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Re: Nightmare drive

29 June 2014 - 7:52pm
Postboxer wrote:Looks a great ride, https://www.google.co.uk/maps/place/Bea ... 299b1c2543

I think if I was cycling up there, if there were one or two cars behind me, I'd pull slowly through the passing places, hoping they'd get past without me stopping, if there were more, I'd pull in and stop and let them all past. Setting off again might be a problem though.

I don't know much about clutches, would it only give up when going up a hill if you were using it?


If I was alone then I might - but as a group there might not be enough room to do so safely - the passing place visible in the above link isn't very large, although the three hairpins are significantly larger

Re: Nightmare drive

29 June 2014 - 7:51pm
Postboxer wrote:I don't know much about clutches, would it only give up when going up a hill if you were using it?
You're always using it - but it's riding the clutch that's the issue here.

A clutch basically consists of two plates which are pressed together - a bit like a flat brake pad and surface.
Depressing the clutch pedal (or pulling the clutch lever on a m'bike) pulls the plates apart.
One of the pads is connected to the engine and therefore rotates with the output shaft of the engine; the other is connected to the wheels, so it's speed is determined by roadspeed (gearbox excluded for simplicity).
When you are stopped the engine is running and you gently release the clutch the friction between these plates allows some power transfer, but doesn't stall the engine. Once the speed is such that the motor revs are equivalent to the revs from the road then the clutch is no longer "slipping", so there is no more heat generated.
If you can't fully release the clutch then you're in the wrong gear.

On smaller petrol devices (such as a hedge strimmer) the clutch will be fully automatic - probably a centrifugal clutch. That is basically a hub brake, with the hub shell connected to the output and the shoes spun up by the engine. As it revs up the shoes are force outwards by centripetal force (resolved in a non inertial frame of reference) and start to drive the output stage. If there isn't enough power to drive the output the engine slows, but before it stalls the clutch disengages.

Re: Nightmare drive

29 June 2014 - 7:35pm
Looks a great ride, https://www.google.co.uk/maps/place/Bea ... 299b1c2543

I think if I was cycling up there, if there were one or two cars behind me, I'd pull slowly through the passing places, hoping they'd get past without me stopping, if there were more, I'd pull in and stop and let them all past. Setting off again might be a problem though.

I don't know much about clutches, would it only give up when going up a hill if you were using it?

Re: Nightmare drive

29 June 2014 - 5:50pm
I regularly visit that area and anyone who doesn't know the nature of the roads really can't comment. These are not narrow hedged roads, these are single track 'major' routes connecting the various settlements in the area. The whole ethos regarding traveling on these roads is mutual respect, not holding up traffic and giving way at passing places. In general it works well. It does fall down when inconsiderate people use the more southern attitude of I was here first, I have right to be here you wait your turn etc


When you are riding these roads you need to think you are a car, and behave accordingly give way at passing places etc, pull in when other vehicles come up behind.

Once I was going down Torridon Vally and a car in front would not let me pass, anyway we approached a bus coming the other way. The car in front pulled into the passing place leaving me with nowhere to go.

It's not about having a right to be there but to be respectable to other people who want to use the roads.

Re: Nightmare drive

29 June 2014 - 5:26pm
661-Pete wrote: if you slip your clutch for a long period of time on a steep hill, it is going to overheat and may well burn out. If cyclists won't let you pass (and believe me - although I've never been to the Bealach na Ba, I've been to some good climbs in my younger years where I'd find it difficult to stop to let a car pass) - find another way to deal with the situation. Stop in a passing place yourself, spend a bit of time enjoying the view, and give the cyclists enough time to get to the top before continuing your journey. A bit of delay and a bit of hurt pride are a lot cheaper than a new clutch. As you have discovered!

...

Agreed. And what if the slow moving obstruction cannot conveniently be halted in a passing place, eg sheep or cattle being herded along the road? Motorists must sometimes (and for heavens sake it's not very often) bite the bullet and wait With respect to the original poster, you shouldn't be using clutch-slip to regulate your speed on a steep hill, this is a basic error which any good driving instructor should stress to his pupils.
I regularly cycle up a steep, high-hedged, narrow lane with pull-ins every couple of hundred yards. The lane is a bit of a rat-run for local motorists trying to avoid a busy junction nearby. The lane is so narrow that a wide 4x4 fills the lane, and even a pedestrian must insert himself uncomfortably into the hedge to allow vehicles to pass. When I cycle (slowly) up this hill I usually end up with a convoy behind me. If I stop at a pull-in to allow passing (which ruins my rhythm and requires a strenuous hill-start), I'm often marooned at busy times waiting for a gap in the traffic, thus wasting my time . Sometimes I pull over to let cars pass, only to encounter them reversing downhill towards me because they've met an oncoming car, thus forcing me to stop yet again. I've concluded that my only realistic option is to keep going to the top and ignore the abuse.

