CTC Forum - On the road

Syndicate content
Discussion boards hosted by CTC, the national cycling charity
Updated: 23 min 14 sec ago

Re: Learning to ride on the road with a mountain bike?

17 June 2014 - 2:18pm
Having to ingest the Highway Code is a hell of a hurdle. Reaching the age of 15 without knowing enough to survive is highly unlikely unless you've been living in a retreat on top of a mountain. Main elements are keep left, obey the lights, signal before changing lane or direction, don't surprise other road users, try not to fulfil pedestrians' death-wishes, and if it's bigger than you give way even though you're in the right. Road craft is a different kettle from the Code, and books about it can even be interesting.

As Si observed, MTBs are not the best bikes for the road. If you ever do move over to a pukka asphalt eater you'll be amazed how much faster it goes.

Re: Learning to ride on the road with a mountain bike?

17 June 2014 - 1:44pm
I thank God that when I was growing up BMXs were so last year and everybody had moved on to early mountain bikes (rigid like amenahmw's). I also had access to an old ten speed which were also something that had been fashionable briefly (for those too old for BMXs). Okay the tyres on the mountain bikes were useless for road, but everything else made them good all-purpose bikes. A rare case of fashion and utility combining.

amenahmw, good luck with getting used to riding on the roads. You will probably have picked up more than you think about the rules of the road by observing others. It probably won't be as alien as it seems. Something like the highway code may seem daunting but a lot of the rules are fairly obvious or common sense and quite a few are not all that relevant to bikes. If it all seems difficult at first it is well worth persisting with as things only get easier with experience.

Good luck

Re: Double-white line

17 June 2014 - 12:11pm
FatBat wrote:Bicycler wrote:If they mean that the 1.2m cycle lane + 3.2m general traffic lane provide enough space for a car driver to pass a cyclist obediently riding in the gutter then they are probably right. If they are suggesting that a cyclist can be overtaken safely entirely within a 3.2m lane then that is worrying.
Yep, that is what they are suggesting.

Cycle Infrastructure Design (which they claim to have followed) says that overtaking vehicles should be able to leave 1.5m clearance when overtaking a cyclist on a 30mph road. (This is a 40mph road, so one would expect the recommended clearance to be more than that.) A typical car is about 2m wide (a Fiesta is 1.958m wide, according to What Car). So, it is impossible for a Fiesta to safely pass a cyclist within a 3.2m wide lane. QED.

No - a bicycle has negative width, everyone knows that...

Re: Double-white line

17 June 2014 - 11:37am
Bicycler wrote:FatBat wrote:I've just re-read the response that I received from the council, and I can't quite believe what I have read;

The lane dimensions have been measured and verified on site. ... 3.2m wide traffic lanes are sufficient for the majority of drivers and their vehicles to pass cyclists. This is influenced of course by driver/rider behaviour and the positioning of both cycles and vehicles in the lanes provided. Irrespective, drivers may choose to cross the solid white lines to pass cyclists if in accordance with Rule 129 of the Highway Code.

If they mean that the 1.2m cycle lane + 3.2m general traffic lane provide enough space for a car driver to pass a cyclist obediently riding in the gutter then they are probably right. If they are suggesting that a cyclist can be overtaken safely entirely within a 3.2m lane then that is worrying.
Yep, that is what they are suggesting.

Cycle Infrastructure Design (which they claim to have followed) says that overtaking vehicles should be able to leave 1.5m clearance when overtaking a cyclist on a 30mph road. (This is a 40mph road, so one would expect the recommended clearance to be more than that.) A typical car is about 2m wide (a Fiesta is 1.958m wide, according to What Car). So, it is impossible for a Fiesta to safely pass a cyclist within a 3.2m wide lane. QED.

Re: Learning to ride on the road with a mountain bike?

17 June 2014 - 11:24am
Si wrote:
* OK, OK - they are great for doing what they are meant to do...but not great fr learning road riding on.


