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Updated: 49 min 54 sec ago

Re: Confusingly signed cycle routes

3 June 2015 - 10:20pm
Signing on parts of the NCN is the responsibility of the roads authority, and it can be well nigh impossible to get them to take remedial action when required. I can think of one example where they put up a hanging basket for plants throughout the summer season which completely obscures the cycle route direction sign, but they refuse to acknowledge the fact.

Close passes - the lower the better

3 June 2015 - 10:10pm
I have ridden all three machines in my stable this week and made an empirical assessment of how many close passes each bike suffers on a 15 mile urban/rural commute, the result is a bit interesting.

The safest by far is the Kettwiesel Trike, very few people passed me on the same side of the road!

Next best was my low racer (HP Velotechnik Speedmachine) everyone gave me at least 6 feet

The only machine that elicited any close passes (1/50 at about a metre) was my supposedly safe and visible high racer (Bacchetta Strada)

My conclusion; the lower, the weirder and the less like a 'normal' bike the better.

PS a couple of short trips on my upright folder were much scarier!

Re: Confusingly signed cycle routes

3 June 2015 - 8:13pm
Are they more like these?

Sustrans has used a variety over the years. Rangers are supposed to make sure that signing is up to date but we're volunteers and not everyone understands the need. The one illustrated is probably a case of a "^" and a "1" many years ago with someone adding the blue sticker later rather than realising they should have started again from scratch.

One particular problem is that Rangers can become "sign blind". They know the route, they know where all the signs are (and what they mean), how could anyone else get lost?

Re: Confusingly signed cycle routes

3 June 2015 - 8:03pm
Those stickers look much better than what's currently used near me. I'll take a photo when I'm next on a stickered bit.

Re: Confusingly signed cycle routes

3 June 2015 - 7:44pm
Sign.jpg
Fairly standard Sustrans sticker on a fairly standard cylindrical pole. The "use footbridge" wording is roughly equivalent to a place name in size.

Standard sticker width is 96mm. I really don't see how you are going to make a > more visible than an arrow.

If you are having trouble imagining what it might be like, then it would be something like the arrows below the diversion signing shown here.



I came across those on an old routing of NCN1. IMO clear as mud.

Re: Vehicle as a murder weapon

3 June 2015 - 7:27pm
Vehicle as a weapon against a pedestrian: http://www.kentonline.co.uk/maidstone/n ... -at-37975/
“You saw him there and you drove at him,” said the judge. “Your vehicle hit him and caused a very serious fracture to his leg and was sufficiently severe that it required nailing and that nailing will be in his leg permanently.

Two years jail.

Re: Confusingly signed cycle routes

3 June 2015 - 7:13pm
gaz wrote:Bmblbzzz wrote:... I think if I were to make one change, it would be to replace the square outline with a 'pointing' one, something like []> if you'll forgive the crude ASCII art, so the direction was clear from a distance.
My understanding is that the entire sticker set was negotiated with the DfT before "approval". I use the term "approval" loosely because they certainly aren't mentioned in TSRGD. Sustrans generally frown upon Rangers using any non-standard layouts of the signage.

Please bear in mind that vinyl stickers are relatively cheap to produce can be shipped to Volunteers at low cost, carried easily by bike and are usually attached to vertical surfaces such as lampposts. Once attached they can be vandalised but not simply turned to face the wrong way.

To have a =====> arrangement would require a rigid sign and mounting brackets, raising production and shipping costs. They would be heavier and bulkier, making them harder to transport and erect and prone to the simple vandalism of turning the wrong way.

On the rare occasions that I bother to report a permanent NCN highway sign as missing the best response is "thanks for putting up a sticker, we have no money", often there's not even a thank you.
I simply meant a non-rectangular sticker. Not a metal fingerpost, but a fingerpost shaped sticker. In practice, the sticker would probably still be rectangular, but two corners would be anonymous background grey, with the blue part pointing into them. This could be angled in the appropriate direction, with a separate number to put on the red square, and the whole lot attached to whatever metalwork is available in situ. Sorry if that wasn't very clear from my post.

Edit: I see you've already addressed this, just above. Hmm, I can see your doubts about cylindrical poles, but I do think it would be more legible than the current arrows.

