Support road.cc

Like this site? Help us to make it better.

news

“Get on the f***ing road!” Angry pedestrian confronts cyclist for “riding on the pavement” – while standing in front of shared-use path sign; National Cycle Network or cyclocross course?; “Why I stopped complaining about cyclists” + more on the live blog

It’s really starting to feel a bit nippy out there, isn’t it? Well, hopefully Ryan Mallon will be able to keep you warm with all the latest cycling news and views on the Tuesday live blog

SUMMARY

28 November 2023, 09:06
Cyclist berated by pedestrian for riding on shared-use path (Cycling Via, Twitter)
“Get on the f***ing road!” Angry pedestrian confronts cyclist for “riding on the pavement” – while standing in front of shared-use path sign

Like a football pundit handing out the Goal of the Season award in November, I may be a touch premature with what I’m about to say, but surely the following clip – showcasing a foul-mouthed, and ultimately ill-informed, anti-cycling rant about pavements – is already a classic of the admittedly grim genre.

If you just listened to the audio of the clip, posted by the London-based cycling account ‘Cycling via’ on X/Twitter, you may have assumed that Bob Mortimer was trying out a new character on Athletico Mince, or that Mrs Cohen from the Life of Brian had taken to wandering around the capital’s streets, berating cyclists.

Alas, no. This was simply just another case of a high-pitched pedestrian getting inconceivably angry about a person riding a bike on what she colourfully described as the “f***ing pavement”.

And, after being challenged by the cyclist on the other side of the crossing, she dutifully continued her rant – while standing just in front a sign which indicated that the pavement was, in fact, a shared-use path designed for both pedestrians and people on bikes.

Oh, the irony.

> Signs for cyclists – from ‘No cycling’ to ‘Except cycles’ here’s everything to look out for when riding on the road

“Can’t be on the f***ing pavement. Get on the f***ing road,” our friendly pedestrian informed the cyclist.

“What does that sign say? That sign there? Look up!” the rider responded, probably not believing his luck that the evidence for his rebuttal was mere yards away.

Not that anything trivial such as a clear shared-use path sign mattered to Mandy Cohen, of course.

“You should be on the road. I don’t give a s***. Just go, just f*** off. I don’t give a f***ing s***, I’ll smash you in the face.”

Charming.

> “They are oblivious of what they are teaching their children”: Local activist slams “selfish” parents for allowing their children to cycle on the pavement, and says riding on the road is “safer” for primary school pupils

In the comments underneath the video, many were quick to allude to another intriguing aspect of the Schrödinger’s Cyclist theory.

“The same people who tell you to use a cycle path when you’re on the road,” Orpington Cyclist said.

“Oh absolutely,” the original poster, who described the incident as “funny more than anything”, replied. “Shouldn’t be on the road, there shouldn’t be cycle lanes and I shouldn’t be on the pavement. Some people are just full of hate and lack reason.”

He continued: “My hope is that she is too stubborn to admit to me she was wrong, but maybe she refrains from shouting abuse at others in the future now she knows she is wrong.”

I wouldn’t hold my breath on that one, if I’m honest…

28 November 2023, 10:56
London cyclists at traffic lights (copyright Britishcycling.org_.uk).jpg
“Why I stopped complaining about cyclists I once called menaces”: How a former anti-cycling journalist – who wanted bikes “banned friom the roads” – now wishes there were more cyclists, after going car-free

Here on the live blog, we’re well used to reading articles in the national press – usually penned by lethargic, uninspired journos frantically scrabbling around, hours before their deadline, for something that will generate a few clicks and keep the editor happy – deriding cyclists, for whatever reason sprung to their tired minds first.

While there have been far too many of these paint-by-numbers ‘Cyclists are horrible’ diatribes to keep count of over the years (Jake Wallis Simons must account for at least 100 of them by now), one still manages to stick out in the mind.

Back in 2015, Metro writer Yvette Caster wrote one of the more inflammatory of the hundreds of anti-cycling articles that have littered our screens, as she cobbled together a well-worn list of cliches and bingo comments under the headline ‘Cyclists are a menace and should be banned from the roads’.

Her rather insipid piece (despite its hell for leather headline) relied on tropes based on MAMILs, Lycra, red lights, and ‘speed demons’, while claiming people on bikes are “holding up traffic, causing accidents and generally being a total liability on the modern highway”, and even inspired a satirical response on road.cc.

> Bart Chan demolishes Metro columnist's anti-cycling rant

Well, fast forward eight years, and it seems Caster – like Hank Williams before her – has seen the light.

