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Re: Using cycle paths

CTC Forum - On the road - 24 November 2014 - 6:31pm
ukdodger wrote:Understandable but everybody cant be catered for and as I said these barriers arent only for the benefit of cyclists.

I understand your point of view but from a livability point of view it is a rubbish attitude. There is no way that these barriers prevent motorbikes as I have come across plenty on those paths.

There are too many things like this in Britain where the standard of living is seriously affected by some peculiar fantasy of preventing anti social behaviour.

Re: Using cycle paths

CTC Forum - On the road - 24 November 2014 - 6:30pm
ukdodger wrote:Someone somewhere must have done their homework on this issue and as I've said everyone cant be pleased.

Why do you assume this?

The number of stupid barriers in this thread would suggest otherwise.

Re: Using cycle paths

CTC Forum - On the road - 24 November 2014 - 6:29pm
Just licence a volunteer with a nice fast motorbike to 'police' it, maybe use some kind of motorbike detection system/CCTV once there is a problem path, to alert them.

Re: Reivers coast to coast on skinny tires?

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 24 November 2014 - 5:38pm
Dean wrote:Pah. I ride round there on fixed before breakfast

What was your route?

Gateshead to Hexham along the Tyne, crossed over to Kielder then followed bits of the Rievers to Keswick. Did bits of the C2C between Keswick and Penrith then just followed B roads to Kirkby stephen-Brough-middleton on tees-stanhope-consett then downhill back to Gateshead
MuirSR wrote:Is that a Radical Design Cyclone trailer in your picture?

I thought the "Brompton model" (the Chubby) is available with a black bag only. Is it not a Chubby?,

Its a cyclone III with pimped wheels

Re: Using cycle paths

CTC Forum - On the road - 24 November 2014 - 4:59pm
Bicycler wrote:ukdodger wrote:Or scramble bikes upsetting their daily walks. What makes you think other path users dont welcome these measures as well?
I was including them with locals. The point I make is that this is one of those convenient excuses commonly trotted out when people don't want cyclists to have access to places.

Again, I'll suggest that if these are to be used they ought to be a retrospective measure, a solution to an actual problem in the few places where there is one, not used routinely on many cycle paths because someone might use a motorbike on there.

I have been passed by a motorcycle (a scooter) on a cycle path once this decade and that was on a path with the silly barriers. The kids on the bike didn't cause any problems so I wasn't fussed. Certainly less fussed than I was by one particular barrier at one end of the path. In order to be worth the nuisance they cause these things would have to be stopping frequent use of the path by nuisance motorbikers who would otherwise use the path and I just don't think that applies in the majority of cases.

I cant see why walkers and such wouldnt want cyclists but have no objection to motorcyclists. That doesnt make sense.

Without the barriers why wouldnt you have had many more pass you?

Re: Using cycle paths

CTC Forum - On the road - 24 November 2014 - 4:48pm
Now you know why I call them "Anti-cycling barriers".
I think most are there to make cycling harder, not to improve your safety.
I'd keep the odd one.
Like at the bottom of a steep bit of track just before a road to stop kids bombing down the slope and straight onto the road.
But I think most can be replaced by just a post or a pair of post as that's enough to keep cars off a track.
Which is all you basically need.

Re: Using cycle paths

CTC Forum - On the road - 24 November 2014 - 4:38pm
Some barriers are likely to put people off from using a cycle path, as some give the impression that cycling isn't allowed, signs can't always be believed and aren't always there.

Re: Is it time for radicalism?

CTC Forum - On the road - 24 November 2014 - 4:35pm
reohn2 wrote:al_yrpal wrote:
Another point that's been brought up is the physical size of individual private vehicles and the subliminal sales pitch that bigger is better because bigger is safer,which is a self fulfilling prophecy,how big does a vehicle need to be to transport what for the most part is one person with occasional family use?
That's something in need of consideration on an already overcrowded road system,wouldn't you say?

I would agree about vehicle sizes, but what you do about it… . ? Lobby for a tax based on size? I think the majority have got contempt for big 4wds anyway.
Perhaps evolution isn't the right word but I am encouraged by a lot of what is changing around here. I didnt mention the Reading bike hire scheme, but that started recently, and our other big town, Oxford is literally cycle city.
As cyclists I think we can all try to get the message across without becoming preachy and tiresome. I watched the recent Parliamentry debate, the main thing that struck me was how lttle interest in it there was. When we wanted Bradley as BBC Sports Personality we achieved that easily. That shows the numbers are there. Now how to get them enthused to get a better transport network?


Al

Re: Using cycle paths

CTC Forum - On the road - 24 November 2014 - 4:15pm
I find it difficult to get through some of the barriers here. I certainly can't ride through them. I have to stop and wiggle my bike through or I'd catch the cranks on the darned things. I might just be able to do it if I used them every day and had a lot of practice, but the surface you're riding on is uneven and a rut develops where tyres go through.
I came across a child with a disability on a special bike on one of the local paths- I doubt he'd have got through some of the barriers; I suppose he just has to get on and off where the barriers are better designed.
It doesn't stop motor scooters anyway, I've even seen them racing on there, so I don't see the point.

