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  • Bluedome
    the Inverness area Crampians and Aberdeenshire have some reasonable flat cycling The mountains between Aberdeen and Inverness has some extreme hard and high hills well around 650 meters above sea level for those who are into this Scotland have everything for every cyclist In my view Scotland is paradise for cyclists Which I will now prove to you The roads in Scotland are terrible But the most terrible roads offer the best cycling But be very careful An added danger to the cycling in Scotland is the midges This pest is a gruesome bloodletting reality and not a joke Midge repellent spray and roll on is an essential part of a cycling trip in Scotland Another danger is the road kills whose litter a cyclist s path Or even worse some animals only respect cars and ignore cyclists I have had countless close encounters with rabbits fox mice rats lambs sheep hedgehogs red deer and cows in Scotland The huge amount of wildlife in Scotland is very impressive but also dangerous for cyclists In particular sheep and lambs are very dangerous The youth hostels and the B B s in Scotland are cheap and pleasant They normally offer very good value for money Please book your accommodation some days before starting the cycle trip Most trains and ferries in Scotland takes cycles free of charge But book in advance and check out the time tables Recommended equipment Please note that the road standard in Scotland is quite bad A cycle helmet is essential Gloves and cycle shorts are also recommended You can easily cycle around Scotland with a light weight road racing bikes racing bike Mountain bikes are OK but the choice of cycle is down to personal preferences I use a racing bike with a small rucksack My rucksack is filled with cycle repair kit tubes long cycle trousers jumper pump first aid kit socks underwear an extra cycle shirt bananas map midge repellent spray sun oil and a mobile phone I also wear this rucksack on 3 7 days long trips I have been cycling in Scotland with and without tent Youth hostels and B B are so cheap 10 30 that camping are not recommended But this depends on your budget About the author 32 years old 15 years experience as long distance cycling with long distance cycling I mean cycling for more than 75 km a day 130 kilo of fat brain bones and some muscles divided on 184 cm I never eat healthy food or diet I am very lazy and un organised individual who hates training and physical exercise which I never do but who loves long distance cycling In particular do I love cycling on the most extreme hard stretches of roads in Scotland I call my cycling programme Hippo on two wheels The sight of a myself in revealing cycle shorts and cycle shirts is enough to frighten the life out of anyone along the roads in Scotland The attitude against fat

    Original URL path: http://www.bluedome.co.uk/MoutainBiking/cyclescotland/index.html (2016-02-10)
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  • Bluedome - Buying a Bike: the essentials
    tyres Mountain bikes These now make up 70 percent of all bikes sold in the UK but that doesn t mean they are the right kind of bike for you Very few mountain bikes MTBs for short get to see mountains but the chunky tyres 26 inch wheels strong frames and flat handlebars are pretty good for city streets too Because they are designed for going up and down steep slopes MTBs have lots of low gears and highly effective brakes For off road comfort many MTBs feature front suspension forks some also have suspension for the bum too These are called full suspension bikes and were originally designed for crazy downhill mountain bikers although suspension adds to any riders comfort Even without suspension products the fat tyres on MTBs soak up the shocks and jarrs of off road trails and city potholes The knobbly tyres found on MTBs don t puncture easily but can rattle and hum on tarmac slowing you down By adding slick tyres ie fat tyres without knobbles mudguards and lights you could convert your mountain bike into a good urban bike during the week and change back to knobblies for weekend rough stuffing Hybrids Hybrids are a mix between mountain bikes and road bikes and offer the advantages and disadvantages of both They look like mountain bikes but with thinner wheels and tyres and offer a slightly more upright sitting position suited to urban riding They are faster on tarmac but can handle weekend off roading Not all come with mudguards a rack and lights but these can be easily fitted by the shop Some hybrids come with internal hub gears Component manufacturer Shimano calls hybrids Sports Touring Bikes or STBs for short Germans call them trekking bikes Some people call them city bikes Raleigh and other companies call them comfort bikes because they equip them with seat posts with added bounce and suspension front forks Utility bikes The so called Dutch roadster is a perfect utility bike a real workhorse They are virtually bombproof very low maintenance and great in all weathers although only really suitable for short journeys in flat areas Touring bikes A touring bike is a chunkier more laid back and more comfortable version of the road bike It normally has drop handlebars and mudguards and pannier racks for luggage The wheelbase the distance between the hubs is longer than in either a road bike or an MTB giving a smooth ride ironing out all the bumps and potholes and making it easier to handle when loaded up with panniers Folding bikes Bicycle origami is thriving Before we get to the dream of a fully integrated transport system the best way to get a bike onto a train bus or underground service is to pack it down There s even a theory that come ten years hence every new car will come with a folding bike in the boot because city centre gridlock means cars will be next to useless and