Re: Nightmare drive

29 June 2014 - 5:23pm
I may be wrong here, but if someone is driving around Applecross.... What exactly is the hurry, or is it just impatience?

Re: Nightmare drive

29 June 2014 - 5:05pm
MichVanNic wrote:

In this case the cyclists were very inconsiderate and ignorant of other road users.[/quote]


Not sure about that, it is not clear whether they even knew that vehicles were behind them. Maybe they were pleased that one driver was considerate and waited.

Did the driver gently blow his horn to warn them?

Re: Nightmare drive

29 June 2014 - 5:03pm
R Trahearn wrote:The problem comes if the driver has to 'slip' the clutch for any length of time.
If I was driving and not meeting the current driving test standard, I don't think I'd be announcing it to CTC magazine and forum! The Driving Standards Agency syllabus for driving category B (cars) includes not "riding the clutch" as part of Learning Outcome 3 "Be able to drive and manoeuvre a vehicle safely" https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/s ... g-cars.pdf
About 1km from the summit at the steepest section I came up to a group of cyclists who were grinding along in their lowest gears.
How close were you to be able to see their sprockets and chainring selections?
They were barely moving and were wobbling dangerously. I fully expected them to pull into one of the many passing places to permit overtaking.
Did they fall off? No? Not that dangerous a wobble then. They probably should have pulled in, but a debatable cycling wrong doesn't excuse definite driving incompetence. I'm just glad no-one was killed as a result.

Re: Nightmare drive

29 June 2014 - 4:59pm
In this case the cyclist were not observing the code of these narrow Scottish roads. The code is to use passing places to allow traffic behind you to overtake.

This isn't because the traffic behind is impatient, it to to prevent a queue of tragic building up which would cause a blockage if two queues met with no passing place.


In this case the cyclists were very inconsiderate and ignorant of other road users.

Re: Nightmare drive

29 June 2014 - 4:59pm
There's plenty of folk saying the same thing about cyclists, I doubt many of us will be hanging up the pedals any time soon.

With respect to hills being too steep to stop, let someone pass and get moving again, with the exception of steep off-road rutted, boulder strewn tracks, maybe we can take a leaf from this guys book posted by Mick in the steep challenge thread....
http://youtu.be/7_oW-ybRQ88

Re: Nightmare drive

29 June 2014 - 4:11pm
anything that slows th traffic is welcome.

The best speed for cars is zero

Re: Nightmare drive

29 June 2014 - 4:05pm
I hope the forum will bear with me while I relate a somewhat wistful tale of my own - although mine has nothing to do with cycling!

A few years ago we were driving uphill on the narrow lane leading to Steyning Bowl on the South Downs, from the north, intending to park at the top and walk to Cissbury Ring (a well-known beauty spot in Sussex). The car in front of us suddenly juddered to a halt, blocking the road, and the elderly driver got out apparently in a distressed and confused state. We stopped and went to his assistance. It turned out to be a very sad story: his wife had just passed away the previous night, and he was on his way to Worthing Hospital to pay farewell, pick up her effects and make arrangements.

Of course we offered to help: luckily he was a member of the AA and we called them on his behalf. From the smell inside his car it was plain that his clutch had burnt out, but I didn't voice any opinion: best to let the AA man deal with it.

Another motorist stopped: together we managed to manoeuvre his car to a position where other traffic could at least pass. The other driver kindly offered him a lift to the hospital, while we agreed to stay behind and pass the keys to the AA man when he arrived. When the AA man did show up, after the elderly owner had left, he revealed* that this chap was in fact ninety-five years old, and he volunteered this piece of wisdom: "It's always the same with these old geezers - don't know how to use their clutch - shouldn't really be driving..." Being no spring chicken myself, I found this a wee bit demeaning and 'ageist' but held my peace. The AA man took possession of the car and that was the end of the story as far as we were concerned.

Moral: whatever the age of the driver, if you slip your clutch for a long period of time on a steep hill, it is going to overheat and may well burn out. If cyclists won't let you pass (and believe me - although I've never been to the Bealach na Ba, I've been to some good climbs in my younger years where I'd find it difficult to stop to let a car pass) - find another way to deal with the situation. Stop in a passing place yourself, spend a bit of time enjoying the view, and give the cyclists enough time to get to the top before continuing your journey. A bit of delay and a bit of hurt pride are a lot cheaper than a new clutch. As you have discovered!

*Probably in breach of a confidentiality clause...

