Tiger Bay Ramblers

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FAQs

This page contains a collection of the questions that the group gets asked most often.  If you have a question that is not answered here, feel free to contact the appropriate committee member via the contact form or the email addresses on the committee page.

How Do I Find Out What Is Going On?

Y0000006Y0000007It should be possible to find out what is going on solely from the TBR web site.

However, the group maintains several public resources to provide members and non-members with information about the group's public events, and they are listed below:

  • The TBR website is the main source of information about the group.  It displays a copy of the group's walks programme, and information about forthcoming public events.
  • The TBR walks list on the Ramblers Walks site contains the definitive copy of the group's walks programme.
  • The TBR Facebook page contains information about forthcoming walks and other public events.
  • The TBR Twitter feed also contains information about forthcoming walks and other public events. 

The group also provides members with additional information:

  • TBR members have access to the members' only sections of the TBR web site, containing information about social events, weekends away and holidays.
  • TBR members receive weekly emails containing information about forthcoming walks and social events.  They also receive less frequent emails about weekends away and holidays.
  • TBR members have access to the TBR Facebook group.  This is mainly for sharing photos of walks and making lift-sharing arrangements with other members, but some members do create events on Facebook to remind people about activities they are organising.  However, the use of the TBR Facebook group as the sole medium for organising events is prohibited and members are not required to have a Facebook account.

 

Can I Just Turn Up On A Walk?

P1170528In general, yes, but check the walk description.

All of the walks on our programme are open to the general public, but some may require you to sign up in advance (e.g. linear walks where the organiser is arranging transport and needs to know how many people are going).

You should be confident that you are fit enough to complete the walk - if in doubt, start with an easier walk and work up to the more difficult ones.

You should also ensure that you wear appropriate clothing and bring appropriate equipment.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact the walk leader - their contact details should be available on the walk description.

Do I Have To Join Before Going On A Walk?

PB124930No - it is not necessary to join before going on a walk - you are welcome to join us for three walks to see if you like the group.

However, after three walks, we'd really like you to join The Ramblers and preferably the Tiger Bay Ramblers group.  If you join TBR this will also give you access to the members' areas of the web site, and allow you to join us on our social events, weekends away and holidays.

The price list for joining The Ramblers is available on The Ramblers web site.

 

Do I Need To Contact The Walk Leader Before Going On A Walk?

P8244450P8228282In general, no, but check the walk description as sometimes the walk leader will ask you to contact them prior to the walk.

That said, if you do let the walk leader know you are coming, they are more likely to wait for you if you are running late for some reason.

There are no hard and fast rules on how long a walk leader will wait for you if you are late, and it is strongly recommended that you try to be at the start point prior to the walk start time.  However being late is sometimes unavoidable and most walk leaders will try to delay starting if they know that you are coming.

Some things to bear in mind:

  • It is unfortunately the case that people often let walk leaders know they are coming several days in advance and then fail to turn up. As a result, some of our walk leaders will assume you are not coming if you are not there on time and have not told them you are coming on the day.
  • Mobile phone signals are often poor at walk start points - especially in mountainous areas.  It is safer to let the walk leader know you are coming when you set off than when you realise you are likely to be late.

Am I Fit Enough To Do The Walk?

P6116933P9198628This is a difficult question to answer without having walked with you!

Most people should be able to complete easy access, easy or leisurely walks without problems (unless they are very unfit).  People with a good fitness level should also be able to do the moderate and easier strenuous walks without problems.  However, it is recommended that you do not try the harder strenuous walks until you have completed several easier strenuous walks comfortably.

For your first walk, it is better to be cautious.  If you try a walk that is too difficult for you, you will probably not enjoy it; further, it may be necessary for the walk leader to terminate the walk early, in which case the other people on the walk will not be happy either.  It is much better to risk finding the walk too easy and trying a harder walk next time, than doing something outside of your comfort zone.

Note: walk difficulty is a combination of (in approximate order of importance) ascent, speed, terrain and distance.  This is stated because often people look only at the distance when determining how difficult a walk is and this can be extremely misleading.  If you compare a 12-mile walk with 1,500 feet of ascent done at a moderate 2 miles/hour to an 8-mile walk with 4,000 feet of ascent done at a fast 3 miles/hour, the latter will be much harder, despite being shorter.

Once again, if you are unsure, contact the walk leader and ask them what they think.

How Are Walks Graded?

