Cycling UK Forum - On the road

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Updated: 29 weeks 1 day ago

Janet Street Porter

10 May 2016 - 12:45pm
On BBC2 yesterday - Janet Street Porter vs Andrew Gilligan

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p03tm40m

Afraid its the usual illogical rant which goes from congestion - danger - increased pollution! caused by cyclists.
Gilligan does well by countering her hysterical ranting with a measured and sensible argument.

Re: Falling Off

10 May 2016 - 12:09pm
Yep, are you differentiating between falling off and being knocked off?

On road my 'falls' have been:
- took corner too fast at bottom of 1 in 7 slope and hit gravel while (unofficially) racing
- back end slid out on debris on roundabout
- back wheel pulled out of frame due to manky skewer

where as 'knocked off':
- car didn't stop at give way
- dived into ditch as car overtaking on blind bend locked up brakes and slid towards me
- hit diesel spill where lorry had previously crashed

forced dismounts:
- various!

Re: Falling Off

10 May 2016 - 11:57am
Graham O wrote:On Breakfast time this morning, there was an article about the Countess of Wessex being a cyclist and while being interviewed by Louise ? (can't remember her name), they both admitted to having fallen off their bikes, almost as if it is part of cycling. They both came to cycling late in life. I know a couple who have taken up cycling in their 50's and they both fall off. Am I the exception in that I've not fallen off since I was learning to ride without stabilisers? Does the bike have a part to play in that people buy lightweight, twitchy, fast steering race bikes which they aren't able to handle?

Edit: I'm thinking purely of road riding.
What does fallen off mean?

I don't recall falling off a moving bike, except maybe when I was trying to do 'jumps' as a kid. I've fallen over a couple of times when I tried to stop and had some problem with doing so (e.g. gravel or ice)

I rode into the back of parked car when I was maybe 11 years old, but I didn't fall off.

I understand the Countess of Wessex is learning to use cleats, so perhaps 'lightweight and twitchy' don't have much to do with it.

Re: Falling Off

10 May 2016 - 11:52am
I started riding aged about 10yrs - now 69! I am mystified. I do not understand all these cyclists "falling off". Only times I have come off, icy roads! I use only 'sit up and beg' bikes, and now very low frame due to arthritis. I have a "cheap" Halfords bike and a more expensive Batavus bike. Both have been off road - i.e. Rutland Water Lake ride (to me more like a mountainous ride with views of the lake) on my cheap bike and up and down we went and never fell off! I used to commute ride (missing potholes) and now mainly for shopping and touring holidays. I also have 2 panniers on bike permanently and still have had no problem with balance! Anyway just thought I would comment here.

Re: Falling Off

10 May 2016 - 11:33am
I'm not sure that "precise" is the right word. All bikes should go where the rider wants them to go, but it is the amount of user input which is needed. My slow steering Surly needs very little user input in the way of course corrections when it meets potholes, bumps, mud etc, but my faster steering cross bike needs many more small corrections. That is what I interpret as "twitchyness".

Re: Fed up!

10 May 2016 - 11:26am
Dw i'n caru afordir Sir Benfro... I'd be happy if I were driving and riding around there rather than through the loosely connected industrial and residential estates that make up much of NE Derbyshire and Sheffield. Actually, that's unfair; it's only a constant stream of suburbia and urbia (which should be a word even if it isn't) if I go by the most direct route; there's moors to the West and pleasantly undulating country to the East where I can find routes where there's little in the way of conflict with other idiots.

Perhaps the OP needs to find different routes that are less harrassed?

Re: Falling Off

10 May 2016 - 11:17am
foxyrider wrote:karlt wrote:Not sure where this "twitchy" thing about road bikes comes from. I find they go where I point them, like any other bike.

But not all bikes react as quickly or we'll. I think 'twitchy' is the wrong word, 'precise' might be better. If you are used to an Mtb/hybrid/Galaxy with slower, less precise steering the move to a 'road' bike could well be daunting. The problem is actually over steering, road bikes rarely need much steering but other styles do and that is usually what causes the off.



I'm not sure I notice any difference. I ride MTBs as well and they also just go where I point them, as soon as I point them. If they were slow to react they'd have to be sliding on the front tyre and I don't see that happen. I don't feel any under or oversteer on any of them.

Re: Tram lines...

10 May 2016 - 11:13am
Case in point - in Sheffield at Manor Top heading North the tracks cross the lane from the right at a very shallow angle. To negotiate them, it is necessary to go to the left of the lane, then cut across the lines to the right of the lane, then return to normal riding position. Of course, as soon as you move left, a constant stream of traffic then starts overtaking you within the lane and you're buggered. I've raised it with the council but they don't give a flying one.

Re: Tram lines...

10 May 2016 - 10:44am
The art is to make sure you cross at no less than 45 degrees, the other traffic is often not keen on giving you the space

Which makes them totally unsuitable for cyclists

Re: Tram lines...

10 May 2016 - 10:38am
There is an extensive tram network in Oslo. I like it because there is no charge to take bikes on trams, and it's absolutely fine to do so, as long as there is reasonable space (too crowded at peak times!)

In many places, the trams run on wide streets like https://www.google.no/maps/@59.9148464, ... 312!8i6656
With this arrangement, the trams stop and let people off on an island, and traffic can go around. Passengers get zebra crossings (at which Norwegian drivers are quite good about stopping).

Cyclists can use either the lane with the tram tracks, or the inside lane. Most use the inside lane, but when traffic is heavy, the tram lane is faster. The best place to cycle is between the tracks, and with a little practice, it's not hard to hop over. I've not seen any cyclists take spills, but I don't know if there are accidents reported. Maybe cyclists who arenæt too sure about hopping over the tracks, avoid them. Some streets only allow cyclists and trams, and frankly, even when thee tracks cross each other a weird angles at junctions, I'd rather share with trams than cars and busses.

