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  1. #1
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    The UK economy and Bike Riding

    Should be able to get a sensible ride in today. Temp is pushing 50F and it is sunny at 9 am. Makes a change on what we have had for the last few months. I won't be going mad but a coffee and Bun at my favourite cafe is very enticing right now. Or will be after Breakfast of croissants and coffee. I just love my coffee. Despite a long lay off- and I might change that opinion in a couple of hours- I don't feel too bad. I have been able to get out on a few short runs to keep the legs in so today will just be to get the butt- legs and lungs used to a bit of exertion.

    But the UK economy- It is all doom and gloom. It has hit me in that I have a couple of small pensions for when I retire in 3 years time and the funds in those pensions are dwindling. Not enough time for them to regain some of what I have paid in. I did have a small nest egg for when I retire- but they were in stocks and shares. It was only going to be for emergencies like the Boiler going or house repairs if required- but the £15,000 that was there has dropped to less than £1,000. I had the shares in good reliable stock- Banks and Insurance Companies.

    I am OK but I would have liked a bit of security when I retire. I have 2 daughters both married and both with big Mortgages. One of them has always been prudent and no problems there. The other one is married to an IT consultant. He saw the signs coming last year and got out of consultancy and got a job as IT manager for a local company. He has been hit hard. He halved his wages overnight but is still well paid. But not enough for the size mortgage he has and a few credit cards. He is struggling but with a little bit of help from Mum and Dad- they will survive. The BMW's are gone the Golf Club membership has gone along with any other unnecessary expense------- and my first grandchild is due any day now.

    And we are about typical in the UK. 1 in 10 is in bad financial trouble-some will survive but with discomfort- some will struggle in the future and some will be OK. At least in our family we don't have the 1 in 10 that is in real trouble. We all have Secure(Ish) jobs so can keep working. And on that front- I work for a local company that has 5 depots. In our branch we had 30 employees. As some left they were not replaced and in my department of 10- 2 were made redundant. With 10 we were down to the bone so now we are in trouble. No spare staff and everyone working to the limit. We were working hard with 10 staff but now an attitude has come in that we do not do any extra. Just do your job- as that is hard enough- and no extra. You can't as you are struggling to do your job.

    But I think my family will survive. It will be hard but we will pull through.

    Now on the bikes again- Think summer has arrived. Had two of the local kids bring their bikes round yesterday for me to sort out. One needs new cables completely as they have rusted solid. The rest of the bike is fine- nicely polished and gleaming- just a pity it can't be ridden. The other is a bit more.Not changing gear and everything rusted up. At least the cables on this are fine as I changed them to Stainless steel last year. But a lot of WD 40 is going to be needed on this bike. I also had 3 of my riding mates ask when I can sort their bikes out. They will be in next week. Why they couldn't give them to me over the last few months is beyond me. At least I know my bikes are fine. May not have ridden much but the TCR and Boreas were stripped and rebuilt over winter and are fine. And talking about bikes- I was thinking of getting a Cyclocross this year. Only to do the Rough Trails- or Smooth off-road trails- but I think I am going to pass on that. Will have to get the MTB up to scratch again so one more year on the 9 year old Bianchi. Won't be a problem- it's just that it has been a bit neglected since I went road- nearly 3 years ago now.

    And that ride. That Assos jersey is wonderfull. Kept the wind out and the cold. I know I said 50F but it dropped as soon as the Sun clouded over. Went for the coffee- and a Bakewell tart- Then went for a short hill at 12% for a mile and still felt good. Decided to do a few extra miles and finished up doing 45 miles at a slow pace. Kept the cadence high to save the legs and the lungs only worked hard up the hill----And best of all- The butt is fine. Must finally have that saddle dialled in.

    Wonder how I'll feel tomorrow?
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


    Spike Milligan

  2. #2
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    I think we are all pulling for things to get better. And we worry for our friends and ourselves. I retired already but I am living on half of what I had planned 15 years ago. Still we will get by.