Writing in the Guardian yesterday, she described the “caustic” backlash to her Metro article, during which “furious hordes accused me of stirring up hate, of encouraging reckless, criminal motorists and of indirectly putting cyclists in danger”.

“Cyclists who had been knocked off their bikes and people whose cycling relatives had been injured got in touch,” she wrote. “I was horrified but also convinced that most motorists were careful, sensible and well-meaning, so the accidents must have been tragic, rare, isolated incidents.

“Looking back now, I understand their rage better. I thought I’d thrown a stick on a campfire, but I’d poured petrol on an inferno. According to the Department for Transport, about 100 cyclists die on British roads every year. In 2022, 4,056 were seriously injured and 11,546 slightly injured.”

Those tight deadlines make it difficult to Google, I’ll give her that – but at least she’s found the DfT’s website now.

She continued:

When I wrote the piece, nowhere I had ever lived, which included cities across the country, seemed suited to cycling, and I, like my friends, viewed cyclists as eccentrics. I grew up in a remote country village with two buses a day: one into town, one out.

There were no pavements or bike lanes and no safe way to walk or cycle the eight miles to town – and there still isn’t. I could not understand why anyone would take the risk of cycling down windy country roads when 4x4s existed, or pedal through London, a place where everyone seemed to hate cyclists.

But my attitude changed during lockdown. There was no lightbulb moment – but suddenly the noise of the roads was gone. Cars were no longer important because we weren’t allowed to travel. In their absence, instead of traffic outside my window I heard birdsong. A strange kind of peace descended. Nature grew louder.

Caster claims her lockdown revelation inspired her, after it broke down, to give up her car and embrace public transport.

“I went from disliking cyclists to wishing there were more on the roads,” she added. “Looking at the article now, I know it was written by a thoughtless younger version of myself, putting clicks before people. I’ve come to appreciate those taking journeys that save us from pollution.

“I wish my town, and Britain, could repay cyclists’ and pedestrians’ efforts with an infrastructure to help them go everywhere, safely.

“Some friends still see cyclists as a nuisance. Others see me as odd for staying car-free… I’m even planning to try cycling. Just don’t ask me to wear Lycra.”

London cyclists at Hyde Park Corner (copyright Britishcycling.org_.uk).jpg

> We don’t need vigilante cyclists like Cycling Mikey – because “cyclists already own the roads”, says Spectator article

So is Yvette’s (somewhat) conversion enough to atone for her sins from 2015?

“I’m cynical,” says road.cc reader peted76 in the forum. “But I’ll take it and more turncoats just like her also please. A drop of goodwill towards cyclists in an ocean of hate.”

“I choose to believe the writer has in fact changed their outlook and is not simply jumping on another way of generating ‘clicks’,” added HoldingOn.

Maybe the road to Damascus was actually a cycle lane all along…

28 November 2023, 16:58
Reader reaction: The UK’s most flooded cycle paths – and why shared infrastructure is not the solution

National Cycle Network 75: ‘We’re barely a cycle path anymore.’

Cycle path in Alverstone, on the Isle of Wight: ‘Hold my almost completely submerged bike’…

Cycle path in Alverstone, Isle of Wight (GrumboNumber5)

This ‘I can’t believe it’s a cycle path’ beauty, posted in the comments by GrumboNumber5, raises an important question: At what point does active travel infrastructure become a river?

Meanwhile, NCN 1 in Gravesend, submitted by Adam Sutton, looks absolutely delightful:

NCN 1, Gravesend (Adam Sutton)

The dumped tyres are a nice touch.

Unsurprisingly, there was also plenty of reaction to our shouty shared path friend (as many of you noted that you’ve encountered similar opposition on such infrastructure), with an eagle-eyed HoarseMann pointing out, rather ironically, that the incident in London occurred right next to a road on which “no cycles, pedestrians, or animals” are allowed.

“I’ve had this situation a few times and I’m sure others here will have too,” said chrisonatrike.

“My overall take is ‘stop building shared use paths already!’. Not only does it lead to this (or ‘a bloody cyclist nearly crashed into me and then gave me a mouthful!’) but it’s baking in a very low limit to any growth in active travel.

“Shared use spaces may seem like a win in the UK where anything at all is still a minor miracle. And pedestrians and cyclists sharing are much safer than, for example, motor vehicles and cyclists sharing.

“However it’s not pleasant for either party once there are more than a handful of people using the space. Different modes need their own clearly marked spaces.