Re: collecting my new bike

29 June 2014 - 3:34pm
Riding in the position required by a road bike can take some getting used to. In particular the steering is a generally a lot more sensitive. Even the brakes and shifters will take some getting used to. I would always advise getting used to riding a new bike before mixing it with heavy traffic so the housing estate would be preferable. It may be worth checking if there is a cycle path running alongside the dual carriageway. Quite a few dual carriageways do have adjacent paths and it's not the kind of thing you always notice from a car. If there is a path which you can use it should have a blue cycle or cycle/pedestrian sign where you join it.

Oh, and carrying luggage is much easier if it is attached to the bike than in a rucksack, particularly for going any distance on a drop barred bike.. A saddlebag/seatpack is a worthwhile accessory.

Re: Nightmare drive

29 June 2014 - 3:19pm
+1 I think that's the balanced stance. The cyclists should have been more considerate. There was no need for you to damage your clutch. What distinguishes the good road users from the adequate is the ability and willingness to anticipate the actions (even the mistakes) of others, to understand the particular difficulties of their vehicles and your own.

BTW, on my bike I once got stuck behind a car whose overcautious driver insisted on sticking to about 10-12mph (I don't exaggerate) going down Kirkstone Pass. It was the height of summer and I could not overtake becase of oncoming traffic. The descent to Patterdale is long and steep. I feared my rims might get too hot and cause my inner tube to explode. I stopped to let them cool. If I had continued and woken in hospital I would not have been blaming the driver...

Re: Nightmare drive

29 June 2014 - 2:51pm
IMO it depends as to who's at fault.
If I were cycling and the road was so steep that if I were to stop I couldn't get going again,eg; 20% climb touring load Then obviously I'd keep going.
If I thought otherwise and were holding up traffic for any considerable time ie;more than a minute or two at most,I'd pull over.

If I were driving and felt the need to slip the clutch because the cyclists weren't showing any sign of moving over(for whatever reason), I would stop in one of the passing places and let the clutch cool down and the road clear before continuing.

I've on occasion,experienced drivers thinking cyclists should just move out of their way for no other reason that their car is bigger and faster without even considering the fact that because they have a huge power advantage under their right foot compared to a cyclist,they can wait without any detriment to their journey other than,at most a 1minute delay,and with that same power differential be back upto speed within a few seconds.

It could've been bad cycling I agree.
But it most definitely was poor driving,as to burn out the clutch on a modern motor car does take some determined effort.
I've never done it in 40+ years of motoring,30 of those towing caravans,some to their 85% maximum recommended weight of the towing vehicle,and I've never towed with anything bigger than a 1.8l engine,all over europe and the UK.

EDIT:-
Thinks............it's just occured to me that I've never felt the need to complain to the AA,RAC or IAM about some of the inconsiderate lunatic drivers who endanger my life almost every time I ride,by their illegal and dangerous driving!
Perhaps it's because I think the chances of them being a member of such clubs/associations and such clubs/associations taking any action other than what tell their members what they already should know would be a waste of my time

Re: Nightmare drive

29 June 2014 - 2:45pm
brynpoeth wrote:Of course you could have stopped. The cyclists are not to blame for your decision to abuse the clutch.

You could have stopped in one of the many passing places.

It is earnestly to be hoped that you learn from your "expensive" mistake.

No-one is to blame but you.

Chwarae teg!

Exactly. You were only 1km from the summit so you could have waited 10 mins in a passing place and allowed the cyclist to get to the top.

Re: Nightmare drive

29 June 2014 - 2:09pm
Hi,
Whilst it courtesy to allow others to pass in these cicumstances, that will not stand in court.

So your bad driving in abusing your clutch and not pulling into layby stopping and just waiting for a better time to carry on was your error.

The truck behind has to wait for you.
If the truck was impatient and you allowed them pass and they forced the cyclist off the road then they would be at fault.

Its a bit like " I could'nt get past a slow car so I overtook and hit a car coming the other way, because you were driving too slow"

Re: Nightmare drive

29 June 2014 - 2:03pm
Bad cycling and bad driving.

Re: Nightmare drive

29 June 2014 - 2:00pm
Well, the council vehicle could easily have passed you in a passing place if you were slipping the clutch and thought it at risk of overheating.
Then you could have saved your clutch quite easily.

Re: Nightmare drive

29 June 2014 - 12:50pm
In the Highlands on single track roads they have signs, not everywhere but not infrequent, which say "Use passing places to allow faster traffic to overtake." Unfortunately, not everyone uses them but it at least establishes the principle. Cyclists should also do this. However, the OP should not have burned out their clutch. Bad driving I am afraid.

My tactic would be to do what I did once on the road to Mallaig when behind a car moving at a snail's place. As it approach a passing place I put on my right indicator and started to overtake, tooting my horn at the same time. The same could have been done to these cyclists assuming they were going so slow it could have been done in absolute safety of course. Cyclists are not excused being tooted at if they are being inconsiderate.

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