    However back to bikes as you said. I realize I am spoiled. Winter for me is when I can’t ride for 3 days in a row.

  3. #3
    Council of the Elders billydonn's Avatar
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    Count me in for pulling for things to get better! I'm 61 and saw my retirement (and wife's combined) cut from near $750k to maybe $450k. Good news= we own our home, and have hardly any debt and pretty secure jobs. We plan to work a bit longer now and keep contributing to our funds while prices are low. Hopefully five years from now that will pay off bigtime.

    My work isn't unpleasant and permits a lot of time for riding, so working longer isn't too bad for me. Still... let us hope the ship turns aright fairly soon.

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    to old age and infirmity. You first.
    My Cycling Blogspot

  4. #4
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    This is turning out to be the worst recession since the depression. Lots of people lost everything and many more lost 50%.

    http://dshort.com/charts/bears/four-...nded-large.gif

  5. #5
    OM boy cyclezen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stapfam View Post
    ------- and my first grandchild is due any day now.

    ...
    But I think my family will survive. It will be hard but we will pull through.

    Now on the bikes again-...
    And that ride. That Assos jersey is wonderfull. Kept the wind out and the cold. I know I said 50F but it dropped as soon as the Sun clouded over. Went for the coffee- and a Bakewell tart- Then went for a short hill at 12% for a mile and still felt good. Decided to do a few extra miles and finished up doing 45 miles at a slow pace. Kept the cadence high to save the legs and the lungs only worked hard up the hill----And best of all- The butt is fine. Must finally have that saddle dialled in.

    Wonder how I'll feel tomorrow?
    Big Congrats, Gramps !

    I get to be Gramps also in about 2 wks time.

    Yeah, some tough times expected over here as well. What I thought might be a small buffer for when I get 'old' has pretty much shrunk down to nuttin of any value...
    I really never have given retirement much of a thought. And am really not bummed about maybe having to work for the foreseeable future. I might even re-invent myself professionally, again, as I did about 14 years ago. I've been influenced greatly by my grandfather. He 'worked' until he was 81, about 3 yrs after a bad hip break, and then finally hung up the tools. But still ran his wine business until about 86 yrs old...
    He was just shy of 93 when he passed... Not sure he was ever comfortable with 'retirement' and if it weren;t for the significant mobility issues from his hip injury, I'm sure he would have passed away busy, in his workshop.
    Times may be tough for many of us for the foreseeable future, but then family does pull together and that makes all the difference.
    For now I'm gonna sit tight and watch. The family is goin thru a veritable explosion of new members, between 2 projected weddings and a baby; and who knows what else can happen. Gonna be exciting, busy times.

    How this all shakes out will be an interesting thing to follow...
    For me, almost as much fun as being in the mix of things in the late 60's and early 70's.

    A solid ride goes a long way to provin we're all still kickin and scratchin our way through the space-time continuum.

    as for being a 'Dirt-bag
    I hope we see more posts to 50+ about the finer points of mud and dust, and the joys of gardenhose absolution.
    somehow I can't imagine that you would be doin more road than off-road (at least from prior years' posts)
    Seems 50+ has been, understandably, heavily road oriented, as have I. time for more mtb stuff.

    (BIG Tim Allen - Home Improvement GRUNT!)
    Last edited by cyclezen; 02-24-09 at 12:45 PM.

  6. #6
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by will dehne View Post
    This is turning out to be the worst recession since the depression. Lots of people lost everything and many more lost 50%. ...
    This is Great Depression 2.0, but we are not permitted to say that, just as it took the U.S. government a full year to admit that we had been in a recession. A proper tally of the unemployed, including those who resort to part-time work, underemployment in lower-paying jobs for which they are overqualified, or reluctant early retirement, would be in the mid-to-upper teens, on its way to a 1930ish 20%.
    "Early to bed, early to rise. Work like hell, and advertise." -- George Stahlman
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  7. #7
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    stapfam,

    Could you possibly explain something.

