CTC Forum - On the road

Syndicate content
Discussion boards hosted by CTC, the national cycling charity
Updated: 2 hours 17 min ago

Re: Police Had Pulled Over a Driver

26 May 2015 - 5:51pm
TBH the towpath is probably close to a perfect solution

Make the most of the new tarmac now before they dump loads of gravel all over it!

Re: Confusingly signed cycle routes

26 May 2015 - 3:50pm
Bicycler wrote:Maybe it's my eyes but for on road routes where you are typically travelling faster and further away from the pole with the sticker, I find stickers are a bit easy to miss. Fine on a cycle track junction, I guess but on a road I'd want signs.
To be clear - I'd prefer signs, but it seems to take years to get existing signs replaced, let alone put new signs on existing routes.

Re: Problems I never knew needed solving

26 May 2015 - 3:04pm
mjr wrote:Not everyone likes to change into a nappy and special gloves just to pop into town.

Indeed, or worry that your bike might melt in the rain, as a lot of owners of fancy road bikes seem to do.

Re: Problems I never knew needed solving

26 May 2015 - 3:03pm
foxyrider wrote:So the OP's new bike is different to his other bikes but it doesn't mean they are 'problems'.

Having every road bump transmitted to my hands and backside is definitely a problem.

Re: Confusingly signed cycle routes

26 May 2015 - 2:52pm
Maybe it's my eyes but for on road routes where you are typically travelling faster and further away from the pole with the sticker, I find stickers are a bit easy to miss. Fine on a cycle track junction, I guess but on a road I'd want signs.

Re: Confusingly signed cycle routes

26 May 2015 - 2:25pm
Improved signs are a quick win but only if the infrastructure exists and is used enough that missing/needed signs actually get spotted and reported and fixed. Things like www.fixmystreet.com have helped with reporting but getting them fixed is still a problem which is why I'd like people who use bikes to take control. Maybe we can agree some guidelines that are worth following? For example:-
  • route arrow stickers should be placed fairly high so they aren't easily obscured by parked vans
  • a → turn arrow on the last available pole before a turn
  • a ^ confirmation arrow on the first available pole after a turn
  • sideways-facing double arrows ←→ at intervals along the route, both as confirmation and advertising the route to newcomers
  • print the route arrows as circles so the same sticker can do duty for all arrow directions, colour code the arrow backgrounds and print the route endpoint names around the circle border
I know this doesn't follow Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions, but nor do the asset numbers on lampposts and these wouldn't be any bigger (so I wouldn't use yellow as a route colour code in Norfolk any time soon). They would be smaller than the signs used by most sportives (some of which hang around for months afterwards...). If the highway authorities would like to replace local bike users' stickers with TSRGD diagrams then wonderful but I don't expect the current failure to signpost useful cycle route networks to end any time soon.

Re: Problems I never knew needed solving

26 May 2015 - 2:03pm
foxyrider wrote:I don't think any of the OP's points are 'problems' at all. I wear the same padded shorts, gloves for any bike if i'm riding more than around the block. My fat tyre (32 tyres) CX bike is no more comfortable on the potholes but...
32mm tyres? Fat? My roadster has 37s, the folder has 40+ and the winter bike has 50s... don't knock a blow-up armchair ride until you've tried it. (The utility bike has 28s, but I wouldn't want to go narrower.) Not everyone likes to change into a nappy and special gloves just to pop into town.

Re: Confusingly signed cycle routes

26 May 2015 - 1:33pm
Having vastly improved signage would improve the cycle network dramatically. It is a quick win and I suppose a relatively cheap one too compared to vast infrastructure projects.

Yesterday I rode from Runcorn to Birkenhead and followed NCN 5 for most the way. However the route appeared 'out of the blue' near Frodsham and gave no indication of where NCN 5 started or ended, which towns were passed through along the way or the general direction of travel.

I find that this is common place right across the country and if Sustrans took inspiration from the German or Belgian cycle networks with named routes, distances to next towns and key signs at junctions, then inter-city / regional cycling would become so much easier.

On numerous occasions I have stopped following the blue cycling signs and jumped on the nearest A road because the signage has been confusing or nearly impossible to follow.