Some designs seem to be better than others, and the gaps between road surface and tracks seem to be smaller in Oslo than many other places that I've seen trams. Also, they don't seem to use much of that hard black plastic to fill gaps, that stuff can be quite slippery when wet, and IMO, is a poor design choice. If filling material is required, for example to reach services below road surface level, they need to have a non-slip surface.

Where trams run on roads used by all traffic, and there is only one lane in each direction, designers are faced with a problem. If they make the road wide enough to cycle easily on the inside of the tram tracks, it is a poor width for cyclists sharing with cars. That is, the road will be wide enough (between 3.0 and 4.0 metres) to encourage car drivers to share when there is isn't erally enough space for safety. If they put a propoer cycle lane in, they need much more space because the trams are wide (in Oslo they are either 2.5 or 2.6 metres wide). So they seem to settle for narrow lanes, which mean the best place to cycle is between the tram tracks.

Drivers' patience with cyclists goes a long way towards making it liveable. I'm sure it will be even better when they introduce the car ban.

Re: Advance cycle traffic light spotted in London

10 May 2016 - 10:00am
Is there a sign to explain to the mopeds, taxis and buses that it's not for them? There are lots of them across Europe all respected by the other traffic. We can't even keep other traffic out of ASL's (why is it that at normal stop lines no cars will go the line but they must encroach on the ASL box?)

Re: Falling Off

10 May 2016 - 9:53am
karlt wrote:Not sure where this "twitchy" thing about road bikes comes from. I find they go where I point them, like any other bike.

But not all bikes react as quickly or we'll. I think 'twitchy' is the wrong word, 'precise' might be better. If you are used to an Mtb/hybrid/Galaxy with slower, less precise steering the move to a 'road' bike could well be daunting. The problem is actually over steering, road bikes rarely need much steering but other styles do and that is usually what causes the off.

I try not to fall off - it hurts, but on those occasions when I have its had nothing to do with the bike as such. Outside influences - ice, parts failure, riding surface, other traffic being the cause premiere.

Re: Tram lines...

10 May 2016 - 9:37am
karlt wrote:I'm all for trams. I'm not for them running in a lane cyclists will have to use and I'm not for them crossing the carriageway at stupidly shallow angles. Sheffield I am lookng at you.

+1 - 'kin Manor Top!

The art is to make sure you cross at no less than 45 degrees, the other traffic is often not keen on giving you the space tho

Re: Fed up!

10 May 2016 - 9:35am
I wonder where you live?

My last two rides with the Pembrokeshire CTC have had me wondering if Putin has launched a secret chemical weapons attack on the country.
All the drivers we met were not only considerate and patient, they also looked happy and friendly!

There is certainly something afoot and I am feeling very suspicious.

Stopped my car on a traffic roundabout yesterday to let a pedestrian cross my exit road, just because he was there waiting.

Re: Tram lines...

10 May 2016 - 9:31am
Having cycled in the royal dockyards for much of my service life, not only do you get rail lines, you get points and criss-crosses, too. Plus there's the dockside crane lines ............. and all of these were set into wet greasy cobbles and flagstones. Some train tracks crossed crane tracks as well.

It was horrendous, and many's the time that unwary cyclists have come off. I was maybe lucky but there were many times that my rear wheel went the wrong way - but I stayed on. It's the front wheels you have to watch out for. Also, if you cross a line, take it at the largest angle you can.

However, and it's a BIG however, on the streets with commuting traffic is very different to busy dockyards. In the dackyards you had to look out for lorries and forklift trucks, drunken sailors! cars, vans and all sorts of delivery vehicles ......... but at least they were all moving slowly.

In the towns, though, the traffic is unforgiving and cyclists can be intimidated to such a degree that they get forced along near the lines as opposed to being allowed away from them or cross them safely.

Re: Before Pulling In For Car - Indicate or Not ?

10 May 2016 - 9:30am
PH wrote:[XAP]Bob wrote:There is nothing they can do with the information very far in advance.

The information I want to convey is that
I am aware you're there
You're only coming past on my terms
You're not going to be awaiting for long

There's no way of telling what's best, every situation is different, but I feel this works for me.

Then I'll often look behind - or hold a hand up to say "I know you're there, thanks for waiting"

Re: Tram lines...

10 May 2016 - 9:29am
Si wrote:Even before the new city centre trams starting running in Brum a number of people have gone over on them. The local cycle training company has offered sessions to cover riding with trams, and the council has put up lots of cyclist dismount signs.. I foresee much waling and gnashing of teeth now the trams are running.
Start a guerrilla labelling campaign to stick "TRAM" over the word "CYCLIST"

Re: Falling Off

10 May 2016 - 9:28am
Not sure where this "twitchy" thing about road bikes comes from. I find they go where I point them, like any other bike.

Re: Tram lines...

10 May 2016 - 8:28am
The nearest tram networks to where we live are in Croydon - which I have negotiated, gingerly - and from our place in France, in Toulouse (which I haven't: but what I've seen of the network in that city, they seem well segregated). I would guess that our Continental cousins, having more experience of trams than we have, are also rather better at considering the needs of cyclists....

I don't know about Dublin - I didn't even know they had trams there, I don't recall any from the last time I was there. A fairly recent introduction I suppose? Cyclists beware!

Re: Tram lines...

10 May 2016 - 8:28am
Even before the new city centre trams starting running in Brum a number of people have gone over on them. The local cycle training company has offered sessions to cover riding with trams, and the council has put up lots of cyclist dismount signs.. I foresee much waling and gnashing of teeth now the trams are running.
 
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