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Many Brits out there?(33 posts)

Many Brits out there?StevieP
Nov 26, 2002 12:58 AM
I live in Bristol, England (Uk). I was just curious to see how many fellow Brits use this site which I would guess is predomanantly used by US citizens (not surprising seeing as I assume this is a US site).
Does residency count?boneman
Nov 26, 2002 1:06 AM
Sorry, another US expatriate but been here for four years. More miles on my bike than my car. Of course that's explainable living in London. Worked for 3 years in Hounslow and now in Tunbridge Wells which is an awful commute of 2 hours each way and the chance to encounter the UK infrastructure frequently via the Underground and British Rail.

Other than that, a most pleasant experience and yes, I do ride everyday and no, it's not as wet as people in the US are led to believe. What I like about riders in the UK is they just get on with things. Cutting edge stuff costs a bundle (how often have I been passed by someone on a knackered Dawes which should be in the tip) and the weather can be terrible but they just get out there and go.

re: Many Brits out there?Patrick
Nov 26, 2002 1:18 AM
Hi there, I live in Essex, work in C London, enjoy this site, and the humour. Essex is ok for road riding, flat, some good traffic free country circuits. Main ride is a Pegoretti Duende (summer) and at this time of year I ride a 5 year old SLX with Chorus.

Enjoy your riding.

PS, Boneman, if you commute to Tunbridge Wells at least you are going against the communting flow!
That is true. (nm)boneman
Nov 26, 2002 1:34 AM
live and commute in LondonMJ
Nov 26, 2002 1:43 AM
ride all over - mainly Surrey (it's green and has hills)

there's a small but loud UK based crowd - Eager Beagle, scruffyduncan and Boneman always pop up

it's mainly a US site - but there's a regular French poster philippec(?) - Stampertje (NL) - and other Euro based posters show up now and again

how's the riding in Bristol?
Thanks for the replies guys...StevieP
Nov 26, 2002 2:51 AM
....GileyD who posts regularly on this site is my riding 'buddy'.

Riding in Bristol and surrounding areas are both excellent.
I couldnl;t want for anything batter. Bristol is fairly hilly and we have many routes we can do on our weekends rides. We are only 5-10 miles away from countryside in every direction.

We can do 50-60 mile loops that can take in Cheddar, Bath, Bradford upon Avon. We haven't got many long climbs - mainly shorter (less than 1 mile) but steep (there are at least 5 I can think of that have a gradient of 16% plus).

What's your local riding like?
MixedEager Beagle
Nov 26, 2002 3:27 AM
here in Surrey. I am based just outside Guildford.

You are within striking distance of the south cost on and off road, which can be done on the flatish or via some faily large hills in the Downs. There are also fast roads A3 etc if you are into TT riding and can be bothered to get up early. There are a few whopper hills if you want them too. Off road, there are great trails, mainly pretty non-tech in the dry, but pretty hard work in the winter. Newlands Corner is a big meeting spot for the MTB/CX fraternity, as well as oprienteers and motorbike scramblers.

There is lots of racing, as we are close enough to London to get into the leagues there.

I ride with the Charlotteville - the site is good, and has some interesting info on sometimes:-

The problems are that the traffic on the roads in savage all the time, except very early Sunday mornings, and the quality of the actual roads in Surrey is totally awful - best plan is to ride across the county border in some way. Coupled with that, nearly everywhere you have to battle with cr@p driving in 4x4s on the way to Sainsburys everytime you ride.

I know your part of the world a little, and there is some great riding to be had there - you must have something nice to ride any day of the year with the right hardware?

Anyway, good to have you on "board".
Nov 26, 2002 3:49 AM
I have to admit that I am fortunate to live in a place that has so much to offer in the way of riding. I couldn't imagine living in London.

Like you say, here there are many routes to choose from and we have by no means exhausted our local options. In fact we have so many options we are often spoilt for choice! Of course we have our favourites and we try to stick to them. The least busy the road the better as far as we are concerned.

My riding buddy & me used to MTB a lot. The trails in Bristol are excellent as are the Quantocks, Mendips & Exmoor easily accessed from Bristol.

However, lately we seem to have been converted to roadies, or at least for 9 months of the year! We find that the poor weather and the poor state of the trails (overly muddy & rutted) has steered us more towards our road bikes as they are the easy option.

I have a Colnago (Superissimo)thatI only ride when it is bone dry. Hence, I only used to ride once a week during Autumn & Winter (if that).