“Also, while there are some people who’re happy to threaten other strangers on the street – and they’re the problem – this video doesn’t make me smile. Once someone’s lost their cool, unfortunately trying to justify yourself means a zero-sum game with them. Education isn’t going to take place. I hope now I’d just stay cheerful and polite but essentially ignore and move on.”

28 November 2023, 16:24
A winter training day in the life of Mathieu van der Poel (and Freddy Ovett)

Not jealous, not jealous at all (he says, while wearing three layers sitting in the office)… 

28 November 2023, 15:59
More from the UK’s most ridiculed active travel scheme

The head of policy for car insurance and breakdown cover provider the RAC has declared it is “good to see common sense has prevailed” after an independent review recommended a “bizarre” seafront road layout, with a cycle lane and eye-catching wiggly lines, should be reversed and car parking restored.

Commenting to GB News, Simon Williams said common sense had “prevailed over the bizarre Clevedon seafront road scheme” and that “locals will now be celebrating that more people will be able to park and enjoy looking at the seas and the historic pier as well as visiting hospitality businesses”.

Ah yes, I love celebrating the ability to sit and look out at nature while I keep my car engine running. Bliss…

Clevedon seafront's 'wavy' one-way street (credit - Save Our Seafront)

Read more: > Senior RAC figure hails “common sense has prevailed” as “bizarre” wiggly cycle lane to be removed

28 November 2023, 15:37
tfl child and parent cycling to school - via tfl
Teachers say there has been a “seismic shift” in the number of children cycling to school in Oxford – and that bike racks are “overflowing” due to primary school run becoming “cycle central”

Some good news now (hurrah!) from Oxford, where teachers are waxing lyrical about the recent surge in the number of children cycling to school, described by two local Green Party councillors as a “quiet revolution”.

Writing in the Oxford Mail, Green councillors Lucy Pegg and Chris Jarvis say while there “has been a gradual uptick in walking and cycling to school in recent years… this academic year the change feels seismic”, with St Mary and St John Primary School (SSMJ) and Larkrise Primary in East Oxford witnessing a “huge increase” in the number of pupils and staff arriving by bike.

According to the councillors, the official School Streets programme at Larkrise, as well as SSMJ’s unofficial decision to ask parents to stop driving near the school, has made it safer for children to cycle, while the implementation of Low Traffic Neighbourhoods in the wider catchment areas have made walking, cycling, and wheeling the “default choice”.

“It’s much easier to get families starting in Reception to walk or cycle, than it is to persuade those who have got into the habit of driving to switch to active travel,” the councillors wrote. “With East Oxford’s streets feeling safe, this year’s reception intake have been empowered to walk and wheel to school.”

> “We needed to act”: Parents set up unofficial guerrilla School Street after several near misses for children cycling on narrow road used as shortcut by motorists

Meanwhile, teachers at the schools say the growth in cycling has meant that there is now an urgent need for more infrastructure, including bike racks, at the schools.

Ellie Armstrong, Deputy Headteacher at SSMJ, said: “We have a huge number of children cycling and walking to school. The last time we measured it was 82%, and I think it will be even higher now. This academic year, we’ve really run out of bike space for children, parents and for staff – and we’ve just ordered more stands.”

At Larkrise, where cycling and walking numbers have jumped from 65 to 85 percent in three years, the chair of governors Patrick Vale said: “Our bike racks have been overflowing since the start of the year. It’s excellent to see so much cycling – but our facilities haven’t caught up yet and we know we need more stands.”

> School bike racks destroyed by speeding, out-of-control motorist, as pupils and teachers stage protest demanding introduction of 20mph limit

“It’s absolutely incredible now to watch so many kids walking, scooting and cycling down the hill,” says mum-of-two Jane.

“The school gates used to be really stressful and dangerous with cars manoeuvring everywhere, and it feels such a lot calmer now. There’s so many different types of bike and trailer and the bike racks of all sizes are always crammed.”

28 November 2023, 14:56
Vancouver cyclist sues city after crashing into a “dangerous concrete barrier” on an unlit cycle lane

They seem to enjoy placing obstacles on cycle lanes over in Canada, don’t they?

In September, we reported on the blog that the local authority in Saanich, a district and commuter town at the southern tip of Vancouver Island, came in for some scathing criticism from cyclist after it unveiled a brand-new protected bike lane – with a whacking great raised pedestrian crossing in the middle of it (a feature, more than a few riders noted, missing from the adjacent road).