P1100666P5292410P7258097P8094290The Rambler's Find A Walk site that hosts the group's walks supports two grading systems: The Rambler's national grading system and a local grading system.  The official definition of the national grading system is available here.

Historically, the group used three grades for walks: easy, medium and hard.  When the group started using The Rambler's web hosting for its web site, these were mapped onto easy, moderate and strenuous.  The group is currently in the process of aligning itself with the full national grading system; it is also considering having its own local grading system in the future.

The official definition gives an overview of what is expected at each walk grade.  The list below gives a more specific definition that should be used for group walks:

  • Easy Access:
    These walks should involve nominal ascent and be less than 3 miles in length.  They should take place on paved or tarmac covered paths, and not exceed 2 miles per hour.  They should be suitable for people with prams or in wheelchairs.
  • Easy:
    These walks should involve less than 1,000 feet of ascent and be less than 6 miles in length.  They should take place on good paths or other easy terrain, and not exceed 2 miles per hour.
  • Leisurely:
    These walks should involve less than 1,500 feet of ascent and be less than 9 miles in length.  They should take place on good paths or other easy terrain, and not exceed 2 miles per hour.
  • Moderate:
    These walks should involve less than 2,000 feet of ascent and be less than 12 miles in length.  They may take place on small paths and harder terrain than leisurely walks but the terrain should not be particularly challenging.  They should not exceed 2.4 miles per hour. 
  • Strenuous:
    This grade of walk covers everything harder than a moderate walk that does not require specialist skills or equipment.  It encompasses a large range of walks and members are advised to check that they are comfortable with the walk difficulty before attending.
  • Technical:
    This grade of walk covers anything that requires specialist skills or equipment.

It is unfortunate that the national grading scheme does not include anything harder than strenuous, as there is a significant difference between a 12-mile, 2,500-feet-of-ascent walk performed at 2.2 miles per hour, and a 20-mile, 5,500-feet-of-ascent walk performed at 2.8 miles per hour.  It is recommended that any walks that are likely to exceed 16 miles, 3,500 feet of ascent, or  2.6 miles per hour have a local grade of exremely strenuous for now.  It is further recommended that such walks carry a warning in their description advising people not to come on them unless they do strenuous walks on a regular basis and are comfortable with them.

 

What Should I Wear On A Walk?

P1295102P2141162P2125276X00000007This depends upon the type of walk you are going on and the likely weather.

For easy access and easy walks on good paths and in good weather, you can generally get away with normal clothing, as long as it's comfortable (especially the shoes).  In fact doing an easy walk around town in full walking gear will probably lead to you getting some funny looks!

However, as you progress up through leisurely, moderate and strenuous walks, and as the weather conditions worsen, it is increasingly important that you wear appropriate clothing.

In mountainous areas, the weather is very changable, so you should bring clothing with you suitable for a range of weather conditions - even if it seems like a nice sunny day when you leave the house, it could be raining and windy at the top of the mountain.

Whilst we do not like turning people away from walks, walk leaders may refuse to allow you to join them on a walk if they feel you are not appropriately dressed (this is for your own safety), so:

  • Bring a sturdy, supportive pair of walking boots. For harder walks, these should be properly worn in, and waterproof boots will defintely lead to a more enjoyable experience in bad weather.
  • Bring a good windproof coat.  If the weather is bad, you will almost certainly get wet and you will need a coat that keeps the wind off, as the combination of the wind and being wet is what leads to you getting cold.
  • Bring a series of comfortable, thin layers that can be worn or removed as appropriate.
  • Bring a good pair of gloves and a hat to keep your extremities warm.
  • Try to use technical clothing that dries quickly and helps remove sweat from your body.
  • Whilst hot sunny days are less common in the UK than many people would like, if it does look like the sun might make an appearance, remember to bring a sun hat and wear lighter clothing (but with the caveat that you have something warmer to wear if necessary).
  • Do not wear cotton or denim. Cotton will draw heat from your body when it is wet, causing you to get cold even if you have layers on top of the cotton.  Denim will stay wet for a long time and cause your legs to get cold and be uncomfortable.
  • Whilst less important, waterproof trousers and waterproof socks can be useful when the weather is bad.
  • Whilst walking socks have improved, wearing two pairs or a double layered pair can help reduce the chance of blisters.