Re: Confusingly signed cycle routes

26 May 2015 - 12:56pm
meic wrote:Another little gem is that a council will just come and close a section without notifying anybody sometimes just to allocate the space for building contractors to store their supplies . So at anytime up to a month later your volunteer will find out and then have to try and work out a patch to a route which was already tortuous, while they themselves just miss the whole mess out by riding with full priority on a direct road a quarter of the length which the path is trying to avoid.
There are two ways to improve this that we're trying in West Norfolk: the first is to get as many cycleways as possible designated as highways with highway reference numbers (biggest routes first) which should mean that they appear on http://norfolk.roadworks.org before they are closed (so we can and they should have to have proper diversions as required by the Street Works Act - this isn't yet happening consistently but we seem to be moving forwards; the second is that we got disruption to cycleways included in the Norfolk Permit Scheme so utilities companies should have to avoid just blocking the whole shebang and putting up "cyclists dismount" nonsense or loose-packed gravel tracks - that's a tougher task because the nature of Permit Scheme works is they've often packed up and gone by the time complaints reach the county council.

The third thing we're trying is developing/adopting/amending and publishing the Local Cycle Networks for our area that people actually use, which might hint to roadworkers that they're going to get complaints from people on bikes if they block them. How far we go (or can go) with this remains to be seen, but I'll have a go at adding them to maps and I'd like to try signing them by stickering signs and lampposts but I don't know yet whether the councils will welcome that or accuse us of damaging their assets.

Re: Problems I never knew needed solving

26 May 2015 - 12:46pm
I don't think any of the OP's points are 'problems' at all. I wear the same padded shorts, gloves for any bike if i'm riding more than around the block. My fat tyre (32 tyres) CX bike is no more comfortable on the potholes but maybe more forgiving if i do hit something than any of my 'road' bikes regardless of whether i'm using 23, 25 or 28 tyres. As the riding position on all my machines (currently 6) vary only slightly in handlebar height but otherwise identical in reach/saddle height it doesn't make any one machine more or less comfortable. Frame material does make a difference, my 3 steel framed steeds are not very forgiving of nasty surfaces, the hydroform Al is a softer ride by far and the carbon is by far and away my favourite particularly for longer rides.

So the OP's new bike is different to his other bikes but it doesn't mean they are 'problems'.

Re: Confusingly signed cycle routes

26 May 2015 - 11:27am
Years ago I took advantage of government money through the Cycling Demonstration Town (my local city was in the first 5). I filled out an online form and got a commute to work route and the offer of a member of the council team to take me out on it one saturday. I got the route and it followed the canal and then went right out of my way to avoid the A6 which is a really nice road to ride because it is not too busy and loads of other cyclists use it too. A direct corridor into town with a little side run to avoid the worst of the city centre traffic.

Basically it followed one of the national routes (6 or 90 I can't remember). Whichever one it was it must have been thought up by nobody local. Every local cyclist uses the A6 or the canal until it goes right out of the way when they switch to the A6. Signage for my local routes are OK until you get a bit north of me then you get signs which are missing when you need them and too many where you do not.

All in all I prefer a map and common sense. For example one route number (going roughly where I wanted) was full of traffic so we went on a parallel road that was quiet. SImple look at the map told us the best route not the blue signs. That is why I prefer maps. Old fashioned like that. Still I am trying to become modern and thinking of getting the OS based mapping software along with a few tiles (isn't that the modern term for map sheets?).

Re: Confusingly signed cycle routes

26 May 2015 - 10:35am
The cycle paths I mostly use are north of Oban and fairly obvious anyway. With my motorist hat on I long ago concluded that road signs for drivers are only to reassure those who already know where they are going.

Re: Problems I never knew needed solving

26 May 2015 - 10:11am
I have only had one road bike a 9.5kg steel one from 25 years ago. 700x23c and you did know about any bad road you hit. My commute on it was a nightmare and I used to have to true the wheels every other week too.

Got a heavy hybrid with front suspension for those commutes and it was ok. Then I got a carbon forked gravel bike (london road from Planet X) and with the 700x37c tyres I find it at least as comfortable on the same commute as my fat tyred, front suspensioned hybrid bike. I know take it off road too.

IMHO I wish all those years back to have switched to 28s or at least 25s. IMHO there is no need for 23s unless you race but even then I think the elites re switching to 25s as well.

I do believe in gel mitts as a cheap fix for road buzz from the forks. I got a good pair of specialized ones after a broken hand made riding painful. Since getting the 700x37 wheels I no longer need them. Fatter tyres at a lower pressure work for comfort IME.

Re: Problems I never knew needed solving

26 May 2015 - 9:59am
I've ridden as good as nothing but 700x23s for the last 20 years (with a brief excursion into 700x18s in the 90s). It's mainly a matter of adapting. OK, you need the padded shorts & gloves, and my bars have gel plus tape, but I'm comfy enough on long rides. I did try a tourer a couple of years back, with 5cm Marathon Godknowswhats® on: it was so damned sluggish I couldn't stand it.