I decided to sell one of my MTB's to buy a winter road bike with mudguards which gets me out in all weathers (A Lemond with a triple from Pearsons Cycles.) Whilst I was reluctant to sell my MTB, I now see it as one of the most positive things I could have done to improve my cycling as now I ride a lot more because I now have hardwear to do so in relative comfort.

I have also bought a turbo trainer. I much prefer to ride outside for enjoyment but my rides during the week are short (3 x 1hr) and it is safer & easier to do it indoors.

What do you ride?
Nov 26, 2002 4:29 AM
living in London has of course advantages and drawbacks - same as riding in London

I commute everyday 8 or 11 miles (two miles offroad) depending on the route

you learn to cope with the traffic and after a while just accept it as normal - it's nice gliding through stationary traffic

I'm on a Donohue custom steel cx frame with Campy Daytona - also have a Pearson SS, Stumpjumper and my Bridgestone mtb. lives with my brother in Texas

one nice thing about Surrey/London is access to France - in early Oct. EB and I took the ferry to Cherbourg and spent a weekend putting in miles and food
Jammy soandso..Eager Beagle
Nov 26, 2002 4:32 AM
Mind you, and MTB in the Quantocks can smart (poor, but it's a work day!).

I commute on an all steel Gazelle/Super Record SS CX circa 70/80s - nice ride, low maint'ce not nickworthy to the untrained eye - zip-tie mudguards for the winter, with old inner-tube extenders! Crude, simple, cheap and effective.

I have a AL Coppi/105 which which I train/audax/tour on - not that exotic for over here these days, but fits great and rides nicely for all day outings.

I recently got a Monoc/Campy carbontail compact for racing ( - which is a great fast ride, but like your 'Nalgo is a bone-dryer.

Next is a Jake the Snake/Campy triple CX, which is addictive, and turns my 4.5 mile road commute into off-road fun when I want it to, and is great to blast around on/ride trails at the weekends.

Last of the regulars is a Grisley hardtail MTB, which I have 45 knobblies on, and ride with slow people/for confortable recovery rides/when the weather is really filthy.

Despite my CX and road focus, I wouldn't sell the MTB. In fact, I said that I wouldn't get another, but a friend just got a deal on a 'Dale 600 disc, which is a very nice ride - tempting....but no, unless I find a giveaway.

So many bikes, so much country, so little room, so little spare money....
Jammy soandso..StevieP
Nov 26, 2002 4:45 AM
5 bikes. Are you single?! I have 3 and that was enough for my missus!!

Jake the Snake. Now you've put a bug in my head. A cyclocross bike for a complete set. Mmmmmm!

I am lusting after a Colnago CT1 with Record/Chorus mix. If I get it I will be happy. For a while!

Now this may be controversial but I have just had a thought.
Are cyclists like those spotty young kids who buy Max Power car magazine?

Think about it for a minute. We always want a better bike. They always want a better car. We lust over pictures of bikes in mags. They lust after the cars. They always want new trick things for their cars. We always want trick things for out bikes. Sad but true?!
NaaahEager Beagle
Nov 26, 2002 6:25 AM
There is nothing I can fix to my bike costing 7 times my annual income that will make it really piss people off at traffic lights and after 12 midnight by making their windows rattle.

More seriously, I don't really care what others think of my bikes, so long as I like them. Those Max Power Tw@s are all about parading and shagging loose knickered tarts. Hang on a minute though....

Colnago CT1 - I can see the attraction. I am minded slightly towards a Master X-Lite, but am not in the spending market at the moment.

I have my eye on a Pinarello Opera too - great riding bikes.

You have got to get a CX, that's all there is to it. Have a mosey in Loot - there are often some bargains in there, as they are not that popular. MJ got his Donnahue set-up, which is very nice in steel and Daytona for around a grand I think. I saw a 531 frame forks, HS, BB, ST for £200 in Loot a week or two ago. Either way, a lot of fun.

The trick is to meet your wife after you get your bike numbers up - it's easy to maintain a number than increase.

Actually, we have recently expanded the family with a minilad - which opens up a whole new world of trailers, tag-a-longs, mini size gear etc etc.

"And darling, while I am in the shop getting that Buzz Lightyear helmet, I might just pick up an X-Lite too"

"Ummm what? Oh yes, fine - dinner at 7:30 remember..."

