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.

RattersReward Sat 31-Aug-13 17:04:01

Yes! It's a pet hate of mine. Near me there is a road that had it's lay out adjusted to allow for decent sized cycle lanes and it's been recently resurfaced but still 'serious' cyclists (as judged by their apparel) insist on riding outside the lanes. The space for cars was narrowed in order to allow for cycle lanes so it's far from ideal.

Trills Sat 31-Aug-13 17:13:42

I think that the number of people "proving a point" will be very very small compared to those who genuinely believe that they will have faster or safer or more pleasant journey on the road.

RattersReward Sat 31-Aug-13 17:19:23

And a major roundabout on my route to/from work has been recently redesigned to protect cyclists. It involves separate traffic lights controlling the cycle lane and remaining traffic. Most cyclists ride through their red light into the stream of motor vehicle traffic on a green light thereby putting themselves in danger. Before the changes several cyclist were killed at this junction.

ThingsThatMakeYouGoHmmmmmmmmm Sun 01-Sep-13 20:15:39


YABU, OP. They do have the right to be on the roads. The same right as car drivers. The cycle lanes you see may be fantastic. They may be like black velvet. They may also be used by people on bikes bimbling along at 10mph, children, people on electric scooters. Not want you want to get mixed up in if you are riding your bike at 20-30mph.

Redbindy Sun 01-Sep-13 20:25:21

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

twistyfeet Sun 01-Sep-13 20:28:46

do you do that to other legal road users too Redbindy or are you just a twat to cyclists?

EmmaBemma Sun 01-Sep-13 20:30:40

I'm not a cyclist but I understand from friends who are that you can get up to pretty big speeds (for a bike) of 30 mph quite easily on a racing bike, meaning that it's safer for both them and others if they're on the road.

I have no problem slowing down/waiting for safe places to overtake cyclists on the road. I think a lot of car drivers are complete wanks about this non-issue.

Redbindy Sun 01-Sep-13 20:31:06

Only cyclists, especially those twats who are ignoring cycling lanes.

samu2 Sun 01-Sep-13 20:31:55

I was on a lesson and some wally wasn't using the perfectly good cycle lane on a really busy road.

I hate overtaking bikes so it pissed me off. There was no reason why he couldn't use it. He was so close to the cars it just looked dangerous.

Mind you, I preferred him to the arseholes who beep me when I take longer than I should at a roundabout grin

samu2 Sun 01-Sep-13 20:35:42


samu2 Sun 01-Sep-13 20:36:07

crap! wrong thread hmm

That was meant to be on the X factor thread.

VodkaJelly Sun 01-Sep-13 20:42:54

They have built a lovely cycle lane near me too OP, (also in Cheshire) it is well used but some cyclists never use it. The main road is busy and there has been some deaths on it (car accidents) but dont know why it is not used more by cyclists.

It runs from my town to the next smaller town and goes past a lovely hall and you pop out by Sainsburys so it is also convenient to use

twistyfeet Sun 01-Sep-13 20:45:08

well I hope dh doesnt meet you when cycling to work because dangerous car drivers like you are everywhere. Luckily he has a cycle-cam and reports dangerous road users.
There are no cycle paths/lanes on his 10 mile commute.

Redbindy Sun 01-Sep-13 20:47:52

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

FlutteringButterflie Sun 01-Sep-13 20:49:40

I used to live near a main road. Here is a good photo of it.

Good cycle line with enough room. And yet cyclists still rode on the pavement and rang their bell to get you to move. No problem with cyclists using the road - but the pavement when a cycle lane is provided is taking the piss.

chrome100 Sun 01-Sep-13 20:49:41

To be fair to "serious cyclists", cycle paths are full of very slow cyclists/pedestrians and it's often safer for all concerned for them to be on the road.

hettienne Sun 01-Sep-13 20:50:13

If you're cycling fast and there are lots of pootlers in the cycle lane, it's probably better to be on the road.

twistyfeet Sun 01-Sep-13 20:50:41

is that a stupid brag about the possibility of killing cyclists? shock
What a stupid fuckwit thing to say.

rootypig Sun 01-Sep-13 20:51:41

Redbindy that is a fucking disgusting comment. It's people like you who endanger cyclists' lives. If I had my way people making comments like that would have their car licenses revoked permanently.

twistyfeet Sun 01-Sep-13 20:52:43

Cycle paths have a speed limit of 15mph. Far too slow for cycle commuters who reach speeds of 30mph. The same as cars (or faster in the average congested city)
Which is why cycle commuters are on the roads. To get to work.

