Join us at Workfest for expert advice on kickstarting your career x

To think that some cyclists ignore cycle lanes to prove a point?

(83 Posts)
Thepursuitofhappiness Sat 31-Aug-13 16:57:14

I enjoy cycling and go a couple of times a week, I'm currently on maternity leave but often cycled to work before that.

I understand that some cycle lanes are dreadful and avoid accordingly - full of potholes, rubbish shrewn, requiring you to stop at each small road turn off etc...

However, I live in Cheshire and there are some brilliant cycle lanes running parallel (ie not just on the kerb) of some major A roads near where I live. Uninterrupted cycle lanes for miles, beautifully maintained and wide. Most cyclists use these. But there are always some who are still determined to use the major A road. Despite holding up traffic. Surely it's a more pleasant experience for everyone if the cycle lanes are used.

AIBU to believe that they are only avoiding the (good) cycle lanes to prove a point, that they have as much right to the road as the cars? I think it's pretty daft to be honest.

candycoatedwaterdrops Sun 01-Sep-13 21:32:52

YABU. I don't have an issue with cyclists not using the cycle lanes. Is it in the highway code that the cyclist must use their lanes if there is one available?

ForTheLoveOfSocks Sun 01-Sep-13 21:35:16

I'm sorry but I have never come across a cyclist that has been going at 30mph. If that was the case then then wouldn't be overtaken.

It is frustrating for drivers when cyclists use the road when the cycle lane is free, just as it is frustrating for cyclists when pedestrians use cycle lanes instead of footpaths.

Back when I was a proper cyclist I wouldn't use cycle paths. As good as the surfaces might be, the lack of traffic means debris builds up and road bike tyres are very prone to punctures. Plus, at the speeds I was going, it just wouldn't be safe for other users of the path (which are often shared with pedestrians). I'd rather take my chances with nobber drivers than endanger other cyclists and pedestrians.

So, no, cyclists who don't use cycle lanes aren't proving any kind of point, those paths just aren't safe to use at speed.

bearleftmonkeyright Sun 01-Sep-13 21:42:52

Cycle paths generally round here are badly maintained, not linked together in the same way roads are and have pedestrians in the middle of them. It's not safe IMO to mix cyclists and pedestrians. They are just not well thought out enough. Although of course they both have the right to use them. I would rather cycle on the road.

bearleftmonkeyright Sun 01-Sep-13 21:45:06

Socks, plenty of cyclists can get up to 30 mph especially downhill. I have managed it myself.

Pan Sun 01-Sep-13 21:45:41

candy it isn't in the HC re 'enforced' use of cycle lanes.

OP, YABU - you've made a massive assumption, "I think it's pretty daft tbh", that cyclists will endanger themselves and take longer t oget somewhere 'just to prove a point'? To whom is 'the point' being made in your universe? To car drivers? Ha!

I ride a long way most days and the lanes are pretty difficult to negotiate with various obstacles. I have no idea from your description why a cyclist wouldn't use them - which make me suspect not all of your post is entirely accurate.

fwiw I've reported the nasty little scrote who boasted about threatening the lives of innocent people. But MN have a loooong history and doing fuck all about that sort of behaviour.

ForTheLoveOfSocks As I said, cyclists can easily reach those speeds on a downhill or even reasonably flat road, but obviously not when they are on a climb, even a very slight one. My DH and his friends will deliberately set off the "slow down" signs, by exceeding the speed limits when they can. angry I get really annoyed with them about it.

Pan Sun 01-Sep-13 21:52:28

Justforlaughs - oh I do that! It's good fun. Drivers shouldn't do it obv.grin

Pan I can see why they and you think it is fun, but I do think that if they hit a pedestrian it wouldn't be! smile Mind you, I did try when I was at Centreparcs recently! It was a 10mph limit though - I would never break a 30mph limit - I'm a crap cyclist!

Pan Sun 01-Sep-13 21:58:21

Deletions happily commenced. Thank you HQ.

of course we're careful re pedestrians etc. And to be honest I hardly ever manage it!

TiredFeet Sun 01-Sep-13 22:02:33

we have a fairly narrow road out of our village, with a lovely wide cycle lane to one side. it really pisses me off that cyclists still cycle on the road. in order to provide the wide cycle lane it means the road isn't wide enough to pass a cyclist safely unless there is no traffic coming the other way (rare). they certainly aren't cycling at 30 miles an hour or they wouldn't cause long tail backs (given its a 30 limit).

I think its rather selfish not to use the lanes when they have been provided, even if the lanes are a slight compromise in terms of quality of the ride. Its also pretty stupid given you would be much less vulnerable on a cycle lane (I used to cycle to work, always used the cycle lanes, I can't under stand why you wouldn't. so what if there's the odd kerb etc, at least you aren't risking your life in the same way)

InternationalPower Sun 01-Sep-13 22:06:48

Pan surely car drivers would also say of course they're careful of pedestrians etc - does that mean it's ok for them to break the speed limit?

