The worst place in the UK for cycling?

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
brynpoeth
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Re: The worst place in the Norway for cycling?

Postby brynpoeth » 3 Oct 2019, 9:37am

Very scenic, but takes a day instead of an hour :?
Many freeways in the US have shoulders for cycling, plusminus, could Norway be worse than that?
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Vorpal
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Re: The worst place in the Norway for cycling?

Postby Vorpal » 3 Oct 2019, 9:48am

brynpoeth wrote:Very scenic, but takes a day instead of an hour :?
Many freeways in the US have shoulders for cycling, plusminus, could Norway be worse than that?

I'll take cycling in Norway *any* day over the US, shoulder or not. Norwegian drivers largely accept that vulnerable users have a right to the road, and the law supports them. US drivers do not. And shoulder cycling is no different than cycle lanes on a high speed A road. They reduce overtaking space, and they often have debris or 'wake -up' rumbles in them.
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pete75
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Re: The worst place in the UK for cycling?

Postby pete75 » 3 Oct 2019, 5:18pm

mjr wrote:
pete75 wrote:
mjr wrote:Also, the policy-violating disconnection of Elveden-Mildenhall without a cycleway is a disgrace but adds 2 miles of fairly straight B road as the detour, not a long wandering one. That distance is obnoxious for short journeys but a bigger problem for touring is that the parallel route reached by the detour is sand and gravel, which is tedious.

Disconnection? I've ridden from Mildenhall to Thetford and back a couple of times when I've been at the Rally. Went via Elvedon on the A11. It may be a dual carriageway but cycling isn't banned. Easy road to cycle on too with a permanent backwind from the constant stream of overtaking vehicles.
I could see your point if cycling wasn't allowed on the A11 but it is so where's the problem?

Maybe you enjoy riding on a quasi-motorway but I don't, nor do I think many do, even among present cyclists. The dualled bits of A11 have had enough notorious deaths and serious injuries among the few cyclists using it to worry me (most famously Zak Carr), plus what I remember from my youth of cyclists hurt using the (marked!) crap cycle lane on the dualled A5, including one from my village.

Conversely, I will tolerate a few bits of 60mph S2W if it helps me get places, so the substandard A11 dualling with no service road or cycleways or even bridleways is a disconnection IMO.

There's a choice of several pleasant back road routes from Mildenhall to Bury and a largely off road route to Prickwillow.
I wouldn't call MIldenhall a bad place for cycling and have had more than a few good rides out from the Rally.

I would because I think I've not had a worse ride than the last one to the Rally via Lakenheath. The crossing to head towards Bury is a bad joke, waiting ages for gaps to dart across the A11, a wait that gets longer every year while the government fails to get a grip on motor traffic growth but they still won't build a bridge or signalise it. The route to Prickwillow is west and OK, but the route on to Ely is iffy and the one to Littleport is a disgraceful mess of broken tiles.

No, much improvement is needed to reconnect Mildenhall to civilisation.

A disconnection in your opinion. That doesn't mean it is disconnected as clearly it isn't, as I've explained.

Zak Carr was killed by a motorist who'd fallen asleep at the wheel. I don't think you can blame the A11 for that - the result would likely have been the same no matter what road the driver used as a bedroom.

Going to Bury you may have to wait a few minutes to cross the A11 near the roundabout. I've timed it and once had to wait for a whole three minutes. So what?

MIldenhall to Littleport is via Prickwillow. It follows a quiet and pleasant little lane running alongside the River Lark and then a busier but not unpleasant road alongside the Ouse.

Vorpal
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Re: The worst place in the UK for cycling?

Postby Vorpal » 3 Oct 2019, 9:12pm

The A11 is a bloody awful place to ride a bike and saying it's okay won't change that.
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willcee
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Re: The worst place in the UK for cycling?

