Horses and Cyclists: A Video

Cycling UK in conjunction with the British Horse Society has issued a short video guide on how cyclists should pass horses. It’s worth watching. Please CLICK HERE to see the video.

A post on this subject, Horses and Cyclists, was issued on 21st August.

Safe and happy cycling,

Clive Aberdour

Horses and Cyclists (Updated)

This is an updated version of a post issued a couple of months ago. Since then some research has been carried out on this topic.

Horses are a common sight on many of the country roads and trails in the Cycle Seahaven area. They are usually very well ridden, the riders are friendly and there’s rarely a problem. Here are a few tips which should allow you to pass safely.

  • Remember a horse is a “prey” animal, it will view anything moving behind it as a potential threat.
  • On bridleways, it is important that cyclists give way to horse riders (the Countryside Act 1968 gave cyclists the right to use bridleways but stated that they must give way to horse riders and walkers).
  • Let horses and riders know you’re there. A horse is unlikely to see or hear you, especially if you are approaching quietly from behind. Calling out ‘hello’ to equestrians is welcome and important in alerting horses and riders that you are there.
  • Never ring your bell when near a horse. If you do, then it could startle the horse.
  • When approaching a horse from the rear ask the horse rider if it’s OK to pass. Speak in a calm voice, never shout.
  • Don’t pass until they say so; sometimes they will tell you to wait.
  • Pass wide and on the right. Most horses are used to traffic passing them on the right so pass them as you would anyone else; don’t cut inside, and allow plenty of room in case the horse is surprised or startled.
  • Large groups of cyclists are very scary for horses. Passing in small groups of no more than four or five will really help. If you are in a large group, make your presence known so that equestrians can try to find somewhere safe.
  • Always pass a horse at a moderate, steady pace, i.e. not too fast. You’ll probably need to slow down but there’s no need to stop unless the horse looks agitated in which case the rider may tell you what to do.
  • When you pass a horse from the rear tell the rider how many cyclists are following you if you’re the first cyclist to overtake.
  • When approaching a horse from the front switch off a flashing front light if you’re using one.
  • Talk to the rider as you pass to demonstrate to the horse that you’re friendly.
  • Never cross a level crossing if a horse is already on the crossing or about to cross it. Horses can get a shock if they touch a rail which could be nasty if a horse bolted. (That’s why some level crossings have posts for the horse rider to touch for discharging any static).
  • If you come across a horse that looks unsettled, always keep a good distance from it and wait. Usually, the horse rider will signal to pass when they have the horse under control or will pull the horse off the road and into a field.
  • Above all, never do anything to startle or frighten a horse.

We hope these tips prove useful. If any horse riders are reading this then we’d very much welcome your comments, especially if you have further tips which would enhance the safe passing of horses by cyclists. Please leave a reply below.

Safe and happy cycling,

Clive Aberdour and Dave Sutton

(Touring Ride Leaders)

Strava – Are you protected?

Strava is a great tool, most of the riders I know in the club use it. However, it can be used for more sinister reasons. If you don’t apply some simple precautions anyone can view your profile. It will show them where you live, any pattern of activity and if you’ve described your bike, what type of bikes you own.

I’m told  a gang of professional bike thieves were arrested in the North of England after they researched ‘unprotected’ Strava accounts to target houses were high value bikes were kept. It crossed my mind that many people probably don’t know about the importance of  Strava privacy settings. So here, courtesy of Strava Support, is the information you may want to consider to make things just a little more secure:

Creating a Privacy Zone

On the website, go to your Settings page by hovering over your profile picture in the top right and selecting “Settings”.

Click on the Privacy tab on the left side of the page.

Enter a location in the text field provided under “Hide your house/office on your activity maps”, select the size of the privacy radius, and click “Create Privacy Zone.”

https://support.strava.com/hc/en-us/articles/115000173384-Privacy-Zones

How it Works

The portion of your activity that starts or stops within your privacy zone will be hidden from other Strava athletes who view your activity. You will be able to see data inside your privacy zone, but other athletes will not.

  • If you stop in a privacy zone during the middle of an activity, this portion will not be hidden.
  • Your privacy zone will be automatically applied to all past and future activities.
  • GPS location-based lat/long coordinates can be used in place of a street address for cases where there is no street address.
  • Only one privacy zone can be applied to the start or end point for each activity. So if you have multiple, overlapping privacy zones, only one will be applied to each start or end point.
  • If a friend starts their activity from within your privacy zone, the portion that began in your zone will not be hidden on their activity.
  • You will not appear on any segment leaderboard that starts/stops within your Privacy Zone and you cannot hold or earn any KOMs/CRs on those segments. Removing a Privacy Zone will reinstate your segment matches and any associated KOMs/CRs.
  • Your Privacy Zone will be respected when you share on Facebook.

