Cattle grids...

Commuting, Day rides, Audax, Incidents, etc.
slowster
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Re: Cattle grids...

Postby slowster » 24 Mar 2020, 11:11am

Thinking about it some more, I realise that I do two other things when approaching a cattle grid:

- On both sides of the road there is often a fence that runs the full length of the grid - I am always wary of losing control of the bike and falling to my left onto the fence or one of its posts, so I usually take a line equivalent to the primary position about 1.5m-2m from the fence.

- I don't like being on a cattle grid at the same time as a car travelling in the same direction (I similarly don't want to fall to the right either onto a car or, worse still, into the path of one about to overtake me). Consequently I usually check for traffic behind me when approaching a cattle grid, and if it looks like we will cross the grid at the same time, I will speed up slightly, or more likely slow down, to avoid that happening.

- Many of the cattle grids I ride over are on singletrack roads and not wide enough for two cars travelling in opposite directions to cross at the same time. For those I try to time my arrival at the grid to ensure that I do not reach it at the same time as a car coming from the opposite direction. I then take up a position in the middle of the road to keep away from the fences on either side of the grid and to prevent any cars behind trying to overtake me whilst I am crossing the cattle grid.

Cyril Haearn
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Re: Cattle grids...

Postby Cyril Haearn » 24 Mar 2020, 11:20am

Used to cycle a lot of gated roads in Cymru, enjoyed puzzling out how to open and close them, there were many different types :wink:
Entertainer, kidult, curmudgeon
Cycling-of course, but it is far better on a Gillott
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Mike Sales
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Re: Cattle grids...

Postby Mike Sales » 24 Mar 2020, 12:47pm

Cyril Haearn wrote:Hop off and use the gate provided for horse-drawn vehicles


Sheep don't bother with the gate.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5rIbZWblPaA

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cattle_grid

I've seen a Welsh sheep use a stone resting on the bars as a step.

hamster
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Re: Cattle grids...

Postby hamster » 24 Mar 2020, 2:07pm

I live in the New Forest, there are loads of them!
1 Avoid crossing on a car wheel line, it's smoothest and has the highest chance of a broken edge / hole at either end.
2 As said, perpendicular, straight, no braking and minimal steering. There are a couple of nasties I know on the turns of junctions which need extra caution.
3 In addition to lifting from the saddle, I push my body back to unweight the front wheel some more and help it to float.
4 At 25mph it's waay nicer (brrrp!) than 8mph (woppa-woppa-woppa-woppa-woppa-woppa-wobble-BUMP!)

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Tigerbiten
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Re: Cattle grids...

Postby Tigerbiten » 24 Mar 2020, 2:40pm

I've also had the "fun" of trying to cross an uphill grid in the wet and slowing down on every bar while the back wheel just slips.
Being on a bent trike means it not so scary and luckily I made it over before I ground to a halt.

One of the worst one I've crossed is one local to me here -> https://goo.gl/maps/f9Ziky4L7oTnc7RS8
It's hard to get a good look at it's bad side in Google maps but almost disused and the bars/strips are not level with the road surface if you're travelling downhill.
And the straight downhill run means it's easy to hit it at +30 mph.
So if I hit it wrong I can get the trike airborne ........ :lol:
And I've also killed a back tyre on it, it had a bulge in the carcass after hitting it.

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

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Mick F
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Re: Cattle grids...

Postby Mick F » 24 Mar 2020, 3:45pm

Went over two on my ride today.
Easy ones, so no problems.
Mick F. Cornwall

fastpedaller
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Location: Norfolk

Re: Cattle grids...

Postby fastpedaller » 24 Mar 2020, 4:16pm

Glyno wrote: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!


I'd be avoiding the strip of metal if it was wet though!

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foxyrider
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Re: Cattle grids...