Raised crossing on cycle lane, Vancouver Island (Philip Marciniak)

> “It’s the same old ‘bikes are a menace’, while ignoring the deadly cars right next door”: Raised pedestrian crossing installed on bike lane to “slow fast-moving cyclists” – but not on adjacent “deadly” road used by lorry drivers

And now, up the road in Vancouver itself (well, up the road in Canadian terms, which is 75 miles across the Strait of Georgia), a cyclist is suing the city for placing what she describes as a “dangerous” concrete barrier on an unlit section of a popular cycle lane, causing her to crash.

In a civil claim filed earlier this month, cyclist Karen Hansen says the positioning of the barrier, which appears to have been placed to force cyclists to make a left turn into Vancouver’s Stanley Park, was only marked by a small painted arrow and one sign right next to the obstacle.

Concrete barrier which caused cyclist to crash in Stanley Park, Vancouver (Karen Hansen)

Hansen was riding in the cycle lane on 11 August when, her lawsuit claims, “she suddenly and without warning struck an unlit, unmarked concrete barrier,” BIV reports.

She alleges that the collision caused her to suffer from headaches, blurred vision, a concussion, cognitive deficits, an elbow injury, a soft-tissue injury, neck pain, back pain, whiplash, emotional liability, psychological injuries, chronic pain, chronic fatigue, sleep deprivation, and other potential long-term effects.

“The injuries have caused and continue to cause the plaintiff pain, suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life,” the lawsuit says.

Hansen also claims the city, which is yet to file its response, is responsible for failing to make the cycle lane safe, and for failing to train its employees and contractors to properly plan, build, and maintain the bike lane and barrier.

28 November 2023, 14:22
So, how’s your winter training going?
28 November 2023, 13:56
Cloned number plates warning as cyclist injured in hit-and-run “in limbo” 10 months on

A cyclist seriously injured in a hit-and run and his solicitor have warned of the dangers of motorists using vehicles with cloned plates to avoid accountability, making it more difficult for the police to trace.

Stephen Mead was left with fractures to his arm and leg after a head-on collision in Stotfold in Bedfordshire in January. He was wearing a hi-vis jacket and had lights on his bike at the time, with Irwin Mitchell solicitor Rita Alsoof saying it is “particularly distressing” that the driver’s vehicle was fitted with cloned plates, meaning he “fled the scene selfishly” and has not yet been traced.

Common Road, Stotford (Google Maps)

> Cloned number plates warning as cyclist injured in hit-and-run “in limbo” 10 months on

Can’t wait for Mr Loophole’s next TV guest appearance about this… Should only be a matter of time, surely?

28 November 2023, 13:25
Tadej Pogačar and Nathan Van Hooydonck, Champs-Élysées, 2023 Tour de France (Zac Williams/SWpix.com)
Tadej the torturer: Nathan Van Hooydonck reveals he had to record his Tour-best power numbers to follow Pogačar’s Champs-Élysées attack

Remember Tadej Pogačar’s attack on the Champs-Élysées during the final stage of this year’s Tour de France? You know, when the Slovenian cast aside the niceties of the race’s largely ceremonial romp through Paris, enraged the sprinters’ teams, once again ripped up the racing rulebook, and had fans everywhere fist pumping the air?

Well, Nathan Van Hooydonck certainly does.

Despite Pog languishing over seven minutes behind Jonas Vingegaard on GC – following his jour sans to Courchevel – the yellow jersey’s Jumbo-Visma teammate Van Hooydonck was still tasked with marking the team’s biggest rival on the boulevards of Paris.

And the UAE Team Emirates rider wasn’t hanging about, enjoying the architecture, as Van Hooydonck’s power numbers revealed after the stage.

Tadej Pogačar and Nathan Van Hooydonck, Champs-Élysées, 2023 Tour de France (Zac Williams/SWpix.com)

Fancy taking a turn, Nathan? (Zac Williams/SWpix.com)

The big Belgian domestique – who was forced to retire from the sport in September, at the age of 28, after being diagnosed with a cardiac arrhythmia following a car crash – told the De Rode Lantaarn podcast this week: “I couldn’t take turns when I was attacking with Tadej Pogačar on the Champs-Elysées. I tried and did it once, but that was to slow down and recover.

“I think I did my best 20-minute power numbers of the whole Tour in Tadej’s wheels.

“[Jumbo-Visma DS] Grischa Niermann said I was allowed to take turns. We had an advantage of seven minutes so we didn’t care about two minutes. I saw Tadej moving up with Jonas in my wheels. Jonas told me to follow him, but when I looked back he wasn’t there anymore.”

