To think that a cycle track is just that...

(56 Posts)
MrsWinnibago Fri 09-May-14 23:01:26

In our town there's part of a network of cycle tracks...it's miles long and the section that I use is sort of rural...it leaves the suburbs where I live and enters the countryside....my DC go to school in a village 2 miles down the track so we cycle there about 6 months a year rather than use car or bus.

Anyway...I ride a bike with a tagalong with my 5 year old on it and my 9 year old has her own bike. We all have hi vis vests and helmets and bells.

There are other cyclists...quite a few serious types who whizz along and some elderly folk who go pretty slowly, enjoying the trees etc.

This year I've noticed tonnes of dog walkers are also using it....which in a way is fair enough as it's so nice down there and it IS broad enough for bikes and walkers.

However....many of them don't keep their wits about them and though I ring my bell, many don't control their dogs and they scamper almost under wheels which could be a disaster if my DD panicked...she's 9 but that's smallish to manage to avoid a big dog when on a bike.

Other walk amiably along directly towards me and the DC on the WRONG side.....so they're pretty much heading for me and the DC and expecting us to swerve out of their way...but there's an accepted direction thing going on like on a road....and I just don't know what to do....it's wrecking the ride completely!

I am so tense about dogs and people who don't seem to realise they're walking on the wrong side that I can't relax at all.

ThatBloodyWoman Fri 09-May-14 23:03:43

I wonder if you could approach the council and ask for some clear signs.

sunbathe Fri 09-May-14 23:04:17

Have a word with the council to put direction markings in?

MrsWinnibago Fri 09-May-14 23:06:05

Well I've had a google and it seems I AM being unreasonable as cyclists are meant to give way to pedestrians. I suppose I am going faster than them....but so many don't seem to be very aware that there could be a bike behind them at any moment.

AKeyFox Fri 09-May-14 23:06:34

What do the signs say ?

MrsWinnibago Fri 09-May-14 23:07:59

only that it's a cycle track and a bit about caring for the wildlife...I think....I will have to have a look.

ThatBloodyWoman Fri 09-May-14 23:09:22

Could you approach the council still and ask for it to be split into a walking side and a cycling side.

Ok its a long shot, but if you don't ask, you don't get, and maybe others have proposed it too.

MrsWinnibago Fri 09-May-14 23:10:38

I don't know how they'd achieve it though Woman and it would spoil the wideness....it's wide and pretty at the moment.

MrsWinnibago Fri 09-May-14 23:11:35

Also, cyclists would then only have half the space they currently have to whip past one another at speed...it would be dangerous.

The walkers need to be educated to go on the correct side for their destination.

McPhee Fri 09-May-14 23:13:47

No bloody cycle track is safe.

My best friend was knocked over by a car this afternoon. Now in hospital with concussion.

ThatBloodyWoman Fri 09-May-14 23:16:21

Yes-I was just thinking about similar things I've seen.
But if it's not wide enough to be halved and allow a two way flow of bicycles I can see that may not work.

So it'd really be 'keep to the left' signs that'd be needed, rather than either party needing to give way to the other.

That seems sensible enough to me.

I've not seen a cycle track like you describe that isn't also a pedestrian right of way, so I may be wrong. But if pedestrians are banned then surely it's simple, they just shouldn't be there?

If it is a pedestrian right of way obviously you have to give way, and obviously some people will not be able to hear cycle bells.

Jesus. I'm sorry, mcphee. I hope she makes a full recovery asap. You must be so shaken.

inabeautifulplace Fri 09-May-14 23:31:37

Best advice I have would be to slow down when approaching out of control dogs or oblivious pedestrians. No amount of signage will put people where you would like them to be. Whilst I sympathise (and always make sure I'm in the right place) just enjoy being on the bike and mash the pedals when the view to the horizon is clear smile

McPhee Fri 09-May-14 23:44:29

The car claimed to have been travelling at only 10mph. Her bike is mangled. There's no way he was. Police are involved. It's been a big shock, we've been best friends for over 20 years. I couldn't cope without her sad

AgaPanthers Sat 10-May-14 00:04:36

I've only seen two types of path clearly exclusively for cyclists:

* on-road cycle lanes
* pavement cycle paths, where typically one side is marked for cycles and the other for pedestrians

The 'cycle track' you describe might be specifically for cycles, but without any further context I'm going to assume it isn't.

Anyway, as we don't, AFAIK have any actual cycle tracks (they have them in Holland), I think YABU.

Ultimately if you want to go fast on a bike you should be on the road. Otherwise you just have to assume dogs are stupid and people are blind.

ammature Sat 10-May-14 01:27:18

Cycle in the road, you are a road user, and your kids are too, provide they know what they are doing. Cycle tacks are useless generally!

