The Tragic Proliferation of ‘Drive-Cycling’

brynpoeth
Posts: 4216
Joined: 30 Nov 2013, 11:26am

Re: The Tragic Proliferation of ‘Drive-Cycling’

Postby brynpoeth » 3 Feb 2018, 11:22am

pwa wrote:
brynpoeth wrote:
pwa wrote:
Have you been mountain biking in the Afan Forest in South Wales? There is a Mountain Bike Centre with extensive graded routes around the surrounding steep slopes. Local businesses provide accommodation for visitors. For former coal mining villages like Glyncorrwg it provides a small but welcome source of local jobs that people don't have to travel for. Yet the visitors come by car. There is no railway. It went decades ago. The rail beds are now cycle tracks, part of the attraction. Would you take that away from the Afan valley?

No I have not been there
Treherbert Station is not far away, it must be possible to get to Glyncorrwg quite easily without a motor vehicle


:lol: You certainly have not been there! Yes Treherbert is not far away, by helicopter. Should you cycle the A road from Treherbert to Cymmer (Afan Valley) you pass over the highest stretch of A road in Wales. presumably carrying your clobber. It could be done, and many would enjoy it, but you would not describe it as "not far away" in terms of effort and time. You'd not want to get off a train and embark on that epic climb late in the evening with rain falling and the light fading.

I think I would :wink:
I do love cycling uphill, are the mountain bikers different, do they prefer downhill? :(
Seems to me in this case one could quite easily get there without a motor vehicle if one is willing to use some time and energy
The great thing then is, one could go another way home, Maesteg station is not far, looks like an easy ride, trains run through from there to the north
I find the Valleys interesting but do not know them well unfortunately, George Thomas asserted that although little Welsh is spoken there, the area is very Welsh, is that right?
Cymru' gogledd am byth!
The Watercress Line New Alresford, Hampshire, Britain's premier steam railway
Thomas & Santa events, great for children of all ages

pwa
Posts: 6647
Joined: 2 Oct 2011, 8:55pm

Re: The Tragic Proliferation of ‘Drive-Cycling’

Postby pwa » 3 Feb 2018, 11:52am

The Afan Valley is a treat. Not just the valley and its network of mountain bike routes and cycle tracks, but also the predominantly working class people. To a stranger some of them might look intimidating at first. But as soon as you speak to them your worries evaporate. Even the odd kid on an illegal off-road motorbike will be okay if you speak to them. People have time for you. They make you feel that you matter. And they most certainly lay to rest the myth that to be Welsh you have to speak Welsh.

If you did want to arrive by train, yes, Maesteg is an option, though still involves an hour of cycling to get to Glyncorrwg, which is in the next valley. Port Talbot would be my choice of station. Getting to the start of the Afan Valley cycle track from there is about a mile of "make it up as you go", but after that it is former rail line for ten miles or so, going East and then North.

But I can understand people who are on a short break taking the car, with all their spare clothing, bike tools and food.

(Port Talbot Station is a stop on the mainline Paddington to Swansea service, so MTBers in London could get on at Paddington, get off at Port Talbot, and be a mostly pleasant, mostly traffic-free ten or twelve mile ride from experiencing the Afan Valley.)
Last edited by pwa on 3 Feb 2018, 12:22pm, edited 1 time in total.

brynpoeth
Posts: 4216
Joined: 30 Nov 2013, 11:26am

Re: The Tragic Proliferation of ‘Drive-Cycling’

Postby brynpoeth » 3 Feb 2018, 12:21pm

pwa wrote:The Afan Valley is a treat. Not just the valley and its network of mountain bike routes and cycle tracks, but also the predominantly working class people. To a stranger some of them might look intimidating at first. But as soon as you speak to them your worries evaporate. Even the odd kid on an illegal off-road motorbike will be okay if you speak to them. People have time for you. They make you feel that you matter. And they most certainly lay to rest the myth that to be Welsh you have to speak Welsh.

If you did want to arrive by train, yes, Maesteg is an option, though still involves an hour of cycling to get to Glyncorrwg, which is in the next valley. Port Talbot would be my choice of station. Getting to the start of the Afan Valley cycle track from there is about a mile of "make it up as you go", but after that it is former rail line for ten miles or so, going East and then North.

But I can understand people who are on a short break taking the car, with all their spare clothing, bike tools and food.