InternationalPower Sun 01-Sep-13 20:52:53

I cycle a bit, but im a pootler and often accompanied by dc. Imo that's what cycle lanes are for., "Real" cyclists, who are travelling at speeds often equivalent to a car, belong on the road.

VivaLeBeaver Sun 01-Sep-13 20:53:21

There has to be a reason why they're not using the cycle path.

I bike to work, I normally take the cycle path which runs alongside the A road. However the surface isn't as good so it is a bit slower, plus there's the stupid anti cycle motorcycle barriers at both ends. Two sets at one end for some reason. I have to dismount to get through them and as I clip in to my pedals its a pita. If I'm running late I stay on the road as its quicker.

They may also be doing Strava segments. grin

rootypig Sun 01-Sep-13 20:56:06

Agree intlpower

Thepursuitofhappiness Sun 01-Sep-13 20:56:43

Redbindy you're an idiot. Hopefully you meant that comment as (not) a funny joke.

Hmm the cycle lanes which I was referring to are plenty wide enough for 2 bikes to pass easily, and as they are on a roads not particularly close to residential areas also pedestrians are few and far between. I just think some cyclists take the view that they will not deviate from the road...

The most ridiculous cycle path I know is in Wales (Colwyn Bay) along the promenade. It weaves in and out of every lamp post. Like a slalom course.

Redbindy Sun 01-Sep-13 20:56:55

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

VivaLeBeaver Sun 01-Sep-13 20:57:27

Redbindy - why so aggressive to other road users?

You do realise what you're saying is illegal and could get you a conviction for dangerous driving? If you do crush someone under your wheels and kill them you'll end up with a conviction for causing death by dangerous driving whether its on camera or not. An ex neighbour of mine got a 12 month prison sentence for killing a cyclist that "she didn't see".

How are they going to police speeding in the cycle lane? confused

I think cyclists speeding down canal towpaths are the worst. Cycling as fast as they can and not veering from their straight line for anyone. Dinging their bell furiously at the pesky pedestrians. sad

twistyfeet Sun 01-Sep-13 20:59:25

or obey the Highway code Redbindy, which you appear to have not read. Wait until it is safe to overtake.
Learn to drive properly.

VivaLeBeaver Sun 01-Sep-13 20:59:45

Red bindy, you daft little idiot of a shit poor driver.

You're meant to wait until the road is clear in the opposite direction before overtaking. That way you won't scratch your car, its quite simple.

Highway Code states you must leave 6ft when passing a cyclist I think.

VivaLeBeaver Sun 01-Sep-13 21:01:36

I've just bought an Ice Trike which is lovely and wide. Cars won't have a hope in hell of getting past unless there's nothing coming the other way.

rootypig Sun 01-Sep-13 21:01:48

Oh redbindy. All the cunts with self esteem issues stopped driving beamers in the 90s.

Redbindy Sun 01-Sep-13 21:02:51

No self esteem issues, just an expensive car.

InternationalPower Sun 01-Sep-13 21:03:39

LOL at the BMW mention - was it v v expensive? This be a wind up no-one could be quite that stupid surely

twistyfeet Sun 01-Sep-13 21:05:37

car is a car. Its just a box on wheels, like a large wheelchair so you dont have to waggle your legs. Completely underimpressed by labels here.

Redbindy Sun 01-Sep-13 21:05:50

The Highway Code states no such thing. You should try reading it.