Postby willcee » 3 Oct 2019, 10:39pm

Interesting contris, glad that i live in a rural environ..lucky even some may say, that said i spent my early years away at school , urban but quite rural as we were up on a hill outside the main urban area. then a few winter months in a rough torn Belfast 1969/70. then working on the land with my uncle farming and building muscle, then a few years in the Smoke, London. early 70's.. when i came home mother, a business woman used to say she could smell the London' hoagh' off me and immediately plunged my gear in the nearest tub..
Most of my time was spent around North London up around Hendon.. out of most of the city centre based grime...funny thing i never those years in the smoke saw many using bikes at all .. either parked or cycling. even back then i had interest..
I suppose one makes the best of what is to hand , Davy my good friend and cycle companion loves quiet wee roads no traffic and we are lucky that we can do lots of that sort of cycling and only ride in town when we visit the coastal area north and east of our locale..we have these days to suffer the poor road conditions that seem to be polluting the whole UK, pot holes that one could bury a cat in as a friend is fond of saying..
Topics of conversation that can often happen out on a run, how did we cycle on 23 tyres on these roads?. we are using 32's and 40 today.. how are the powers that be ever going to afford the repair and replacement costs of sorting these roads out.???
Yet the road engineers and high head yins are still taking their inflated salaries, what the hell are they working on??.... well... one has to ask!!! lol.. will

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mjr
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Re: The worst place in the UK for cycling?

Postby mjr » 3 Oct 2019, 10:44pm

The Mildenhall-Thetford direct route is as good as disconnected for most cyclists and definitely most potential cyclists.

Calling the 60mph northwestern end of Branch Bank to Littleport "not unpleasant" is almost as much a minority view IMO, especially with the entirely forseeable increase in traffic since the expensive new bit of A142 opened at the south end of Queen Adelaide Way (which connects to Branch Bank as a N-S rat run).

And yes, I feel the A11's outdated design was partly to blame for Zak Carr's death. If the driver had fallen asleep on a modern road, the cycleway protection posts or kerb should at least have given warning. Heck, even if he'd fallen asleep on an old road like the A1065, the driver would have probably hit a tree and killed himself before anyone else.

So what is Mildenhall connected well to? Soham. Prickwillow. Whoopee(!)
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RubaDub
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Re: The worst place in the UK for cycling?

Postby RubaDub » 4 Oct 2019, 2:38pm

The Isle of Dogs?

francovendee
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Re: The worst place in the UK for cycling?

Postby francovendee » 5 Oct 2019, 7:42am

Just visiting Edinburgh for the first time. So far it seems a place that looks Okay to cycle around. I normally hate cities so I'm a bit surprised. More exploring today so maybe my view will change.

brynpoeth
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Re: The worst place in the UK for cycling?

Postby brynpoeth » 5 Oct 2019, 8:47am

francovendee wrote:Just visiting Edinburgh for the first time. So far it seems a place that looks Okay to cycle around. I normally hate cities so I'm a bit surprised. More exploring today so maybe my view will change.

Just watch out for tram lines :?
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mjr
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Re: The worst place in the UK for cycling?

Postby mjr » 5 Oct 2019, 9:02am

Some ways to evaluate towns you don't know well:

Looking at www.cyclosm.org makes it easier to see where is cycling friendly, showing not only cycleways clearly, but also 20mph streets and local cycle routes from wide zooms and deemphasisng motorways and trunk roads that don't even have bike lanes. It also shows up problem places like Marks Tey quite well.

http://amenagements-cyclables.fr/fr/facilities has some wider range maps of infrastructure but a big chunk of screen is consumed by stats on France.

http://www.flosm.de/en/cyclemap.html is interestingly configurable but seems less clear to me than cyclosm.

How do others think they work for places you know?
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PJ520
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Re: The worst place in the Norway for cycling?

Postby PJ520 » 10 Oct 2019, 4:14am

brynpoeth wrote:Many freeways in the US have shoulders for cycling,
Many? In my experience most don't although some do. And those that do tend to have shoulders strewn with debris particularly shredded truck tires with steel belts that cause insidious punctures you don't find until days later.
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pete75
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Re: The worst place in the UK for cycling?

