Go left Young man/woman ......go left.

briansnail
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Go left Young man/woman ......go left.

Postby briansnail » 5 Oct 2019, 1:46pm

Hot coffee,croissants, (warm multi-layered with butter!).Fuelled up the cyclists sped off. Stevenage is a paradise for cyclists. Miles and miles of cycleways. With a massive park thrown in -ideal for family cyclists. The lead cyclist eased off the power piston legs slowing. He banked steeply as he entered the underpass. The formation of cyclists behind him apply air brakes cautiously. Rubber block bites into spinning disc.

A lone cyclist approaches on the other side from the left of the numerous underpasses. He is riding the cycleway on the right. Result multiple pile up with superficial grazes Ouch,Ouch. The lone rider who caused all this mayhem immediately speeds off. Despite numerous APB'S he is never traced.

There are rules,unwritten rules and anarchy. Legislation for riding on the left on cycleways is a step to far and unpractical. However we need more ENCOURAGEMENT for people to keep to the left. Drivers do it. Cyclists should be no exception. More Signage and the odd reminder in the "CYCLING" magazine.

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Cunobelin
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Re: Go left Young man/woman ......go left.

Postby Cunobelin » 5 Oct 2019, 1:53pm

Remember a similar incident on a SKY Ride in Southampton, another blind corner, and at the head of the pile-up a small hold who in the indignant way that small children do stated "But Mum, you told me to stop!"

philsknees
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Re: Go left Young man/woman ......go left.

Postby philsknees » 5 Oct 2019, 3:45pm

Had a similar experience on the Glen Ogle cycle track some years ago. Climbing alone up the old railway route from Killin I spotted a small horde of teenagers (20, maybe 30?) in the distance coasting quickly down the gentle gradient towards me, spread across the whole width of the track ahead.
Trying to maintain climbing momentum on a laden tourer I moved well to the left, as I believe most of us would, but when the leaders eventually stopped chattering amongst themselves and belatedly spotted me they all swung to their right and the rest followed, heading straight for me. I ended up off the surfaced track, bottom-bracket-deep in thick mud, after taking avoiding action. As they hurtled past it was apparent that they were a group of young foreign schoolkids/students on hired cycles and their adult "minders" following along at the rear didn't even bat an eyelid!
Had this happened a hundred metres further on I could have ended up in a 5 foot deep trench filled with icy water which ran alongside the trackbed.
Since then I've never taken it for granted that people approaching will react predictably or responsibly in such situations.
Perhaps cycle hire companies based on our more popular designated tourist cycle routes need a reminder of their responsibilities to their foreign customers and the rest of us?

philsknees
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Re: Go left Young man/woman ......go left.

Postby philsknees » 5 Oct 2019, 3:47pm

Whoops! I meant Callander, of course, not Killin.

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The utility cyclist
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Re: Go left Young man/woman ......go left.

Postby The utility cyclist » 5 Oct 2019, 5:22pm

briansnail wrote:Hot coffee,croissants, (warm multi-layered with butter!).Fuelled up the cyclists sped off. Stevenage is a paradise for cyclists. Miles and miles of cycleways. With a massive park thrown in -ideal for family cyclists. The lead cyclist eased off the power piston legs slowing. He banked steeply as he entered the underpass. The formation of cyclists behind him apply air brakes cautiously. Rubber block bites into spinning disc.

A lone cyclist approaches on the other side from the left of the numerous underpasses. He is riding the cycleway on the right. Result multiple pile up with superficial grazes Ouch,Ouch. The lone rider who caused all this mayhem immediately speeds off. Despite numerous APB'S he is never traced.

There are rules,unwritten rules and anarchy. Legislation for riding on the left on cycleways is a step to far and unpractical. However we need more ENCOURAGEMENT for people to keep to the left. Drivers do it. Cyclists should be no exception. More Signage and the odd reminder in the "CYCLING" magazine.


Everything you describe is why Stevenage is garbage for cycling and explains in part the reason why cycling rates are so low (it being designed for easy/speedy access to everywhere by car is the other), the cycleway infra is utterly pants! It doesn't link up across the town, not even close, it zig zags its way unlike the motor roads which are flat and direct, and when it does meet a road (as you've found) it ducks under the road at an often significant gradient with the accompanying 90 degree turn (sometimes more acute) to get back onto the route you want, oh and the 4-5% gradient that follows that due to the aforementioned sharp turn you'll be entering on at a very slow speed having lost all your momentum.
Routes that cross businesses on the industrial areas are stop/start all the way baby :evil:, this also occurs for many side streets including near the park and to boot you'll get parked motors right at the junction with the infra (motorists have priority here too), your view and that of any motorists turning in is blocked due to this (there are no yellows and where there are no compliance with no checking in any case).

