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Updated: 47 min 10 sec ago

Re: Another A38 Accident

7 September 2014 - 12:25pm
A dual carriageway ought to be one of the safest places to cycle. Any faster traffic can overtake at any time and give a wide berth.
There is no reason at all why a dual carriageway ought to be less safe than any other road, aside, of course, from dangerous and (often) illegal driving.

Re: Another A38 Accident

7 September 2014 - 11:34am
DevonDamo wrote:MrsHJ wrote:WTF?

TonyR's point is cleverly made. The Women's Institute is a representative organisation for women. The CTC is the same for cyclists. Walking alone at night may be regarded as a 'right' for women, but it may be unwise for the WI to promote it, given the risks involved. The same may be said with regards to any organisation promoting cycling on high speed roads.

It felt sexist to me. I quite frequently get the red haze rise when either womens issues or cyclists issues are dissed so it did not feel an appropriate comment, sarcasm at best, particularly in the light of a thread about a tragic event.

Re: Biker's death filmed - horrific.

7 September 2014 - 11:33am
Phil Fouracre wrote:Horrible, but, totally avoidable!! 100 mph approaching a junction, and the more vulnerable in the event of a collision? Not looking carefully enough before turning, again careless. Maybe the driver thought there was genuinely sufficient time, not anticipating a bike to be travelling at 150 ft per sec!! I wouldn't want to be the one to have to attribute 'blame'
I think the car driver was still to 'blame' for this one if that word is even appropriate in such a scenario. I don't think the car would have cleared the junction had the motorcycle been doing 60mph but obviously if he had been doing half his speed and considered the possibility of the car turning then he may have been able to avoid the collision. I always say that 'blame' is fine for macho roadside posturing over scratched car paint and insurance claims but where people are liable to be injured or killed the question should be whether each individual had taken every reasonable action to ensure the collision did not occur (having priority is not sufficient). IMO both failed in this respect.

Re: Biker's death filmed - horrific.

7 September 2014 - 11:07am
The version on the BBC stops before impact, but we had clear sight of the clio for a while. Stupid speed though

Re: Another A38 Accident

7 September 2014 - 10:26am
TonyR wrote:.......... The danger is we start to engender (and probably already have) a Fear of Roads for what is an extremely safe activity. The real issues with riding on these sorts of roads is how threatening they can feel, not how threatening they are.

That's the whole problem and the main stumbling block to keeping people from cycling more,if they feel threatened and intimidated then cycling isn't pleasurable so why do it?
Like it or not but we live in an aggressive society,which no more evident than when using the roads, especially from a position of 'weakness' ie; small or vulnerable vehicle.
The bullies are all to evident,care for others is lacking,and the penalties paltry for serious road crime.
It's a societal problem where might is right,even when it's blatantly wrong.

This poor chap was taken out in circumstances that should never have been if society cared enough.
There'll be people sat discussing this case along the lines of how bad it all is and 'well I feel sorry for his family but what was he doing on such a dangerous road?' or 'why was he allowed to cycle on such a busy road like that?'
And not once asking,what was his alternative? or what was the driver doing to run into him? or why was there not better provision for cycling on such a fast and busy road?
Victim blaming is alive and well in UK society.

Re: Biker's death filmed - horrific.

7 September 2014 - 10:21am
Horrible, but, totally avoidable!! 100 mph approaching a junction, and the more vulnerable in the event of a collision? Not looking carefully enough before turning, again careless. Maybe the driver thought there was genuinely sufficient time, not anticipating a bike to be travelling at 150 ft per sec!! I wouldn't want to be the one to have to attribute 'blame'

Re: Another A38 Accident

7 September 2014 - 10:13am
TonyR, perfectly put. I ride our local busy main road, and most direct route, regularly, without any problems. I'm amazed by the number of 'cyclists' who say that they would never do that and that they think I am mad to do so. They can't believe I do it in tee shirt and shorts, and no plastic hat! Yes it can feel threatening very occasionally, but, it's still a great ride. Just as a secondary point, being the main road in an area of low lying ground, it is on a ridge with amazing views. If I chose the circuitous, 'safer' route I would see nothing at all!!