Current tyre of preference Conti GP4000 or 4 seasons.

Re: Confusingly signed cycle routes

26 May 2015 - 9:52am
I have been out on what Sustrans describe as group signing rides. So a group of Sustran's volunteers and a paid staff member went out to test ride a section with most of them not knowing the route.

At many "junctions" there was a discussion about where to stick signs and how to position them. Yet there was often no agreement as people interpret what they see quite differently. Following a road is quite simple because on a motorway at a junction, you know that you are leaving on a motorway. On a Sustrans route you can be leaving a junction on any thing from a staircase to a motorway slip road, regardless of what sort of "road" you arrive on.

Another oddity of Sustrans route is that often you dont have a road at all, you enter an area (like a car park) and the signing options are very limited due to everything around being private property. The exit isnt necessarily in the direction that you are generally traveling either.

All this is due to Sustrans having a third class status when getting route and having to patch together bits by weaving around everything that caters for motorists. As a local you can pick and mix, leaping on to the road network to cut out the more ridiculous bits as a "passer through" it can be a pain in the neck.

Another little gem is that a council will just come and close a section without notifying anybody sometimes just to allocate the space for building contractors to store their supplies . So at anytime up to a month later your volunteer will find out and then have to try and work out a patch to a route which was already tortuous, while they themselves just miss the whole mess out by riding with full priority on a direct road a quarter of the length which the path is trying to avoid.

Re: Confusingly signed cycle routes

26 May 2015 - 9:24am
The Netherlands have the best system I have used. Each junction has a number and you simply note down which junction you go to next. E.g. 45,26,47,57,75 etc.

You can see an example here to the right of the screen http://en.nederlandfietsland.nl/en/cycl ... and-guides

Simple, easy and means you can plan your route, then have it written on a piece of masking tape running down your top tube. No Garmin required!

Re: Problems I never knew needed solving

26 May 2015 - 7:24am
Hmm. Shooting from the hip going on here about "Marathons", whatever that means.

Perhaps get yourself some Marathon Supreme 28mm tyres, which weigh 310g each at 700c size as a start. Cheaper than wearing the shorts and all the rest of the stuff. Or perhaps 32mm might be better.

Ferdinand

Re: Does anyone like........ chipseal?

25 May 2015 - 11:07pm
CREPELLO wrote:My personal gripe is that Shropshire council seem to have a habit of relaying with a nice silky smooth bed of tarmac. Then 6 months or so later they go and blast it all with chip n seal . My local main road was like this and now has a surface the consistency of lumpy porridge...which is coming away in places. Why, Shropshire council???
It's not just Shropshire CC. East Sussex CC did that to a road a year or so ago, but I don't think it's normally done. Much of the surface dressing has lifted, especially on a hill. The road was closed last week for road repairs so I avoided it. I'm "interested" to see what has been done.

Surrey CC surface dressed a minor road a few months after relaying it, but before the latest road surfacing contract. Agree it's infuriating, although the Surrey road surface is fine, but it's not smooth, and why was it done!

There is a duty for utilities to make good, but in my view it is far from satisfactory. I think it has to remain good for something like 6 months, maybe a year, but it's too short a time

Re: This week i am mostly eating ... pasties!

25 May 2015 - 7:38pm
I spent some time in this part of the woods at Helston (RNAS Cudrose)


If down that way, then the Halzephron Inn was a good evening ride, dinner and a couple of pints

Equally Gweek was an weekend afternoon (say AAAAH to the seals) or an evening to the Gweek Inn or the Black Swan

Lovely country, lots of brilliant pubs but as above... a bit lumpy

Re: Police Had Pulled Over a Driver

25 May 2015 - 7:23pm
Thanks for that Si. Good to hear that the underpass will be available 'cos I probably will still not have acquired the confidence to use the roundabout. Part of my problem is the amount of aggression and outright incompetence that I see there on a daily basis. My cycle journey involves approaching from the Lichfield road and continuing along the Tyburn Road, which leaves me needing to do a right turn that I sometimes struggle with in a car...
My preferred strategy with places like this is to develop alternatives, and TBH the towpath is probably close to a perfect solution, but you have reminded e that somewhere I have a B'ham cycling map...
Thanks!

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

Copyright © CTC 2015

Terms and Conditions