    The other day I purchased the Feb. 2009 issue of Cycling Plus here in the U.S.
    There is a little piece in in titled: Bike City Blitz.
    It goes on to say that the police in Bristol had started to crack down on "naughty cyclists".
    If you were caught riding past red lights or riding on pavements you would have your name entered on the police anti-social behaviour database.

    What is this "anti-social behaviour database all about. And how does the bicycle riding lapses get one that label.

    E. Ogre

  8. #8
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Whiteknight View Post
    stapfam,

    Could you possibly explain something.

    The other day I purchased the Feb. 2009 issue of Cycling Plus here in the U.S.
    There is a little piece in in titled: Bike City Blitz.
    It goes on to say that the police in Bristol had started to crack down on "naughty cyclists".
    If you were caught riding past red lights or riding on pavements you would have your name entered on the police anti-social behaviour database.

    What is this "anti-social behaviour database all about. And how does the bicycle riding lapses get one that label.

    E. Ogre
    Cycling as a means of transport for commuting has increased greatly in the last few years. Cost is obvious- but as most cities are now so congested with cars- cycling is the fastest way to get around these cities. Unfortunately- these "NEW" commuters do not always abide by the traffic regulations. Riding on pavements and disregarding traffic lights and one way streets is becoming more prevalent. This is against the law- and if you were in a car- you have a registration mark on the car to catch the offenders. So the Police have caught onto the "Anti-Social Laws" to collar the cyclists. These laws are normally meant for persons carrying out anti social acts against other people- such as noise- threatening behaviour and continual annoyance of their neighbours. The anti-social people are not breaking any Laws- but are causing nuisance- normally on a continual basis. For some reason- the Police have got onto the Anti-social laws as they cannot really prosecute people for minor misdemeanors. So you are put on the anti-social register and if you do it again- the police can prosecute you for breaking the rules of the register.

    Possibly a way of clamping down on cyclists- but if you saw some of the Cyclists and the way they endanger themselves and other people- you would realise that something has to be done about them.

    And London has it better. They have real policemen on cycles waiting at traffic lights and they are fit. They catch the offenders and they have the "Crime" on tape and they do prosecute under the traffic regulations.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


    Spike Milligan

  9. #9
    Senior Member George's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stapfam View Post
    Cycling as a means of transport for commuting has increased greatly in the last few years. Cost is obvious- but as most cities are now so congested with cars- cycling is the fastest way to get around these cities. Unfortunately- these "NEW" commuters do not always abide by the traffic regulations. Riding on pavements and disregarding traffic lights and one way streets is becoming more prevalent. This is against the law- and if you were in a car- you have a registration mark on the car to catch the offenders. So the Police have caught onto the "Anti-Social Laws" to collar the cyclists. These laws are normally meant for persons carrying out anti social acts against other people- such as noise- threatening behaviour and continual annoyance of their neighbours. The anti-social people are not breaking any Laws- but are causing nuisance- normally on a continual basis. For some reason- the Police have got onto the Anti-social laws as they cannot really prosecute people for minor misdemeanors. So you are put on the anti-social register and if you do it again- the police can prosecute you for breaking the rules of the register.

    Possibly a way of clamping down on cyclists- but if you saw some of the Cyclists and the way they endanger themselves and other people- you would realise that something has to be done about them.

    And London has it better. They have real policemen on cycles waiting at traffic lights and they are fit. They catch the offenders and they have the "Crime" on tape and they do prosecute under the traffic regulations.
    Boy I wish they were here. It happens to me a lot. I'll be sitting at a light in my car or bicycle and these guys going flying through on the red. It happens so much, when I come up to a light and stop the cars are waiting for me to go. I have to wave them on.
    George

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    Stapfam,

    Thank you for the explanation.