Re: Using cycle paths

CTC Forum - On the road - 24 November 2014 - 3:53pm
mjr wrote:I'm amazed there aren't desire lines worn through the grass and an informal crossing appearing immediately beyond that refuge, where you won't get blatted by a collapsing giant "keep left" sign if a car hits the refuge.

There is one, just a bit further on http://goo.gl/maps/LXM41

I guess there are probably other problems with that cycleway and so it doesn't get used enough to wear out the grass.


I've no idea how much general use it gets as I don't cycle in that area often but it seems like a good enough path to me by UK standards.

Re: Is it time for radicalism?

CTC Forum - On the road - 24 November 2014 - 3:49pm
To be honest there are worse things in the world than being caught up in congested traffic. Far far worse things. Remember the old limerick:
A novice was driving a car,
When, down Porlock, his son said "Papa,
"If you drive at this rate,
"We are bound to be late!
"Drive faster!" He did - and they are!

Re: Using cycle paths

CTC Forum - On the road - 24 November 2014 - 3:49pm
Another all too common one is the likes of this http://goo.gl/maps/V5Bl6 the mentality of "cycle route must have barriers" whereas the pedestrian route doesn't have any, even thought they are the same pavement.
Is the average cyclist going to stop and negotiate around the barriers, or use the pedestrian side?

Re: Using cycle paths

CTC Forum - On the road - 24 November 2014 - 3:47pm
ukdodger wrote:Or scramble bikes upsetting their daily walks. What makes you think other path users dont welcome these measures as well?
I was including them with locals. The point I make is that this is one of those convenient excuses commonly trotted out when people don't want cyclists to have access to places.

Again, I'll suggest that if these are to be used they ought to be a retrospective measure, a solution to an actual problem in the few places where there is one, not used routinely on many cycle paths because someone might use a motorbike on there.

I have been passed by a motorcycle (a scooter) on a cycle path once this decade and that was on a path with the silly barriers. The kids on the bike didn't cause any problems so I wasn't fussed. Certainly less fussed than I was by one particular barrier at one end of the path. In order to be worth the nuisance they cause these things would have to be stopping frequent use of the path by nuisance motorbikers who would otherwise use the path and I just don't think that applies in the majority of cases.

Re: Cycle Touring in Japan

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 24 November 2014 - 3:31pm
Where did you store your bike overnight when staying in the hotels etc?

Re: Is it time for radicalism?

CTC Forum - On the road - 24 November 2014 - 3:28pm
661-Pete wrote:Perhaps we should have hired bicycles (I have to chuckle though, at the thought of putting the suggestion to my colleagues!)

The Dutch have a programme for such people.

Re: Cycle Touring in Japan

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 24 November 2014 - 3:17pm
I would point out you chose a good time to go. Summer is stiflingly humid and hot, winter is cold. Spring and Autumn are good times although avoid the rainy season in late spring/early summer unless you like riding in the rain.

Re: Cycle Touring in Japan

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 24 November 2014 - 2:37pm
I think I would enjoy it, but I don't speak Japanese.
Is that going to be a problem for me?

Re: Reivers coast to coast on skinny tires?

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 24 November 2014 - 2:33pm
Is that a Radical Design Cyclone trailer in your picture?

I thought the "Brompton model" (the Chubby) is available with a black bag only. Is it not a Chubby?

Cycle Touring in Japan

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 24 November 2014 - 2:32pm
I have recently completed a six week cycle tour in Japan and as a number of people asked for details, I have done this short write up. It is not really about the trip but what to expect when touring there. I went for all of October and the first two weeks of November. I flew into Kansai airport (Osaka) and rode a 2,000 kms circuit. Shikoku, Shimanami Kaido (amazing bridges cycle path) to Western Honshu, Kyushu, Shikoku again and back to Kansai. I was more interested in cycling around and didn't visit any main tourist hotspots like Kyoto, maybe next time. Nonetheless many less famous places have plenty of worthwhile sites, natural and manmade.
(NB very roughly, ¥100 = 60p)

Weather:

Generally very good, despite two typhoons! The typhoons passed quickly and only delayed me a couple of days. Weather forecasting is very good and the typhoons and periods of rain are tracked on net and TV. I arranged rest days on a couple of wet days but due to a tight schedule I had to cycle on two other wet days, not bad in six weeks. The days were usually bright and sunny, low humidity with temps in low 20s, ideal for cycling, although by the time I left the temperatures were starting to fall and the wind was getting cold. Winter was coming and so I headed off to pedal in warmer climes.