Remember that a poor choice of clothing is one of the best ways of ruining a day's walking and can be potentially fatal!  Also remember to ensure that any clothing you are not wearing is stored somewhere waterproof - there's not much point bringing spare clothes if they are sodden before you put them on!

You don't need to spend a lot to start with - layers and comfort are the most important along with a good windproof coat and comfortable boots.

Keep an eye on the weather and contact the walk leader if you're unsure.

More information is available on the Ramblers website.

 

What Should I Bring With Me On A Walk?

P7232991P7048009Unless the walk description says otherwise you should bring a packed lunch and plenty of water with you.  How much water you need will depend on the walk, the weather, and how much you tend to drink, but not having enough water is unpleasant and, potentially, dangerous.  Snacks and a hot drink can be nice too - the latter especially in winter.  For harder walks you should bring additional food in case of emergencies.

Spare clothing is important - especially on harder walks.  Remember to ensure that it is stored somewhere that will keep it dry (either a waterproof rucksack or dry bags are recommended).

For evening and longer winter walks a torch is a good idea, just in case things take longer than expected.

In the summer, please take, and use, sunscreen - no-one looks good when they're burnt or peeling. Remember, when you're outside for several hours you can still get burnt in March and September - even when there are clouds in the sky.

Please bring a change of shoes for after the walk, along with a bag to put your boots in. We usually go to a pub before heading back to Cardiff and, even if the pub doesn't mind you wearing muddy boots, the person giving you a lift might!  Spare socks are also a good idea, as driving home in wet socks is not pleasant!

Other items you may want to bring include: a camera, a phone, a GPS (for recording where you've been), a first aid kit (plasters, bite cream, paracetemol, etc), wet wipes or hand gel, tissues, money, a map and compass (in case it's necessary to escort somebody back early, although you won't be asked to do this until you are known to be a competent map reader), and walking poles (but be careful how you use them - other people on the walk will object to having a walking pole in the face!).

Are Dogs Allowed On Walks?

P6106852In general, yes, dogs are allowed on walks.

However, not all walks are suitable for dogs, and walk leaders generally don't indicate whether a walk is dog-friendly or not, so it's probably best to contact the walk leader and ask if the walk is appropriate for dogs.

If you do bring your dog on a walk, remember that:

  • You are responsible for your dog on the walk.
  • You are responsible for keeping your dog on a lead on the walk when near livestock.  Note that farmers are allowed to kill dogs that are threatening their animals.
  • You are responsible for clearing up after your dog.
  • Not everybody on the walk will be comfortable with dogs, so make sure you keep the dog under control.

How Do I Get To A Walk?

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The group encourages car sharing from the car park off Fields Park Road in Cardiff.  This is better for the environment, makes it easier to park when the walk start point has a limited number of parking spaces, and helps members of the group that do not drive.  If it is not too far out of your way, you are strongly encouraged to meet there for a walk (unless the walk specifies another meet point such as Cardiff Central railway station).

Note: the car park we meet at is not the car park by the cafe at the junction of Fields Park Road, Penhill Road and Catherdral Road!  Instead, turn into Fields Park Road, go past Maldwyn Street and Fairleigh Road on your right, and take the third turn on the right into the car park.

It is sometimes the case that nobody driving to the walk lives close enough to the meeting point, and people without cars find themselves waiting at the meeting point with no transport.  This is unfortunate, but walk leaders do not know who is planning on joining them for a walk and, if they do not live close to the meeting point themselves, are unable to guarantee that somebody will be there.  For this reason, it is a good idea to confirm that somebody will be able to give you a lift in advance.  If you are a member of the group then you can contact people you know directly, or ask on the Facebook group if anybody is able to give you a lift.  If not, you can either contact the walk leader and ask them if they know of anybody that will be able to give you a lift, or you can attend Curry Club and ask there.

There are no hard and fast rules on charging for fuel, but passengers are expected to pay their driver a fair share of the fuel costs.

If you live outside of Cardiff, and coming into the city means a significant detour from the actual start point of the walk, you can drive straight to the start point.  You may wish to let the walk leader know before you leave though, in case you are delayed or have trouble finding the start point.

How Do I Find My Way To A Walk?

P4095962P7274283P9268828The description of the walk should specify the location of the walk start point.  It should also contain the grid reference for the start point and may contain a post code.  If you look at the walk description on this web site, you should see a Google Maps link to the walk start point as well (but make sure it is the start point and not the meeting point you are looking at!).

