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Re: Using cycle paths

CTC Forum - On the road - 25 November 2014 - 12:06pm
ukdodger wrote:They do? You've left out speed bumps and all traffic calming measures which would appear to be very effective.
The equivalent on a cycle path would be as Tigerbiten and grani describe: barriers designed merely to slow cyclists, preventing them from hurtling over railway tracks or whatever. That's fair enough.

But a barrier that prevents me getting through with panniers of shopping, or parents with children, or recumbent trikes, or ... No. These are anti-cycling barriers. I suppose the idiot designers would deny this was their intention. But the result is anti-cycling.

ukdodger wrote:What's wrong for us apparently should not be allowed sums it up.
Barriers that prevent cycling on a cycle path are simply wrong. (Just as barriers that prevent wheelchairs and mobility scooters on footpaths are also wrong.)

Re: Using cycle paths

CTC Forum - On the road - 25 November 2014 - 11:57am
Vorpal wrote:ukdodger wrote:So how many motorcycles have you ever come across?

Are you really speaking up for those who these barriers supposedly keep out or is that your own (and others here) annoyance of them leads you to believe that all users must obviously feel the same way. What about other path users who also dont want M/C's causing them an inconvenience. I seriously doubt walkers have any problem at all with them and they may indeed welcome them because they think they keep us out too. You'd have to be one brick short of a pile to take a mobility scooter on the C2C and much of it is impossible to get a trike over even without barriers.

Frankly if you think that allocating space for motorcyclists to play nicely somewhere else will stop illegal entry onto these paths you've more faith in human nature than I have. Skateboard parks did nothing to stop skateboarders doing it where they please and youth clubs never did stop kids collecting on street corners. Part of the fun is doing because you arent supposed too. The idea that the police are going to arrive and trash some riders M/C is fanciful. It would cost far too much to police these paths that way and yes maybe it is a sticking plaster rather than a solution but I say again everybody cant be catered for and it's better than nothing.
The only place I have encountered motorcycles on cycle paths is in places where there are barriers. I have never encountered motorcycles on the paths where there aren't barriers. It is scary and dangerous to encounter them. But the barriers obviously don't help. Or maybe only Essex motorcyclists think they are a challenge to target

TBH, if they actually stopped motorcycles from accessing the paths, I could almost understand it.

And I'm not suggesting that having a safe and legal place for young motorcyclsits to ride will stop all illegal motorcycling. But it will stop casual offenders, and leave it to those who are deliberately setting out to do something illegal and anti-social, rather than just wanting a place to ride.

People used to say that it wasn't possible for the police to enforce laws against drink driving. That it was 'fanciful' to expect the police to do anything about it unless someone had a crash. If that can change, so can this.

I realize that police currently do not set illegal motorcycling as a high priority in most areas. But they deal with it quickly enough when illegal motorcycling occurs in a national park, or on someone's estate, or when people have been killed or injured. Google for 'illegal motorcycling bikes seized' or 'police seize mini motos'. Some councils have videoed having the bikes crushed, then published them on YouTube to discourage offenders.

And I'm sure that some users do welcome barriers. But, I spoke to people in Essex about these things, and only a tiny minority of people actually wanted them. What I found was that when I asked people about them, I was regaled with stories about pensioners being rescued from them. Not just a few people, either. Anything from wheeled shopping bags to mobility scooters stuck in them.

I do realise that not many people hate them as passionately as I do, but I don't think that it is possible to cycle with children in the UK without developing a passionate hatred for these things. And IMO, our cycle paths should be designed for the most vulnerable users; the very people they curently exclude.

Why aren't barriers like this required in other countries? I have never seen them in the USA, Norway, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Sweden, Canada, Mexico, Denmark, or any other place I've cycled. Only in the UK.

It seems truly odd I've never encountered motorcycles on any path with these barriers. What's even stranger is that it is apparently Ok for all users of these paths to be subjected to speeding scramblers (yes 'speeding'. It isnt the point to pootle along on these things and it wont be just scramblers. Have you thought about quad bikes too or any petrol vehicle capable of entry?) and the risk of injury they may cause to anyone else simply because they inconvenience us. And that's my point. It isnt all about us. That's what gets us a bad name.