Re: Another A38 Accident

7 September 2014 - 9:11am
BeeKeeper wrote:Sadly, this death sends it's own message. Stay off this road.

And the deaths of cyclists on minor roads and in towns? What message does that send? Stay off the roads altogether?

Sad as these incidents are, they are extremely rare. There are many other things we do in daily life that are far more likely to kill you. The danger is we start to engender (and probably already have) a Fear of Roads for what is an extremely safe activity. The real issues with riding on these sorts of roads is how threatening they can feel, not how threatening they are.

Re: Solo night ride

7 September 2014 - 9:05am
fluffybunnyuk wrote:Great tale. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it!!!
Wow thats an...interesting route I need to get off my lazy backside, and catch some of that end of summer crisp night air before it turns too cold.

Usually i come over the ridge at Oxted, down tandridge lane to Lingfield, down newchapel road to turners hill.
Down the Ardingley Road to Haywards Heath. Down to Wivelsfield, common lane, and that classic the ditchfield beacon
Usually I stop here for a snack. Thats my excuse anyway!!! Then on to Brighton beach. All back roads. I dream of cycling down the A23 but I dont trust the traffic.
EDIT: and then back again because I dont like paying for train travel...
I know all of that route from Lingfield southwards. It's a bit misleading that you say 'down' everywhere, there's a lot of 'up' on that route besides the celebrated Beacon (note: 'Ditchling', not 'Ditchfield') .

I should warn people that, despite being 'back' roads, those roads are not quiet at daytime peak hours, they're very busy with traffic. But at night time they're a dream. I came that way a couple of times with Simon Legg's Friday Night group, back in the early days*. We by-passed Haywards Heath by turning left in Lindfield (not Lingfield) and along Slugwash Lane, re-joining the B2112 at Wivelsfield.

*Before I was banned, that is

Re: Another A38 Accident

7 September 2014 - 8:53am
BeeKeeper wrote:.............. Sadly, this death sends it's own message. Stay off this road.

And that we live in a society that doesn't give a toss for 'lower class' road users,as it doesn't provide viable alternatives for them.Whilst at the same time giving lip service to 'promoting' cycling and a healthy lifestyle.

Re: Another A38 Accident

7 September 2014 - 8:18am
Very sad to hear about his death. He was a local man so would have known about the alternative route and how inefficient it is compared to the direct route he was on.
I think I can understand the CTCs dillema in that to actively advise cyclists to avoid roads like this would smack of throwing in the towel in their campaign for better provision for cyclists. Sadly, this death sends it's own message. Stay off this road.

Re: Sheep playing chicken

7 September 2014 - 7:20am
tatanab wrote:Horses are different. I used to live in the New Forest and I am pretty sure that the ponies look out for you. You can almost imagine the leader saying "ok lads, here's one. Wait until you see the whites of his eyes. Wait- wait. NOW step out".

Don't they just!!!

Re: Sheep playing chicken

7 September 2014 - 7:19am
thirdcrank wrote:I've always assumed that sheep can see that cyclists are people ie instinctively treated as a threat, especially when close by, but that they see and interpret motor traffic differently.

How they react is related to the speed of the thing they are reacting to. Nature has programmed them to react only to things moving at the speeds that predators go and motor traffic tends to go a lot faster than that so typically gets ignored. Slow down in your car and they will react. Go fast enough on your bike and they'll ignore you.

Re: Another A38 Accident

7 September 2014 - 7:08am
DevonDamo wrote:Okay - I got that one wrong! But I had my reasons though: If I were a head honcho in the women's institute, I wouldn't dream of encouraging women to walk alone at night. Similarly, if I were influential in the cycling world, I'd never in a million years suggest it's a good idea to go out on dual carriageways.

But that wasn't the question. The question was should the CTC actively discourage it. I suggest that if the WI were to actively discourage women from going out at night all hell would break out.


Although it may offend our sense of rights and equality, some activities are just dangerous, and probably always will be. It may be morally correct to aim our ire at the miscreants who attack women or micro-sleep their lorries over innocent cyclists, but that doesn't help the deceased or their loved ones. If it's that dangerous, swallow your sense of injustice and just don't do it.