Postby foxyrider » 24 Mar 2020, 4:58pm

I think most of the points have been covered by others, pick a straight line, be aware of potholes either side of the CG, extra caution if damp.

i have been known to get airborne crossing them downhill - on one occasion in Austria, on a fast descent, i turned into a bend at @ 40mph to be confronted with a CG that i'd be crossing at about 45 degrees, not enough distance to slow safely - without thinking i did the bunny hop thing, momentum had me over the wider than usual CG and a few metres beyond before touchdown! I wouldn't advise it as a technique to use tho! :lol:

IME, you need to treat CG's as you would cobbles or rail/tram lines, ie, as fast as possible! It seems to be counter inuitive but you gain control and comfort by speeding up, it doesn't have to be 30mph, just as quick as the conditions will allow. Do however be aware of motor vehicles, the operators of the beasts invariably slow to cross CG's for no reason that i can fathom which can then be an issue for a bike hoping to go across more quickly.
Convention? what's that then?
Airnimal Chameleon touring, Orbit Pro hack, Orbit Photon audax, Focus Mares AX tour, Peugeot Carbon sportive, Owen Blower vintage race - all running Tulio's finest!

philvantwo
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Re: Cattle grids...

Postby philvantwo » 24 Mar 2020, 5:38pm

That's it!!!!
Mick F's new quest!!!
Ride over every cattle grid in devon!!
:lol: :lol: :lol:
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Mike Sales
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Re: Cattle grids...

Postby Mike Sales » 24 Mar 2020, 5:46pm

philvantwo wrote:That's it!!!!
Mick F's new quest!!!
Ride over every cattle grid in devon!!
:lol: :lol: :lol:


Tricky to find them though: I don't think the O.S. marks them on the 25,000 maps.
It might mean riding every road!

Chat Noir
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Re: Cattle grids...

Postby Chat Noir » 24 Mar 2020, 5:47pm

Always been a little cautious with cattle grids. Some years ago one of my brothers in law was cycling round Rutland Water during the Christmas holiday. He hit some ice on a cattle grid, came down, put his arm out and ended up with a nasty fracture. He carried bike / self some way back to his car, think he might even have passed out at one point.

Since then I’ve been more cautious when approaching them and the image of my brother in law always comes to mind. As others have said, where possible at 90 degrees, speed not such an issue, often rise above saddle. I’ve only come off once on a cattle grid, and that not so many years ago, and it was going up Grinton Moor, just as in Mick’s photo. Wasn’t going quickly (it’s a hard hill and a lot further still to go, although the steep stuff soon over), would be in the winter but no ice, and whoosh!, slipped over sideways. As you do, instinctively didn’t put arm or leg out, rolled onto left shoulder, unclipping as I went (sounds a lot of activity in a flash, but it’s what happens) and ended up simply lying on the grid. Simon Warren describes this as possibly the steepest cattle grid he’s ever seen (in his Cycling Climbs of Yorkshire book). Don’t recall any delay, simply got back on and rode back to a café in Leyburn but a fair reminder about my caution with cattle grids.

I maintain a healthy respect for cattle grids!
Dawes Galaxy 1979; Mercian 531 1982; Peugeot 753 1987; Peugeot 531 Pro 1988; Peugeot 653 1990; Bob Jackson 731 OS 1992; Gazelle 731 OS Exception 1996; Dolan Dedacciai 2004; Trek 8000 MTB 2011; Focus Izalco Pro 2012

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Mick F
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Re: Cattle grids...

Postby Mick F » 24 Mar 2020, 7:42pm

philvantwo wrote:That's it!!!!
Mick F's new quest!!!
Ride over every cattle grid in devon!!
:lol: :lol: :lol:

Devon! :shock: :shock:
I never even considered crossing the border into England today. :shock:

My thirty mile ride was solely in Cornwall and the two grids were up the hill from Pensilva.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pensilva
Mick F. Cornwall

philvantwo
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Joined: 8 Dec 2012, 6:08pm

Re: Cattle grids...

Postby philvantwo » 24 Mar 2020, 7:48pm

Your state pension and your navy pension comes from England though!
Anyway.......you're Welsh!
:lol: :lol: :lol:
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Bmblbzzz
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Location: From here to there.

Re: Cattle grids...

Postby Bmblbzzz » 24 Mar 2020, 9:25pm

What do people reckon on flat v round bars?
You'd think the round bars would be less juddery but in practice I find they're often more so, as the gap between the tops of the tubes is greater than then gap between square bars. At least, I think that's the reason.

mikeymo
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Re: Cattle grids...

Postby mikeymo » 24 Mar 2020, 9:28pm

This causeway is one of the few bits of straight two way road at our usual holiday hideaway. So some of the locals drive a bit fast along it (and some of the trippers if they're rushing for the ferry). The cattle grids at each end give a nice audible warning of a fast vehicle coming from behind.

Image

If I'm feeling nervous about the grid, I just hop on a passing otter:

Image