    Original URL path: http://www.bluedome.co.uk/MoutainBiking/bikestuff/buyabike.html (2016-02-10)
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  • Bluedome - Cycling Helmets: should you wear one?
    the BMA s decision was the Australian experience of helmet compulsion There was a 63 percent fall in head injuries since compulsion in 1991 and 1992 but BMA delegates heard that there had been a large decrease in numbers of people cycling after the law was introduced On balance discouraging people from taking up a healthy form of exercise was felt to outweigh the advantages of helmet wearing Most cycling campaign groups are also against helmet compulsion One of the reasons so many cyclists feel strongly about this issue is that a great deal of time effort and money can go into promoting cycle helmet wearing says David Earl of the Cambridge Cycle Campaign That effort could have been directed at the source of the problem largely the excessive speed of motor vehicles According to Dr Mayer Hillman Senior Fellow Emeritus at the Policy Studies Institute in London who has undertaken the only major international research of the evidence on the use of helmets you re better off not wearing a helmet By wearing helmets cyclists are at best only marginally reducing their chances of being fatally or seriously injured in the rare incident of a collision with a motor vehicle He believes protective devices encourage higher levels of risk taking Imagine you re driving a car in the outside lane of the motorway and a wasp has got under your seat belt To free the insect you undo your seat belt Instinctively you slow down the car because now you re not strapped in you feel vulnerable Dr Hillman believes that in feeling vulnerable you will instinctively behave more cautiously The problem is you can t show how many cyclists have avoided head injury by riding with more vigilance However studies show that when you don t wear a protective device you compensate for the risk you run For instance if motor vehicles were fitted with a spike in the centre of the steering wheel which pointed towards the driver s chest the driver would drive slower in the knowledge that should they hit something they d be the first to get hurt Dr Hillman believes that by being more careless the helmet wearer is using up any extra protection offered Cycle helmets provide limited protection for the head Neither manufacturers nor retailers tell the public this You re much better off cycling with extra care than you are wearing a helmet and riding with an exaggerated sense of security says Hillman Non cyclists say they don t cycle because they think it s too dangerous If you tell them they should always wear a helmet when they ride you re reinforcing their belief that it s dangerous I have calculated that the health benefits of regular cycling in terms of life years gained through increased longevity far outweigh the loss of life years in cyclists deaths Dr Hillman doesn t even recommend children should always wear a cycle helmet while cycling He says If they were using the

    Original URL path: http://www.bluedome.co.uk/MoutainBiking/bikestuff/helmets.html (2016-02-10)
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  • Bluedome - New cyclists start here...
    not as hard as you would imagine And if you ve got hills to go up you ve got hills to come down a free ride at least half of the time If hills realy do put you off why not invest in an electric motor for your bike see electric bikes And think about this Switzerland is also er hilly yet cycle use is twenty times greater over there MYTH Won t my bike get stolen ANSWER It s a possibility 595 000 bicycles were stolen in 1993 in the UK half from the street half from the home Mind you in the same year 541 000 cars were stolen Crime is a problem for every form of transport you may get mugged on the tube for instance As with every walk of life there are precautions you can take which minimise the risks Always lock your bike in a well lit public place with a high quality u shaped shackle lock Always attach the bike to an immovable object where the bike and lock can t be lifted off and away Position the lock so that it cannot be hammered against the ground or levered apart and always have the keyhole facing downward A new security standard is about to be applied to all cycle locks the security working group on the National Cycling Forum are to recommend manufacturers place star ratings on their locks to show how long a thief will take to break in to that particular product Locks with higher star ratings will be more effective but also more expensive If possible wheel the bike into your place of work or the shops or wherever Keeping an eye on it at all times is the safest form of protection If this is impossible with a full sized bike get a folding one these really can go everywhere with you MYTH Cars are so convenient for carrying stuff bikes aren t are they ANSWER As a matter of fact they re very convenient A bicycle is a brilliant load carrying platform People cycle the world with huge amounts of gear stuffed into their pannier bags so you d be amazed how much stuff you can carry on a bike For really heavy loads you could even invest in a cycle trailer These can carry as much as a small family hatchback car MYTH I can t ferry my three kids about on a bike though can I ANSWER If they re little kids yes you can Fit a child carrier and hook up a trailer In the developing world it s not unusual to see fathers carrying mum four kids the shopping a pig and a couple of fluster hens on a single bike That s not be recommended here but it shows that portering children around on two wheels is both possible and safe As kids get older they love being towed behind on a trailer cycle an attachment to the adult cycle enabling the

