Guides to rules abroad...

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
st599_uk
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Guides to rules abroad...

Postby st599_uk » 17 Jun 2019, 8:54am

... currently in Berlin for work and cycling as much as I can using the local bike hire scheme.

As I've been fined in Köln once for how I was cycling, I picked up a guide to cycling rules for tourists and whilst it's useful, the English translation is a bit poor. I don't think it's possible to obey as written - if there's a bike lane you must use it, but you must also use the road.

Does anyone produce guidelines like this for tourists? Could be quite useful.

(And a health warning that the brakes are the wrong way round)
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pete75
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Re: Guides to rules abroad...

Postby pete75 » 17 Jun 2019, 9:12am

Found this on a website about cycling in Germany. Good advice.



Autobahn: Bicycles are never allowed on the Autobahn. [Do not even think about riding your bicycle on the Autobahn.]

eileithyia
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Re: Guides to rules abroad...

Postby eileithyia » 17 Jun 2019, 9:22am

Does the old touring dept advise / guidelines still exist. Used to be as a member, you could write in and ask for touring guidelines for a particular country or area, and, if they existed, you were sent the guidelines. They did however rely on members updating and sending in their own observations and experiences.
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thirdcrank
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Re: Guides to rules abroad...

Postby thirdcrank » 17 Jun 2019, 9:40am

Avoid urban myths. It seems to be a widely-held belief that in the greater part of Europe, cyclists are treated as innocent of any misbehaviour and drivers will be caned, metaphorically if not literally for and misbehaviour on the same street as one being used by a cyclist.

Hyperbole, but not much.

You are right to look for facts. IIRC, somebody did post a link to a Dutch highway code for tourists, but beware of over-simplification.

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Tigerbiten
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Re: Guides to rules abroad...

Postby Tigerbiten » 17 Jun 2019, 10:17am

I could be wrong but I would take it as ......

It probably means that if there is a bike lane you must use it and if not you must use the road and not a pedestrian pavement.

Luck ......... :D

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andrew_s
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Re: Guides to rules abroad...

Postby andrew_s » 17 Jun 2019, 10:41am

Any cycle track or lane marked with a blue circular bike sign is compulsory, and you aren't allowed to use the parallel road.

It can take a bit of practice to get used to where the lanes and signs are likely to be.
Sometimes there is a 2-way track on one side of the road, sometimes it's a one-way track on each side. The track may be a bit back from the road, perhaps behind a hedge. The 2-way, one side tracks can sometimes swap sides.

Unlike the UK, cyclist are subject to the same drink/drive limits as motorists.

I think you need lights fitted even if it's not dark. As a foreign visitor, your lights don't need to need any standard other than white front/red rear, but if you've a mega-bright Chinese LED you'll get done for dazzling oncoming traffic unless it's aimed very short.
A bell is compulsory, iirc.

thirdcrank
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Re: Guides to rules abroad...

Postby thirdcrank » 17 Jun 2019, 10:57am

As penance for being a bit light-hearted about a very serious subject, I'll do a bit of research in the hope that it smokes out somebody who knows. (I'm limited to E&W and long past my use-by date. I rely on irc for S.)

This looks authentic for France.
https://www.freewheelingfrance.com/plan ... rance.html

This is from the Dutch tourist board
https://www.holland.com/global/tourism/ ... olland.htm
Belgium from a ferry company: looks rather generalised
https://www.dfdsseaways.co.uk/travel-id ... in-belgium

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mjr
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Re: Guides to rules abroad...

Postby mjr » 17 Jun 2019, 12:09pm

andrew_s wrote:Any cycle track or lane marked with a blue circular bike sign is compulsory, and you aren't allowed to use the parallel road.

Conversely, any cycle track marked with a blue rectangular sign, either like the British cycle route sign or the equivalent in words (fietspad in Dutch) is optional. You may also find them signed with a pedestrian symbol with "uitgezonderd fietsers", "sauf vélos" or equivalent under it.

andrew_s wrote:It can take a bit of practice to get used to where the lanes and signs are likely to be.
Sometimes there is a 2-way track on one side of the road, sometimes it's a one-way track on each side. The track may be a bit back from the road, perhaps behind a hedge. The 2-way, one side tracks can sometimes swap sides.

Yes, the layout that's tricked me a few times is when I'm turning right where there is a 2-way on the far side of a T junction, especially if the signs are side-on like at https://goo.gl/maps/QDpFHfLQ5GTqe7R79 (that one's more obvious from the high pole of streetview than it was in real life!)

Unlike the UK, cyclist are subject to the same drink/drive limits as motorists.
I think you need lights fitted even if it's not dark. [...]
A bell is compulsory, iirc.

I don't think those are universal, but a bell qualifies your bike as International Traffic so is worth doing, as is cycling not drunk and having lights.

Another rule to be aware of: from 1st July, holding or touching an electronic device (including a phone, bar-mounted GPS or camera) while in motion cycling in the Netherlands is punishable by a €95 fine. You also have to have one hand on the bars at all times but I'm not sure what fine that carries. This "using a phone is just as dangerous on a bike as it is in a car" stuff is nonsense but the motorists have got their tit-for-tat through even there. :( It means I'll be back to using cue sheets this year, which is obviously more dangerous than having a sat nav speaking the directions and flashing its screen, but messing about refolding paper on the move remains legal.
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
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DaveReading
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Re: Guides to rules abroad...