If you have a SatNav and a post code is provided with the walk description, then typing the post code into the SatNav may be the easiest option for finding the start of the work.  However, it is important to realise that post codes represent an area, rather than a point, and become less accurate the further away you get from built-up areas.  For walks in mountainous areas, using a post code and a SatNav may take you a long way away from the start point and you may end up missing the walk.  If the walk description does not contain a post code, the walk leader has deliberately removed it from the walk description - this is a strong hint that the post code is unlikely to get you to the walk start point, so you should probably not try to determine the nearest post code using other means.  However, do not assume the presence of a post code is a guarantee it will work - they are added automatically by the Ramblers Walks system.

If a SatNav and post code are not an option, you or one of your passengers will have to navigate.  Having a passenger do the navigation should make life a lot easier.  In this case you should work out your route in advance (this is a good idea even with a SatNav).

If you are driving to the meet point, make sure you know how to get to the walk start point, as you may be the one driving and the walk leader may not be at the meet point.

If you have questions about how to get to a walk start point, contact the walk leader in advance.

What Should I Do On A Walk?

P4095920P2125301P5216604Walking is generally a safe and fun activity, but a little extra thought can ensure that everyone goes home happy and that the environment is protected.

Litter - do we really need to remind you to take this home with you?

Gates - leave them in the state you found them, open or closed. The walk leader should make sure that walkers at the back know whether to close a gate or not.

Roads - when there's no pavement, walk facing oncoming traffic in single file, except where you are approaching a blind bend.

Stay together - don't let large gaps open up in the group or there's a chance that those at the back will end up separated and not know where to go. Keep an eye on the walkers ahead and behind you and ask people to slow down or wait if necessary. This is especially important in urban areas, woods and other places where you can't see very far ahead.

Dogs - keep them under control, especially around farm animals.

Livestock - in general sheep, cattle and horses will stay away from humans, but there have been rare cases of injuries and worse reported in the national news.  Be aware that animals can start moving suddenly, if spooked. If you're nervous around livestock let someone know and they can help you through the field, maybe by walking between you and the animals. Move quickly, calmly and quietly, don't get between calves and their mothers and keep any dogs under control.

For more information, see The Rambler's website.

What Benefits Do I Get From Joining?

P5292430Being a member of The Ramblers has several benefits:

  • You can attend the walks of any Ramblers group in Great Britain.
  • You will get a 15% discount from Cotswold Outdoors.
  • You will receive a quarterly copy of Walk magazine
  • You will be contributing to the work of the Britain's largest walking charity.

Being a member of Tiger Bay Ramblers has some additional benefits:

  • You can attend group social events, weekends away and holidays.
  • You gain access to the members' areas of this web site, including lists of social events and holidays.
  • You gain access to our Facebook group to chat and exchange photos with other group members.
  • You will receive weekly emails reminding you of coming walks and social events.
  • Production of a valid membership card will give you a discount (usually 10%) in most of Cardiff's outdoor equipment shops.

How Do I Join?

PA224795The Tiger Bay Ramblers group is a member of The Ramblers charity.  Whilst you are allowed to attend three walks without being a member of The Ramblers, you will need to be a member of The Ramblers to attend walks after that.  Further, you will need to be a member of the Tiger Bay Ramblers group to attend social events, holidays and weekends away, and to gain access to the members' areas on the web site.

To become a member of the group, you will need to join The Ramblers and specify Tiger Bay Ramblers (SW50) as your group. You can join The Ramblers' online - remember to choose the Glamorgan area and Tiger Bay Ramblers as the group (not Cardiff Ramblers).

Details of membership costs can be found on The Ramblers' site using the membership link above.

The This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. receives a membership update from The Ramblers each month.  On confirmation of your membership, you will be given access to the web site and added to the group email list.  If this has not happened within six weeks of joining, contact the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and ask if they have received confirmation of your membership (you will need to provide your membership number).  In addition, if you are on Facebook you will need to send a join request to the Facebook group, letting the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. know who you are and what your membership number is.

How Do I Make A Complaint Or Suggestion?