If only.....
I arrived in the USA bikeless and single...... but now have five bikes and am marriedNigey
Nov 26, 2002 7:16 AM
I now have five bikes, all acquired since I got married. This doesn't include a Huffy bicycle I bought (yes, I did buy a Huffy) I've since thrown out. Before people snigger, I bought it because it was cheaper to buy one ($80 I think) and ride it to work than catch the bus everyday. I made money out of the deal, just not bragging rights on that one. I was also given a bicycle I used to keep the Huffy going, which was also thrown out.

Anyway I currently have:
old '80's Raleigh Technium converted to beater commuter bike with slicks
old '80's Fuji road bike which is too big for me, but I still ride it anyway
'96 Mongoose Rockadile HT updgraded with Manitou SX-R and XT and LX stuff.
'99 Vision VR-40 Recumbent short wheel base
'01 Cannondale Jekyll upgraded with SRAM 9.0 drivechain and XT disc hubs and Formula Activa disc brakes

.... and hopefully by January, I'll have paid off my layaway on an '02 Cannondale R500.

What can I say? My wife's been very understanding. Seriously, I think she realizes that with all the hobbies you can have, bikes are pretty healthy. You'll also notice that I don't have top of the range bikes (but still some pretty decent ones) so I don't go way over the top buying them -plus when I do buy I usually buy last years model on sale. I do ride all of the bikes on a pretty regular basis which also helps with my wife.

What's next? You know (don't laugh) I've always wanted a beach cruiser..... perhaps in 2005. And it will enable me to ride a different bicycle for every day of the week.
Is that a picture of you. . .Sintesi
Nov 26, 2002 7:46 AM
wearing the tinseled dunce cap, a dress, chiffon scarf and holding a beer?
OK, you lost me...Nigey
Nov 26, 2002 8:19 AM
Maybe my British humour is out of practice -but hey, the description did include a beer didn't it?
OK, you lost me...Sintesi
Nov 26, 2002 8:49 AM
You must click Eager Beagle's link above then you shall become enlightened.
Nov 26, 2002 3:32 AM
Is that the gorge where the final '99 Pru Tour went before going over the bridge? Is it as steep as it looked on the broadcast?
Nov 26, 2002 3:59 AM
I dont recall the '99 Prutour (GileyD prob will) but Cheddar only has one gorge so I assume it is.

I rode Cheddar Gorge on Sunday. The bottom of the climb is prob 10-12%. One of the hairpins has got to be about 18%. All the nasty stuff is at the bottom. After that it flattens out to about 6%. The climb is prob 2 miles long but it is lovely. One of our faves.

None of the steep stuff is a problem to us as we have triples! Not because we are old and weak (both in our 30's and been riding for a long time but we could be a lot fitter and stronger!). We prefer to try & keep the heart rate lower so we can handle the longer distances in comfort.

By far the worst climb we ride locally is Brassknocker near Bath. It is 16%+ all the way & is prob 3/4 mile long. It is relentless. I have not ridden it on my triple yet but last time I was on 42/23 and it was very difficult to even turn the pedals even by standing on them (mind you I do weigh 196lb's (not all fat!!)).

Got any nasty climbs by you?
Nov 26, 2002 4:13 AM
Yes, as I recall the 99 Prutour did go up Cheddar Gorge. As StevieP says, it is only tough at the bottom as you leave the high-fat food emporioms and "quaint" tea shops behind. After that you can get a good rhythm going, probably use 39x17.

Brassknocker Hill is evil but I love it. I remember watching one of The Kellog's Tours go up in it the early 90's, quite a few pros ended up walking it as they just couldn't turn the pedals! I did it in 42x23 once and have never known suffering like it! These days I use 39x25 on my "best" bike, or just stick it in the granny on my triple-equipped winter bike.

My best bike is a Litespeed Sirius with Campag Centaur, winter bike a Ribble 531c with Campag Mirage Triple and mudguards.

The South West is a great place to ride, we are also close to Wales which is cool. Plan to get up to the Peaks and the Lakes at some point to try some of the big climbs up there.

4x4's - can totally relate to the comments about them, why are they always (nearly always) driven by w*nkers???
Massive KnockersEager Beagle
Nov 26, 2002 6:37 AM
I (luckily) missed out on doing the Salisbury 200 Audax about a month ago. It went up brassknocker apparently, and there were dead bodies and burst kneecaps agogo, with those at the bottom slipping on the blood and vomit coming down the hill.

