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Updated: 1 hour 57 min ago

Re: Horses: modern ones selected from what stock?

30 July 2015 - 5:11pm
When I started driving a horse box it quickly became apparent to me how bad the general standard of driving was. Horses are very quick with feedback if they can't cope with your driving.

Re: Horses: modern ones selected from what stock?

30 July 2015 - 4:55pm
MartinC wrote:Tacascarow wrote:That has little to do with consideration & nearly everything to do with lack of experience.
I've nearly been taken out by caravans, boat trailers, general car trailers, car transporters & horse boxes.
A separate test to tow a trailer over a certain size & weight should be mandatory IMHO.

Yebbut, not bothering to learn how to do it safely is a lack of consideration in itself. Besides some of the conversations I've had indicate that some of them at least don't consider a too close pass as anything that they need to bother about.
I was merely pointing out that horse boxes aren't unique. But you are right not learning how a trailer of any sort behaves is inconsiderate.
In my part of the world caravans & boat trailers are more common than horse boxes & their owners probably don't take them on the road as often as many horse riders.

One advantage horse riders have over cyclists is their sheer presence & the fact many drivers are justly scared to go to close or fast.
More than one driver has been killed because a horse has reared & come down through the windscreen.
I can't remember any incident where a driver has been killed when involved with a cyclist.

Re: Horses: modern ones selected from what stock?

30 July 2015 - 3:46pm
661-Pete wrote:Flinders wrote:I think the risks riders and horses ace are depressingly similar to ours as cyclists, so maybe we need to show solidarity - if bad/thoughtless/agressive drivers could all be persuaded to drive as well as the vast majority, we'd all be better off.
+1

I always try to announce "Bike(s) coming" as I approach a horse. In a firm tone of voice, so that the horse can hear it as well as the rider, but not a shout. Horses react well to human voices, that's one thing they're accustomed to.

That's my preferred option, either when riding or cycling. And thank you for being so considerate!

Re: Horses: modern ones selected from what stock?

30 July 2015 - 3:43pm
Tacascarow wrote:That has little to do with consideration & nearly everything to do with lack of experience.
I've nearly been taken out by caravans, boat trailers, general car trailers, car transporters & horse boxes.
A separate test to tow a trailer over a certain size & weight should be mandatory IMHO.

I agree. My (very old) licence entitles me to drive things that a new driver now quite rightly wouldn't be allowed to without more testing. As I have never driven anything but a car, I'd be unhappy about driving a van or a trailer without finding someone to give me lessons first even if legally I could do so.
It's not so much the weight of the trailer in any case, it's the added length, so I think driving any trailer should require some training. (I know of a rider who was involved in an incident with a trailer - her horse got one of the tarp hooks driven right into a bone. It took some time for it to heal.)

Re: Horses: modern ones selected from what stock?

30 July 2015 - 1:04pm
Tacascarow wrote:That has little to do with consideration & nearly everything to do with lack of experience.
I've nearly been taken out by caravans, boat trailers, general car trailers, car transporters & horse boxes.
A separate test to tow a trailer over a certain size & weight should be mandatory IMHO.

Yebbut, not bothering to learn how to do it safely is a lack of consideration in itself. Besides some of the conversations I've had indicate that some of them at least don't consider a too close pass as anything that they need to bother about.

Re: Horses: modern ones selected from what stock?

30 July 2015 - 1:03pm
Tacascarow wrote:MartinC wrote:Flinders wrote:...........................I think the risks riders and horses ace are depressingly similar to ours as cyclists, so maybe we need to show solidarity......................................

Well, yes, but I've always been puzzled that my experience is that people towing horse boxes seem to show little consideration for cyclists when overtaking. Horse boxes are normally wider than the towing vehicle and the wheels wider than the box but the drivers seem reluctant to allow for this. That has little to do with consideration & nearly everything to do with lack of experience.
I've nearly been taken out by caravans, boat trailers, general car trailers, car transporters & horse boxes.
A separate test to tow a trailer over a certain size & weight should be mandatory IMHO.

I understood that drivers passing their tests now are not entitled to tow a trailer. Isn't a separate qualification already required?