EmmaBemma Sun 01-Sep-13 21:08:52


"...give motorcyclists, cyclists and horse riders at least as much room as you would when overtaking a car"

Can all just ignore Redbindy, PLEASE! There's no point in engaging with someone who is obviously out for a reaction.
As for cyclists not using cycle lanes, there is often a reason for it - annoying as it is for me to admit it. They drive me mad, cycling down the narrow roads by me, when I know that there is a new cycle path, which was built precisely to avoid this, BUT, the fact is that the surface is not suitable for road bikes and the path is normally clogged with "non-serious" cyclists, walkers, dog walkers and children walking to and from school - all of whom have every right to be there, as do the "serious" cyclists have the right to be on the road. "Serious" cyclists can easily reach speeds of 30 - 40 mph on a flat/ slight downhill and this would cause far more of an issue on a cycle path than possibly holding up traffic on a road for a short time. I do however, wish that they would follow the example of the tractor drivers and pull over at a safe lay by to allow traffic to pass once in a while.

EmmaBemma Sun 01-Sep-13 21:09:20

I'm going to key your BMW if I ever find it. Kisses!

twistyfeet Sun 01-Sep-13 21:09:22

it states in the Highway Code, for the Hard of Thinking...

'give motorcyclists, cyclists and horse riders at least as much room as you would when overtaking a car'

The usual distance stated is 3 feet.

twistyfeet Sun 01-Sep-13 21:10:31

and a few others.

'Overtake only when it is safe and legal to do so. You should

not get too close to the vehicle you intend to overtake

use your mirrors, signal when it is safe to do so, take a quick sideways glance if necessary into the blind spot area and then start to move out

not assume that you can simply follow a vehicle ahead which is overtaking; there may only be enough room for one vehicle

move quickly past the vehicle you are overtaking, once you have started to overtake. Allow plenty of room. Move back to the left as soon as you can but do not cut in'

Redbindy Sun 01-Sep-13 21:11:54

No need Emma, it's already scratched from getting too close to cyclists handlebars.

Rowlers Sun 01-Sep-13 21:12:36

Have you got children Redbindy?
It might be them knocked off their bike by an angry tosser one day.

Redbindy Sun 01-Sep-13 21:13:21

You are spot on. I'm off to bed now.

Good night Red wink

School tomorrow for Redbindy, hence the early night. grin

JobsComfortBlanket Sun 01-Sep-13 21:21:45

You're all missing the point. It's about priority. I don't use the (brand new, empty, smooth) cycle lanes near me when I'm commuting at speeds of 20 - 30 mph because to do so would mean I have to give way at every single side road, driveway, dropped kerb, bus stop, footpath, you name it.

I cycle in the road, with the traffic. It may be more dangerous but it's a hell of a lot quicker, and I'm nails. Unlike sad fat-arsed cunts in their tragic BMWs.

Cycle lane design in this country is truly pitiful.

Cycle lanes round here are a sectioned off bit of the road in the gutter, confused The parents at one of the local primaries park at the side of the road to escort their children into school, completely over the cycle lane. So the cyclists are in the middle of the road dodging the cars and the car doors opening. angry

Am I missing something Jobs - you are "nails"??
As for the priority issue, it is another consideration but certainly not the only one, and round here not really one at all, as the cycle path is away from the main road and has none of the issues you listed - just the ones i did wink

Major difference between cycle paths and cycle lanes.

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.

Pan Mon 02-Sep-13 21:11:23

Aaaaw don't spoil it for us!! We are being badass speak freak bandits....

VivaLeBeaver Mon 02-Sep-13 22:06:10

Oh I go above 30mph where possible and safe to do so! grin

TiredFeet Tue 03-Sep-13 18:40:06

EmmaBemma I had read the posts. I still don't get it. But then my first boyfriend was knocked down by a car and killed so I guess I don't have the luxury of complacency. If there is a dedicated, separate cycle path it seems madness not to use it.

lljkk Tue 03-Sep-13 20:04:39

I might be able to agree with OP except that I just don't believe that any cycle path in the UK gives cyclists as much priority over road traffic as the parallel road does, not for miles and miles and miles at a time. For me, the faff of having to give way at every sodding cross road or even Driveways is just too tooth gritting, sometimes.