Positive thread alert, +1!
Working-class people, maybe they are financially less well off but they could be happier living in their traditional community than richer people in London
The Citadel by A J Cronin is a good book about the valleys, and How Green was my Valley of course
The Watercress Line New Alresford, Hampshire, Britain's premier steam railway
Thomas & Santa events, great for children of all ages

Vorpal
Moderator
Posts: 14372
Joined: 19 Jan 2009, 3:34pm
Location: Not there ;)

Re: The Tragic Proliferation of ‘Drive-Cycling’

Postby Vorpal » 3 Feb 2018, 12:53pm

It has been this way in much of the US since at least the 70s. It's a shame, but that's waht comes of car culture. One of the things I love about living in Europe, is that everywhere I have been, I can use walking and cycling for transport.

I tell people (only half joking) that if you want to go for a walk in the US, you have to drive to get there.

Once when I was apartment shopping in the Chicago area (I had a new job in a western suburb of Chicago), I went to visit an apartment which was in a large complex with multiple 4 or 6 apartment buildings. It was nice area, wooded, with lots of services for professionals, like collecting mail & feeding pets when the renter was travelling, collecting and delivering laundry or dry cleaning, etc.

I was attracted to it because they boasted a connection to 25 miles of off-road trails. I asked the woman who showed me the apartment, "Where do the trails go?"
"What do you mean, go?"
She had a slight accent, so I thouhg perhaps it was an English usage problem. "Yes, can I take a trail to get to a grocery store, or shopping centre?"
"No. The trials are for jogging or cycling."
"Okay. Where is the closest store?"
"Oh. You have to drive there."

It wasn't actually that far away; maybe 3 miles to the closest shops, but it was some fairly hostile roads to get there.
I ended up getting an apartment in a city neighborhood, where I could walk to shops and restaurants. It was a little further to work (11 miles), but there was also a really nice, segregated riverside bike path for about 2/3rds of the distance.
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

User avatar
TrevA
Posts: 1662
Joined: 1 Jun 2007, 9:12pm
Location: Nottingham

Re: The Tragic Proliferation of ‘Drive-Cycling’

Postby TrevA » 3 Feb 2018, 1:26pm

I always cycle straight from home, unless I'm doing an audax or a ride in the Peak District, then I'll drive to the start point.

I can understand cyclists who are not confident on the roads or have young children, wanting to drive to a start point of an off road trail. When my wife started cycling, she would drive out into the countryside and I would ride out and meet her to go for a ride. Now that she is stronger nd more confident in traffic, she rides from home too.

PH
Posts: 5330
Joined: 21 Jan 2007, 12:31am
Location: Derby
Contact:

Re: The Tragic Proliferation of ‘Drive-Cycling’

Postby PH » 3 Feb 2018, 8:46pm

brynpoeth wrote:Motor traffic is a curse, there is far too much of it, I hope most forum members agree with me?

I would agree, far too much of it. Nearly three quarters of car journeys are under 5 miles, these are the tragic ones, taking the car to go and enjoy something you wouldn't otherwise do can be an absolutely brilliant thing.

User avatar
craigbroadbent
Posts: 37
Joined: 10 Aug 2017, 8:26am

Re: The Tragic Proliferation of ‘Drive-Cycling’

Postby craigbroadbent » 4 Feb 2018, 12:02pm

Park and pedal seems a pretty low impact answer to increasing capacity of our beleaguered cities. Cycling can provide 5 times the transit density of cars, so freeing up space and reducing pollution. Boston (USA) and Canberra (Australia) have shown the way. Oxford and Lincoln have some smaller schemes here. No need for expensive infrastructure, just some parking space.
Not feasible for many to cycle all the way as the distances are too high, but the last 5 miles are doable especially with electricifation.
Image

Mark R
Posts: 566
Joined: 13 Feb 2010, 7:41pm

Re: The Tragic Proliferation of ‘Drive-Cycling’

Postby Mark R » 5 Feb 2018, 12:46pm

Park and pedal clearly the way forward for cash strapped LAs. They just need to make sure the routes from the parking into the city are safe, convenient, and stress free - e.g. off road - if they want to attract new people to cycle commuting.

Wonder what the "April 1 - November 30" bit is referring to? Do they think people will suddenly choose to stop cycling in winter?!

Vorpal
Moderator
Posts: 14372
Joined: 19 Jan 2009, 3:34pm
Location: Not there ;)

Re: The Tragic Proliferation of ‘Drive-Cycling’

Postby Vorpal » 5 Feb 2018, 2:37pm

Park and pedal seems like a good idea for people who cannot cycle the whole way. I have done that sometimes myself.