These barriers are not everywhere. I've only ever seen them on the C2C routes. I cant recall seeing them anywhere else but that doesnt mean there arent any. But have you considered that their installation is only in places where petrol driven vehicles are a real problem? As I said someone must have done their homework. If it were carte blanche they'd be on all cycle paths.

If legislation and policemen in cars made any difference to speeders in vehicles why are there speed bumps and traffic calming measures in use? Is it because they are most cost effective? There cant be many motorists that dont feel the same about these measures too yet I would guess that most motorists see them as a necessary evil for the benefit of all road users.

What's surprised me in this thread is the total lack of public spiritedness among some cyclists. What's wrong for us apparently should not be allowed sums it up.

Re: My worst tour, and why..

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 25 November 2014 - 11:49am
Never had anything quite so disasterous as those examples!

My worst was a Tirol tour in 2011 with lots of wet days.

Day 1 torrential rain to St Gallen, day 2 woke floating after more overnight rain, day3 damp start then more distance than i expected, day 5 damp turning to torrential, day 6 foggy and damp before later light rain, repeat for day 8 with overnight torrential rain at Berchtesgaden, day 9 damp with low cloud ending with a puncture caused by a sharp stone on the road. Phew, day 10 light rain on and off all day, day 11 low cloud and rain until mid afternoon so cancelled assault on the Gross Gloeckner road, day 13 (shoulda known better!) abortive high pass crossing resulting in three day diversion from planned route, more damp in afternoon. Day 14 wet afternoon and into evening at Solden, river close to overflow, day 15 rain and low cloud over Silvretta ending with a 2km 20% climb to campsite, day 16 ended with 5km climb to campsite before more rain, day 17 wet most of the day over three passes to Zurich then the final morning it chucked it down getting back to the airport. Not only that but my cash card wouldnt work so for the middle week i was severely at a financial disadvantage! This was in August!

Despite all of the damp i had a great trip, the dry days were brilliant, the tent kept me dry even when it was floating! I did complete 15 pass crossings and clocked up @ 1200km.

Re: Using cycle paths

CTC Forum - On the road - 25 November 2014 - 10:13am
I've never seen them randomly scattered on cycle paths like they are in the UK.
But I've come across them the very odd time on the continent in ...........
Germany:- Bottom of a steep slope where the cycle track crossed a road.
Austria:- Where the cycle track crossed a main road. the cycle path had to gain about 5 foot to get to the road and the only way was a zig-zag so probably couldn't be helped.
Poland:- Crossing train tracks.
Lithuania:- Crossing train tracks.
So in most places they where for safety.
You have loads of gates along the North Sea cycle route but they are to keep sheep in.

Also a lot of places on the continent allow mopeds/scooters to uses cycle tracks and I never had a problem when I came across one on one.

Re: Skateboarders v cyclists..amazing footage

CTC Forum - On the road - 25 November 2014 - 9:11am
I'm also guessing that the boarders had to be a bit choosy about which hill they used - whereas the cyclists could chuck themselves down most tarmacked hills. As demonstrated by Guy Martin the other week when he tested different wheels on the same cart, the skate/luge wheels massively underperformed compared to bike wheels. If he'd have picked a velodrome smooth bit of road then things would have been closer.....but when was the last time you found a long, perfectly smooth bit of road, eh?

Re: Using cycle paths

CTC Forum - On the road - 25 November 2014 - 9:07am
Vorpal wrote:TBH, if they actually stopped motorcycles from accessing the paths, I could almost understand it.


I agree completely. They clearly don't as I have come across plenty on the inside of these barriers.

Vorpal wrote:I do realise that not many people hate them as passionately as I do, but I don't think that it is possible to cycle with children in the UK without developing a passionate hatred for these things. And IMO, our cycle paths should be designed for the most vulnerable users; the very people they curently exclude.



Absolutely! From a personal experience it is not practical for us as a family to go on the paths because of the barriers. I have helped people through the barriers myself, usually pensioners or just people that made the horrible mistake of actually carrying shopping on their bike. The barriers really make my blood boil and it boggles the mind how any of this even came into existence. I even feel the anger rising just writing this.

