Cycling UK Forum - On the road

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Updated: 18 weeks 5 days ago

Re: Butser Hill - proposed cyclepath for the missing link

7 April 2016 - 11:30am
Graham wrote:For anyone cycling south on the tarmac band alongside the existing A3. I have swept an area about 30 metres long at the northern end of the (closed) layby.
This was previously covered in smashed glass and was causing me some annoyance as is this is the cyclists' refuge of last resort.
Thank you on behalf of anyone who rides there, even though I'm unlikely to. I have been known to resort to that when http://www.fixmystreet.com reports don't result in satisfactory outcomes. I'm contemplating getting some quick-set cement to do crude fills of potholes that are below "specified intervention levels" but still dangerous to cycles. It really shouldn't come to this

Re: Butser Hill - proposed cyclepath for the missing link

6 April 2016 - 9:36pm
clandyfield wrote:Meeting to discuss this now appears to be scheduled for 31 March in Winchester.
http://www3.hants.gov.uk/councilmeetings/advsearchmeetings/meetingsitemsummary.htm?pref=Y&tab=1&item_ID=7294&cancel=n
If you look in the Documents section the increased costs details are there, together with the timescale - 4 months!
Despite searches, I cannot find any further info about the outcome of this meeting / approval.

The section between Buriton roundabout and the beginning of the old, disused A3 section is now commencing construction ( by a contractor - possibly Highways England ).

For anyone cycling south on the tarmac band alongside the existing A3. I have swept an area about 30 metres long at the northern end of the (closed) layby.
This was previously covered in smashed glass and was causing me some annoyance as is this is the cyclists' refuge of last resort.

Re: Pan Eurpoean Tour

6 April 2016 - 4:20pm
By the way you will probably get a better response if you posted this in the Touring section.

Re: Cycling in groups

6 April 2016 - 12:38pm
mjr wrote:I'm getting cantankerous in my old age. I often ride as a backmarker (we split into sixes or eights on busy roads) and although we're basically single-file, I do ride as "a swinging gate" on the back, moving up alongside the penultimate rider when I feel it is not safe for a motorist to overtake without changing fully into the other lane.

I've tended to do that on the occasional group rides I've been on. Where the group stays in secondary through traffic islands I'll be the one to put myself in primary to discourage anyone having a go at that moment.
Basically, the only time riding single file is critical is on wide single-carriageway major roads - and most of those aren't fun to ride on - where it enables overtaking by straddling the centre line; and 1.5-car-wide minor roads, where it enables overtaking that isn't physically possible otherwise. Sometimes, riding single file (or zigzag formation) can help motorists to see past and time their overtaking better but they still can't overtake safely when there's oncoming motorists.

Most roads in the Shelford area referred to in the newspaper are standard single-carriageway major roads and 2-car-wide minor roads. Single file or not will make little difference. Motorists are delayed there mainly because of their fellow motorists avoiding a bit of the M11 on the way into Cambridge or the P+R site.

Exactly, the road width is critical in the determination. As you say, wide and narrow roads dictate single file. 'Normal' roads, as in ones where there's just enough to fit two cars side by side and not much else, then doubled up is safer for everyone.

Re: Cycling in groups

6 April 2016 - 12:34pm
Mark1978 wrote:e.g. with 6 riders if the road is not wide enough to allow a cyclist, a safe passing distance, an overtaking car and an oncoming car, all to share the same horizontal bit of road at the same time then it means you're going to have to go into the opposing lane to overtake anyway. That being the case it's easier to overtake a group 3 cyclists long than it is to overtake one 6 cyclists long.
I'm getting cantankerous in my old age. I often ride as a backmarker (we split into sixes or eights on busy roads) and although we're basically single-file, I do ride as "a swinging gate" on the back, moving up alongside the penultimate rider when I feel it is not safe for a motorist to overtake without changing fully into the other lane. Occasionally, I signal "stop" at the car behind if it sounds like they're about to "have a go" when I can see oncoming traffic that they can't (due to my higher seat). It's quite rare that I get abuse for it - I think many motorists like having the "they're riding single file so they want me to squeeze past" uncertainty removed - and even rarer if my camera is visible

Basically, the only time riding single file is critical is on wide single-carriageway major roads - and most of those aren't fun to ride on - where it enables overtaking by straddling the centre line; and 1.5-car-wide minor roads, where it enables overtaking that isn't physically possible otherwise. Sometimes, riding single file (or zigzag formation) can help motorists to see past and time their overtaking better but they still can't overtake safely when there's oncoming motorists.

