Quad bike gritters deployed to keep London’s cycle routes ice free

quad-bike-gritters

Transport for London will keep cycle routes in London ice-free this winter by using quad bikes equipped with gritters.

The responsibility for clearing ice from cycle routes in the British capital is split between TfL and individual London Boroughs – including Cycle Superhighways.

“When a Cycle Superhighway sits on a borough road the council maintains and grits it,” a TfL spokesperson said. “When it’s on one of our roads, we grit it. Most of the Cycle Superhighways are on our roads.”

While the majority of the road network can be treated using conventional lorry gritters, the narrower lanes used for cycles are inaccessible to large vehicles. At 1.2 metres wide, the motorised quad bikes can fit into a bike lane and the majority of footways with ease.

Rather than using salt and grit, a substance called Pathway KA is used, which contains potassium acetate to melt ice. The quad bikes can carry up to 500kg of ice-melting chemicals.

A TFL statement said:

“Although there hasn’t been significant snow falls for three winters now, TfL and London Councils develop coordinated plans every year, alongside the emergency services, to keep the rail and road networks open and running in case of any severe weather”.

“This includes key arterial roads, cycle routes and footways around bus and railway stations, hospitals and police, fire and ambulance stations across London.”

“TfL and London’s boroughs will also ensure that the Cycle Superhighways and other cycling routes remain safe to use during the winter months.”

2016 Mileage

garmin-edge-500

This year for the first time ever I entered a couple of sportives and so with it an increased mileage.  I was pleased to manage an extra 195.61 miles in comparison with 2015.

2017 brings new opportunity as always and the plan is to maintain lower weight and continue to use cycling as a way of staying healthy, both physically and mentally.

I hope it’s been a great year for you and wish you safe miles in 2017.  Thanks for continuing to visit the blog and I hope to see you on the road sometime.

2016

  • Mileage –  546.25 miles / 879.1km
  • Ride Time – 36hrs 35mins
  • Ascent 3,565metres
  • Avg. Speed – 12.76mph / 20.54km/h
  • Avg. HR – 167bpm
  • Total Rides – 120

How to ride in a group

The performance advantage to riding in a group is that several people can share the responsibility of setting a manageable pace as well as sheltering their riding mates from the wind – a technique known as ‘drafting.’

The most efficient formation for a large group is to ride side-by-side in pairs, with riders gradually rotating and sharing their turn on the front. How long your turn is depends a lot on weather conditions and how strong you feel, but 5 minutes is a good starting point.

Riding in close proximity to other riders does carry it’s hazards though, so be sure to give enough space to manoeuvre, don’t overlap the wheel in front and be sure to keep good communication with your riding companions.

This is why you should never celebrate winning a race early

We’ve all seen people do it: whether it’s cycling, sprinting or long-distance running, the leader of a race will often start cheering before they’ve crossed the finish line in anticipation of their sweet victory.

But it’s a risky game to play. In the clip above, filmed at the end of Britain’s Via Roma Cirencester Twilight Criterium, lead cyclist Jamie Wilkins begins celebrating just before he reaches the finish line — and then the guy in second zooms past him and takes the win at the very last second.

Pay close attention to the man on the sidelines in the green t-shirt — the way his eager cheering changes to a look of horror as rival Jamie Penton pretty sneaks the win pretty much says it all.

Jeremy Vine shares video of road rage

BBC presenter Jeremy Vine has shared a video of a road rage incident he was involved in last Friday while cycling through London.

In the clip below, filmed on cameras attached to Vine’s helmet and the rear of his bike, a woman blares her horn while driving behind Vine on a narrow street in Kensington, London. Vine stops his bike to tell her he needs to be cycling a safe distance away from the parked cars, at which point she gets out of her own car and confronts him.

There’s quite a lot of shouting, swearing and angry confusion before Vine rides off again. Later in the clip, the woman gets out of her car while stopped at a red light and confronts Vine once more.

Vine has passed the footage on to London’s Metropolitan Police.

Novice cyclist becomes triathlon star by accident

Alison Carrick accidental triathlete

Alison Carrick of Haslingden, Lancashire, England, hadn’t ridden a bike in years, but got back in the saddle last month. She took a leisurely ride on May 29th and was surprised to be overtaken by riders in the Rossendale Triathlon! But she kept going.

She said: “I didn’t have a clue what was happening at the start.

“I realised it was a triathlon when I saw wet cyclists with numbers on their backs. I thought ‘Oh my goodness’, what does this mean for me. I just didn’t realise we were taking the same route.

“I should have stopped and made my way back but I just felt like I had to keep going.

“I kept thinking it can’t be that much further. I don’t think I realised how far the cycling part of it actually was.”

Spectators noticed the 55-year-old novice rider with distinctly different gear and started cheering her on. They even encouraged Carrick to continue when she saw the opportunity to stop. Other times, she couldn’t stop because of all the bikes racing past her. Carrick ended up staying the course for most of the race. Race organizer Graeme Courtney said he doesn’t know how she managed to do it, but he is encouraging her to enter the race officially next year.