Apologies for off-topic. But it's a fashion thing isn't it? You see the kids (kids these days tsk! ) riding BMX bikes on the road and it looks really hard work, a small group passed me two on BMX and one on a ordinary hybrid, but he had the seat down as low as it could go, presumably to make it look similar to a BMX, looked like he was trying to pedal while sitting in an arm chair.

Re: Electric 'car' fright

17 June 2014 - 10:43am
Mark1978 wrote:I met a horse coming the other way along a country lane, I'd noticed it about half a mile away so I'd already slowed down from doing about 20mph, and approached slowly, the horse started veering to one side, so I stopped. It was at that point the rider asked me to slow down - not sure how I could slow down from a stopped position. She then managed to wrestle the horse into line declaring "he doesn't like cyclists!". That particular lane is a popular cycling route so she may want to rethink using it!

This story reminds me of a border collie on a lead in Barnstaple town centre,that took a snap at my two year old granddaughter in her buggy,as I pushed her past it.
The owner informed me that ''he doesn't like people'',she didn't like my solution to the dog's problem.
If animals don't like something it's because they aren't trained well enough,in the case of the dog it should either be trained,muzzled or put down.
People are everywhere.
In the case of the horse it shouldn't be on the road if it can't be kept under control.

Re: Electric 'car' fright

17 June 2014 - 10:29am
Ben@Forest wrote:But I like another story from another another cyclist, who told me when on one ride he was told not to shout so loud as he came up behind a horse rider, later on the same ride and moderating his tone he was admonished by another horse rider for not giving a loud enough warning. Can't do right for doing wrong...
When you are being told off from either side of the fence then the balance is 'just right'...

Re: Electric 'car' fright

17 June 2014 - 10:28am
Firstly I should say that 99% of the time I have no problem with horse riders though I was a bit nonplussed the time was was slowly riding towards a horse and rider and the woman exhorted me 'Talk to him then! Show him you're a human being!'. But I like another story from another another cyclist, who told me when on one ride he was told not to shout so loud as he came up behind a horse rider, later on the same ride and moderating his tone he was admonished by another horse rider for not giving a loud enough warning. Can't do right for doing wrong...

Re: Electric 'car' fright

17 June 2014 - 10:13am
I met a horse coming the other way along a country lane, I'd noticed it about half a mile away so I'd already slowed down from doing about 20mph, and approached slowly, the horse started veering to one side, so I stopped. It was at that point the rider asked me to slow down - not sure how I could slow down from a stopped position. She then managed to wrestle the horse into line declaring "he doesn't like cyclists!". That particular lane is a popular cycling route so she may want to rethink using it!

Re: Electric 'car' fright

17 June 2014 - 9:56am
MikeF wrote:What's the point of shouting?? What is your aversion to a bell?? It's many times more audible than shouting and used properly it should rarely startle anyone. If you used a bell on shared use paths you'd realise that it can be heard (by most people anyway) at a considerable distance. I find it advantageous; it gives people 10secs or so warning (and me time to slow or react if they are deaf). How much warning does your shouting give them?? What's more, people very frequently thank or acknowledge the use of a bell.

(Never use it near a horse rider though, but then I see idiot cyclists racing by equestrians with disregard to anyone's safety.)