X00000024P5253578P6106789The group normally runs smoothly but, occaisionally, there are problems that need to be dealt with.  If you have a problem with something related to the group, or a suggestion for improving the way things are done, you should contact the appropriate committee member by email.  Please bear in mind that, whilst some issues can be dealt with straight away by the committee member you contact, others may need further consideration, and you may have to wait until the next committee meeting before your problem is even discussed.  Please also bear in mind that the committee may not agree to implement your suggestion if they feel it is not in the best interests of the entire group, if it would be against the rules or spirit of The Ramblers, if they feel that the cost is not justified by the benefit, or any number of other reasons.

In addition, there are some common sense rules to increase the chance of getting what you want:

  • Ensure that your communications are clear and concise, so that the committee know what your issue is and your preferred solution.
  • Do not raise the issue on Facebook.  Historically this has led to a very one-sided view being presented to the group, with a completely different view being expressed directly to the committee. Subsequent problems have led to the committee deciding to lock or remove such posts since.
  • Do not harrass committee members.  The committee are all volunteers that give up their free time for the group.  Sometimes they are busy and cannot deal with your issue immediately.  A gentle reminder if you haven't heard anything for a week or two is reasonable, but much more frequently than that will be annoying.
  • Whilst committee members may not mind being spoken to on a walk remember that they are on the walk for their own enjoyment and are unlikely to be happy spending a significant amount of time discussing your issue - especially if it's contraversial.  If you wish to speak to a committee member about an issue on a walk, ask them if they mind, and try to keep it short.
  • If you are aware of other people that share your opinion, get them to contact the committee as well.  Whilst knowing that more people feel the way you do does not guarantee a decision being made in your favour, it does increase the chance of it happening.

Despite the above, please do contact the committee if you have an issue.  The committee want the group to be the best it can be, and are happy for members to contact them with suggestions and problems.

Is There A Facebook Usage Policy?

P7258187The group does have a Facebook usage policy for the Facebook group.  It is explained in a pinned post on the Facebook group itself.  The key issues are:

  • The Facebook group is not to be used exclusively for event organisation.  The official channels are the web site and emails, so all events should be advertised through them.  This does not apply to recces though.
  • The Facebook group is not to be used for discussing issues with the committee.  If you have a problem, discuss it with the committee directly.  Experience has shown that discussing issues on Facebook leads to a few louder members of the group shouting on Facebook and the remaining members talking directly to the committee anyway. Frequently, the view being expressed on Facebook is not the majority view but, because it is visible, it can provide a distorted view of the feelings of the group as a whole.  It also excludes people not on Facebook from the discussion.
  • The Facebook group is not to be used for advertising other charities.

What Is iCalendar?

X00000011P3161583iCalendar (also referred to as iCal or ICS) is a file format used to represent calendar entries.  It is supported by a large number of calendar applications.  This web site uses it to make the walks programme (or subsets of it) available to visitors.  The [ICS] link in the top-right hand corner of each walks programme page can be used to obtain a copy of the walks programme on the page in ICS format.  The manner in which the link is used varies depending upon the calendar application.  Instructions for some common applications are included below.

Thunderbird (Lightning)

This note explains how you can import the TBR calendar into Thunderbird (Lightning):

  • Visit one of the walks-related pages on the TBR web site.
  • Right click on the [ICS] link at the top-right hand corner of the page, and select Copy Link Address (or whatever your browser's equivalent is).
  • Launch Thunderbird and go to the Calendar tab.
  • Right click in the left-hand pane and select New Calendar ....
  • Select On the Network and click Next >.
  • Ensure iCalendar (ICS) is selected under format, paste the URL from the web site into the Location box, and click Next >.
  • Enter a name for the calendar (if necessary), select a colour, and click Next >.
  • Click Finish.
  • The TBR walks should now show up in your calendar.

Android

Unfortunately, Android does not support ICS natively.  It is necessary to download an ICS synchronisation application and configure that.  I have been using ICS Sync for some time but, whilst I would like to recommend it, it has not been updated for several years and does report errors parsing the ICS file on this web site (although it does basically work).  I will update this entry when I have a better option.

Why Do PDF Documents Popup An Empty Window?

P8094286This web site contains links to a number of PDF documents.  These links are designed to show a popup containing the PDF document, to make it easier to read.  Unfortunately, this only works on browsers like Chrome and Firefox that have built in PDF viewers; for other browsers the popup window is empty and the PDF file is downloaded separately.

If your browser does not support viewing PDF documents directly, there should be a [download] link next to each PDF document link.  You should be able to click on that to download the PDF document without the popup window appearing.  You can then view the downloaded PDF document using your normal PDF viewing tool.