My legs hurt just thinking about it. And don’t worry Nathan, we’ve all done a turn purely designed to slow the pace down in the group at least once in our lives – just not with Tadej Pogačar, of course…

28 November 2023, 12:54
“What a surprise that a lawyer is calling for more legislation and more opportunity to do loophole-picking”

I regret to inform you, ladies and gentlemen, that Nick ‘Mr Loophole’ Freeman has been at it again.

But, by the sounds of things, Jeremy Vine’s panel gave as good as it got, with one guest describing the lawyer’s latest cycling number plate appeal as the “worst idea anyone came up with”, while a caller branded it “completely daft and impractical”.

I’ll get the popcorn…

Mr Loophole bicycle number plate debate (Jeremy Vine on 5)

> Mr Loophole makes renewed call for cyclist number plates, but gets shut down by Jeremy Vine show panel 

28 November 2023, 12:26
Laura Kenny with Rio Omnium gold (Photo by Bryn Lennon, Getty Images via Britishcycling.org_.uk).jpg
“Everyone thinks I’m absolutely mad, but if I don’t try I’ll never know”: Laura Kenny targets 2024 Paris Olympics return

Despite missing most of this Olympic cycle, Laura Kenny has confirmed that she is aiming to return to the boards in time to compete at next summer’s Paris Games, where she hopes to add to the five gold medals she’s achieved so far during one of track cycling’s most glittering careers.

Britain’s most successful female Olympian, Kenny suffered a miscarriage in 2021, before having surgery due to an ectopic pregnancy two months later. She gave birth to a second child, Monty, in July this year, and has not raced since the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

But, speaking as part of Team GB’s The Journey documentary series, the 31-year-old remains intent on making it to Paris next year.

“I obviously want to compete in the next Olympics,” Kenny said. “I know everyone thinks I’m absolutely mad in saying that, but if I don’t try, I’ll never know.

“I would hate to be sat here thinking, ‘well I never even gave it a go, to see whether I could make it possible’.”

Laura Kenny and Katie Archibald win Madison gold in Tokyo (Copyright Alex Broadway, SWpix.com).JPG

(Alex Broadway, SWpix.com)

Kenny’s gold medal in the Madison alongside Katie Archibald at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, along with her silver in the team pursuit, came after the birth of her first child, Albie, in 2017 – but Kenny knows that it won’t be easy to replicate such a comeback.

“The two different comebacks between Albie and Monty have been so different,” she said. “With Albie, I came back feeling like I had a point to prove, that you could be a mum and you could be an Olympic champion all at the same time.

“I think this time, I’ve come back for me. I’ve come back very much because I love riding my bike, and I cannot imagine it not being part of my life.

“I hope both children see their mum as someone who was determined to make things work. They will never have the burden of thinking ‘mum had me and then ended her career’, because I didn’t.

“I carried on, I made it work. I hope they look back and they can see that, and they can see that from the day they were born, they were part of the journey.”

Laura Kenny Alex Broadway:SWpix.com

(Alex Broadway, SWpix.com)

While Kenny’s coach Len Parker Simpson conceded that the seven-time world champion has a “mountain to climb” to earn her place in GB’s endurance squad and once again challenge for an Olympic medal – arguing that the current level of competition on the track is “streets ahead of where it was” – you wouldn’t put it past Kenny returning to the top once again… and maybe, just maybe equalling her husband Jason’s unsurpassed record of seven Olympic golds.

Now that would be a story.

28 November 2023, 11:59
decathlon ag2r 2024 team
No brown shorts for Bennett

When listing his reasons for joining Decathlon-AG2R La Mondiale yesterday, former Tour de France green jersey winner Sam Bennett may cited the French squad’s history of harnessing Irish talent, its “amazing race programme”, the opportunity to work with Van Rysel, and the overall team environment, which he hopes will enable him to regain his grand tour stage-winning “top level”.

The two-time Tour stage winner neglected to mention one important reason for plumping for AG2R, however: their iconic brown shorts.

In fact, if Bennett’s wife Tara is to be believed, those infamous shorts – now consigned to the bin after AG2R unveiled a Decathlon-inspired blue and white colour scheme yesterday, complete with classic black shorts (gasp!) – were a major draw for the Irishman.

“A divisive subject in pro cycling but I LOVED the ICONIC brown shorts,” Tara tweeted yesterday.