Re: Proper use of an A Gate

30 July 2015 - 12:37pm
Bigdummysteve wrote:I've just had the 'pleasure' of cycling the length of the country a lot of it on towpaths and cycle trails these things also effectively inhibit loaded touring bikes. On several occasions I had to abandon my chosen route and to take to the road, some routes had these things every 100 yards. Even worse are the kissing gates were even worse, riding a loaded surly big dummy ( it's a long tail cargo bike) meant I had to reverse the bike in backwards, stand it vertical and squeeze it through.
I realise my bike is a little unusual but what about people with child seats? The particularly galling thing was many of the blighted routes were marked cycle routes yet for me cycling was made very difficult.
I believe some places are removing them due to disabled access problems.
While a realise the need for these things to keep motorbikes off the trails there must be a better solution.

I'm coming to the conclusion that these barriers are like Japanese soldiers on Iwo Jima and will be rooted out one by one for a century, and that barriers that the authorities have long forgotten about will be discovered blocking cyclepaths in 2475, and our descendants will view them as we view ducking stools, thumbscrews and Spanish donkeys.

The only way they will get taken out is if someone takes the time to request the removal of each one or upgrading in line with current standards. That needs the location to be identified and a complaint to the appropriate authority made. A photograph and dimensions will help. If you happened, for example, to be planning to return that way in 2 years with your disabled friend on a trike, it may get a better response. The legal duties of eg County Councils are in place, as are the Statutory Requirements to improve PROWs, but if noone takes it on nothing will happen. A complaint to the CC may well be referred in teh right direction if it belongs to someone else.

The bit about the being needed to keep motorbikes out seems to me to be a big fat myth cum red herring. Most 'off-road' bikes are about the same width as a mountain bike.

Ferdinand

Re: Horses: modern ones selected from what stock?

30 July 2015 - 12:28pm
MartinC wrote:Flinders wrote:...........................I think the risks riders and horses ace are depressingly similar to ours as cyclists, so maybe we need to show solidarity......................................

Well, yes, but I've always been puzzled that my experience is that people towing horse boxes seem to show little consideration for cyclists when overtaking. Horse boxes are normally wider than the towing vehicle and the wheels wider than the box but the drivers seem reluctant to allow for this. That has little to do with consideration & nearly everything to do with lack of experience.
I've nearly been taken out by caravans, boat trailers, general car trailers, car transporters & horse boxes.
A separate test to tow a trailer over a certain size & weight should be mandatory IMHO.

Re: Horses: modern ones selected from what stock?

30 July 2015 - 11:53am
Flinders wrote:... Some drivers don't want them on the road and behave badly around them.....
That is very unfortunate and unpleasant.

Re: Proper use of an A Gate

30 July 2015 - 11:08am
I've just had the 'pleasure' of cycling the length of the country a lot of it on towpaths and cycle trails these things also effectively inhibit loaded touring bikes. On several occasions I had to abandon my chosen route and to take to the road, some routes had these things every 100 yards. Even worse are the kissing gates were even worse, riding a loaded surly big dummy ( it's a long tail cargo bike) meant I had to reverse the bike in backwards, stand it vertical and squeeze it through.
I realise my bike is a little unusual but what about people with child seats? The particularly galling thing was many of the blighted routes were marked cycle routes yet for me cycling was made very difficult.
I believe some places are removing them due to disabled access problems.
While a realise the need for these things to keep motorbikes off the trails there must be a better solution.

Re: Horses: modern ones selected from what stock?

30 July 2015 - 10:21am
Flinders wrote:...........................I think the risks riders and horses ace are depressingly similar to ours as cyclists, so maybe we need to show solidarity......................................

Well, yes, but I've always been puzzled that my experience is that people towing horse boxes seem to show little consideration for cyclists when overtaking. Horse boxes are normally wider than the towing vehicle and the wheels wider than the box but the drivers seem reluctant to allow for this.

Re: Horses: modern ones selected from what stock?

30 July 2015 - 9:51am
We have lots of horse riders using the roads around here, and the horses are always steady and under control. The riders are generally fine too. I once attended a seminar on Public Rights of Way, and there were people from the British Horse Society there. Some had stories about bad experiences with cyclists, but on the whole the feeling was that cyclists and horse riders should be supporting each other rather than bickering. We have a lot in common. We love the outdoors and the wind on our faces. We want to get away from car use, for a while at least. And we want (and demand) respect from other road users.

Re: Horses: modern ones selected from what stock?