Re: Confusingly signed cycle routes

3 June 2015 - 7:02pm
Well done Richard.

Whilst I'm aware that permanent signing can be done, it requires an excellent working relationship between an active Ranger Group and the relevant local authority and/or landowners, not to mention local authority funding. It also requires additional H&S training and step ladders .

mjr wrote:.... Just put a > edge on the rectangular sticker. Do you think the current stickers can't be improved?
IMO a > edge on the rectangular sticker is not going to work. To be any better than the current arrow it's going to need to be a big >. The majority of stickers are attached to cylindrical poles, the > is mostly going to disappear around the curve where you won't be able to see it.

Stickers are intended as a temporary measure, pending the signing authority getting their act together and doing the job properly with metal signs. That's the improvement that is needed.

Re: Angry Driver 18+

3 June 2015 - 6:39pm
The fat commuter wrote:Very good, he'll probably take more notice of that than a load of abusive language.

It's rare that I have confrontations with drivers but I'll have to try such self restraint for the inevitable next time.
I was on foot at a pedestrian crossing waiting to cross and when the lights changed a van driver slowly rolled across the line and stopped completely blocking it (too busy looking at his phone).
As I walked around him I pointed back and said "'scuse me mate, the stop line is back there".
To which he screamed "so f*ng what? F* off you old c*"

Admittedly you could take my original comment as being a bit sarcastic - but even so...

Re: Heathrow Terminals 1, 2 and 3: Cycling out of?

3 June 2015 - 5:41pm
I thought I would share the Good News from Heathrow Connect. Despite other indications to the contrary, they have just written to me to say that more than ONE bike can be carried on Heathrow Connect trains. Here is the text of their email:

"Case reference: 00076978

Dear Mr Aldridge,
Thank you for contacting Heathrow Connect.

There should not be any problems carrying your bikes on the Heathrow Connect, as you will not be traveling in peak hours.

Please be advised that your case has now been resolved and closed. Please allow up to 3-5 working days for this to appear on your statement. If you have any further questions visit https://www.heathrowexpress.com/faqs or let me know if I can be of further assistance. On behalf of Heathrow Express we thank you for your custom and we look forward to welcoming you on board our service in the near future.

Kind Regards
Dominique
Customer Relations Team"

Excellent to hear this . It will help us both to exit Heathrow painlessly and get to Ealing Broadway in some comfort. And I hope this news will help others do the same.

Re: Angry Driver 18+

3 June 2015 - 5:26pm
jezer wrote:My most recent incident was last Saturday when returning from the club ride. A large black 4x4 overtook much too closely and then cut in. I raised my arm and shouted, as is my usual practice. He slammed on the brakes and wound down the passenger window, and as I drew up on his near side I heard the inevitable "is there a problem?" For some reason I kept my cool and replied quite calmly "I just want to let you know I felt really threatened by that manoeuvre, it was far too close. Please carry on and have a nice day". He said "was it?", no actual opology, but I think he was expecting verbal abuse and the polite response confused him. Strangely I felt much better afterwards, and hopefully he has learnt a lesson. I certainly have.
Very good, he'll probably take more notice of that than a load of abusive language.

It's rare that I have confrontations with drivers but I'll have to try such self restraint for the inevitable next time.

Re: Angry Driver 18+

3 June 2015 - 5:13pm
My most recent incident was last Saturday when returning from the club ride. A large black 4x4 overtook much too closely and then cut in. I raised my arm and shouted, as is my usual practice. He slammed on the brakes and wound down the passenger window, and as I drew up on his near side I heard the inevitable "is there a problem?" For some reason I kept my cool and replied quite calmly "I just want to let you know I felt really threatened by that manoeuvre, it was far too close. Please carry on and have a nice day". He said "was it?", no actual opology, but I think he was expecting verbal abuse and the polite response confused him. Strangely I felt much better afterwards, and hopefully he has learnt a lesson. I certainly have.

Re: New type of road surface

3 June 2015 - 4:01pm
It's a brilliant bike surface in the wet or damp winter roads. Lots if reassuring grip.

Re: New type of road surface

3 June 2015 - 3:49pm
Newly laid surface dressing is like this. When it is fresh, the chippings sticking up from the adhesive tar layer beneath them. But after a little while, the chippings get pressed into the surface and it flattens out, creating a nice surface.

