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Updated: 1 hour 27 min ago

Re: Reporting this driver? Road safe or police?

9 February 2015 - 6:04pm
reporting drivers =/= becoming a youtube sensationalist, whatever that means. I don't intend to start posting videos on youtube of every example of bad driving I see.

Different people react in various ways to feeling threatened by someone driving a 1-2 tonne vehicle dangerous around them. Some get angry and swear. I also take issue with the idea they 'give cyclists a bad name'. It's not their fault that some people can't tell the difference between an individual and an activity that individuals share.

There is no doubt that police are having to increasingly cope with more limited resources, but they somehow find the time to stand around junctions all day fining people for minor infringements.

Re: Superhighway

9 February 2015 - 5:34pm
Maybe not get it right, just less wrong. I am a realist here.

Reporting this driver? Road safe or police?

9 February 2015 - 5:08pm
aspiringcyclist wrote:There seems to be a lot of negativity around reporting incidents to the police - understandably. However, it looks like 'roadsafe' London seems to work fairly well, with youtube cyclists claiming that by reporting to roadsafe, at the very least, letters are sent to the drivers. Cyclegaz claims his videos have resulted in over 200 convictions.

I had an idiot punishment pass me today, so I will report it and will comment here to say what the result is.

I'm not surprised there is so much negativity. Spend 5 minutes on YouTube and you will see a trend. All these robo-camera-wannabe-cops are confrontational and aggressive. Almost ALL of them swear and use profanities to get their point across. They are bullies and give the majority of us cyclists a bad name. Is there any wonder drivers take a defensive or even aggressive stance? Perhaps they do/did want to be police officers but never made the grade and are now trying to live the dream.

However it's your journey and if you aspire to be a YouTube sensation that's your choice. I also get the feeling that with less than a year's experience of commuting in London you are just going to end up disillusioned and disappointed. A shame.

Be safe out there...hc

P.S. I'm all for camera evidence being used if an infringement ACTUALLY occurs. Not NEARLY. Police resources are stretched beyond belief. I'll also say again: It's the culture and infrastructure that needs to change.

Re: Superhighway

9 February 2015 - 5:02pm
mjr wrote:I agree completely but I can't really see how having messed up (again) in Lewisham is a good reason to object to improvements in central London. Surely it would be better to improve both?

Because as well as messing up with the new Lewisham roundabout, they messed up with the Blackfriars Bridge redesign and the King Cross redesign......... But some have faith that despite the appalling record of TfL messing up, next time they'll get it right.

Re: Getting too cold.

9 February 2015 - 4:51pm
Hi Mick

Rode part of a 200k AUdax on Saturday which was below freezing at the start (7:30 am). I wore my new roubaix shirt with two merino base layers. At the 55k control, after some big hills I was cool but definitely dry. I then had lots of stops and starts due to the P*fairy and didn't get chilled as I wasn't sweaty. When I eventually stopped (bailed out into a B&B) I found my roubaix jacket was quite damp, the first merino layer had a couple of damp patches and the innermost layer was essentially dry. I'll admit to wearing my altura night vision gilet for the last 3 hours of the ride to keep a little warmer but this was due to the excessive number of stops I had to make.

Overall I was very pleased with my new jacket and baselayers.

Re: Good places to cycle to in Cardiff

9 February 2015 - 4:49pm
The fat commuter wrote:I've heard that the road out of Cardiff is the best bit. That was a joke, btw. It's ages since I've been there - I'm sure Cardiff's a lovely place.

Hopefully someone else will be along shortly with more constructive advice.

Regarding pedestrians on the cyclist side of shared paths - 'tis a pain. Not a great deal you can do about it other than to cycle carefully and develop a cough as you approach people so that they know you're there. I've not used my bell myself but have seen others do so and pedestrians seem to object to this.


I've also had them say, very nicely mind,'why don't you use a bell?' when I've coughed and politely asked pedestrians to 'excuse me'. I have to explain that other pedestrians object to bells.
As they say in my part of the world, 'you can't do right for doing wrong'.

Re: Getting too cold.

9 February 2015 - 4:46pm
I've got a endura luminite commuter coat. Its a waterproof and is basically boil in the bag levels of breathability... I sweat a bit in it but when its really cold not much to be honest, and its completely wind proof. With that on I don't get cold coming down hills. I do have to unzip it when climbing though.

