Cycling on a fast dual carriageway.

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BlackPanther
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Cycling on a fast dual carriageway.

Postby BlackPanther » 15 May 2019, 7:43pm

I took the long way home today. Bit of guesswork as I’ve recently swapped jobs. I found myself on an a road that came out onto the A1 dual carriageway. The stretch is only a couple of hundred yards long before my exit (Adwick) and as it’s downhill I was doing over 30mph. I joined at this speed with a nice gap, but got beeped from an Artic, and a car. I ride with bright rear lights and a high viz flag.

Hmmmmm, annoyed me a bit as I know it’s perfectly legal to do this (though I generally avoid these situations) and those beeping their horns are the ones in the wrong as I’m aware of their presence. Just wondered if anyone regularly travels on fast dual carriageways, and do they get the same treatment?
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bogmyrtle
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Re: Cycling on a fast dual carriageway.

Postby bogmyrtle » 15 May 2019, 8:24pm

Are you actually joining the traffic or are you staying on the inside?
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nigelnightmare
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Re: Riding on a dual carriageway

Postby nigelnightmare » 15 May 2019, 10:15pm

I used to do the A2 & A20 regularly.
The only problem I ever had was being stopped by the law for slipstreaming a lorry at 56mph (I was late for an appointment) :wink: .

BlackPanther
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Re: Cycling on a fast dual carriageway.

Postby BlackPanther » 16 May 2019, 5:58am

bogmyrtle wrote:Are you actually joining the traffic or are you staying on the inside?



Slip road, then no hard shoulder.
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fossala
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Re: Cycling on a fast dual carriageway.

Postby fossala » 16 May 2019, 6:35am

I accedently ended up on the a30 a few weeks ago between Honiton and Exeter. I got off at the first opportunity. People were polite and gave me room but the speed difference is too much for me to feel safe.

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Spinners
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Re: Cycling on a fast dual carriageway.

Postby Spinners » 16 May 2019, 7:28am

Was is the A1 or A1(M)?
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bogmyrtle
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Re: Cycling on a fast dual carriageway.

Postby bogmyrtle » 16 May 2019, 8:17am

bogmyrtle wrote:
Spinners wrote:Was is the A1 or A1(M)?

This is the critical question to determine if you should've been on the road or not.
Even if that section didn't have motorway status it's pretty foolhardy to expect to be able to join traffic moving at motorway speeds.
You posted the same query on Cyclechat only there you mentioned you were riding a recumbent.
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geocycle
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Re: Cycling on a fast dual carriageway.

Postby geocycle » 16 May 2019, 8:52am

You cycled on the A1 with no hard shoulder armed only with a hi-viz flag??? It may have been legal but... I'm not surprised you got beeped.

toontra
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Re: Cycling on a fast dual carriageway.

Postby toontra » 16 May 2019, 9:04am

Personally I will use dual carriageways in certain circumstances, usually if the alternatives add too much mileage or are too lumpy. Coincidentally I'm currently planning a ride in Northumberland and for a section there is no viable alternative to using the A1. I try and keep well to the left, in the strip to the left of the white line where possible (i.e. if free of detritus), and keep the flashing rear light on.

Sizeable chunks of both my LEJoG's were done on dual carriageways. In my experience, if drivers see you are cycling "responsibly" (i.e. holding a steady line and keeping as far left as possible) they treat you with tolerance and respect. You get the occasional beeping but I just ignore them.
Last edited by toontra on 16 May 2019, 10:22am, edited 1 time in total.
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squeaker
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Re: Cycling on a fast dual carriageway.

Postby squeaker » 16 May 2019, 9:32am

A few years ago I found myself on a grey, damp evening on the A24 (West Sussex pseudo motorway) looking for a parish hall with the wrong postcode :roll: Recumbent with 2 rear lights (one flashing): stayed in secondary position IIRC and no real issues but it was after the evening rush, and I would worry more nowadays with the increased use of mobile devices. Not an experience I would care to repeat though.
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thirdcrank
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Re: Cycling on a fast dual carriageway.

Postby thirdcrank » 16 May 2019, 10:02am

I assume that this is the dreadful section of the A1 between the M62 and the start of the Doncaster bypass A(1) at Red House. It is not a motorway but it is a road I avoid, even if travelling by car. It's a 1960s DC connecting two stretches of motorway. A couple of years ago I had to make frequent trips from Leeds to Doncaster when my sister-in-law was terminally ill and then clearing her house for sale. I generally took the longer route on the M18 (not on a bike.) There have been proposals to make it into a motorway, which would need separate provision for prohibited traffic including cyclists but they have come to nothing, partly through the protests of affected residents.

I'm unclear if the OP was tooted for their manner of joining the road or just for riding on it.

Vorpal
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Re: Cycling on a fast dual carriageway.

Postby Vorpal » 16 May 2019, 10:31am

I used to ride occasionally on the section of dual carriageway A120 west of Braintree where cyclists are still permitted.

I was occasionally subjected to beeping or yelling. Once someone buzzed me (passed deliberately close) at a silly speed (70ish mph), then had to slam on the brakes for the roundabout. A couple of times when I rode there in congested traffic, drivers moved their cars over, as if to block me from filtering / overtaking. :roll:

I've ridden on other dual carriageways where drivers were much better behaved, like the A414 North Orbital east of Hatfield. There's no shoulder to speak of, but there are sections with reduced speed limits, and signs all over, warning drivers to watch for equestrians. I don't know if the signs help, but I never had any issues there, other than the typical little too close for comfort at 70 mph.
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Mike Sales
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Re: Cycling on a fast dual carriageway.

Postby Mike Sales » 16 May 2019, 11:27am

In Sweden I attempted to use cycle tracks near Stockholm. They were very poorly signed and I ended up in a dead end in scrubland. I took to the road, which produced much hooting on a fast dual carriageway bridge.

whoof
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Re: Cycling on a fast dual carriageway.

Postby whoof » 16 May 2019, 11:59am

fossala wrote:I accedently ended up on the a30 a few weeks ago between Honiton and Exeter. I got off at the first opportunity. People were polite and gave me room but the speed difference is too much for me to feel safe.


I've time-trialled on this section and also road raced on the A30 between Whiddon Down and Tedburn St Mary and between Lifton and Broadwoodwidger, which was pretty dull really. Tend to find alternatives (routes and don't race) if possible these days.

I did ride a fast section of the A40 down into Monmouth last year in an Audax. It was downhill and pretty fast the one problem was that the sun was quite low and on the first section was shining directly in my face so reduced visibility therefore making it a bit concerning that I might be hit from behind.

irc
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Re: Cycling on a fast dual carriageway.

Postby irc » 16 May 2019, 12:00pm

I drive the A1 and a1M from Scotch Corner heading south for Cambridge a couple of times a year. Off the top of my head I don't remember seeing a single cyclist on the dual carriageway sections. Traffic often traveling at 70mph in the outside lane passing artics doing 56 in the inside lane.

For me the issue here is that drivers won't expect to see cyclists on this road. With high traffic volumes some drivers may see a cyclist very late. This can lead to fast close passing at best. None of this is the fault of the cyclist who is allowed to be there but realistically I think it is high risk.

I'm not aware of any good stats on cyclist accidents on fast dual carriageways but I think they must be riskier than other roads. Anecdotally a fast dual carriageway near me has over the years had a disproportionate number of cyclist fatalities including two within 3 months on a 1 mile stretch. Putting this in perspective there were 8 cyclist fatalities in Scotland in 2016. A quarter of them were on that 1 mile stretch of road. There have been other cyclists killed on that stretch of road over the years.