“Cannot believe they’re gone the year MY HUSBAND JOINS THE TEAM.”

“Despite the news about the updated black shorts, I am incredibly happy about this news! Can’t wait for the new season,” Mrs Bennett concluded.

Who knows, maybe a few Tour stages come July, and Sam will be able to convince his bosses to reinstate the brown shorts for 2025?

28 November 2023, 11:48
2024 Van Rysel road bikes and kit for newly-named Decathlon AG2R La Mondiale unveiled (and the prices aren’t too outrageous)

After the revamped and rebranded AG2R squad’s brown short-less launch in Lille yesterday, we took a deeper dive into the bikes and equipment from Decathlon’s in-house performance road cycling brand set to grace the sport’s biggest events in 2024:

van rysel rcr road bike ag2r team edition 2024 8

> 2024 Van Rysel road bikes and kit for newly-named Decathlon AG2R La Mondiale unveiled (and the prices aren’t too outrageous)

28 November 2023, 10:43
When controversial cycling Twitter polls go wrong

Oh dear, not quite the result ol’ banter merchant and satire king Drew can Wildgoose was expecting when he struck upon the bright idea of a controversial cycling-based social media poll.

Unfortunately, that won’t be the last we’ll hear of cycling number plates today, following Mr Loophole’s appearance on Jeremy Vine’s Channel 5 show this morning (and no, before you ask, that segment wasn’t sponsored by the live blog), the contents of which we’ll explore in more detail later on, so stay tuned…

28 November 2023, 10:11
National Cycle Network or the world’s hardest cyclocross course?

Move over Dublin, there’s already a new contender for this winter’s ‘muddiest cyclocross course’ crown…

What? You’re telling me this isn’t a thoroughly entertaining lap around a field on a Sunday, but is actually a part of National Cycle Network 75, between Hilton and West Auckland in Co. Durham? Well, I never…

“I appreciate it’s been wet recently but it surely this isn’t acceptable?” Gaz asked on Twitter/X.

“I’ve known this lane for decades and it was always crap in winter. Surely needs de-signing or resurfacing. It is so annoying. We de-signed a route on South Tyneside last year that was better quality than that.

“The unpredictability of the NCN is one of its biggest problems.”

> Signposted bike path or river? Another contender for the UK’s most waterlogged cycle route

Responding to the criticism, a spokesperson for Sustrans North said: “I can’t tell exactly where this is but it looks like this section is owned by the local authority. I’ve asked the local officer for insight into the removal/reclassification process of the Network – and why this bit might have been excluded from that, so hold that thought!”

Though I’m sure NCN 75 won’t be the last terribly flooded cycle route we’ll see on the blog before the sun re-emerges in the spring…

Ryan joined road.cc in December 2021 and since then has kept the site’s readers and listeners informed and enthralled (well at least occasionally) on news, the live blog, and the road.cc Podcast. After boarding a wrong bus at the world championships and ruining a good pair of jeans at the cyclocross, he now serves as road.cc’s senior news writer. Before his foray into cycling journalism, he wallowed in the equally pitiless world of academia, where he wrote a book about Victorian politics and droned on about cycling and bikes to classes of bored students (while taking every chance he could get to talk about cycling in print or on the radio). He can be found riding his bike very slowly around the narrow, scenic country lanes of Co. Down.

Add new comment

37 comments

Avatar
Muddy Ford | 3 months ago
0 likes

That blue sign is too high up, how do they expect the sharers to know it is a shared path?

Avatar
cyclingvia replied to Muddy Ford | 2 months ago
1 like

Lower down than the green man but she saw that fine...

Avatar
Milkfloat | 3 months ago
2 likes

I am a huge fan of the National Cycle Network, just like Motorways they show me exactly where I would be crazy to ride. . 

Avatar
ktache | 3 months ago
3 likes

Getting caught may have taught him a lesson, and for now he's not doing it

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2023/nov/28/driving-while-dist...

And he's now noticing how others are very distracted.

Avatar
chrisonabike replied to ktache | 3 months ago
3 likes

ktache wrote:

Getting caught may have taught him a lesson, and for now he's not doing it

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2023/nov/28/driving-while-dist...

And he's now noticing how others are very distracted.

Doesn't seem to be terribly penitent.  It's more like "yeah, I got caught" followed by "there are so many distractions" and "gosh - look at all those other people driving awfully".

Baby steps though, he says he's put the phone down.

Avatar
eburtthebike | 3 months ago
2 likes

Was Yvette Caster's conversion from yet another anti-cycling journo to sense on the road to Damascus?