Re: Reporting this driver? Road safe or police?

9 February 2015 - 4:45pm
snibgo wrote:In the second incident, the driver appears to misjudge distance and relative speed. He isn't moving much faster then the cyclist, so squeezes him when the van needs to pull in. It is "must get past the cyclist" syndrome.

Would the police take any action on this? Only if nothing else was happening in the world.

It's dangerous if you're cut up, but a lot of drivers have no idea how fast a bike may be going; some of them do seem to think that every bike goes at the speed of a sedate old granny on a sit-up-and-beg with a basket full of shopping. And in this case, as you point out, the driver was moving slower than they usually would have been doing, which might have affected their judgement.
No excuse, of course, but a possible explanation.

Re: How Heavy is too Heavy?

9 February 2015 - 4:41pm
I keep a cable lock for quick trips into village shops when I can keep an eye on it, but if I'm gong into town, or expect to leave the bike anywhere for a long time, I use a heavy link lock.
I used just to use the cable lock even in town, but hearing of a spate of thefts made me more wary.

In London I'd never have dreamed of not using a secure, heavy lock.

Re: Getting too cold.

9 February 2015 - 4:36pm
I wear a Ground Effect fleece which has a windfoil chest front, called a 'Baked Alaska' which keeps the windchill off but doesn't seem to make me sweat. In very cold weather I wear one of their fleeces with the windfoil stuff on both chest and arms, called 'Frosty Boy', which is a bit thicker in the fleece too. The backs of both are mesh so keep me dry if I sweat.
In very, very cold weather, I may wear a gillet under one or the other of them, if I expect to be stopping to draw I wear the lighter one and take the other for when I stop so I don't chill.
But you may well be going a lot faster than me.

The windfoil stuff seems to be pretty effective. One cold day I set off with the lighter one, and my arms got cold straight away - I went home and changed into the other, and I was fine and cosy on the ride without being too hot.

Re: Reporting this driver? Road safe or police?

9 February 2015 - 4:24pm
There seems to be a lot of negativity around reporting incidents to the police - understandably. However, it looks like 'roadsafe' London seems to work fairly well, with youtube cyclists claiming that by reporting to roadsafe, at the very least, letters are sent to the drivers. Cyclegaz claims his videos have resulted in over 200 convictions.

I had an idiot punishment pass me today, so I will report it and will comment here to say what the result is.

Re: Superhighway

9 February 2015 - 3:59pm
fluffybunnyuk wrote:If we want the dutch model, then cycle paths have to go places that people want ie from home to station,shops,parks, and other places. From everything Ive seen about the superhighway it doesnt do this nor does it offer the prospect of extension to the suburbs in south london from wimbledon right round to plumstead.
I agree completely but I can't really see how having messed up (again) in Lewisham is a good reason to object to improvements in central London. Surely it would be better to improve both?

There seems more possibility of extension once there's something to extend. The south end already meets CS7 (which isn't great IMO but at least it avoids E&C and is on fairly wide roads south of there), while the east end meets the end of CS3.

Re: Superhighway

9 February 2015 - 3:44pm
axel_knutt wrote:And that's the whole point, isn't it. Cyclists with a bit of common sense need to put a stop to it now, before it's too late, or it will be another useless white elephant that we get blamed for not using.
Please no. You need to weigh in and tell them to fix the flipping thing and warn them that a lot of cyclists will not use the current design for various reasons. Please try to avoid both the Uncle Toad "cyclists don't want this" and the dual-networkist "this is a toy for weaklings" reasons.
Has anyone any idea how much further a cyclist is willing to ride in order to use it?
Personal experience from before I knew anyone cared whether we rode on roads or cycleways: one trip I did a bit, I rode 10 miles partly on cycleways instead of 7 miles on roads because I thought it was nicer by cycleway.
Are the motorists who said they would use it going to find some other excuse as soon as it's built?
Only time will tell, won't it?
Does it have more traffic lights and give way lines than the alternatives?
You could answer that by comparing the consultation plans with the current streetscape.