    Here in Pennsylvania the bicycle, when used on the roads, is considered to be the same as a motor vehicle with only a few minor differences. If I ride through a red light and a police officer sees me I stand a good chance of being ticketed the same as if I did it with my car.

    I had worked in a PVC plant in Pottstown, PA and a man I worked with rode his bicycle to work on weekends. He blew through a red light one morning and was given a ticket the same as if he had done it with his car. The fine was the same and it was reported to his auto insurance company as a moving violation.

    I just thought the description as "anti-social behavior" rather funny.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by stapfam View Post
    Cycling as a means of transport for commuting has increased greatly in the last few years.
    And London has it better. They have real policemen on cycles waiting at traffic lights and they are fit. They catch the offenders and they have the "Crime" on tape and they do prosecute under the traffic regulations.
    Which brings me to a question I have. When I was in London and especially when I was over by the Museum I noticed the cars didnít give much room next to the curb. Do cyclists ride in the traffic or between the traffic or next to the curb?

  12. #12
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Foster View Post
    Which brings me to a question I have. When I was in London and especially when I was over by the Museum I noticed the cars didnít give much room next to the curb. Do cyclists ride in the traffic or between the traffic or next to the curb?
    I think motorists are becoming more Cycle conscious here. If you don't leave room for bike at the "Kerb"- then you have a good chance of a scratch down the side of the car. But the rule is that cyclists ride by the kerb. Not always possible in heavy slow moving traffic- so expect a bike to be anywhere.

    And Cyclists can use the bus lanes and at traffic lights- there are often bays at the front of the traffic for Cycles only. Cars are not allowed to enter this bay while waiting for the lights to change. This is not only in London and the big cities. Even my local town has these cycle bays.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by stapfam View Post
    I think motorists are becoming more Cycle conscious here. If you don't leave room for bike at the "Kerb"- then you have a good chance of a scratch down the side of the car. But the rule is that cyclists ride by the kerb. Not always possible in heavy slow moving traffic- so expect a bike to be anywhere.

    And Cyclists can use the bus lanes and at traffic lights- there are often bays at the front of the traffic for Cycles only. Cars are not allowed to enter this bay while waiting for the lights to change. This is not only in London and the big cities. Even my local town has these cycle bays.
    Ok, that makes me feel better about cycling in that area. I just couldn't tell. But then to me everyone seemed to be driving on the wrong side so what do I know?

  14. #14
    Recovering mentalist Randochap's Avatar
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    With any luck, things will get bad/good enough to thin out the traffic and England will become the lovely car-free place it was when I was growing up. Then cyclists can once more take to the lanes and roads en masse to enjoy the bucolic English countryside in safety and peace.
    VeloWeb | VeloWebLog

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  15. #15
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Randochap View Post
    With any luck, things will get bad/good enough to thin out the traffic and England will become the lovely car-free place it was when I was growing up. Then cyclists can once more take to the lanes and roads en masse to enjoy the bucolic English countryside in safety and peace.
    Don't worry- With the number losing their jobs and having less money to spend- the roads will soon be deserted. Except for cyclists out looking for jobs- or out getting fit as they can't find a job and now like cycling.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


    Spike Milligan

  16. #16
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    What does "riding on pavements" mean?
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  17. #17
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    Over on this side of the pond, we call 'em sidewalks.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by BluesDawg View Post
    What does "riding on pavements" mean?
    In the UK, the "pavement" is the sidewalk. The US "pavement" is the "road" in the UK.

  19. #19
    Old fart JohnDThompson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Foster View Post
    Winter for me is when I canít ride for 3 days in a row.
    Sure.
    Rub it in.

  20. #20
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Artmo View Post
    In the UK, the "pavement" is the sidewalk. The US "pavement" is the "road" in the UK.
    OK. That makes sense. I'd love to see tickets written for sidewalk riding in my town.
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by BluesDawg View Post
    OK. That makes sense. I'd love to see tickets written for sidewalk riding in my town.
    +1 and on the wrong side of the street.

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