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Updated: 2 hours 15 min ago

Re: Another cyclist death: left-turning lorry

24 February 2015 - 11:51am
pwa wrote:I'd like to raise a point for discussion. If, as I believe, trying to overtake a lorry on the left (while you are sharing the same lane) is inherently dangerous, is it possible to get around London on a bike without doing this? I'm not talking about lorries trying to overtake bikes, then squeezing them against the edge of the road. That is another issue. My feeling is that if passing on the left (whilst in the same lane) is hazardous, and if people cannot get around on a bike without doing it I would say cycling in London is, for me, too risky to contemplate. At least until infrastructure changes sufficiently.
Possible? Yes. However, it will make some of the most obvious routes so slow that you may as well be walking. That's pretty much been my approach to Bressenden Place where this incident happened: I've walked around it at least once and I think I've used a relatively lengthy detour along Palace Street to avoid it at least twice. It's a bit of a nuisance because it is an obvious route south from Buckingham Palace and it's labelled on Google as a "Bicycle Friendly Road" which certainly isn't true at the minute. However, the usually-great http://cycle.travel/map won't send you that way today unless you really force it.

I'd say London is OK for riding, but check the route beforehand, try to spot useful infrastructure (even if it's only bus lanes) and landmarks and know where the blackspots to try to avoid are (I hate Holborn gyratory, for example, but I will ride around Trafalgar Square if I'm feeling confident enough). Put a route into a bicycle satnav and use it (you'll need the screen on or an earpiece in most of London, though!). Basically do pretty much as I think you should when driving a car or van into London... but at least with a bike, you can ask other road users (I do that a fair bit, especially where roadworks have changed the layout - I still get lost every time I try to cross Islington Upper Street, though) and jump off onto a refuge or footway if needed, which aren't good options if it all goes wrong in a van!

Re: Another cyclist death: left-turning lorry

24 February 2015 - 11:36am
Back in the days when I did such things, I would undertake HGVs so long as I had a plan and an escape route. So if there were railings to be crushed against then I would not do it. However if there was a pavement and I had enough room between myself and the HGV that I could get on it in time then OK.

If the HGV was stuck in a line of traffic that was going nowhere, also OK.

However each passing of a HGV was a deliberate, planned act, not just a matter of sailing along the inside of the traffic.

Re: Another cyclist death: left-turning lorry

24 February 2015 - 11:26am
Vorpal

your comments sum up my feelings on this matter.

I'd like to raise a point for discussion. If, as I believe, trying to overtake a lorry on the left (while you are sharing the same lane) is inherently dangerous, is it possible to get around London on a bike without doing this? I'm not talking about lorries trying to overtake bikes, then squeezing them against the edge of the road. That is another issue. My feeling is that if passing on the left (whilst in the same lane) is hazardous, and if people cannot get around on a bike without doing it I would say cycling in London is, for me, too risky to contemplate. At least until infrastructure changes sufficiently.

Thoughts?

Re: Telford Town Centre Revamp

24 February 2015 - 10:57am
Telford is still an awful place to get about by cycle. Cycle-ways that are not continuous mean lots of road use and criss-crossing to complete a route. Very poor surfaces are common and many of the Town Park paths are a mess, literally, considering the amount spent on supposed improvements. Negotiating some of the paths through housing areas is hazardous too, with rubbish (boxes, old furniture and syringes etc.) common place. Don't try cycling to any of the supermarkets either, the routes are so torturous it's quicker to walk.

Fortunately, the Newport to Stafford cycle-way (former railway line) is now complete and the surface throughout the 15 miles is easy for most types of bike.

Re: Halfords Cardiff £20 Helmet worth £80

24 February 2015 - 6:59am
mjr wrote:I think you mean "originally priced at..." or similar. They might not be worth anything.



I stand corrected

Re: Halfords Cardiff £20 Helmet worth £80

23 February 2015 - 8:53pm
I think you mean "originally priced at..." or similar. They might not be worth anything.

Re: Blizzards forecast

23 February 2015 - 8:14pm
On some roads around here, yesterday's snow had turned to ice on the roads when I was out this morning. I was just wondering when to take the winter (non-studded) tyres off - think I'll wait a few more weeks. I reckon that we'll have at least another deluge of the white stuff before we can finally say goodbye to the winter.