Pedestrians will wander in the cycle section despite the wide footpath and other people on bikes coming the other way will cut the turn to take the best desire line again as you've found.

Yeah, St.Evenage is a real "paradise" for cyclists ... NOT!

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Spinners
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Re: Go left Young man/woman ......go left.

Postby Spinners » 5 Oct 2019, 6:09pm

See this quite regularly on the Swansea-Mumbles cycle path (well, shared use path). Some are foreign students who think they are back home :D I guess but there was one charmless tattoed twerp on an MTB who doggedly kept to his right so as not to be told or just to be an individual :roll:
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fastpedaller
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Re: Go left Young man/woman ......go left.

Postby fastpedaller » 5 Oct 2019, 7:05pm

it's all to do with keeping our sword at the ready - we should really be all on the right!

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mjr
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Re: Go left Young man/woman ......go left.

Postby mjr » 5 Oct 2019, 7:36pm

There is already keep-left legislation and it applies to cycleways like all other highways.

However the refusal of most highways authorities to paint centre lines and correct markings at approaches and exits of cycleway- cycleway junctions means it is underappreciated. The authorities directing people to cycle on the right of a centre line should be fined!

Personally, I rarely have trouble if I signal slight left when approaching oncoming riders. I make exceptions for small children or where layouts make it easier to pass on the wrong side, but still slow and signal. Brits seem strangely reluctant to do either.
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Carlton green
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Re: Go left Young man/woman ......go left.

Postby Carlton green » 5 Oct 2019, 10:17pm

Yes, from time to time cyclists - or should that be people on bikes - do act stupidly and cause an accident.

Personally I’m not a fan of riding in close packed groups and want some space between me and other riders, a bit of room to brake and take avoiding action(s). Had the ‘pack’ been slowed by the leader or had members of the pack been less bunched up and seen the hazard earlier then the pileup might have been avoided. I’m not surprised that the (deemed) culprit or cause vanished, speed off or get something very unpleasant.

A rule that I tend to apply to driving and cycling is to never go faster than the speed limited by my line of sight and braking distance needed; that rule does impede progress but if you ‘get unlucky’ and have a bump then there is no progress. With cycling I’m not ridged about which side of me other cyclist must pass, slow riding and a bit of negotiating generally seems to do the trick in terms of safe passage.

kwackers
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Re: Go left Young man/woman ......go left.

Postby kwackers » 6 Oct 2019, 10:24am

Carlton green wrote:Yes, from time to time cyclists - or should that be people on bikes - do act stupidly and cause an accident.

Personally I’m not a fan of riding in close packed groups and want some space between me and other riders, a bit of room to brake and take avoiding action(s). Had the ‘pack’ been slowed by the leader or had members of the pack been less bunched up and seen the hazard earlier then the pileup might have been avoided. I’m not surprised that the (deemed) culprit or cause vanished, speed off or get something very unpleasant.

A rule that I tend to apply to driving and cycling is to never go faster than the speed limited by my line of sight and braking distance needed; that rule does impede progress but if you ‘get unlucky’ and have a bump then there is no progress. With cycling I’m not ridged about which side of me other cyclist must pass, slow riding and a bit of negotiating generally seems to do the trick in terms of safe passage.

Yep, I must admit when I read the OP I did ponder how it's possible if riding sensibly to end up in that position although I did get some indication from the bit that read "he banked steeply as he entered the underpass".
See far too many riders making assumptions about whats just round the next corner or that other users won't suddenly make an appearance from some side path.

I'm reminded of an incident I had on my Sunday run (legs, not wheels). There's a point where the linear park I'm running in has a narrow road cut through, the gates for the park are doglegged so one needs to cut across the road at about 45 degrees. The road is a steepish downhill section that banks round fairly sharpish.
I'd started to cross when a group of cyclists appeared around the corner at full tilt, cranked over and with all the benefits of braking that comes from a steep downhill section and as a close knit group to boot.
The chaos was remarkable if for no other reason than apart from one guy ending up in a bush nobody actually fell off although none of them was able to stop in front of me, they all sailed past.
My best guess here is that they either didn't know about the park/gates or given their early morning runs they'd simply gotten used to having the road all to themselves.

