lights!

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