Re: Question About cycle Lane Signs/Use Mandatory/Advisory

23 February 2015 - 7:14pm
mjr wrote:Yes, they are advisory/mandatory for motor vehicles only.
+1

Re: Pushing a bike on a footpath.

23 February 2015 - 7:08pm
jgurney wrote:I can see this leading to some very silly arguments.
I'm sure that the learned gentlemen of the courts will be happy to reassure you that any arguments this may lead to will not be in anyway silly, or make their proponents the subject of ridicule and that they will be happy to pursue such worthy and well reasoned arguments to the highest court in all the known lands; just so long as you can afford their fees .

Re: Cycling into the sun

23 February 2015 - 3:47pm
danhopgood wrote:I consider primary to be a very bad position to be in low sun. In that position any driver seeing the cyclist late will have very little time to react - especially if they're going to fast for the conditions - highly likely in my view.
The cyclist is largely in the hands of the motorist in these conditions. The only thing the cyclist can do is minimise the risk - be as visible as possible (and in these conditions hi-viz may make things worse), keep out of the traffic flow as far as possible - and preferably not be there at all.
That's what I think!
It's not a problem that exists for long, just a month or so each side of the winter solstice and I feel at my most vulnerable after rounding a corner and finding myself temporarily blinded by the low sun. If I feel blinded any driver coming around the corner behind me will also be blinded and may not see me.

Re: Pushing a bike on a footpath.

23 February 2015 - 3:40pm
I have enjoyed and have been educated by the arcane and well argued points by all the above contributors.

I went to sleep after page 2: zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Have you all collected your £300 pd day monies(plus additional expenses?)

This looks like a House of Lords discussion for our 600+ unelected elders,half of which will be absent or asleep...zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Am not so good with Ricky Gervais humour!!

Re: Pushing a bike on a footpath.

23 February 2015 - 2:42pm
Flinders wrote:How does a wheelchair figure legally when it comes to footpaths?

According to an N Yorks CC footpaths officer a few years ago, there is a right to use them on public footpaths where that is already physically possible, but there is no general right to have a path maintained or improved, bridges built or stiles, etc, removed to make an otherwise unusable path fit for wheelchair access. However if a specific path had a very high level of use, especially of utility rather than leisure use, and changes could be made at reasonable cost, then it is thought possible that a discrimination case might succeed over such a path being unavailable to disabled people.

Cycling into the sun

23 February 2015 - 2:39pm
Audax67 wrote:
Used to do this, only with a baseball cap. Then last August on a 1100k Audax we only got 3 hours' rest out of 72, and keeping my head racked back to see out under the peak gave me Shermer's Neck.

I found that the peak of a cycling cap wasn't enough of a rain-shield

As for riding into the sun... sun? What sun?

Ooh, Shermers sounds nasty, hope you recovered fully. Any extreme long time on a bike may cause problems with hands, neck, shoulders, butt, back etc. Unless your on a recumbent.

A baseball cap peak is completely different to a cycling cap, it's a much larger peak meaning you have to lift your head more. You can pull a cycling cap backwards or forwards on your head, tilt the peak to give more or less protection against sun and or rain. That's why it's a cycling cap, admittedly not everyone's cup of tea but definitely much better than a baseball cap which was designed for, I presume baseball where players are stood upright.

Sun, there's loads here in Africa!

Gary
www.longbikeride.co.uk

Re: Another cyclist death: left-turning lorry

23 February 2015 - 2:39pm
I have to admit that I don't like going around lorries and buses at all. If traffic is moving, I will sometimes join a queue, rather than overtake a large vehicle. If the vehicle is stationary, and I feel it is unlikely to move or turn, I will overtake on the outside, when it is otherwise safe to do so.

I don't know the junction in question, so I cannot comment on the specific case. I do think it's very sad. Even if much of the 'fault' lies with the cyclist, it is unfortunate that the state of the roads in the UK brings cyclists into conflict with such vehicles.

Re: Cycling into the sun

23 February 2015 - 2:22pm
danhopgood wrote:I consider primary to be a very bad position to be in low sun. In that position any driver seeing the cyclist late will have very little time to react - especially if they're going to fast for the conditions - highly likely in my view.