I've had negative reactions to a bell,and on two occasions having had to move my hand away from the brake to use it(drops),almost couldn't stop even though I was going slowly at the time.
That's why I removed it.
I find the vast majority of people are open to the human voice and more often than not I'm thanked for slowing down and letting people know of my presence with an ''excuse me'' or ''could I get past please'' or even ''ding ding'',of course you can't please all the people all the time and occasionally I have someone ask where's your bell,even though they've heard me speak,to which I usually stop and explain that I don't need one if they can hear my voice.
I try to be courteous and slow down for pedestrians and always alert horseriders to my presence in good time from a distance with a friendly shout of ''hello cyclist'',giving them plenty of space when passing,which I'm always thanked for,as someone posted up thread,horseriders tend to be courteous bunch.
The people who don't hear my shouts are usually iPod wearers,gaggles of school children otherwise occupied,and older couples occasionally all of which need extra care until I'm sure they're aware of my presence.
Occassionally some people are I'm sure deliberately obtuse,I've experienced this even when using a bell,though I can't prove it of course. groups of walkers(boots,rucsacks) spring to mind.
One group sticks in mind(all male fifties/sixties) as I approached from behind on a wide stoned up bridleway,I slowed and asked could I pass from about 5m,no response,again a little louder,a third time one of them turned around and said ''one of us could be deaf'' which seemed a strange response,but I thought I'd play along.I stopped and asked if they were all deaf,no was the answer,''well if one of you is deaf or hearing impaired,it would be a good walking companion and friend who would alert him to a cyclists presence'' this seemed to dumbfound them.It was clear they were just being deliberately obstructive.
Last week I was on a forest road approaching two young mothers with buggies walking side by side toward me,from a distance of 30m+ shouted ding ding,to which they singled out and allowed me to pass,I passed by at <8mph to which one of them said ''you should have a bell'' I responded with a spoken ''ding ding'' and said you must have heard me you moved over to allow me to pass.
No response.
Both these altercations,and other similar ones have been where MTBing is popular and having had an MTBer whizz passed from behind with inches to spare without a word,and similarly so when mending a puncture on a canal towpath,if this is the norm on these paths I can understand people being a bit put out to an extent,but as is the case with the ''all cyclists RLJ'' attitude,not all cyclists are reckless around pedestrians and other path users.
That said,overwhelmingly people are friendly and react positively to the human voice.

BTW, there's shouting and raising the voice in a friendly manner,I prefer the latter.

Re: Electric 'car' fright

17 June 2014 - 9:46am
I am not a horseman, just someone who meets them a lot of the time, and some of this is empirical, some of it is hearsay, hope it helps.
  • If a horse spooks (starts behaving erratically) ahead of you, stop but do not dismount. If the horse thinks that one approaching 'predator' has suddenly turned into two, its fear may increase. Do not interfere unless you have experience with horses: let the rider sort it out.
  • Older horses are far more docile than young ones: goes without saying. This presupposes, though, that you can tell the age of a horse by looking at its behind!
  • Horses in a group are likely to be calmer than single horses. Remember it's a herd animal.
  • Horses like the sound of a human voice (within reason). Remember, that's what they hear in the stables every day.
  • Recumbents and horses in the same place are bad news, I'm afraid. Nothing looks more, to the horse, like a big cat or a wolf stalking up on it. Actually 'bents are very rarely seen in our part of Sussex - possibly for this reason.

Re: Electric 'car' fright

17 June 2014 - 9:25am
MikeF wrote:and be aware the horse may shy.
Wouldn't want to be blushed on.

Re: Electric 'car' fright

17 June 2014 - 9:20am
brynpoeth wrote:When passing a horse I try to communicate with the rider (eye contact), to be friendly and patient, and I ring my bell gently several times so the horse can "locate" me. Of course I wait till there is space and I keep as far away as possible.

It's often quite nice to have contact with "people" (walkers, horse riders, cyclists). When there is not too much traffic shared walking and cycling paths are ok. It would be even better if the horses wore nappies.

Horses may be quiet "prey" animals but they weigh a few hundred kilos too.Never ring a bell near a horse. Make sure the rider and horse know you are there, so both know you are passing. Pass slowly, give plenty of room and be aware the horse may shy.

Re: Electric 'car' fright

17 June 2014 - 12:45am
reohn2 wrote:DDW wrote:Pedestrians on shared use paths have been saying that close passes by fast moving cyclists coming up from behind make them jump as long as I can remember. Maybe this will cause a little more understanding on what they have to endure.


Whilst more often than not I can attract their attention I find I have to shout louder than I like and some just don't hear my shouts(I prefer not to use a bell)I do startle these types,but short of tapping them on the shoulder or making myself hoarse I don't see an alternative .

What's the point of shouting?? What is your aversion to a bell?? It's many times more audible than shouting and used properly it should rarely startle anyone. If you used a bell on shared use paths you'd realise that it can be heard (by most people anyway) at a considerable distance. I find it advantageous; it gives people 10secs or so warning (and me time to slow or react if they are deaf). How much warning does your shouting give them?? What's more, people very frequently thank or acknowledge the use of a bell.