Manage Followers & Block Athletes

From your profile page, you can easily manage your current followers from the “Following” tab. When you block an athlete, it stops him/her from following you again, seeing certain Profile details, or accessing your activities. You will be removed from his/her list of followers and Activity Feed. Someone you’ve blocked will be able to see your activity entries in public areas like segment leaderboards, club feeds, and segment explore.

https://support.strava.com/hc/en-us/articles/115000173484

E bike conversions

Are you considering purchasing an E-bike but you can’t bear the thought of not being able to ride that fantastic bike you been using for years?

Mr Cycles in Seaford, has a solution. They can convert your old bike in an E-bike for a fraction of the cost.

The conversions use crank-drive kits that are UK legal.The battery is a lithium-ion 13Ah/468 Watt hour capable of a range in access of 50 miles. 

The cost of this wizardry? The price for a fully-fitted conversion is £800.   

 

If you want to know more or fancy a test ride then pop down to Mr Cycles and have a go.

 

 

 
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Horses and Cyclists

Horses are a common sight on many of the country roads where we cycle, especially in the Arlington, Ripe, Chalvington and Chiddingly areas. They are usually very well ridden, the riders are friendly and there’s rarely a problem. However, I’m aware that some cyclists are unsure what to do when they encounter horses so, as an experienced ride leader for road cyclists, I thought it might be helpful to suggest a few tips. So here goes: 

  • Never ring your bell when near a horse. If you do then it could startle the horse and you’re likely to be rebuked by the horse rider. 
  • Always talk to the horse rider in a calm voice, never shout. 
  • Always pass a horse at a moderate, steady pace, ie not too fast. You’ll probably need to slow down but there’s no need to stop unless the horse looks agitated in which case the rider may tell you what to do. 
  • Always give horses a wide berth when passing and only pass when it’s clearly safe to do so. 
  • When approaching a horse from the rear ask the horse rider if it’s OK to pass. Don’t pass until they say so; sometimes they will tell you to wait. 
  • When you pass a horse from the rear tell the rider how many cyclists are following you if you’re the first rider to overtake. 
  • When approaching a horse from the front switch off a flashing front light if you’re using one. 
  • Talk to the rider as you pass to demonstrate to the horse that you’re friendly. The weather is usually a good subject; riders usually appreciate this. 
  • Never cross a level crossing if a horse is already on the crossing or about to cross it. (Horses can get a shock if they touch a rail which could be nasty if a horse bolted. (That’s why some level crossings have posts for the horse rider to touch to discharge any static). 
  • Above all, never do anything to startle or frighten a horse. 

Please regard these tips as just suggestions rather than golden rules. They work for me and are based on my many years (decades, in fact) of cycling along country roads and passing horses as well as advice from horse riders. 

Just occasionally, I come across a horse that looks unsettled in which case I always keep a good distance from it and wait. Usually, the horse rider will signal to pass when they have the horse under control or will pull the horse off the road and into a field. 

I hope this is helpful advice. However, I’m always willing to learn so I’d very much welcome comments from any horse riders reading this. 

Happy cycling, 

Clive 

‘Safe Pass’ Scheme for Cyclists in East and West Sussex by Summer 2018

 

The Sussex PCC (Police and Crime Commissioner) Panel were today, 27 April ’18, advised that the Safe Pass scheme first introduced by the West Midlands force will be introduced across Sussex very shortly….Agenda item#7 attachment.

This is an extract from the attachment (key points in bold):

‘5) The West Midlands Police have been carrying out an award winning, hugely successful initiative called the “Close Pass Operation”, based on the philosophy that “if poor driving makes people too scared to cycle, it’s a police matter”, and that “people who drive poorly around
cyclists are likely to do so around other road users so it benefits all”. Since the operation has been implemented the WMP have reported a 50% drop in poor overtaking. and a 20% reduction in the number of cyclists killed or injured, this confirms it is a hugely effective use of limited resources, representing excellent value for taxpayers.

In November 2017 it was reported that Sussex police were evaluating the initiative, however there has been no further action regarding the implementation of such an operation.

Does the Commissioner have a view about Close Pass Operation? Is she satisfied that Sussex Police are moving quickly enough to adopt best practice from other forces in respect of protecting our cyclists? Mr Tweed of East Grinstead

Officers carrying out a road safety operation tackling the issue of drivers not allowing cyclist enough clearance during overtaking.

I understand the importance that the residents of Sussex place on road safety which is a key feature in my Police & Crime Plan.
I am aware of the Operation Close Pass initiative that was launched by West Midlands Police last year and resulted in a significant
reduction in the number of cyclists killed or seriously injured on their roads The Sussex Safer Roads Partnership (SSRP) has now had an
opportunity to look at the Operation to assess its appropriateness and feasibility for Sussex. I am pleased to confirm that Sussex
Police will be introducing a similar scheme, led by the SSRP and supported by the Road Policing Unit.
The Force intends to name the scheme ‘Safe Pass’ based on nudge theory to present motorists with the subconscious opportunity to pass cyclists safely, rather than closely. Sussex Police is currently finalising the operational delivery plan for the scheme and is working towards officially launching this scheme in June 2018.’ 