Re: Superhighway

9 February 2015 - 3:36pm
TonyR wrote:mjr wrote:Sorry to keep doing this, but prove it: who, on what list, when and is it visible online?
Its on a subscription list, not a public one and I am not going to betray people's trust by publishing their contributions to a closed debate. You're just going to have to believe me or not.
Like it used to say beside my supervisor's door: "In God We Trust - all others bring data". So no, I'm not accepting that as evidence. For all we can tell, it's some fantasist telling you what you want to hear. Encourage them to repeat the statements in public.

There's a touch of "not gonna get fooled again" here: I believed the anti-protectionists for some time, until I looked closely at the evidence and found holes you could drive a truck through (and straight onto a cyclist).
TonyR wrote:mjr wrote:It's one straight road from Russell Square to TCR (Montague Place, Bedford Square, Bayley Street). OK, there's been building works near the museum for ages and there's traffic lights, but there's traffic lights on Torrington Place too.

Well first you've got to get out of Guildford Street and round Russell Square - not the most cycling friendly set of junctions.
I've done it and don't remember having problems (I think I could use an advanced stop box to help get the right lane to go around the square but I don't remember how I got to it) but I thought you wanted a route without using cycling infrastructure? It's only that one right turn that's at all unfriendly, isn't it?
TonyR wrote:Then you do the lovely straight on when everything else is turning left ride at the cars waiting in Bedford Square before swerving at the last minute onto the gravel pavement of the cycle path (pictured). And then off again at the other end just at the point cars coming the other way are swerving towards you to overtake the parked cars. A true mess of a journey but on the bright side at least the redone Montague Place is not as bad as what was there before.
Screen Shot 2015-02-09 at 12.32.03.png
That arrow to the left is the instructions to cyclists on where to go next.
Yeah but when the road's clear, you could just continue forwards like most people seem to. The last time I used it, that kerb was properly flat at the end, too, while the rest was fairly low.

And what's the problem at the other end? Good visibility and fairly light (for London!) traffic, so you can easily time your traversal to a gap in the traffic, dutch-style.

I'll only go so far to defend those routes because I prefer and use Torrington Place (even though it could/should be better) but they seem fairly good for roads without cycle lanes. How would you make them better?

Re: Superhighway

9 February 2015 - 2:26pm
fluffybunnyuk wrote:The problem is one partly of image i think, and also of destination. I avoid police here like the plague because their belief is in hi-viz,helmets, and as one inspector told me "body armour might be a good idea...", and mine is in sitting a niece or nephew on the back of the bike to go shopping in day clothes. Dont get me wrong i'm crazy enough to cycle up a fairly major a road like the A10. So if artics at 55mph dont scare me ,what does? Well my local roundabout does (Im not even counting the bricklayers or the ele&castle or oval). Its been recently improved into a gyratory, thats a bigger deathtrap than before. Oh dont worry its a temporary phase so it will soon be gone. However in its place will be a shiny new road system with no place for cyclists. Oh yes...it wasnt even considered during planning...
So on one arm of the gyratory we have tescos, another the railway station, and the other 2 lewisham shops. In fact its so bad I will cycle an extra 3 miles out of the way just to get 400 metres down the road from it, on the other side. Now if I wont cycle it, then what chance has someone less confident, or unsure about traffic. If we want the dutch model, then cycle paths have to go places that people want ie from home to station,shops,parks, and other places. From everything Ive seen about the superhighway it doesnt do this nor does it offer the prospect of extension to the suburbs in south london from wimbledon right round to plumstead. Of course when its done I will ride it once just to see what its really like, but after that I fully expect to go back to the usual rat runs.
I dont doubt the highway will be of use, but just dont expect it to get people on their bikes...its more likely to get the commuters off the roads.
Wow rant over.My blood pressures gone down...I should do this more often

I think its probably worse than you think on the image front. What image does it send to an average non-cyclists when they see you are expected to don head protectors, hi-viz (with body armour maybe) and cycle in special segregated places away from traffic? It says that a) cycling must be very very dangerous and b) that you would be a fool to do it outside the segregated lanes which as you say don't go to where you want. Compare and contrast that with how the Dutch portray cycling. Which do you think is more likely to entice the non-cyclist to try it?

