Cattle grids...

Commuting, Day rides, Audax, Incidents, etc.
Glyno
Posts: 16
Joined: 11 Aug 2018, 8:52pm

Cattle grids...

Postby Glyno » 23 Mar 2020, 7:27pm

How do you take them??

Don't break your speed... slow to a crawl... dismount... :shock: ?

pwa
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Re: Cattle grids...

Postby pwa » 23 Mar 2020, 7:34pm

The slower you go the more you drop down between the bars, so keeping a decent speed is usually best. The exception to this is grids that are in a bad condition. So it helps to know your grids.

reohn2
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Re: Cattle grids...

Postby reohn2 » 23 Mar 2020, 7:40pm

And be extra careful when they're wet,and always ride over them upright never leaned over,
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Marcus Aurelius
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Re: Cattle grids...

Postby Marcus Aurelius » 23 Mar 2020, 7:50pm

Don’t brake don’t accelerate don’t steer whilst on them. Treat them like a loose surface or ice. Power towards, then coast across. Point at where you want to end up before you reach them. I spend a lot of time riding around the New Forest, we have some really big ones round here.

Mike Sales
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Re: Cattle grids...

Postby Mike Sales » 23 Mar 2020, 8:04pm

Marcus Aurelius wrote:Don’t brake don’t accelerate don’t steer whilst on them. Treat them like a loose surface or ice. Power towards, then coast across. Point at where you want to end up before you reach them.


Good advice. I know one grid which slopes. When taken upwards the concussions with the bars (of the grid that is) tend to slow you down so that freewheeling across can be problematic. You have to keep some weight on the front wheel whilst applying a judicious amount of force to the pedals. Quite fun.
This is the grid at the top of the old road up the Ogwen Valley. Does anyone know it? It used to be on my evening circuit from Bangor, to be followed by the exhilarating plunge to Tyn y Maes and the mainly downhill road home.
Last edited by Mike Sales on 23 Mar 2020, 8:11pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Paulatic
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Re: Cattle grids...

Postby Paulatic » 23 Mar 2020, 8:05pm

I used to jump most of them on my routes. No longer ride clipped in and find I don’t get the same clearance and have no chance at all in the big uns.
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Glyno
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Joined: 11 Aug 2018, 8:52pm

Re: Cattle grids...

Postby Glyno » 23 Mar 2020, 8:11pm

Great answers - thanks!

I notice some have a central strip of metal which runs at 90 degress to the bars, I often take the challenge to ride along it!

gbnz
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Joined: 13 Sep 2008, 10:38am

Re: Cattle grids...

Postby gbnz » 23 Mar 2020, 8:17pm

Have to admit I'd always dismount, the risks of coming a cropper being a bit too high! Though strangely for a county with a heavy focus on life stock, I can hardly recall a single grid I ever actually have to cross

DevonDamo
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Re: Cattle grids...

Postby DevonDamo » 23 Mar 2020, 10:19pm

There are two on my regular exercise route. The first one is at the top of a killer hill. I just plod over it very slowly whilst having a coronary. It doesn't cause any problems, but I'd definitely avoid getting my wheel on any bars running perpendicular to the long bars for the same reason you avoid tram lines. The second is at the bottom of a long descent, and you just pull an almost-wheelie to unweight your front wheel and fly across it at full speed with a metallic noise and no perceptible effect on handling.

(I'm on a hybrid with reasonably chubby tyres. It might be different with skinny high pressure tyres.)

peetee
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Location: Cornwall

Re: Cattle grids...

Postby peetee » 23 Mar 2020, 11:23pm

Straight at it with my bum off the saddle and elbows bent to lessen the vibration.
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Tigerbiten
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Re: Cattle grids...

Postby Tigerbiten » 24 Mar 2020, 1:10am

I'm on a recumbent so I cannot get out of the seat.
I find it's best to take them at sub 5 mph or plus 20 mph.
At the slower speed I bump up and slowly enough to be reasonably comfortable.
At the faster speed then I'll only touch the tops of the bars and only get vibrated.
It's the mid speed that are the worst, I get bumped fast and large enough for it to be very uncomfortable.

Luck ......... :D

slowster
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Re: Cattle grids...

Postby slowster » 24 Mar 2020, 5:04am

To add to the advice above:

- always ride over them at 90 degrees/perpendicular to the grid, i.e. not at an acute angle: doing the latter effectively increases the size of the gaps and makes it more likely that you will lose control of the bike. Generally the grids are positioned at places in the road such that there should be no reason to take them at an acute angle, but it can happen if you cut the corner at a T junction or find yourself swerving to avoid another road hazard.

- beware especially if the grid is the type that uses round section tubes rather than T section or similar with a flat surface (riding over those at an acute angle is even more dangerous).

- when approaching an unfamiliar cattle grid, don't just look at the grid type and spacing, look especially carefully as well at the concrete nosings either side of the grid. The metalwork of the grid can usually be relied upon to be uniform in spacing and in its condition, whereas there can be quite a bit of variation in the gap between the nosing and the first metal section, e.g. a larger gap than between the metal sections. Wear and tear of the concrete nosings by heavy vehicles can increase the gap further in some spots. This was particularly true of one such grid I used to ride frequently, and after riding it several times I found that there was a particular line to take across the grid which avoided the worst of the damaged nosing.

Glyno wrote:I notice some have a central strip of metal which runs at 90 degress to the bars, I often take the challenge to ride along it!

- My technique for those is to aim to start on the left of the strip and exit the strip on the right of the strip (or vice versa). I find that way it's easier to ensure that I stay on the strip, compared with aiming to start in the middle of the strip.

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Mick F
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Re: Cattle grids...

Postby Mick F » 24 Mar 2020, 8:47am

peetee wrote:Straight at it with my bum off the saddle and elbows bent to lessen the vibration.
That's what I do.

Worst cattle grid I ever went over - and nearly didn't make it! - was at Grinton on the way up to the YHA.
Towing a trailer, the hill was steep, I was tired, and worst of all, the grid is on the hill and not levelled off.
By the time I'd got across I was nearly at a standstill as my back wheel was slipping as it was raining. Had I stopped and put a foot down, I could have gone right in and broken a leg.

Stupid design in the extreme.

It was here.
https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@54.37662 ... 312!8i6656
Mick F. Cornwall

eileithyia
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Re: Cattle grids...

Postby eileithyia » 24 Mar 2020, 9:00am

Upright, at 90* angle, keep a decent speed; slow enough to observe for a bad surface / pothole as you enter/exit, but also quick enough to get across without being 'shaken' off.... a friend a few years rode too slowly and got vibrated off.....
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Cyril Haearn
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Re: Cattle grids...

Postby Cyril Haearn » 24 Mar 2020, 10:49am

Hop off and use the gate provided for horse-drawn vehicles
Nice one Cyrille, nice one son..
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