NB. I’ve emailed Sussex Police for more information about roll-out arrangements and await a response.

This arose out of the the ‘Close Pass’ operation to improve driving standards and shouldn’t be confused with the Safe pass programme in the construction industry!

Roger Lambert

27 April 2018

Cycling Rejuvenates your Immune System study finds

Cyclists touring along the Cuckoo Trail

We’re all aware that cycling is good for one’s health but the news this week that cycling keeps your immune system young is a real bonus! It’s based on a study of 125 long-distance cyclists, some in their 80s which found they had the immune system of 20-year-olds. You can read about it in a Guardian article.

The type of cycling described is similar to the Cycle Seahaven touring rides so this is great news for the tourers. There are three touring rides each week (Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday) which usually clock-up over 100 miles.

Next week the touring rides are to Chilley Farm Café on Sunday (36 miles), Muddles Green on Tuesday (30 miles) and Bexhill on Thursday (44 miles), a total of 110 miles over those three days. So, if you’re not already a tourer, why not try one or more of these rides. Details are on the Rides Calendar. All include climbs up Chapel Hill so, as you puff your way to the top, you’ll have the comforting thought that you may be rejuvenating your immune system.

That said, all types of cycling are healthy exercise. Now that the weather is improving I’m sure there will be an even greater selection of rides on the Rides Calendar. The important thing is to keep cycling.

Happy cycling,

Clive

Puncture Repair the Cheats Way

During last Sundays ride to Brighton Marina, one of our riders suffered a puncture. To save time I decided to use a puncture repair spray to keep us moving.

The spray is designed to repair and inflate tubeless or punctured inner tubes instantly without tools and without taking the wheel off the bike.

A couple of the ladies on that ride hadn’t seen this method of puncture repair before and were impressed by the ease and speed of the repair. They thought it was an ideal solution for ladies riding alone who aren’t confident about repairing punctures in the field; I know a few blokes like that too!

So, for the benefit of those individuals that don’t know about this option, here is a link showing the product in action.

https://f1.media.brightcove.com/4/3415345270001/3415345270001_3524643232001_937535.mp4?pubId=3415345270001&videoId=35243388750001

The can is small enough to fit in a pocket or backpack and doesn’t weigh very much. It inflates the tyre as it seals the hole and more air can be added afterwards if required (I’ve never found this necessary on a 27.5 tyre). The manufacturers suggest that you replace the inner tube once you return home but again in practice I’ve found you can keep going (till the next puncture at which point a new inner tube is required).

This spray, from Decathlon in Brighton, costs £2.99, but I’m sure there are other similar products/suppliers. The manufacturers say it will repair holes up to 1 mm wide but I’ve used it twice to repair tyres with small slashes of 3 mm and it’s worked fine (after a bit of seepage through the hole).

So if you’re not confident fixing punctures or you simply can’t be bothered because it’s pouring with rain, cold and muddy (which is why I carry one on my commute) then you might want to consider giving it a go? That said, I would strongly recommend that everyone learns how to repair a puncture, because whilst this stuff is good it won’t fix everything.

I’ll be looking to arrange some puncture repair classes soon. Maybe with a bacon butty incentive. (Den?)

Have fun.

Guy

The Kent Coast Viking Trail

 

Three members of the Touring Section and one guest rode the Kent Coast Viking Trail this week.  You can find the route we took here .

The 32 mile route follows the Kent Coastline around it’s eastern limits, it is predominantly flat or easy hills, with a large proportion of the ride on shared traffic free paths, quiet country lanes and a short distance on seafront roads.

The route is extremely well marked and easy to follow. On our grading system it would be a level 3B ride. I would recommend the route as suitable for families if the riders are competent to use the road sections. There are many pubs and cafes along the route.

From the car park at Minster, the route heads to the coast at Reculver, The route passes through Reculver and then follows the Sea Wall to Westgate, on to Margate, then Broadstairs where we stopped for lunch.

The Abbey Ruins at Reculver and the view across the Thames Estuary

 

 

After lunch we headed and Ramsgate where there is a replica Longboat, before turning inland to the start point near Minster

Viking Longboat at Ramsgate                                              Spitfire and Hurricane Memorial

  

On completion of the ride we visited the Spitfire and Hurricane Memorial (Free Entry) and Manston Museum (Adult Entry £2) at the now closed Manston Airport (Former RAF Manston). These two museums are well worth the visit.

 

Happy Cycling Dave