Avatar
eburtthebike | 3 months ago
3 likes

Hansen also claims the city is responsible for failing to make the cycle lane safe, and for failing to train its employees and contractors to properly plan, build, and maintain the bike lane and barrier.

They can't all have been British can they?

Avatar
GrumboNumber5 | 3 months ago
8 likes

The cycle path that runs past Alverstone on the Isle of Wight is horrific for flooding.

 This was posted on the CycleWight group page a couple of weeks ago, the worst I've seen

Avatar
HoldingOn replied to GrumboNumber5 | 3 months ago
7 likes

Isn't there a saying on the Isle of Wight, with regards directions: if you hit water, you've gone too far.

Clearly gone too far there...

Avatar
hawkinspeter | 3 months ago
9 likes

Those kinds of shouty anti-cyclists always reminds me of Burroughs' "The Cat Inside"

William S Burroughs wrote:

I am not a dog-hater. I do hate what man has made of his best friend. The snarl of a panther is certainly more dangerous than the snarl of a dog, but it isn’t ugly, because a cat’s rage is his own, beautiful, all its hair standing up and crackling with blue sparks, eyes blazing and sputtering . (But a) Dog’s snarl is ugly, a redneck lynch-mob Paki-basher snarl, the snarl of somebody who’s got a “Kill A Queer For Christ” sticker on his heap, a self-righteous occupied snarl. When you see that snarl, you are looking at something that has no face of its own. A dog’s rage is not his. It’s dictated by his trainer. And the lynch-mob is dictated by their horrible conditioning.

Avatar
hutchdaddy replied to hawkinspeter | 3 months ago
1 like

As a doggist I must read that book. Yeah I'm prejudiced about dogs, some are OK, but they aren't moggies. Get over it.

Avatar
HoarseMann | 3 months ago
11 likes

Not only is that a shared use pavement, but cycling on the road is actually forbidden there too!

https://maps.app.goo.gl/ZoTHuFCGvY86iWZGA

Avatar
BIRMINGHAMisaDUMP | 3 months ago
8 likes

That old Brexit bag was a bit OTT (and yes, of course she voted Brexit) I had one similar to that recently though no rude words or threats. When I pointed out to the man in question it was shared use he immediately apologised and said words to the effect - my mistake, sorry.  

Avatar
chrisonabike | 3 months ago
15 likes

RE “Get on the f***ing road!”: I've had this situation a few times and I'm sure others here will have too.

My overall take is "stop 'building' shared use paths already!".  Not only does it lead to this (or "a bloody cyclist nearly crashed into me and then gave me a mouthful!") but it's baking in a very low limit to any growth in active travel.

Shared use spaces may seem like a win in the UK where anything at all is still a minor miracle.  And pedestrians and cyclists sharing are (without having detailed statistics - which we should be collecting more carefully...) much safer than e.g. motor vehicles and cyclists sharing.

However it's not pleasant for either party once there are more than a handful of people using the space (see the differences with the gold standard e.g. NL here).  The ones I make use of work in inverse proportion to the number of people using them.  A sunny holiday will see a ton of people out ambling - and why not - with dog walkers, people walking three or four abreast (because they're humans).  Getting about on the bike becomes a pain and I'd be the bad person.

Different modes need their own - clearly marked - spaces.

Also - while there are some people who're happy to threaten other strangers on the street - and they're the problem - this video doesn't make me smile.  Once someone's lost their cool unfortunately trying to justify yourself means a zero-sum game with them.  Education isn't going to take place.  I hope now I'd just stay cheerful and polite but essentially ignore and move on.

Avatar
Cycloid replied to chrisonabike | 3 months ago
4 likes

Unfortunately you are talking common sense, but we are stuck with shared paths as part of our active travel infrastructure, both now and going forward.

This is an ongoing problem on the canal towpaths which I like to use and there is not usually a convenient sign to point to.

Avatar
chrisonabike replied to Cycloid | 3 months ago
2 likes

Cycloid wrote:

Unfortunately you are talking common sense, but we are stuck with shared paths as part of our active travel infrastructure, both now and going forward.

Agreed - it seems that way.  It doesn't have to be though.  Everything's an unrealistic pipe dream that "won't happen here".  Until it's "the new thing" and shortly after that just "how it is".

People interested in having more cycling, walking and wheeling (or simply less journeys driven) should be making this point every time some council puts up a blue and white "walking and cycling" sign or even opens a "traffic free shared path" and exclaims "Look!  We built cycling infra!"