As for anyone welcoming those barriers. In my view you would have to be an "I´m alright Jack" type of person with a healthy dose of cynicism and distrust for your fellow man to take that view.

Just to touch on your last point. I have never come across anything similar in any other country. I would add Australia, New Zealand, Switzerland, France, Iceland to your list.

Re: My worst tour, and why..

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 25 November 2014 - 8:57am
Spring this year in SE USA. Florida. Dogs. Deep fried food. Smokey bars. Dogs. Straight roads. Flat roads. Dogs. Spring break brats. Dogs. Deep fried food. A virus.

Re: Using cycle paths

CTC Forum - On the road - 25 November 2014 - 8:38am
ukdodger wrote:So how many motorcycles have you ever come across?

Are you really speaking up for those who these barriers supposedly keep out or is that your own (and others here) annoyance of them leads you to believe that all users must obviously feel the same way. What about other path users who also dont want M/C's causing them an inconvenience. I seriously doubt walkers have any problem at all with them and they may indeed welcome them because they think they keep us out too. You'd have to be one brick short of a pile to take a mobility scooter on the C2C and much of it is impossible to get a trike over even without barriers.

Frankly if you think that allocating space for motorcyclists to play nicely somewhere else will stop illegal entry onto these paths you've more faith in human nature than I have. Skateboard parks did nothing to stop skateboarders doing it where they please and youth clubs never did stop kids collecting on street corners. Part of the fun is doing because you arent supposed too. The idea that the police are going to arrive and trash some riders M/C is fanciful. It would cost far too much to police these paths that way and yes maybe it is a sticking plaster rather than a solution but I say again everybody cant be catered for and it's better than nothing.
The only place I have encountered motorcycles on cycle paths is in places where there are barriers. I have never encountered motorcycles on the paths where there aren't barriers. It is scary and dangerous to encounter them. But the barriers obviously don't help. Or maybe only Essex motorcyclists think they are a challenge to target

TBH, if they actually stopped motorcycles from accessing the paths, I could almost understand it.

And I'm not suggesting that having a safe and legal place for young motorcyclsits to ride will stop all illegal motorcycling. But it will stop casual offenders, and leave it to those who are deliberately setting out to do something illegal and anti-social, rather than just wanting a place to ride.

People used to say that it wasn't possible for the police to enforce laws against drink driving. That it was 'fanciful' to expect the police to do anything about it unless someone had a crash. If that can change, so can this.

I realize that police currently do not set illegal motorcycling as a high priority in most areas. But they deal with it quickly enough when illegal motorcycling occurs in a national park, or on someone's estate, or when people have been killed or injured. Google for 'illegal motorcycling bikes seized' or 'police seize mini motos'. Some councils have videoed having the bikes crushed, then published them on YouTube to discourage offenders.

And I'm sure that some users do welcome barriers. But, I spoke to people in Essex about these things, and only a tiny minority of people actually wanted them. What I found was that when I asked people about them, I was regaled with stories about pensioners being rescued from them. Not just a few people, either. Anything from wheeled shopping bags to mobility scooters stuck in them.

I do realise that not many people hate them as passionately as I do, but I don't think that it is possible to cycle with children in the UK without developing a passionate hatred for these things. And IMO, our cycle paths should be designed for the most vulnerable users; the very people they curently exclude.

Why aren't barriers like this required in other countries? I have never seen them in the USA, Norway, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Sweden, Canada, Mexico, Denmark, or any other place I've cycled. Only in the UK.

Re: Using cycle paths

CTC Forum - On the road - 25 November 2014 - 8:24am
mjr wrote:What would happen if roads were designed so typical driving commuters will each suffer 5 car crashes a year?
Yes.

It seems obvious that roads are designed, built and maintained to not cause crashes, that motorists don't need to get out and push, or lift their vehicles over obstructions.

We seem incapable of applying the same obvious principles to cycle paths.

1100km across Poland to support Polish hospices

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 25 November 2014 - 7:53am
Cycle Poland: 13 - 21 June 2015

We are a group of volunteers and each year we organise a ride across Poland to support Polish hospices. We're looking for people to join us in 2015!