The problem comes in when people feel that they can't cycle the whole way because it's on the roads. Or they are driving to where the 'traffic free' facility starts because cycling doesn't belong on the roads or they can't face the hostile environment.
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

brynpoeth
Posts: 4216
Joined: 30 Nov 2013, 11:26am

Re: The Tragic Proliferation of ‘Drive-Cycling’

Postby brynpoeth » 12 Feb 2018, 6:09pm

Near me there is a Hundefreilaufgebiet, a fenced-off bit of woodland where dogs may be unleashed
Unfortunately it is also a dog-monopoly area, they make a mess of the ground and many tracks are blocked (I used to cycle through there)
I always thought that dogkeepers were healthy because they have to take their pets out mornings and evenings
Tragically, the last time I went by the car park was full, the numerous dogkeepers drive to walk :(
The Watercress Line New Alresford, Hampshire, Britain's premier steam railway
Thomas & Santa events, great for children of all ages

Flite
Posts: 265
Joined: 29 Nov 2008, 10:59pm
Location: Upper Weardale

Re: The Tragic Proliferation of ‘Drive-Cycling’

Postby Flite » 16 Feb 2018, 4:50pm

I live high up in the North Pennines, with quiet but very hilly rural roads and mostly considerate drivers, so mostly I ride from home.
At this time of year, our roads remain covered in snow and ice for weeks at a time. And the wind on the exposed roads can knock me over.
So sometimes I just put the bike in the car and drive downhill to somewhere with clear roads and hedges for shelter.

brynpoeth
Posts: 4216
Joined: 30 Nov 2013, 11:26am

Re: The Tragic Proliferation of ‘Drive-Cycling’

Postby brynpoeth » 16 Feb 2018, 5:01pm

Flite wrote:I live high up in the North Pennines, with quiet but very hilly rural roads and mostly considerate drivers, so mostly I ride from home.
At this time of year, our roads remain covered in snow and ice for weeks at a time. And the wind on the exposed roads can knock me over.
So sometimes I just put the bike in the car and drive downhill to somewhere with clear roads and hedges for shelter.

I will forego a lot to avoid driving, if I lived up there I would walk a lot in the snow, +1
Had a couple of snowy winters in the lowlands, did not cycle or drive for two months :wink: had to call the rescue to start my vehicle in spring because the battery was exhausted
The Watercress Line New Alresford, Hampshire, Britain's premier steam railway
Thomas & Santa events, great for children of all ages

whoof
Posts: 1119
Joined: 29 Apr 2014, 2:13pm

Re: The Tragic Proliferation of ‘Drive-Cycling’

Postby whoof » 16 Feb 2018, 8:03pm

brynpoeth wrote:
Flite wrote:I live high up in the North Pennines, with quiet but very hilly rural roads and mostly considerate drivers, so mostly I ride from home.
At this time of year, our roads remain covered in snow and ice for weeks at a time. And the wind on the exposed roads can knock me over.
So sometimes I just put the bike in the car and drive downhill to somewhere with clear roads and hedges for shelter.

I will forego a lot to avoid driving, if I lived up there I would walk a lot in the snow, +1
Had a couple of snowy winters in the lowlands, did not cycle or drive for two months :wink: had to call the rescue to start my vehicle in spring because the battery was exhausted

If you had a battery charger you could have avoided a motorised car/van journey by the AA/RAC etc.

brynpoeth
Posts: 4216
Joined: 30 Nov 2013, 11:26am

Re: The Tragic Proliferation of ‘Drive-Cycling’

Postby brynpoeth » 16 Feb 2018, 8:31pm

whoof wrote:
brynpoeth wrote:
Flite wrote:I live high up in the North Pennines, with quiet but very hilly rural roads and mostly considerate drivers, so mostly I ride from home.
At this time of year, our roads remain covered in snow and ice for weeks at a time. And the wind on the exposed roads can knock me over.
So sometimes I just put the bike in the car and drive downhill to somewhere with clear roads and hedges for shelter.

I will forego a lot to avoid driving, if I lived up there I would walk a lot in the snow, +1
Had a couple of snowy winters in the lowlands, did not cycle or drive for two months :wink: had to call the rescue to start my vehicle in spring because the battery was exhausted

If you had a battery charger you could have avoided a motorised car/van journey by the AA/RAC etc.

I am a bit scared of messing around with a battery. Can't park on a hill either unfortunately
The Watercress Line New Alresford, Hampshire, Britain's premier steam railway
Thomas & Santa events, great for children of all ages