snaking roundabouts

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Si
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snaking roundabouts

Postby Si » 13 Jan 2014, 5:03pm

I know that snaking isn't actually covered as such in NS, but we all use it to teach L2 don't we...so I've stuck my Q here.

Two ride leaders plus ten riders. Approaching a medium sized single lane roundabout at which they want to take the third of four (inc the one they are approaching on) exits - i.e. turn right.

One ride leader will lead the group around the roundabout....but where does the other ride leader position themselves?

For me they would be at the point where the group is entering the roundabout as this is the only one where other road users do not have to give way to the group - thus they can tell members of the group to go or wait, or, if needs be, position themselves in the lane to stop vehicles already on the roundabout entering the middle of the group.

But lately I've seen the second ride leader do things a bit differently, for instance blocking the entry to 1st or 2nd exits after the entry point (depending upon which is the busier). This seems to leave the riders to make up their own minds about joining the roundabout which, personally, I find a bit strange.

And yep, I know that in the ideal world you'd try to avoid such roundabouts if you have a very 'green' group of riders with you...but sometimes needs must.

Any thoughts?

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pjclinch
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Re: snaking roundabouts

Postby pjclinch » 14 Jan 2014, 10:23am

I'm with you, placing #2 to the right of the progressing snake where it comes on to the circle.
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Re: snaking roundabouts

Postby Vorpal » 16 Jan 2014, 12:13pm

After a group got separated into three (including one small group without an instructor) on two consecutive days on a roundabout, my partner and I came up with an alternative. The procedure we used was to split up into two groups, one with each instructor and go around two abreast together. I think it worked best to have the instructor in each group go to the junction entrance (outside front) with his/her group then take up the rear outside postion as everyone set off.

After the junction, If the first group needed to wait, the instructor would find a safe place to do so. Otherwise, s/he would go to the front and tell the students to single out.

When we explained this to the students in advance, it seemed to work pretty well.
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Re: snaking roundabouts

Postby Vorpal » 16 Jan 2014, 12:16pm

Just to add... I know that instructors sometimes stop or block traffic, but it is not actually legal for them to do so. IMO, it sends the wrong message to students. If you follow snaking procedure, it's best to do as previously suggested; that is one instructor leading, and the other (rear) instructor at the roundabout entrance.
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Si
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Re: snaking roundabouts

Postby Si » 16 Jan 2014, 1:45pm

but it is not actually legal for them to do so. IMO, it sends the wrong message to students


+1 to this. We have had some leaders that seem to think they can do this (actually, I think that a couple of them can as they are coppers, but not the rest!) and I don't really like it. IMO it's OK to stay in the road if already there and the students entering the road can't stop easily, and it's OK to go out in front of a car that has stopped for you, but just marching across and telling drivers to stop is going to end in tears eventually.

Indeed, I did a new route this week that took us across 60mph A roads and triple lane road coming off a motorway.....this did show that marching out into the road to stop traffic would get one into trouble, likewise, it also high lighted that it all works much better if only one leader/instructor issues the 'go' order.

The other thing that some leaders find issues with is who keeps the group together - this is of course upto the leader at the front not the one at the back, 'cos the rear leader can't make the rear riders go faster than they are capable of, but the front leader can slow the front riders. This is especially important at roundabouts so that you can go round in a lump.

As you suggest, I try to get our groups to double up on our PITA roundabout as riding as a lump gets them round quicker, makes them more noticeable and reduces the chances of other vehicles trying to get past. Although it's slightly complicated by having a R into minor about 40yds after the roundabout.

keepontriking
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Re: snaking roundabouts

Postby keepontriking » 17 Jan 2014, 7:08pm

All academic in some places.

In a small rural town that has a mini roundabout on the main route to school with is relatively low local traffic in daytime, the local authority has decided instructors must not use it :(

So L2 training takes place outside the school gates for one week a year and the rest of the time the bike sheds remain pretty much empty.
There's a pretty busy school car run though.

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Re: snaking roundabouts

Postby pjclinch » 18 Jan 2014, 12:36pm

You'll just have to keep on at them until they grow a brain. You might look to enlist help the Association of Bikeabity Schemes, CTC etc.

Mini-roundabouts are included in L2 (at least they are in Scotland) as an optional extra (I don't use them for the simple reason I've none available to use).

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