Our sixth ride will cross the whole country, starting in Gdańsk on the north coast, taking in rural villages in the east, and finishing in historic Kraków. Run entirely by volunteers, all funds raised provide vital medical equipment for Polish hospices. Join us in 2015 for a great adventure!

    9 days, 1100km
    £525 (covers bike transfers by courier, airport transfers, support van, 10 nights’ accommodation, most meals for 9 days and a personalised Cycle Poland jersey) + flights (around £150 return)
    The ride is fully supported and guided – so no carrying heavy packs or reading maps
    No minimum sponsorship
    A unique opportunity to visit hospices who will receive equipment funded by the money you raise, and see the positive impact of the ride first hand.
    Experience the history and bustle of the old Polish capital of Kraków, stay in atmospheric rural villages, and experience authentic Polish food and hospitality along the way
    Cycle with a team of Polish and British riders, joined by local volunteers and cyclists at the start and finish, creating a great sense of community

You can find more information and a registration form at http://www.alinafoundation.org/cycle-poland-2015. If you have any questions, please email info@alinafoundation.org.

For those new to cycling, or who want to train with others, we run a full programme of UK based training rides before the trip.

Come join us on a unique bike trip through a beautiful country!

Re: Cornish way / west country way

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 25 November 2014 - 7:52am
I'm lucky. Charlestown is my closest beach. It's about a mile from my house .

Re: Amsterdam to the Battlefields of France/Belgium

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 25 November 2014 - 3:10am
We rode through Holland this year, from near to Amsterdam (Leiden) through central and southern Holland then Belgium to Ypres. It is all very flat and you should find 40 miles a day an achievable distance, although there are so many places to stop and visit you might find yourself struggling to do even that on some days. I would say a mixture of coast and inland would be best as in my experience the coast can be quite windy and there are plenty of inland places that are worth detouring to.

In particular I liked the stretch along the coast between Katwijk and The Hague (there is a great bike path - as usual for Holland - and we even saw a police peloton!), Delft (there is a great campsite just outside the city, Dordrecht (a beautiful town on the confluence of 3 rivers).

The route through Holland / Flanders will be flat and well signposted and (as you probably know already) there are plenty of campsites in Holland. The site just outside Ypres is quite cheap and only 5 minutes ride to the centre of the city.

I can't help about riding around Somme but as it is in France you might find you need to plan more as the bike paths and helpful signs stop at the French border!

If you are interested you can read my CGOAB (days 109 to 120 ish, although we took a slightly more convoluted route through Southern Belgium that I don't really recommend) at www.fuelledbycake.co.uk.

Enjoy your trip.

Re: Using cycle paths

CTC Forum - On the road - 24 November 2014 - 10:57pm
Yes, walkers probably do welcome the barriers. If they're tight enough to keep motorbikes out, they keep most cycles out, and cycling budget has been stolen to build a footpath which a few bikes will be lifted onto.

We can cater for everyone and should. I wonder how these barriers sit with various accessibility laws.

Re: My worst tour, and why..

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 24 November 2014 - 10:54pm
My worst one was probably the summer of 2012 in the UK.
It had basically rained on and off every day for the first 3 weeks.
I had got grit washed into my IHG cables, so that was not shifting properly.
And then I did the 30 miles Eastborne to Brighton into the teeth of a gale.
It started to rain when I got on the trike and the only time it stopped raining all day was when it was hailing .........
Dropping of the top of Beachy Head into the wind while it was hailing was not fun.
If you had given me a free lift home on the end of that day, I would have taken it.
I was almost blown off the campsite by a force 8 gale in Penbrokeshire and then went through a couple of two foot deep floods over the next couple of days.
When the top of the bent trike is only 2'6" of the ground, it makes it FUN.
By the time I had been flooded out of the campsite in Keswisk I had got a lot more philosophical.
I think the last week of the tour (week 17) was the driest ...........

