Sunday in the Sun

4,730Kcal, 1,500m climbing and six and a half hours riding yesterday. It was an epic ride and a full day out in the Dark Peak District. Rides in this part of the world often turn out like this. The trails are hard and technical riding and it turned out to be probably one of the hardest days riding I have done in years. My legs are still aching today from propelling me and suspending me over all those rocks – my back is fairly tight too. More photos are up here…

Ace riding in the Dark Peak

The saddle on Tyrrell’s Stumpy gave up the ghost at the foot of Cranberry Clough and the head of Ladybower. It was a weird break that I haven’t seen the likes of before and I think it was just a one off. As a fix we adopted the Wilderness approach and looked for some Ray Mears style solution to get us home. A chunky bit of pine branch did the business and without any tape or string stayed in place for the rest of the ride including some sketchy rock descents.

Stuff at work today made me wonder quite how TV detection works these days?

It seems to be largely based on the database of licenced users and targeting people who don’t have a licence. If you buy a TV or other related equipment like DVD players these days the retailer (well John Lewis at least) pass on your details to the TVLA so they can start sending you threatening letters (pseudo-invoices, other trumped up mailshots, etc).

The TVLA website says:

At the heart of our operation is the TV Licensing database of over 28 million home and business addresses, telling us which of these have TV Licences.

All of our enforcement officers have access to this database and will check whether or not you have a licence. If you are using a TV and are unlicensed, you could face prosecution and a hefty fine.

We have a fleet of detector vans, plus, our enforcement officers have access to hand-held detection devices capable of detecting a magnetic field when a TV is switched on. In fact, we catch an average of over 1,000 people watching TV without a licence every day.

We have a range of detection tools at our disposal in our vans. Some aspects of the equipment have been developed in such secrecy that engineers working on specific detection methods work in isolation – so not even they know how the other detection methods work. This gives us the best chance of catching licence evaders.


My big question is that if you live in a block of flats with one common shared aerial how do they work out who has a TV and who doesn’t these days when there are so many devices that are based on LCD and Plasma technology and don’t transmit the same electromagnetic fields as conventional TV sets. For example how do they detect a digital LCD TV as opposed to an LCD computer monitor?

I raise this because we’re just all be warned about the fact that individual offices at work may need to have a TV licence to watch the World Cup over the Internet via the BBC website and I’cve jsut had to issue a warning along these lines. Any way there has been plenty of discussion about this over on the Singletrackworld forum.

Author: Cris Bloomfield

Usually mountain biking in the North.

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