    Original URL path: http://www.bluedome.co.uk/MoutainBiking/bikestuff/newcyclists.html (2016-02-10)
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  • Bluedome - Saddle sores are history
    harder more supportive saddle If your saddle is too narrow all your weight is concentrated on your perineum check where this is in a medical dictionary we re a family magazine instead of the sit bones the ischial tuberosities In men the sit bones are roughly three inches apart in women they re four inches apart This is why women s saddles are wider On a sit up and beg bike you re taking a lot of your weight on your bum on mountain bikes and sports bikes a lot more of your weight is shared with your handlebars Don t fit such a wide saddle however that it chafes your thighs Find a happy medium If after alteing your riding position through trial and error moving the saddle forward a touch or fitting a wide possibly sprung saddle or a suspension seatpost and you re riding in proper padded cycle shorts you re still uncomfortable maybe you might be on the wrong sort of bike altogether Many of the mountain bikes in the shops are designed for racing and so sling you far forward into an uncomfortable position Racers are used to this position and it s quite comfortable for them but for the rest of us a more sit and beg position is desirable Hybrids are normally more upright and so more comfy for beginners Dutch roadsters are even more upright But as was made clear above you don t want to be so upright that hardly any of your weight is being supported by the handlebars Again aim for a happy medium If all else fails why not try a recumbent These are laid back cycles with comfy deck chair like seats They take a bit of getting used to but have been godsends for some riders

    Original URL path: http://www.bluedome.co.uk/MoutainBiking/bikestuff/saddlesores.html (2016-02-10)
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  • Bluedome - Where can I ride my Mountain Bike
    committing trespass by riding on footpaths no matter how wide and could be prosecuted by the landowner for any damage caused Don t worry it s a civil matter not a criminal wrong In practice no landowner will sue you but riding on footpaths upsets walkers YOU CAN RIDE ON Bridleways 27 400 kms We ve had the right to share bridleways with walkers and horses since an Act of Parliament in 1968 Note the word share Horses get spooked easily and we re faster than walkers so it s only fair give them due consideration Slow down smile say hi and pick up speed once you roll past Byways Open to All Traffic 3000kms Otherwise known as BOATs these allow all traffic to pass including vehicles Forest tracks and paths Permission is officially required for riding through Forestry Commission land Often this permission has already been granted by the local conservator and the Forestry Commission generally regards cycling favourably Stick to the waymarked routes you don t want to meet a 60 ton logging truck coming round the corner of a dirt track Green lanes 10 200kms A non legal term for a pleasant unsealed country road track or byway White roads 7000kms Most roads on Ordnance Survey maps have colours to denote their status White roads have no colour so are not recorded as having any rights of way status When looking at an Ordnance Survey map they can appear to be farm tracks or private roads when in fact they might be public highways Of the estimated 7000 kms of lost white roads many of them are great totally legal trails for use by cyclists just waiting to be found and put onto the definitive map It s a sign It s fine and dandy knowing which