Re: Superhighway

9 February 2015 - 1:24pm
The problem is one partly of image i think, and also of destination. I avoid police here like the plague because their belief is in hi-viz,helmets, and as one inspector told me "body armour might be a good idea...", and mine is in sitting a niece or nephew on the back of the bike to go shopping in day clothes. Dont get me wrong i'm crazy enough to cycle up a fairly major a road like the A10. So if artics at 55mph dont scare me ,what does? Well my local roundabout does (Im not even counting the bricklayers or the ele&castle or oval). Its been recently improved into a gyratory, thats a bigger deathtrap than before. Oh dont worry its a temporary phase so it will soon be gone. However in its place will be a shiny new road system with no place for cyclists. Oh yes...it wasnt even considered during planning...
So on one arm of the gyratory we have tescos, another the railway station, and the other 2 lewisham shops. In fact its so bad I will cycle an extra 3 miles out of the way just to get 400 metres down the road from it, on the other side. Now if I wont cycle it, then what chance has someone less confident, or unsure about traffic. If we want the dutch model, then cycle paths have to go places that people want ie from home to station,shops,parks, and other places. From everything Ive seen about the superhighway it doesnt do this nor does it offer the prospect of extension to the suburbs in south london from wimbledon right round to plumstead. Of course when its done I will ride it once just to see what its really like, but after that I fully expect to go back to the usual rat runs.
I dont doubt the highway will be of use, but just dont expect it to get people on their bikes...its more likely to get the commuters off the roads.
Wow rant over.My blood pressures gone down...I should do this more often

Re: Good places to cycle to in Cardiff

9 February 2015 - 1:20pm
Take Arriva train north to Merthyr Tydfil(bikes free) and return to Cardiff along Taff Trail or continue riding north to Brecon, beautiful country.
An efficient way to cycle quickly from urban Cardiff to real countryside is to take the Ely Trail due West, terminating at St Fagans folk museum (free entry, large outdoor grounds, teashop/restaurant). Although the official trail ends at the museum you're now on the country lane network which criss-crosses the Vale of Glamorgan, classic cycling country with attractive coast to the south. Get OS Landranger maps 170 and 171 and start planning. General rule is avoid red(A) roads and brown(B) roads and you won't go far wrong.
BTW there's a North Easterly route along the Wentlooge Levels to Newport (NCN route 88 I think). I don't recommend it, it's flat, boring, and seems to attract maniac drivers.

Re: Superhighway

9 February 2015 - 1:01pm
fluffybunnyuk wrote:...... and onto their own personal 25mph racetrack, where they can dream their winning the TdF.

I think they'll need to dream even more if they think its going to be a 25mph racetrack. At the widths its being built it will probably be a nose to tail cycle jam travelling at the speed of the slowest cyclist on the route at the time as its too narrow for overtaking so probably 8-10 mph is the best you'll be able to expect.

Re: Superhighway

9 February 2015 - 12:49pm
fluffybunnyuk wrote:"people who cycle like me", oh dear. I would read the blog I linked a bit further up

haha i'm a POB on a BSO and proud of it. Sorry every day I pull up at a set of red lights on the A2 and some nutter usually in cycling shorts often lycra comes steaming past me and through the lights. Or later on weaves in and out of lanes 1 and 2 to pass cars moving at slow speed. Or tries to come up the inside of vans trying to get into the inside lane. If im really lucky i'll be told to "get out of the way". in a not too charitable way. And im not that slow, Im just careful. The amount of women or kids Ive encountered on non-road bikes crossing Lewisham roundabout to visit tescos in the last year stands at zero. The reality here(in my area) is a bad stereotype of cyclists. male,commuter,fixie,lycra,impatient....take your pick of stereotypes

Fair enough!

Re: Superhighway

9 February 2015 - 12:44pm
"people who cycle like me", oh dear. I would read the blog I linked a bit further up

haha i'm a POB on a BSO and proud of it. Sorry every day I pull up at a set of red lights on the A2 and some nutter usually in cycling shorts often lycra comes steaming past me and through the lights. Or later on weaves in and out of lanes 1 and 2 to pass cars moving at slow speed. Or tries to come up the inside of vans trying to get into the inside lane. If im really lucky i'll be told to "get out of the way". in a not too charitable way. And im not that slow, Im just careful. The amount of women or kids Ive encountered on non-road bikes crossing Lewisham roundabout to visit tescos in the last year stands at zero. The reality here(in my area) is a bad stereotype of cyclists. male,commuter,fixie,lycra,impatient....take your pick of stereotypes

EDIT :And its not getting better, its getting worse...and that includes in the infrastructure.

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