We got a really weird new surface laid on a road near us, I'm pretty sure because it was cheap. I've not seen it before, at least not on a public road. It is almost the opposite, it has a very small chip size and mostly seems to comprise some sort of dark grey goo that was evidently sprayed on or the like. They didn't remove the old surface, rather they applied it directly to the existing surface, which had a lot of potholes and cracks in it. This goo seemed to fill all the old imperfections, and level out over them, even though the road is sloping, quite steeply for some distance. But it didn't look like it was rolled - maybe you couldn't. And so the overall effect is a rather uneven surface, but the unevenness is not related to the underlying unevenness, nor to the chips incorporated, and is on a much larger scale than the chips. Car drivers told me it felt pretty rough to drive over, but on a bike it was actually reasonably good. But it is clearly changing with time, heat and being driven over. Within about 10 days you could begin to locate the major underlying cracks it covered, for example.

Re: Is it OK to stop traffic with a Pelican/Toucan?

3 June 2015 - 3:45pm
mjr wrote:Tonyf33 wrote:Another way to not irk the motorists is to press the button and walk a ways down the hill away from the crossing, by the time the lights change those actually seeing you pressing it are long gone, those stopping will just think it's a fault or a pedestrian that has already crossed.
Dilemma solved
Not really - the street view shows IR sensor boxes on the top of the lights, indicating a Puffin-style Toucan, so it'll cancel if there's no-one waiting to cross.

I use some Toucans to turn right both onto or off of cycle tracks - or even left off of them, if motor traffic is heavy.
Sorry but I don't agree, whilst you might have to press and be in the line of the IR for a couple of seconds all the ones I've ever used activate a good 30+ seconds or so later well after people have got fed up waiting for the lights to change and crossed in a gap
So that will still work, you do not have to stand there right up until the light changes and that allows time to pedal down a good few metres ready for the lights to turn red.

Re: Angry Driver 18+

3 June 2015 - 12:55pm
Well, if anything posted up on TA is not to his taste, if he thinks he or his business are being libelled, he always has the remedy of taking it up with TA's Mods/Admins. I am still perplexed as to how a cafe owner posting up a picture of himself brandishing a meat cleaver, thinks he is doing anything to advance his business. Certainly looks far too Fawlty Towers for my taste. I wonder: if a group of cyclists were to set foot in his cafe, would the scene be something like this?

Re: Angry Driver 18+

3 June 2015 - 12:53pm
danhopgood wrote:I trust the new posts are all genuine reviews based on real experience. Posting false reviews hoping to destroy someone's reputation is another step towards the sewers.
Or you could say they were bringing his reputation to the attention of the diners? I'd want to know so I can at least attempt an ethical redistribution of any cash I was spending.

Re: Angry Driver 18+

3 June 2015 - 12:27pm
I trust the new posts are all genuine reviews based on real experience. Posting false reviews hoping to destroy someone's reputation is another step towards the sewers.

Re: Is it OK to stop traffic with a Pelican/Toucan?

3 June 2015 - 12:05pm
Tonyf33 wrote:Another way to not irk the motorists is to press the button and walk a ways down the hill away from the crossing, by the time the lights change those actually seeing you pressing it are long gone, those stopping will just think it's a fault or a pedestrian that has already crossed.
Dilemma solved
Not really - the street view shows IR sensor boxes on the top of the lights, indicating a Puffin-style Toucan, so it should cancel if there's no-one waiting to cross.

I use some Toucans to turn right both onto or off of cycle tracks - or even left off of them, if motor traffic is heavy.

(Edited to fix the bold bit)

Re: Any other cyclists had to deal with this type of road ra

3 June 2015 - 12:02pm
fastpedaller wrote:

They would probably just say "I HAD to overtake the cyclist" and that would be acceptable to the average motorist/magistrate!

Interestingly I had a "conversation2 with the driver of a patrol car on this very subject - he;d crowded me into the kerb on the approach to a mini-island.

After a quite civilised conversation he agreed that he didn't "have" to overtake me at all, he could have planned his approach differently to avoid the situation.

Shows the difference I think between those with a good attitude/training/brains and those without!

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