Accommodation:

Most of the time I stayed in business hotels, which can be found in all reasonable sized towns.These are good quality with bath and shower, AC, TV, fridge and kettle. They usually cost ¥5,000 to 5,500. WiFi was normally available for free. I also stayed in a couple of minshuku (small country hotels) at ¥4000 and 3 hostels in private rooms ¥3,000-5,800. Check in is usualy 3 or 4 pm. Generally they expect you to book ahead and find it odd when you just turn up. I rarely booked and always found somewhere to stay, but beware when business conferences are in town and holiday weekends. I didn't camp and only saw 3 official campsites.

Food:

Excellent! My normal DiY breakfast in my hotel room was bananas and bread or cake, which cost about ¥250, plus tea using the kettle, Some hotels included breakfast, but if not included I thought it poor value at about ¥700. On the road, the convenience stores (cv's) do a great range. Good coffee for ¥100 a cup, cakes, etc for ¥100 and ready meals for ¥350-500. My lunch was normally one of these meals, heated in their microwave, cheap, tasty and filling. You can also get portions of mixed salad, with fish, egg, etc. and fresh fruit. If you choose carefully, eating in cv's can be fairly healthy. Supermarkets also do ready to eat food, plus all the usual stuff.

There are also plenty of small restaurants (noodles, one plate meals, etc) for ¥500-700, but generally I preferred the speed of the cv's when cycling.

In the evening there were many restaurants offering good tasty meals (soup, and main) for under ¥1000. For more specialised or top quality Japanese food, the price rises rapidly. Hotels we're happy for you to take food to your room. Some had communal microwaves.

Roads:

Generally very good quality. Sometimes a shoulder, sometimes not. I found the Japanese drivers very safe and respectful towards cyclists. Everybody obeys the traffic lights, but there are loads of them and they can be a real pain as they are time rather than demand controlled. The lights are above you so you need to keep one eye on the sky. Most Japanese cycle on cycle paths or the pavement, very few on the actual road. The cycle paths can be useful if you are nervous of heavy town traffic, but they are too slow for me when doing a day's touring. Once away from the urban areas you see very few other cyclists. There are lots of tunnels, some have space for bikes, some don't. All are well lit. Remember tunnels are your friends, they cut the top of the hills.

Due to the nature of the country, ie densely populated, lots of hills and a coastal fringe, many of the roads are busy and run along the coast or in the valleys. I found it hard to avoid riding lots of busy roads. Even on days when I rode more rural areas, I was always on the main roads at the start and at the end in the towns where the accommodation is. If camping, you could probably avoid 'civilisation' a bit more. I did more urban and busy highway riding on this trip than on any other.

I didn't use any transport apart from ferries. These are reasonably priced eg ¥1,500 including bike for 1 hour crossing. Bikes on buses and trains are a problem and long distance transport seems expensive. My advice is cycle. Urban transport eg trams, when off the bike, is good and cheap.

Maps:

I looked at the Mapple series of motorbike touring mapbooks and didn't like them. You can get good quality maps in English from the tourist offices, but these aren't detailed enough for urban area navigation where the roads can be a real jumble. Google maps on my tablet with GPS were invaluable. The terrain view also shows what climbs to expect.

Costs:

Overall I found it surprisingly cheap, but you need to think in terms of UK, Europe, Oz prices, not Asia. In 43 days I spent (according to my ATM records) ¥302,000 or ¥6,863 average per day (just under £40 per day).

Impressions:

The scenery is very beautiful with steep wooded valleys and lots of coastline although it does get a bit samey. Lots of volcanoes, particularly on Kyushu and the odd earthquake to liven things up. There are some stunning roads to cycle, but you need to research quite a bit to find them. My favourite area was around the volcanic caldera (largest in the world) of Aso and the nearby Yanamani Highway on Kyushu.There are very few old historic buildings away from the honeypot sites and some of the urban architecture is very uninspiring. Unfortunately, they seem to like covering much of their natural beauty in concrete, possibly to defend it from earthquakes, tsunami, etc or possibly as rural job creation.

It is an incredibly safe country and I never felt threatened. As someone who is used to cycling in other parts of Asia where people all wave and shout hello, Japan was a bit of a shock. Most people just ignore you, even other cyclists. Once you break the ice, they are very friendly and helpful.

I enjoyed my time there and will probably go back next year.

Re: Using cycle paths

CTC Forum - On the road - 24 November 2014 - 2:23pm
Vorpal wrote:ukdodger wrote:Bicycler wrote:Motorcycle barriers are overrated for their purpose and a nuisance to all kinds of legitimate path users. They are usually installed to prevent a problem which doesn't exist and usually not implemented well enough to prevent local youths who know the area from accessing the route on their bikes anyway.

But better than nothing.
No they aren't. They are far worse than nothing. Because they prevent all sorts of mobility aids, child trailers, cargo bikes, trikes, and touring bikes from accessing paths, and they do *nothing* to prevent illegal motorcycling. Motorcyclists who are keen to use cycle paths find other means to access them. Even if you fenced in every mile of a path, still they will cut the fence, or go through someone's garden gate if they think that's where they should ride.

Illegal motorcycling must be addressed as a social and legal issue, not an access issue.

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?
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