Sounded like a real treat - I have it as a "must to at the end of a 200" in my diary. Just can't seem to find the time at the moment...
Hereford , UKHereford Flyer
Nov 26, 2002 5:49 AM
Hi, another British Passort Holder here in rural Herefordshire. Some of the best fraffic free roads in the UK, massive network of country lanes. Though can get a bit grim on some in the winter - with lots of mud from farm vehicles.
Summer - the scenery is classic English countryside, hedegrows, thousands of apple orchards, very green and lush.
Edinburgh, ScotlandAmarok
Nov 26, 2002 6:00 AM
I live and work in the beautiful city of Edinburgh, within easy striking distance of some truly excellent cycling throughout Scotland.

tranplanted Brit, living near Boston, MA for 12 years nowNigey
Nov 26, 2002 6:14 AM
from the North Notts area originally. Started off on a Raleigh Arena 5 speed (did my first century on that thing at about age 16!).
Raleigh Arena 5 SpeedStevieP
Nov 28, 2002 12:51 AM
Cool! I started off on a Raleigh Arena 5 speed too. Got it for Xmas when I was 9. Cool bike. Pranged it on my first ride on Xmas day. I was too busy looking down at the rear mech as gears were all new to me! Crashed into a parked car & bent my forks. I was ok. Cue dented pride & angry parents!
re: Many Brits out there?the flying bean
Nov 26, 2002 6:18 AM
Just down the old A38 from you in Exeter. Rode from Bristol to Exeter once in torrential rain. Was wearing a woollen racing jersey which had stretched nearly to my knees by the time I got home!
my cycling blood comes from EnglandFrith
Nov 26, 2002 6:52 AM
I'm the only Canadian citizen in my extended family. My Grandfather was a racer way back. His Son (my uncle) made the national team for the Tokyo Olympics, My mum rode alot but never raced. My Cousin was national school-boy champion of England in the 80's and then later went on to rep. England in the World Championships on the track. We're from Leeds, Yorkshire and I still go back there about once a year.
Blimey!Eager Beagle
Nov 26, 2002 7:01 AM
I hope you aren't wasting all that great lineage, and are busy racing?

Plenty of big hills and headwinds in Yorkshire for training - perhaps that's where they all get it from? I used to live in N Yorks and put a lot of happy miles in there.
Nov 26, 2002 7:27 AM
I've always loved cycling but didn't take it seriously until last year when I finally had the money to buy a decent bike. I bought a mountain bike and then realized that I loved road riding. I've finally saved the money for a proper road bike and I hope to start racing this coming summer. I've left it a little late to really be competetive but at 25 it's not too late to get out there and win a couple:)
Not too late at allEager Beagle
Nov 26, 2002 7:39 AM
Lots of the really competitive riders at my club are mid 30's or older. So long as you have been fit till now, you should have no more problems than those who have been on the road longer getting to a win.
one more herescruffyduncan
Nov 26, 2002 8:06 AM
Hello fellas.

I live and work in London, I ride a condor frame with daytona, which I love, very responsive. I used to commute / winter on a steel specialized allez with guards and more than the odd scratch. I thought it was unnickable, but it went from outside my local safeway. I was so attached to that bike, but it wasn't worth £50 to the kids who nicked it, BAH!!. Still, I just took delivery of a paul milnes cross bike which will serve well for commuting/light touring and a bit of cross racing.

I mainly ride out to kent or surrey for quieter roads and hills, but can be found putting laps in around regents park and richmond park on occasion.

good to see there are so many UK based riders using this resource.
Got a link to Paul Miles?Eager Beagle
Nov 26, 2002 8:10 AM
out of interest?

I used to ride Richmond lots when I lived in Clapham. I "fondly" remember puffing up the hill back in to Wandsworth again after a hard session, hoping that the lights would be with me so that I didn't have to stop in a traffic queue.
Got a link to Paul Miles?scruffyduncan
Nov 26, 2002 8:21 AM

It's not a light bike (I had it made up with mirage, carbon fork and open pros) but it's about as versatile as it comes, mudguard and rack eyes, big clearance, a bit slack after the condor though.

I always pray the lights will change up that hill so I can stop and have a rest!!.
Strewth!Eager Beagle
Nov 26, 2002 8:35 AM
I have never heard of this guy, but he is knocking out some respectable looking stuff for some very reasonable prices!

Smart shopping indeed - £600 for CX and Daytona training bike is not to be sniffed at.

I'm going to be right in there for a pair of his bar top levers at £20!