There are places, like this bit of the A38 and a dual carriageway near me, which are unavoidable - there are no realistic alternative route. In my case the roads are staggered by at least half a mile where they cross so you either ride only on one side and don't cross it or you have to ride along it to cross it or you have to do a 10 mile detour to the nearest unstaggered crossing.

Remember that about five motorists a day are killed on our roads and another 60 a day seriously injured. Should the AA and RAC actively discourage motorists from using the roads or should we seek to reduce the sorts of driving and road designs that make it dangerous?

Campaigning for good, segregated cycle paths is a sensible line to take. Campaigning against poor driving in order to make fast roads safe for cyclists is straying into King Canute territory.

It would be easy enough to put a speed limit on those sections of dual carriageway that are unavoidable for cyclists, horse riders, moped riders etc and to put up big be aware of cyclists signs, especially if its a well used road for End to Enders. And that would save not only cyclist lives but also far more lives of motor vehicle occupants.

Re: Biker's death filmed - horrific.

7 September 2014 - 7:04am
661-Pete wrote:What I'm wondering is, how soon before a similar incident involving a cyclist gets recorded. Not my death, nor was it filmed, but I had a bad crash and my Garmin recorded it complete with my HR going through the roof.

Re: Police Thugs

7 September 2014 - 4:48am
I would like to thank everyone for their comments, its been most uplifting when dealing with this. The support, advice from Jenny Jones, Roger Geffin, and others has been invaluable.

Re: Sheep playing chicken

7 September 2014 - 4:23am
The secret to remember is that running in straight lines is a great defense mechanism for getting away, provided your a sheep running from a predator.
So if the sheeps running down the road, slow down, and let it think your tired. Then it'll dodge off to the left or right. Understanding any kind of behaviour is always useful

Re: Solo night ride

7 September 2014 - 3:42am
Great tale. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it!!!
Wow thats an...interesting route I need to get off my lazy backside, and catch some of that end of summer crisp night air before it turns too cold.

Usually i come over the ridge at Oxted, down tandridge lane to Lingfield, down newchapel road to turners hill.
Down the Ardingley Road to Haywards Heath. Down to Wivelsfield, common lane, and that classic the ditchfield beacon
Usually I stop here for a snack. Thats my excuse anyway!!! Then on to Brighton beach. All back roads. I dream of cycling down the A23 but I dont trust the traffic.
EDIT: and then back again because I dont like paying for train travel...

Re: Another A38 Accident

7 September 2014 - 3:16am
I think there's a big difference between encouraging something and refusing to actively discourage it. This is a common misunderstanding when debating cycle safety. People come along wishing to dictate what others' behaviour should be and think that anybody who doesn't agree with their stance is trying to dictate the opposite. In reality many people just do not wish to be dictated to. Rest assured, nobody wants helmets or Hi-vis banned and nobody wants to compel cyclists to ride down the A38.

Cyclists aren't blind to the dangers that surround them and I am more inclined to trust the judgement of the individual regarding his own safety than any general assumption based upon road type and speed limits. Even on one stretch of road the conditions can vary significantly at different times of the day. I avoid most of these like the plague during the day but the couple I used were perfectly fine when I was working nights.

Re: Another A38 Accident

7 September 2014 - 2:41am
Okay - I got that one wrong! But I had my reasons though: If I were a head honcho in the women's institute, I wouldn't dream of encouraging women to walk alone at night. Similarly, if I were influential in the cycling world, I'd never in a million years suggest it's a good idea to go out on dual carriageways. In both cases, such advice would be likely to result in harm.

Although it may offend our sense of rights and equality, some activities are just dangerous, and probably always will be. It may be morally correct to aim our ire at the miscreants who attack women or micro-sleep their lorries over innocent cyclists, but that doesn't help the deceased or their loved ones. If it's that dangerous, swallow your sense of injustice and just don't do it.

Campaigning for good, segregated cycle paths is a sensible line to take. Campaigning against poor driving in order to make fast roads safe for cyclists is straying into King Canute territory.

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