Most roads in the Shelford area referred to in the newspaper are standard single-carriageway major roads and 2-car-wide minor roads. Single file or not will make little difference. Motorists are delayed there mainly because of their fellow motorists avoiding a bit of the M11 on the way into Cambridge or the P+R site.

Re: Cycling in groups

6 April 2016 - 12:15pm
Mark1978 wrote:pwa wrote:I think the Highway Code gets it about right on this one. Cycling two abreast is fine, but where it causes protracted delays for faster moving traffic it is good to single out. I've been doing that for about 50 years, ever since my mother took me out for my first ride on the roads. Most cyclists seem to do that anyway. When driving I often find myself approaching two cyclists riding side by side, and usually they single out as I approach. It's just people having consideration for other people, regardless of their chosen form of transport. That's how it should be, on both sides. When I drive past cyclists who have singled out for me I raise a hand in thanks. And I mean it.

I do the same when cycling with one other. Which is fine if the road is relatively quiet. It's actually when the road is busy that riding 2 abreast is safer, i.e. to prevent chancy overtakes into oncoming traffic. Which is an area where the HC gets it wrong.

Yes, when it makes you safer it is worth persisting with two abreast until a safe passing place arrives. Also, larger groups of ,say, six cyclists can be easier to pass if riding two abreast because they are less stretched out.

Re: Cycling in groups

6 April 2016 - 12:02pm
pwa wrote:I think the Highway Code gets it about right on this one. Cycling two abreast is fine, but where it causes protracted delays for faster moving traffic it is good to single out. I've been doing that for about 50 years, ever since my mother took me out for my first ride on the roads. Most cyclists seem to do that anyway. When driving I often find myself approaching two cyclists riding side by side, and usually they single out as I approach. It's just people having consideration for other people, regardless of their chosen form of transport. That's how it should be, on both sides. When I drive past cyclists who have singled out for me I raise a hand in thanks. And I mean it.

I do the same when cycling with one other. Which is fine if the road is relatively quiet. It's actually when the road is busy that riding 2 abreast is safer, i.e. to prevent chancy overtakes into oncoming traffic. Which is an area where the HC gets it wrong.

Re: Cycling in groups

6 April 2016 - 12:00pm
[XAP]Bob wrote:Paulatic wrote:If you are cycling through Cambridgeshire you could follow their police advice. [emoji83]



Yeah - because if you spread out and all take primary then you're so much easier to overtake,

Why isn't the headline: Police warn motorists not to overtake where it isn't safe?

The problem is, as always, explaining to the uninitiated why single file often won't help and will make the situation worse.

e.g. with 6 riders if the road is not wide enough to allow a cyclist, a safe passing distance, an overtaking car and an oncoming car, all to share the same horizontal bit of road at the same time then it means you're going to have to go into the opposing lane to overtake anyway. That being the case it's easier to overtake a group 3 cyclists long than it is to overtake one 6 cyclists long.

But then that can't be explained to drivers in a single soundbite - It's amazing how many cyclists just don't get it. So they fall back on 'single file is best'.

Re: Cycling in groups

6 April 2016 - 11:58am
I think the Highway Code gets it about right on this one. Cycling two abreast is fine, but where it causes protracted delays for faster moving traffic it is good to single out. I've been doing that for about 50 years, ever since my mother took me out for my first ride on the roads. Most cyclists seem to do that anyway. When driving I often find myself approaching two cyclists riding side by side, and usually they single out as I approach. It's just people having consideration for other people, regardless of their chosen form of transport. That's how it should be, on both sides. When I drive past cyclists who have singled out for me I raise a hand in thanks. And I mean it.

Re: Cycling in groups

6 April 2016 - 11:35am
Paulatic wrote:If you are cycling through Cambridgeshire you could follow their police advice. [emoji83]



Yeah - because if you spread out and all take primary then you're so much easier to overtake,

Why isn't the headline: Police warn motorists not to overtake where it isn't safe?

