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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.

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.

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.....

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.

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!

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.

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.

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

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

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 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.

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?

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?

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.

AnnieLobeseder Sun 01-Sep-13 23:35:48

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.

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?!??!

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

Ah! Another driver with mind-reading abilities!

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!

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!

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!

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.

Justforlaughs Sun 01-Sep-13 22:15:47

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 22:11:40

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.

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!

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)

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!

Justforlaughs Sun 01-Sep-13 21:55:47

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!

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