And I'm a slow cyclist.

DH can do 17.5 miles in 45 minutes so that's what.... 23mph? Allowing for give ways & uphills & traffic lights, he must touch 30mph fairly often.

LessMissAbs Tue 03-Sep-13 21:17:13

There is one cycle path round here, in that it is separated from the road. Well mostly. Its about 4 miles long. There are bits where you have to cross road junctions and they haven't dropped the kerb so you have a long detour to the bit where the kerb merges into the road. Then there is a narrow bit where a sign says "Cyclists dismount". At the end it brings you out on the wrong side of the road and abandons you in this position to a busy roundabout. I think its possibly more dangerous in many places than using the road itself.

Good time trialists do 25 miles in well under an hour, 10 miles in about 21 minutes or less are not rare. Clearly for any form of training, the average UK cycle path isn't suitable, and to use them would condemn UK cyclist fitness levels to miserable levels. In the case of my only cycle path, it would get rather boring to endlessly cycle up and down it and not ever reach my destination. I suppose I would eventually expire of either exhaustion or starvation!

TheFuzz Wed 04-Sep-13 11:10:56

There are a lot of very car centric people on this thread who obviously don't cycle very much and think the car is king.

All road users should treat each other with respect. As for not using cycle lanes, have any of you actually ridden on them, and seen the poor design - they often start and finish abruptly and actually place a cyclist in more danger at the end of them.

The common guidance is that if you are cycling in excess of 18mph then you should be using the road. That is 100% of the time for me.

I cycle to work every day covering 20 to 30 miles, and it's quicker for me to cycle double the distance that I would drive to work. I don't use any of the cycle lanes, as they are badly designed, or put me in close contact with pedestrians, which is dangerous.

Cycle paths are very suitable for novice cyclists, or the young, but are inappropriate for a fit, trained cyclist - we are going way to quickly to safely use one of these facilities, and generally I am actually moving faster than cars on the roads.

We all share the road, there are bad cyclists, just as there are bad drivers. Drivers just so happened to be protected by a big metal cage.

Think of it this way. For every cyclist you see, there is one less car sat in front of you in the traffic queue. I leave my car at home on the drive. We are also, one less person in the doctors queue in front of you too.

As a Cheshire cyclist, refering to the OP, I can only think of one place where there is a decent cycle path, the Alderley Edge Bypass ? I haven't found one elsewhere. I don't use the cycle path on the bypass as it's full of large stones which will damage my 23mm racing tyres.

prettybird Wed 04-Sep-13 16:02:20

Agree with all the people who have pointed out that there are many valid reasons for choosing not to go on the cycle lanes.

Speed is one of them: my 12 year old ds now consistently cycles at over 20mph on the flat, so for fit adults it is easy to be higher than that - too fast for more cycle paths. He can easily get to above 30mph on downhills (in fact, when he cycled over the Sychnant Pass with me following him the car, I think he was getting close to 50mph on the way down into Conwy heart in mouth time for me )

And until you yourself have cycled what appear to be good cycle paths, there may well be other reasons for them not to be suitable which aren't immediately apparent. Give-ways, for example, barriers at the entrance, non dropped kerbs, dogs, driveways.....

Pan Wed 04-Sep-13 18:34:48

Yes to all of the points being made, to nail the OP's assumption that we do it 'just to prove a point'. I have school children, being, well, school children in a group on the way to school joshing and playing, and wandering into the lane. Few weeks ago I had a shopper scooter there at 5miles per hour. Ranting about his right to be there. hmm

Of course the fact we are one car less seems to sail gracefully over many poster's heads. Esp given that for (this is worth emphasising) every adult who rides twice per week or more the majority of them are also car owners and have every right to clog up the roads even more. For this fact alone drivers should be feting us with flowers.

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