Re: Cycling in groups

6 April 2016 - 11:32am
arnsider wrote:People unused to long distances and sustained effort will split up and the stragglers will loose heart.
Try holding back the fitter ones and it will lead to impatience and frustration.
Best of luck with that!
It depends how far up their backsides the "fitter ones" have their heads IMO! There's plenty of ways to use that fitness in a group without setting speed records and pulling the legs off the stragglers.

For example, fitter riders can volunteer to be dropped at junctions to show the rest of the group the way, then rejoin after the backmarkers pass, ride back up the group to the route guide and repeat - when the guide runs out of such volunteers, it's a sign that a regroup stop is probably needed. Doing this, the fitter riders will ride the route at a higher speed, albeit with more stops - interval training?

Riding as a backmarker can also make occasional use of fitter riders - if a toolkit-carrying backmarker stops to help someone, it's useful to have someone nearby who can ride up the group to tell someone in the new back group that they're now backmarker and even advise the guide that someone's stopped. It avoids the guide sending someone back along the route in search or trying to phone the backmarker who may be up to their wrists in bike.

I'm sure there are many other possible uses, too. Or if all else fails, one of the fitter riders can be a second route guide and split the group.

Re: Cycling in groups

6 April 2016 - 10:53am
Thanks for the replies,

Good point about the different rate and experience. I have now been "volunteered" to be a Chaperone of one of the two groups, So herding cats here we come, mind you that will be the same role as I do at work anyway!

We have thought about tubes and kit the support van will carry most of our spares except two tubes per person, the van is going to carry spare tyres, and also a spare bike or two.

The mismatch in abilities worries me most of all, and keeping those who want to rush off under control, and to keep the enthusiastic from "burning out". Garmins with routes planned in them, good point about different version giving different directions, the route is pre-planned, so only either lead rider, or second rider with have the active route shown to stop confusion.

On the other group riding from Penzance, they have an experience chaperone, who has done the ride across Britain, so she has spoken to us about things we might have to consider, ie persuading some one to get into the support vehicle on day 1/2 other wise they will not be able to make day 2/3

All thoughts gratefully received

Thanks Martin

Re: Cycling in groups

6 April 2016 - 10:53am
Thanks for the replies,

Good point about the different rate and experience. I have now been "volunteered" to be a Chaperone of one of the two groups, So herding cats here we come, mind you that will be the same role as I do at work anyway!

We have thought about tubes and kit the support van will carry most of our spares except two tubes per person, the van is going to carry spare tyres, and also a spare bike or two.

The mismatch in abilities worries me most of all, and keeping those who want to rush off under control, and to keep the enthusiastic from "burning out". Garmins with routes planned in them, good point about different version giving different directions, the route is pre-planned, so only either lead rider, or second rider with have the active route shown to stop confusion.

On the other group riding from Penzance, they have an experience chaperone, who has done the ride across Britain, so she has spoken to us about things we might have to consider, ie persuading some one to get into the support vehicle on day 1/2 other wise they will not be able to make day 2/3

All thoughts gratefully received

Thanks Martin

Re: Dogs on cycle paths - how many where you live?

6 April 2016 - 10:46am
ossie wrote:Why is it ridiculous to expect people to share NCR 25 and not hog it all?

You win in the obtuse stakes....Who said they hog it ?
If they're not hogging it, where's the problem?

Most of these shared facilities were footpaths before they ever had a few NCN stickers plastered all over them.
Well, that's where we're coming from different experiences: most of the cycle tracks that make up NCNs 1 and 11 in West Norfolk either didn't exist before the NCN or were tracks (not registered footpaths) upgraded to bridleways and tarmacked to 2.5+m width. The main exception is the 600m between the railway station and Tennyson Avenue Level Crossing, most of which is wide enough at 9m that there's rarely conflict unless a dog is out of control (and then it turns up in the local rag as "evil cyclist ran over my dog" rather than "loose dog knocks woman off bike" ).

Why do you expect people to part like the Red sea when a cyclist hurtles down a path without the decency to warn people they are coming..its a two way thing.
I won't defend the people who don't warn and no-one's expecting them to "part like the Red sea" - they simply shouldn't be taking up the full width unless they check periodically that they're obstructing no other users (of any sort, including joggers or faster walkers).