(Never use it near a horse rider though, but then I see idiot cyclists racing by equestrians with disregard to anyone's safety.)

Re: Double-white line

16 June 2014 - 11:51pm
FatBat wrote:I've just re-read the response that I received from the council, and I can't quite believe what I have read;

The lane dimensions have been measured and verified on site. ... 3.2m wide traffic lanes are sufficient for the majority of drivers and their vehicles to pass cyclists.

But how much room do they think would be necessary to overtake cyclists? Have they not seen the advert (about giving cyclists enough room) that created furore with a few drivers? 3.2-1.5m(for the cyclist)= 1.7m for the car. Allowing a half car's width for clearance that means the car has to be narrower than 0.85m

This is influenced of course by driver/rider behaviour and the positioning of both cycles and vehicles in the lanes provided. Er? What?

Re: Learning to ride on the road with a mountain bike?

16 June 2014 - 11:18pm
Hi and welcome. Good advise so far and would also say look for bikeability course. When I first had a bike and my dad thought I was ready to ride on the road, he used to take me out around the local streets and taught how to ride, signal and turn at junctions.. I well remember his look when he thought I had cut a corner on a right turn into a side street..
The world has moved on, but first and foremost I would suggest you get a copy of the highway code and ensure you know the 'rules' of the road, simple basics like positioning, signalling etc., esp when dealing with junctions. and learn some of the road signs, esp those that apply to cyclists, but they are all important.

Definitely get the bike checked out to ensure cables are still ok etc., you do not want a cable to break when you first start out on your learning curve.

Re: Double-white line

16 June 2014 - 11:13pm
FatBat wrote:I've just re-read the response that I received from the council, and I can't quite believe what I have read;

The lane dimensions have been measured and verified on site. ... 3.2m wide traffic lanes are sufficient for the majority of drivers and their vehicles to pass cyclists. This is influenced of course by driver/rider behaviour and the positioning of both cycles and vehicles in the lanes provided. Irrespective, drivers may choose to cross the solid white lines to pass cyclists if in accordance with Rule 129 of the Highway Code.

If they mean that the 1.2m cycle lane + 3.2m general traffic lane provide enough space for a car driver to pass a cyclist obediently riding in the gutter then they are probably right. If they are suggesting that a cyclist can be overtaken safely entirely within a 3.2m lane then that is worrying.

Re: Double-white line

16 June 2014 - 9:39pm
I've just re-read the response that I received from the council, and I can't quite believe what I have read;

The lane dimensions have been measured and verified on site. ... 3.2m wide traffic lanes are sufficient for the majority of drivers and their vehicles to pass cyclists. This is influenced of course by driver/rider behaviour and the positioning of both cycles and vehicles in the lanes provided. Irrespective, drivers may choose to cross the solid white lines to pass cyclists if in accordance with Rule 129 of the Highway Code.

Re: Learning to ride on the road with a mountain bike?

16 June 2014 - 9:13pm
Agree with everyone else about training, but a couple of theings I would add.
Read the highway code. It has sections for cycling but most of it applies to all vehicles as well as motor transport. Dont worry about the bike or tyres as long as overall its in roadworthy condition.
Look for quite roads to start off on.
.

Re: Another sad fatality - on a cycle path

16 June 2014 - 8:56pm
Hi Ivan,

Thanks for that and I hope you are well. I've had a long talk with Bob's brother this evening who told me all about the circumstances of Bob's tragic death. I miss 'my old cycling mate' dearly.

I now live up in The Highlands, but I'll be definitely down at Bob's wake at Ditchling in October. So if you are going it would be great to catch up with you and no doubt a few other Rough-stuffers.

Regards,

Steve

Archive

  • Patron: Her Majesty The Queen
  • President: Jon Snow
  • Chief Executive: Paul Tuohy
  • Cyclists' Touring Club (CTC): A company limited by guarantee, registered in England no.25185. Registered as a charity in England and Wales No 1147607 and in Scotland No SC042541

 

Terms and Conditions