Amsterdam to the Battlefields of France/Belgium

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 24 November 2014 - 10:29pm
After a successful tour of the Netherlands this year i'm thinking of heading back there in 2015 and debating whether to head North along the coast or take a southerly route and try and have a look around the battlefields of Belgium and France...I will be travelling with my girl friend who isn't a strong cyclist but enjoyed her tour with me this year and is keen for her next adventure..I would think around 40 miles per day is an ideal distance and we have 10 days for the tour..Has anyone done this route and could give any advice..Thanks..

Re: My worst tour, and why..

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 24 November 2014 - 10:28pm
I can barely walk in the rain, never mind cycling in it! The smallest drop of water in my eyes blinds me and even if my eyes stay dry, it gets on my glasses and I still can't see.
At least you finished the tour
Something I've yet to accomplish

Re: Cornish way / west country way

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 24 November 2014 - 10:19pm
Last time I was down there they had just finished filming pirates of the Caribbean I think, and the dock had 2 tall ships in. It was quite amazing.

Re: Skateboarders v cyclists..amazing footage

CTC Forum - On the road - 24 November 2014 - 10:14pm
No disputing t skill, or their bravery...

Re: Using cycle paths

CTC Forum - On the road - 24 November 2014 - 10:02pm
Vorpal wrote:ukdodger wrote:How do you know they do nothing to prevent M/C's? Sure they can make access another way but at what cost to them. It's not a brick wall it's a deterrent. I dont know the criteria for installing these barriers but no doubt they've taken the needs of all possible users into account. You dont see them on all paths. Maybe some paths arent accessible anyway for mobility aids etc. I cycle a lot in the Surrey hills where there are no barriers and at least one path is used (legally I might add) by scramble bikes. Next time you're this way I'll take you for a ride along it. You can experience for yourself several racing scrambling bikes coming past at speed and is that what you want for mobility aids & child trailers?
Okay. I don't know that they do *nothing*. What I do know is that Flitch Way is all but barricaded with the things on the Braintree to Rayne section, but it still has a problem with illegal motorcycling. I cannot get my trailer onto most sections of the track. Many wheel chair users and most mobility scooters cannot get onto it. Many trikes cannot get onto it. Bikes with wide handlebars cannot get onto it. But illegal motorcyclists can. It happens EVEN WITH THE BARRIERS IN PLACE.

Give young motorcyclists an appropriate place to ride. Give them space to ride legally. Then use the law to keep them off the paths. Police have the power to confiscate and crush illegally ridden motorbikes. Most of the illegal motorcycling is done by the same, small number of offenders. But the police won't provide the resources to do the detective work to find them and confiscate their bikes, or charge the offenders.

Instead, the powers that be put those crappy barriers up so that legitimate users are effectively banned, then tell everyone that they've done what they can. Grrrr. I *hate* those things. They are a plague on the best cycle tracks in Britain.

I say again: Illegal motorcycling is a social and legal issue. NOT AN ACCESS ISSUE.

So how many motorcycles have you ever come across?

Are you really speaking up for those who these barriers supposedly keep out or is that your own (and others here) annoyance of them leads you to believe that all users must obviously feel the same way. What about other path users who also dont want M/C's causing them an inconvenience. I seriously doubt walkers have any problem at all with them and they may indeed welcome them because they think they keep us out too. You'd have to be one brick short of a pile to take a mobility scooter on the C2C and much of it is impossible to get a trike over even without barriers.

Frankly if you think that allocating space for motorcyclists to play nicely somewhere else will stop illegal entry onto these paths you've more faith in human nature than I have. Skateboard parks did nothing to stop skateboarders doing it where they please and youth clubs never did stop kids collecting on street corners. Part of the fun is doing because you arent supposed too. The idea that the police are going to arrive and trash some riders M/C is fanciful. It would cost far too much to police these paths that way and yes maybe it is a sticking plaster rather than a solution but I say again everybody cant be catered for and it's better than nothing.

Re: Using cycle paths

CTC Forum - On the road - 24 November 2014 - 9:58pm
trouble with many cycle paths is that they arent flat. I dont understand how they can get roads flat but not cycle paths. During the summer the authorities were resurfacing parts of the NCN 1 between Dartford and Gravesend. They were using those roller devices and the result was.. not flat but bumpy. very strange. It wasnt as if they were cheapskaping as there were quite a few workmen there
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