Re: Dogs on cycle paths - how many where you live?

6 April 2016 - 10:46am
ossie wrote:Why is it ridiculous to expect people to share NCR 25 and not hog it all?

You win in the obtuse stakes....Who said they hog it ?
If they're not hogging it, where's the problem?

Most of these shared facilities were footpaths before they ever had a few NCN stickers plastered all over them.
Well, that's where we're coming from different experiences: most of the cycle tracks that make up NCNs 1 and 11 in West Norfolk either didn't exist before the NCN or were tracks (not registered footpaths) upgraded to bridleways and tarmacked to 2.5+m width. The main exception is the 600m between the railway station and Tennyson Avenue Level Crossing, most of which is wide enough at 9m that there's rarely conflict unless a dog is out of control (and then it turns up in the local rag as "evil cyclist ran over my dog" rather than "loose dog knocks woman off bike" ).

Why do you expect people to part like the Red sea when a cyclist hurtles down a path without the decency to warn people they are coming..its a two way thing.
I won't defend the people who don't warn and no-one's expecting them to "part like the Red sea" - they simply shouldn't be taking up the full width unless they check periodically that they're obstructing no other users (of any sort, including joggers or faster walkers).

Re: Dogs on cycle paths - how many where you live?

6 April 2016 - 10:07am
Bicycler wrote:
Personally I favour a traditional "ring ring" style of bell. I think it sounds less like a demand than the ping type. I also think people are quicker to associate it with "bicycle" so you end up with less of that confusion when the bell sound interrupts somebody's conversation or daydreaming stroll.

+1

Re: Dogs on cycle paths - how many where you live?

6 April 2016 - 10:05am
I don't recall ever having issues with using a bell. Most people simply stand to one side having grabbed their mutt/kids/partner and let me through, often with a smile. I've even been thanked for it's use. "At least you use a bell" and smiled at me.
The few occasions when I've used my voice haven't been met with as much enthusiasm. I've heard people apologise because they thought they were in my way and one lady said to her husband/partner, "Why can't they just use bells???". Most likely because the distance at which I give a warning that I'm coming requires that I speak quite loudly and I guess that it might sound like I'm forcing my way through or that I'm irritated by other users. A bell has no such effect and is clearly heard through most ambient noise.
I imagine some folk might glare if the bell's been rung 5-10 feet behind the people it's aimed at, but a good 20 feet back giving them time to collect their thoughts and shuffle to one side has never once resulted in a glare. And I use that bell a hellovalot.

Re: Dogs on cycle paths - how many where you live?

6 April 2016 - 9:33am
jan19 wrote:I tend to shout "cyclist coming by" or some such now.
Which results in lots of "why don't cyclists have bells?" enquiries. You're right, we can't win.

Personally I favour a traditional "ring ring" style of bell. I think it sounds less like a demand than the ping type. I also think people are quicker to associate it with "bicycle" so you end up with less of that confusion when the bell sound interrupts somebody's conversation or daydreaming stroll.

Re: Pan Eurpoean Tour

6 April 2016 - 9:30am
The best way to get in shape for riding a bike is riding a bike. . You done say if you are staying in hotels or camping whichever it is don't take too much stuff. If you search on here you will get lots of advice regarding what to take. Get a bike with low gears the Alps are not steep but the climbs are long and it's better to have a really low gear and not need it than be struggling or even walking up a climb for want of a lower gear. What gear exactly depends on your fitness, weigh, how much stuff you carry and how many mountains you do in a day but I would suggest that the starting point is a triple chainset or possible one of these super compact doubles 42/26 etc.

By the way it's not a once in a lifetime opportunity you can always go back and do it again and again or other routes such as the Pyrenees.

Re: Dogs on cycle paths - how many where you live?

6 April 2016 - 9:09am
You can't win with bells. There was one time I used mine (politely, just a "ding") to warn an elderly couple who were walking on the shared cycle way that I was coming past (on the grass verge, giving them a wide berth, but just warning them I was there) only to have both if them give me a mouthful because apparently I'd made them jump!

I tend to shout "cyclist coming by" or some such now.

Jan
 
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