Had I been a car coming the other way and unable to leap into said bushes the situation could have been a lot worse.

atlas_shrugged
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Re: Go left Young man/woman ......go left.

Postby atlas_shrugged » 6 Oct 2019, 5:35pm

Sightlines sightlines sightlines

Well before entering an underpass it should be possible to see what is on the other side. The 90 deg turns just before entering an underpass are just an accident waiting to happen. Cycleways just for cyclists should have big signs saying 'Cyclists Only' just as they had in the 1930s. The cycle lanes should be demarked by a central dashed white line.

This needs sorting out by a proper cycle design spec.

drossall
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Re: Go left Young man/woman ......go left.

Postby drossall » 6 Oct 2019, 8:11pm

My experience in Stevenage, when I commuted there, was of approaching one of the underpasses. In the industrial area in particular, you get cycle paths down both sides of the road. In places, the two sides are connected by underpasses. Necessarily, the paths dip sharply in order to create headroom under the road for the underpass.

I was freewheeling down one of those dips when a cyclist shot out of the underpass. They butt right against the cycle paths, so there are no sight lines at all*, but the main path clearly has priority, and he should have given way.

Happily for me, I landed on him. Less happily, my bike was a write-off. Although, as I dragged its remnants back to work to leave it in the shed, a security guard at a neighbouring site sympathised, and suggested claiming on my household insurance. I hadn't considered that. They paid out, and I was able to replace the wrecked frame etc.

My view of the Stevenage paths is less negative than that of The Utility Cyclist, I think, but you have to be careful at times.

* Would never be allowed on the highway. Oh, wait a minute, surely those paths are part of the highway?

ian s
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Re: Go left Young man/woman ......go left.

Postby ian s » 7 Oct 2019, 10:42pm

Some years ago I used to use the path near Priory Park in Bedford, that used to be a railway, to get to work. There was one bloke each morning who tried to always keep to his right. This culminated in him stopping a few inches in front of me. He said to me "what is wrong with over there" pointing to his left. To which I replied "what indeed, why are you not using it as the law requires" He went around me to his left, and always thereafter went to the left when he saw me approaching, but stayed on the right at other times. What his fascination with the right side was I will never know

kwackers
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Re: Go left Young man/woman ......go left.

Postby kwackers » 8 Oct 2019, 8:50am

ian s wrote:Some years ago I used to use the path near Priory Park in Bedford, that used to be a railway, to get to work. There was one bloke each morning who tried to always keep to his right. This culminated in him stopping a few inches in front of me. He said to me "what is wrong with over there" pointing to his left. To which I replied "what indeed, why are you not using it as the law requires" He went around me to his left, and always thereafter went to the left when he saw me approaching, but stayed on the right at other times. What his fascination with the right side was I will never know

Reminds me of the time I'm cycling along a path and another cyclist is approaching on my left, so not being a "correct side nazi" I simply move over to the right.
At this point he spots me and moves over to his left so now we're head on.
I brake, he brakes and we stop facing each other to which he starts making "should be on the left" comments.
Fortunately I have sandwiches in my pannier so I'm able to reach round, start eating them and enjoy the view.
I don't think he was that bright, it took him nearly a minute to realise I wasn't going to move.

Or there's the time I'm jogging along the river front in Alberta. The path there is really wide - 30 feet or so, it's 7am and there's not a soul around. I'm on my left next to the river so I can enjoy the view when a cyclist approaches and instead of simply skirting round aims straight at me, swerves at the last second and shouts "keep right!".
Interestingly during the day when the water front is busy nobody keeps right/left or indeed anything.

IMO where confrontation is selected for then people are just *****.

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Re: Go left Young man/woman ......go left.

Postby MikeF » 11 Oct 2019, 10:13pm

Ideally there shouldn't be underpasses at all, but just overpasses for motor vehicles.

On one occasion I was cycling along NCN21 close to the left when another cyclist was cycling towards me on his extreme right hand side. Visibility was extremely good and he saw me approaching but still kept his line and moved as far as he could to his right. Finally he fell off into the vegetation even though there was more than enough room to pass me on my right. Completely bizarre!
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