30 July 2015 - 9:08am
Flinders wrote:I think the risks riders and horses ace are depressingly similar to ours as cyclists, so maybe we need to show solidarity - if bad/thoughtless/agressive drivers could all be persuaded to drive as well as the vast majority, we'd all be better off.
+1

I always try to announce "Bike(s) coming" as I approach a horse. In a firm tone of voice, so that the horse can hear it as well as the rider, but not a shout. Horses react well to human voices, that's one thing they're accustomed to.

Re: Horses: modern ones selected from what stock?

29 July 2015 - 8:35pm
Flinders wrote:I think the risks riders and horses ace are depressingly similar to ours as cyclists, so maybe we need to show solidarity - if bad/thoughtless/agressive drivers could all be persuaded to drive as well as the vast majority, we'd all be better off.
Absolutely agree Flinders.

Re: Pedestrians' view of bells ?

29 July 2015 - 7:28pm
SA_SA_SA wrote:I find pinging a (ping) bell (and deciding how soon to ping) when on shared paths a mild bit of a drag:

I wondered about an electronic box with a sampled 'meep meep' from the road runner cartoon*set to repeat periodically enough to obviate bell ringing except for blind corners etc?

*or some other jokey friendly noiseBut will it sound at the right time?

Re: Pedestrians' view of bells ?

29 July 2015 - 5:02pm
John Holiday wrote:Have Dutch type 'ding/dong' bells on most of my cycles , & almost always get a positive reaction from people that I pass.
They seem to be effective at up to 50 m.range, but obviously fail to penetrate to walkers using headphones!
The Sustrans mantra of 'Share with Care' comes to mind!

SusTootle you mean?

Re: Loose stones on the road

29 July 2015 - 5:01pm
Many lanes in the Chilterns have large drifts of grit and debris over them, e.g. near Ipsden, Stoke Row and Checkendon, some of which form part of NCN5. Debris covers the whole carriageway in places. Clearing of debris is the responsibility of Oxfordshire County Council's Highways Department but they've practically abandoned some of the smaller lanes, e.g. https://goo.gl/maps/KtSeO is a lot worse now than in that view, and aren't interested in going out and sweeping them every so often.

Re: Loose stones on the road

29 July 2015 - 4:26pm
iviehoff wrote:CREPELLO wrote:Here in Shropshire, the roads are being kept in what I would describe as a 'just about acceptable' state. Any worse and it will be unacceptable.
Here in Buckinghamshire we dream of having our roads in as good a condition as Shropshire's.
I did a short loop with a friend 2 weeks ago from Aston Clinton to Thame and back and the roads by and large were very good, far better than Hertfordshire's

Re: Horses: modern ones selected from what stock?

29 July 2015 - 4:24pm
One problem for horses is the same one we have. Some drivers don't want them on the road and behave badly around them.
That makes it difficult to train them not to be scared of traffic.
E.g.
- a 'traffic proof' horse suffers a close overtake from a vehicle blaring its horn. For the rest of that ride it will be jumpy, and it may not be happy to go on the road again next time - it may take some time for it to feel secure again.

-How do you introduce a horse to traffic when you can't be sure not to meet an aggressive driver even on the quietest roads? it isn't easy to train them to it...

If a horse is hit by a car, it may survive, but be very scared of roads in the future.

One of my friends was clipped by a van so close and fast that it broke a heavy stainless steel stirrup in half due to the impact and damaged the rider's ankle. The horse was a very good one in traffic, but the impact terrified it, as you can imagine - the van was inches away from hitting the horse. It bolted but fortunately the rider stayed on and when it stopped it was uninjured.
Some rider friends - and mine are pretty much all older ladies and are all very capable and sensible, have been deliberately driven at by cars and vans, and it isn't unusual for vehicles to blare their horns at horses just to scare them for a bit of fun or for people to throw things.

I think the risks riders and horses ace are depressingly similar to ours as cyclists, so maybe we need to show solidarity - if bad/thoughtless/agressive drivers could all be persuaded to drive as well as the vast majority, we'd all be better off.

Re: Pedestrians' view of bells ?

29 July 2015 - 4:19pm
Have Dutch type 'ding/dong' bells on most of my cycles , & almost always get a positive reaction from people that I pass.
They seem to be effective at up to 50 m.range, but obviously fail to penetrate to walkers using headphones!
The Sustrans mantra of 'Share with Care' comes to mind!

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