NutellaLawson Sat 10-May-14 02:08:38

pedestrians just will not observe road rules on a track. They just won't because it's just not what they are used to. near me. they can't even keep from bumbling into the clearly marked and heavily used cycle lane on the seafront. The is no point getting annoyed. Most pedestrians are switched off and won't observe 'lane discipline' because that's not how pedestrians are. you will not be able to control where they (least of all their dogs) will be so you will have to work around them. Go slowly. in the USA I noticed cyclists would say a clear 'on your left' when overtaking on the left as a warning or to request space. It was very useful, including cyclist to cyclist.

I used to commute along a shared use path that was really too narrow to be so but a fellow cyclist used to whistle like an alarm as she approached which made people turn to look over their shoulders.

It is annoying but I think you need to be more zen about it and accept this is how pedestrians and dogs just are. You'll go mad with rage otherwise. I do sympathise, though.

IceNoSlice Sat 10-May-14 02:19:48

I commuted by bike along a canal path for several years. Loved it, such a pleasant way to get to work. But other people thought so too (unsurprisingly!) so there were lots if other cyclists, walkers, runners, dogs... I think you need to be prepared to slow right down and even stop at any time to go round pedestrians and dogs. Sorry but you need to give way.

catsofa Sat 10-May-14 03:47:13

Lovely that you're cycling for much of the year to school, how nice for your kids! I love seeing the next generation of cycle commuters in the making.

I find that shouting helps, in a friendly tone of voice of course and you do need to slow right down too. But you need to slow right down to walking pace to pass walkers anyway - how does it feel when it's you and your kids on foot and someone whips past on a bike at three or four times the speed you're going? Not good! In fact it feels much like when you're on the roads on a bike and someone overtakes you too close and too fast, so you should be able to empathise really.

"Excuse me!" and "Keep left please!" can both be hollered pretty loud in an assertive, projecting voice which has a friendly tone. Practice it and teach your kids, it's a really useful cycling skill. You need to shout "Thank you!" when someone has moved over for you too of course - as well as pure good manners people are more likely to do something again if they're thanked for doing it especially if it's two cute kids shouting it.

I find that when other cyclists are coming towards me and not slowing down, if I stick my right arm out as if indicating that I'm going to turn right on the road it a) confuses the hell out of them because it looks like I'm signalling that I'm about to turn at ninety degrees into the canal, and also b) makes them slow riiiiiiiiight down in case they ride into my arm! I can of course also move my arm out of the way sharpish if any of them don't actually slow down, but that happens maybe 0.0000001% of the time.

I assume by the way that your eldest is cycling behind you and the tag along, not in front of you, so you are controlling the pace and clearing the way? Also that you're allowing plenty of time for the journey so you can just accept the pace of the route and not feel you need to hurry? Then you can just put a foot down (this means the opposite of what it would mean in a car!) and wait for other people to sort themselves out before continuing - if it's clear you're waiting most people get embarassed for holding you up and try to get their stupid dog back under control and out of your way.

HolidayCriminal Sat 10-May-14 04:20:49

Perfect example of why most cycle tracks are completely crap. Roads should be made safer for cyclists rather than trying to encourage or even force cyclists to share space with pedestrians.

ThatBloodyWoman Sat 10-May-14 08:10:15

I always observe path markers as a pedestrian, and would expect to possibly be run into if I didn't.

Seems I'm not quite the anarchist I thought I was.

DisgraceToTheYChromosome Sat 10-May-14 08:32:09

Our cycle tracks are shared, and why not? The dog walkers are pretty good, because they've had 40 years of Fido being kicked for jumping at bikes. Some of the pedestrians don't move over, but a BMI of 40+ takes a bit of manoeuvring.

The other cyclists: words fail me. Half of them are Poles late for work, so you've got an unlit maniac on the wrong side. The rest are a mix of drug dealers on hybrids, high speed lycra-twats, small girls in pink, fat men on commuters with anger mismanagement (hi there) and Naice Ladies who get off and push their Pashley at the slightest incline.

Sparklingbrook Sat 10-May-14 08:38:23

Our cycle tracks are split into two for pedestrians/cyclists, but they are pretty rubbish TBH.
Cycle lanes on the main road the local parents use to park in. sad

Re the canal thing. I hate it. I start walking and every 5 minutes a speeding cyclists furiously ringing their bell comes up behind and I have to jump into the long grass that contains dog poo. sad

OwlCapone Sat 10-May-14 08:48:06

there's an accepted direction thing going on like on a road

The problem is that on a road it is law yet there are no signs at all on the path. Generally when walking, you walk wherever. Then there is the issue that if you are walking in a road, you should walk towards oncoming traffic.

So, which side should they be walking on...?

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