Postby pete75 » 10 Oct 2019, 3:43pm

mjr wrote:The Mildenhall-Thetford direct route is as good as disconnected for most cyclists and definitely most potential cyclists.

Calling the 60mph northwestern end of Branch Bank to Littleport "not unpleasant" is almost as much a minority view IMO, especially with the entirely forseeable increase in traffic since the expensive new bit of A142 opened at the south end of Queen Adelaide Way (which connects to Branch Bank as a N-S rat run).

And yes, I feel the A11's outdated design was partly to blame for Zak Carr's death. If the driver had fallen asleep on a modern road, the cycleway protection posts or kerb should at least have given warning. Heck, even if he'd fallen asleep on an old road like the A1065, the driver would have probably hit a tree and killed himself before anyone else.

So what is Mildenhall connected well to? Soham. Prickwillow. Whoopee(!)


Bloody hell man - what do expect roads unused by no other vehicles but you and your bike? Your views appear to be based on wishful thinking and are totally unrealistic in the context of current UK transport policy. Nothing is likely to change in the near or medium future.
If we want to ride our bikes we have the take the roads as they are not how we'd like them to be in some pie in the sky future.
Last edited by pete75 on 10 Oct 2019, 3:45pm, edited 1 time in total.

PJ520
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Re: The worst place in the UK for cycling?

Postby PJ520 » 10 Oct 2019, 3:45pm

pete75 wrote:[
Bloody hell man - what do expect roads unused by no other vehicles but you and your bike?
That would be nice. :D
You only live once, which is enough if you do it right. - Mae West

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mjr
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Re: The worst place in the UK for cycling?

Postby mjr » 10 Oct 2019, 5:29pm

pete75 wrote:
mjr wrote:The Mildenhall-Thetford direct route is as good as disconnected for most cyclists and definitely most potential cyclists.

Calling the 60mph northwestern end of Branch Bank to Littleport "not unpleasant" is almost as much a minority view IMO, especially with the entirely forseeable increase [...]


Bloody hell man - what do expect roads unused by no other vehicles but you and your bike? Your views appear to be based on wishful thinking and are totally unrealistic in the context of current UK transport policy. Nothing is likely to change in the near or medium future.
If we want to ride our bikes we have the take the roads as they are not how we'd like them to be in some pie in the sky future.

I just expect reasonably humanised roads where we're not at perpetual risk from drivers sneezing or failing to wear their glasses or thinking that 82mph is fine in a 50mph zone. I wouldn't mind whether that's achieved by cycleways (NL, DK, ...) or lower speed limits and stricter enforcement (FR, PT, ...). I know it won't happen nationwide overnight because it'll take time to build cycleways or install speed controls, but it's not unrealistic. And as for current UK transport policy, it's perfectly in line with the policy - it's the implementation actions which usually screw cycling and walking.

I know "we have to take the roads as they are not how we'd like them to be" but surely that works both ways and so realists must accept that most cyclists would now regard any direct Mildenhall-Elveden cycling route as disconnected, not take cyclists as how you'd like them to be and willing to brave cycling on quasi-motorways.

Nothing will ever change while UK cyclists seem to exhibit Stockholm Syndrome and say that barrier-road-moat towns like Mildenhall aren't bad for cycling, or that 70mph dualled roads (that would be classed as motorways in most European countries, with alternative routes for cycling and walking, often more direct) are easy roads to cycle on.

Actually, when you compare the A11 with a French Autoroute, you can see the main difference is that France tarmacs the shoulder and bans cycling (I expect I could find one with cables in the centre instead of armco if I searched for longer), whereas the UK permits cycling but gravels the shoulder to discourage it:
Image Attachments
Screenshot-2019-10-10 showmystreet com(1).png
UK trunk road - cycling permitted but hindered
Screenshot-2019-10-10 showmystreet com(1).png (152.41 KiB) Viewed 179 times
Screenshot-2019-10-10 showmystreet com.png
French Autoroute - cycling banned
Screenshot-2019-10-10 showmystreet com.png (121.59 KiB) Viewed 179 times
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
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