I know what you mean about those ssigns though, i aim for double figures when im running!

Pan Sun 01-Sep-13 22:11:40

it isn't selfish - it's pragmatic. Regular riders/commuters don't unnecessarily 'risk their lives' without good reason.
I'd also the 'long tail backs' (which sound an awful lot like fishermen's tales) are created by bottlenecks and the weight of traffic( drivers), not bikes. I've never seen a 'tailback' of more than a few cars due solely to the slowness of a rider. Claims get very silly and exaggerated on line when there's no ability to confirm.

Pan DH was quite proud of the fact that 42 - yes 42 cars were in a queue behind him! He actually counted them as they went past when the road widened. I was really angry because if one of them had decided to overtake in a fit of impatience, he could have ended up in a ditch! He really doesn't seem to get the fact that, whether he has the right to be on the road on not, if it comes to a fight, the car will always win. sad

Pan Sun 01-Sep-13 22:18:19

Well that isn't on - he ISN'T being a good rider, just a PITA and a bit of a knob if you don't mind me saying. (I'd also suggest he could be being a bit of fishermans tale teller himself with 42 cars.

Pan Sun 01-Sep-13 22:34:48

On the question of green-painted tarmac, we could re-title the Op with:

"AIBU To think that some drivers ignore the Advanced Stop Line at traffic lights to prove a point?"

This is the ASL, or green, or red, box. Approx 50% of the time you look across and see really funny looking 'bikes' a long side you - things that look an awful lot like cars! There's a £60 FPN and 3 pts on your licence if you encroach on a red light. Or there would be if it was ever enforced. dd's mum drives about 20,000 miles per year and had never heard of them or even noticed them. Eeek!

WittyNickname Sun 01-Sep-13 23:02:14

I'm a seasoned cycle commuter and I don't always use cycle lanes. I would love to say it's because I cycle at 30mph but thanks to chips that's not the case!

Aside from obvious physical things like potholes, cars parked in it and glass there are a lot of things it could be.

Once some "chavs" thought it was funny to scare me by sticking their hands out in front of me, I swerved out, narrowly avoided causing something very serious if the road was busier. I've also had a tennis ball chucked at me.

I've also crashed into a car door because the driver opened it infront of me! If I'm nervous of those things (both chavs and car doors), I cycle away from the pavement, despite there being a cycle lane.

You'll probably never know unless you try the route or ask- but then again, maybe they could just be complete douchebags!

SHarri13 Sun 01-Sep-13 23:06:11

Yes, I agree OP. we live very close to the A316 that is basically the road the M3 turns into as it gets to London, lots of traffic, HGVs etc. There's a great cycle path to avoid richmond bridge but some cyclists stick in the dual carriage way just to prove a bloody point!

Pan Sun 01-Sep-13 23:10:12

Ah! Another driver with mind-reading abilities!

SHarri13 Sun 01-Sep-13 23:16:51

And a cyclist married to another who is a 5 day a week commuter, seriously, I just can't understand it. The road is narrow, the cycle path dedicated, away from pedestrians, on said occasion last week, clear. Why stay on the road? It would be quicker not to?!??!

As has been stated repeatedly through the thread, cyclists have various reasons not to use cycle paths. With the possible exception of Justforlaughs's DH (who, I'm afraid, sounds like one of Those Cyclists who give the rest of us a bad name), none of us do it annoy drivers or prove a point.

tarantula Sun 01-Sep-13 23:38:02

I used to cycle the Chertsey Road to work and unless things have changed then I certainly would not say there was a great cycle path there, not if you you wanted to get anywhere at a decent rate. Sure the path is great if you want to pootle along and don't mind stopping at each road turning but not if you want to actually get anywhere fast. I used to get abuse from drivers when going over Twickenham bridge who wanted me to use the cycle path ...which was on the opposite side of the road with no way to cross over when the cycle lane ended.

LessMissAbs Sun 01-Sep-13 23:55:15

OP - has it really not occurred to you that some cyclists may be faster than you, and benefit, training-wise, from using the road, which is designed for road users such as cyclists, believe it or not?

You wouldn't do head-up-out-of-the-water in a lane full of the local swimming club freestyle stars, would you?

EmmaBemma Mon 02-Sep-13 05:20:20

"I used to cycle to work, always used the cycle lanes, I can't under stand why you wouldn't. "

Several people on this thread have taken the time to explain why you mightn't - perhaps you could read their posts?

VivaLeBeaver Mon 02-Sep-13 21:06:13

From a legal point of view speed limits don't apply to cyclists. As its not mandatory to have a speedo on a bike speed limits can't be enforced for cyclists.

Though if you cause an accident I think you can be done for something like wanton and furious cycling.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now