Postby DaveReading » 17 Jun 2019, 5:15pm

st599_uk wrote:As I've been fined in Köln once for how I was cycling

Out of interest, what had you done or omitted to do ?

brynpoeth
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Re: Guides to rules abroad...

Postby brynpoeth » 17 Jun 2019, 6:48pm

The rules are complicated of course :?
There are some roads where cycling on a cycle lane on the road is permitted, or one may use a cycleway on the pavement, either is allowed, but the lane on the road is marked by a dotted line which motors may cross 'if necessary' :(
I know Berlin well, have not cycled there
From 3.6 there was an Aktionswoche Falschparken, action week against parking crime
One week a year there is a bit in the media about parking on cycle lanes, junctions etc
51 weeks there is next to no enforcement

The German equivalent of the ctc is the adfc (allgemeine deutsche fahrrad club / alles denkbar falsch club [everything possible wrong club]), -99
..
Just one place to visit in Berlin: Schoeneberger Suedgelaende, it is an old railway yard that was abandoned for decades and is now a nature reserve/art park
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One more place to visit: Treptower Park, Soviet memorial
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Steve
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Re: Guides to rules abroad...

Postby Steve » 17 Jun 2019, 7:35pm

One rule for German roads that UK riders/drivers might not know, is the one about priority from the right, unless otherwise indicated. E.g. at minor road junctions without road markings or signs, users must automatically give way to vehicles approaching from the right, as effectively they are making a left turn across the carriageway. None of this annoying British "after you" or headlight flashing nonsense!

thirdcrank
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Re: Guides to rules abroad...

Postby thirdcrank » 17 Jun 2019, 8:11pm

st599_uk wrote:... Does anyone produce guidelines like this for tourists? Could be quite useful. ...

My suspicion that the answer is "No" seems to be confirmed by nobody coming up with a gem everybody had missed.

We've had a lot of controversy over different guides to the law as it affects cyclists in this country: most of it is cut-and-paste claptrap. The level of generalisation/simplification is a big problem. CJ used to write detailed stuff for those who like to be bulletproof and watertight but to achieve that, it has to be just that: detailed stuff. At some point somebody seemed to decide that all the detail was deterring would-be cyclists so the order went out to lighten up (Nothing to do with lighting-up times BTW.) The result was an embarrassing dumbing down: good fun for people shooting it down in flames but dodgy for anybody sticking to it. Legal training doesn't necessarily improve the output. At one point there was a project launched by somebody at the CTC solicitors and the first set of simplified guidelines included the non-existent compulsory lights for cyclists during poor visibility in the daytime. Keeping info up-to-date is difficult.

A case study involved a straightforward request for information about cycling on the footway from an Englisg speaker. I include the language because as has been mentioned, language barriers can be significant when precise terminology is translated: eg footway, footpath.
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=112399
I've not ploughed through the whole of that thread again but predictable responses are: they can't touch you for it; they won't touch you for it; it's outrageous that they think they can touch you for it; there's nobody there to touch you for it; with links to threads where somebody received a ticket.

If people are on the wrong end of enforcement abroad through a misunderstanding, sharing it may help others to keep clear of trouble. Somebody has queried what attracted the police to you; I hope you will cover that in due course.

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mjr
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Re: Guides to rules abroad...

Postby mjr » 17 Jun 2019, 8:26pm

Steve wrote:One rule for German roads that UK riders/drivers might not know, is the one about priority from the right, unless otherwise indicated. E.g. at minor road junctions without road markings or signs, users must automatically give way to vehicles approaching from the right, as effectively they are making a left turn across the carriageway.

I think this is an international rule from the Vienna Convention which applies to all right-hand drive/ride countries unless they override it. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Priority_to_the_right
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Bmblbzzz
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Re: Guides to rules abroad...

Postby Bmblbzzz » 17 Jun 2019, 8:30pm

Steve wrote:One rule for German roads that UK riders/drivers might not know, is the one about priority from the right, unless otherwise indicated. E.g. at minor road junctions without road markings or signs, users must automatically give way to vehicles approaching from the right, as effectively they are making a left turn across the carriageway. None of this annoying British "after you" or headlight flashing nonsense!

Somewhere earlier, perhaps far enough back for it to be forgotten or feel no longer relevant, you should have passed a "non priority" sign (yellow and white diamond crossed out).

st599_uk
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Re: Guides to rules abroad...

Postby st599_uk » 17 Jun 2019, 9:01pm

DaveReading wrote:
st599_uk wrote:As I've been fined in Köln once for how I was cycling

Out of interest, what had you done or omitted to do ?
I was giving a friend a backer on the pannier rack back from the brauhaus.

This is normal behaviour during Karneval, but it was her bike, I was being chivalrous doing the pedalling, but I was adjudged to not be properly in control.
A novice learning...
“the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible.”