The cyclist is largely in the hands of the motorist in these conditions. The only thing the cyclist can do is minimise the risk - be as visible as possible (and in these conditions hi-viz may make things worse), keep out of the traffic flow as far as possible - and preferably not be there at all.
Firstly, I deal with the situation as it happens at the time; that doesn't mean always taking primary, though I probably use primary rather more than the average knowledgeable cyclist. I even, sometimes take a position slightly outside primary, as motorcyclists are advised to do, if I feel it will aid me.

Taking primary, and the maneouvers to do so, make me more visible. Keeping to the edge of traffic flow makes me less visible. Looking over my shoulder (and making eye contact with a driver behind, if possible) may also help. Non of these is definitive, nor do I slavishly adhere to these recommendations. But in my experience keeping out of traffic flow as far as possible will only result in being squeezed to the kerb.

Re: Another cyclist death: left-turning lorry

23 February 2015 - 1:42pm
Flinders wrote:I would get off and push to get past stationary lorries, not vehicles I can see over, and which have far smaller blind spots.
Then in London and it's traffic jams full of lorries and buses, you are going to be doing a lot of pushing.

Re: Another cyclist death: left-turning lorry

23 February 2015 - 1:40pm
I would get off and push to get past stationary lorries, not vehicles I can see over, and which have far smaller blind spots.

Re: Another cyclist death: left-turning lorry

23 February 2015 - 1:38pm
Flinders wrote:The fat commuter wrote:^^
So you wouldn't pass a stationary lorry in a line of traffic when you can see past it and see that it or the traffic in front is going nowhere - and there was a decent gap to use?

No. You can't be sure when traffic will start up. And you can't see pedestrians crossing if a big lorry is in your way. In a long stationary queue, I'd get off and wheel my bike on the pavement past a lorry.

I regularly pass a queue that is over two miles long around here. Mercifully there is a patch of poor path I can hop onto if needs be. To get off and push is effectively to have to give up cycling in some of these areas. Every case needs to be looked at in microscopic detail and proper space made for cycling.

Re: Another cyclist death: left-turning lorry

23 February 2015 - 1:38pm
reohn2 wrote:Flinders wrote:I have never, to the best of my recollection in 30+ years of cycling, including 7 years in central London, gone down the inside of a lorry. But I have been overtaken close to a junction by lorries. I'm not sure how I can prevent that, short of taking a Sherman tank with me as escort, which would be inconvenient and not very eco-friendly in terms of fuel consumption.
The trick is not to allow yourself to be pressurised into secondary if you believe the door will be closed on you,if you find yourself in that position,for your own self preservation it's better to step off the bike and get onto the pavement,rather than risk life and limb.

Now if I were to be overtaken by a lorry close to a corner and got squashed, it seems I'd be automatically condemned by some cyclists here as it would be assumed I'd gone down the inside of the lorry. No doubt me being a woman would make people even more sure it had been my fault.

If you believe that to be the case you need to go back and read the whole thread again as you've got hold of the wrong end of the stick.
No one has posted such as that on this thread.

I was not sufficiently clear, I meant here on this forum in general, not this specific case, as I said above, I'm sorry for the confusion.
I would use the pavement in some circumstances, as I mention above. But sometimes you can be overtaken where there are rails....

As for being pressurised into secondary, it depends where you are. In London, I found that drivers in general expect bikes to be around, and look for them. They are also less likely to be stroppy about cyclists in primary for the same reason- they see it more often (though it didn't save the poor chap who was killed recently). Round here, where bikes are a lot less common, a cyclist in primary would be regarded as being very stroppy, and as a legitimate target, so I am careful how and where I adopt it.
Having said that, once in London, stationary at lights and in primary, I had the driver behind try to move me out of his way by driving is car into my bike slowly and pushing it forward. I got off said bike, stood with it broadside-on in front of his car, and gave him a talk on his behavior, not stopping when the lights went green. I was young and cross at the time. These days, being old and taking Thirdcrank's advice and ganging more warily, and drivers being much more prone to violence than they used to be, I don't think I'd dare do that.
Primary is not always the safest place.

Re: Telford Town Centre Revamp

23 February 2015 - 1:35pm
I believe that the link from Telford all the way to Stafford won't be completed because they've run out of money, a pity as I was looking forward to trying it. You have to use the A518 from Telford to just short of Newport and then join the new cycle path

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