    Original URL path: http://www.bluedome.co.uk/MoutainBiking/bikestuff/wheretoride.html (2016-02-10)
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  • Bluedome - British Cycling Organisations - Contacts, e-mails and Websites.
    and Channel Islands It produces The Cyclelist a publication full of advice and assistance about cycling and cycling products CTC 69 Meadrow Godalming Surrey GU7 3HS Tel 01483 417217 website www ctc org uk The CTC is Britians largest and longestest established cycling organisation and has as its mission to Work for All Cyclists It provides a wide range of services and discounts to its 66 000 members and affiliates has 200 local groups provides 12 000 rides and events annually and campaigns for better conditions for cyclists whether they ride on or off rood Of particular value are its information services widely regarded as the most comprehensive in cycling and covering eveything from routes to bike shops Members get free legal aid and 5 million third party insurance essental in the case of an accident it s the only way you can be as well protected as a motorist The CTC s specialist Freewheeler Cycle insurance is one service now available to non members Cyclist s Sourcebook The Mark Allen Publishing Ltd Jesses Farm Snow Hill Dinton Nr Salisbuy Wilcshire SP3 SHN Tel 0800 137 201 This is the Bible of the bicycie World used by shops and suppliers to locate products and search for contact details of over 3000 companies associations and organisations It is compiled by the editorial team behind On Your Bike magazine who also publish Cycle Industry the cycle trade news magazine Both titles are published by Mark Allen Ltd The Cyclist s Sourcebook costs 15 00 Environmental Transport Authority ETA 10 Church Street Weybridge KT13 BRS Tel 0193 282 8882 Fax 0193 2829015 website www eta co uk The Environmental Transport Association ETA is the voice of transport users who are concerned about the environment ETA is Britiains fastest growing motoring organisation It offers a reliable and competitive recovery and insurance service to both motorists and cyclists Their average call out time is just 35 minutes because they use a network of over 1700 local garages in Britain ETA covers the whole of Europe and even parts of Africa and Asia European Cyclist Federation ECF 31 Arodene Road London SW2 2BQ Tel 0181 674 5916 Fax 0181 671 3386 e mail oh velo city org The ECF is a political force to promote the bicycle as an important part of both transport and environmental policies at a European level To achieve these aims the ECF lobbies provides information and services to the media authorities companies and institutions Despite the different experiences of member organisations from over 25 countries many cycling problems are similar throughout Europe for example dangerous road conditions the poor image of cycling inadequate facilities and the lack of political will to promote cycling The overall aim of the ECF is to achieve a shift from motorised modes of transport and an increased use of the bicycle for daily travel as well as recreational uses Forestry Commission Information Branch 231 Corstorphine Road Edinburgh EH12 7AT You are welcome to cycle in many

    Original URL path: http://www.bluedome.co.uk/MoutainBiking/bikeorgs/bikeorgs.html (2016-02-10)
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  • The Merrick Circular
    if you reach the farm you have gone too far A small track turns right at 428801 we missed it Possibly because of the stunning sunrise or the Red Deer that we had seen breakfasting on the fellside A muddy trudge now ensues the track is being chewed by bikes no apology it is marked no cycling After about half a K the track turns steeply uphill following Glenhead Burn try and ride if you can but be warned the ground is as slippy as Friday night kebab Being the sensible one with panniers I soon got off and pushed one of the best pushes in the area by my reckoning At the point where the forestry road is found the going is easier but still climbing If you have that premonition that a great view is in prospect then keep going you are correct As you crest at about 250 metres Loch Dee and the vista of the Rhinns of Kells and Corserine 814 m greets you Follow the forestry road the downhill section here is a taste of things to come A short climb out of the White Laggen valley passes a remote fishermans shelter and who should we meet right a fisherman complete with fly rod and waders Steam was now rising from his waders we had cycled for 90 minutes he had walked for an hour and it was getting warm He was the only other person we spoke to for 11 hours As you start another bone crunching descent only because the roads are newly remade mainly of 6 inch square lumps of rock It must have taken the builders ages to sort out those lumps just for us There is an obvious left turn to a bridge at 496795 Here we were granted our own low level flypast by an american airforce Tomcat impressive or what Continue left across the bridge and start the long climb North heading along the track for Loch Doon It was at this point that I came to realise that I am 46 not 26 time is catching up with me for now anyway The track keeps on climbing through thick forest for about 10K glimpses of the hills are welcome and the silence is impresive Here the track endeth A small cairn by the side of the track was Andy s clue that we had reach the correct exit point The forestry track stops here and you need to go through the plantation to continue Although the track is friendly the forest is not It represents an impenitrable maze with everything looking like everything else this is where the Harveys map comes into its own Our 2 to 3K trip through the forest would have been difficult with just the OS map Leaving the track 481884 brings you into the forest proper for the first time The ground is awful tussock boulder and bog not always in that order Andy tried to ride much to my amusement as

    Original URL path: http://www.bluedome.co.uk/MoutainBiking/merrick/merrick.html (2016-02-10)
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