I suspect ignorance is much of the reason.  Most in the UK simply don't know what they don't know.  Why would they?  Not sure anyone alive can remember when we had mass cycling here.  Those few who cycle already have accepted cycling on the roads - which the vast majority are extremely unlikely to while motor traffic there is as present.  Those "I'm a cyclist myself" types who go out for a few weekend pootles on the "off road infra" in the summer won't know either.

We should copy what genuinely works.  (It's best to copy something that still works well when it is sucessful - or it never will be...)

Avatar
chrisonabike replied to Cycloid | 3 months ago
3 likes

Cycloid wrote:

This is an ongoing problem on the canal towpaths which I like to use and there is not usually a convenient sign to point to.

Hmm... glad you have ones that work for you.  However except for not being full of motor vehicles and being flat most canal towpaths are exactly the opposite of what we need from cycle infra.  Generally by design they have built in hazards (falling in, bollards of the tying-up-to kind, surfaces like cobbles and mud, people fishing) and impediments (low bridges).  To this we've added barriers /gates.

They don't go directly between "places".  They are normally narrow and often have zero potential for expansion (because built between buildings / see "tunnels and aqueducts") and are "historic" (more issues with development).  They're also in demand by pedestrians (being flat, quiet spaces) but frequently lack social safety (see here also).  A related point - they're frequently at low points in the landscape / between buildings so you can't see where you are or you're going (the "Milton Keynes cycling ditch" situation).

EDIT - Interesting article here with several different canal path users musing on this.

Avatar
Safety | 3 months ago
12 likes

If we think Mrs Shouty sweary is bad just imagine what her kids might be like.

Avatar
cyclisto replied to Safety | 3 months ago
4 likes

Imagine how brave would be the guy having kids with her.

I feel a little bad though, as she obviously needs some kind of help. This kind of denial and rage exceeds the not rare anti-cyclist hate.

Avatar
ubercurmudgeon replied to Safety | 3 months ago
1 like

Imagine being one of her kids if, despite the odds of genetic lottery being stacked against you, and the poor quality of your upbringing, you turned out not to be a bogan yourself.

Avatar
brooksby | 3 months ago
7 likes

I've had people shout at me for being on the pavement when standing next to blue 'shared-use' signs, too.  But they've always been a bit less sweary…

Avatar
Adam Sutton replied to brooksby | 3 months ago
8 likes

Not been shouted at, but my main commute route you have a choice of a cycle lane aka murder strip along a dual carriageway that is often full of debris or the pavement that has been made shared use on one side.

On a local facebook group someone was moaning about cyclists using the pavement rather than the cycle lane. When I shared video of the state of it he became quite understanding. The following day he shared a photo from his walk earlier of a roadsweeper on the route. I'd like to hope our back and forth got noticed by someone on the council who felt a bit guilty!

Avatar
Adam Sutton | 3 months ago
7 likes

This is part of NCN 1 in Gravesend. Liable to flood in heavy rain, liable to catch a puncture if you are not careful too. Just beyond this it is a footpath that is not much wider than your handlebars.

At the moment though, there is a diversion on the road, as for over year it has been blocked with dumped tyres on an epic scale.

Avatar
Adam Sutton replied to Adam Sutton | 3 months ago
8 likes

Just found I had a shot of further along when flooded.

Avatar
brooksby replied to Adam Sutton | 3 months ago
2 likes

Nice 

Avatar
Adam Sutton replied to brooksby | 3 months ago
2 likes

Yeah. It is a shame as further on NCN 1 goes along the Thames and Medway canal path, which while a bit rough is a nice ride. And it then joins onto NCN 179 which is a loop around the Hoo peninsula, quite a nice ride on quiet roads. When I was a bit more energetic it was my go to Sunday 35ish mile ride.

Avatar
chrisonabike replied to Adam Sutton | 3 months ago
4 likes

I do love a good post-apocalyptic / warzone tourism-style NCN segment. (Or not.)

Fly-tipping is not uncommon but the very fact that the Notional Cycle Network uses every narrow glass-strewn back alley / cut through wasteground covered in nettles* means this is much more likely to happen.  Also much less likely to get fixed.  It's not always clear who actually *owns* these spaces or who to address issues to.

* Clearly a desperate attempt to make useable routes.  I'm torn between admiration that this was made to happen at all and vexation that some charity (Sustrans, hmm...) had to do this.  In the UK the idea of cycle routes that would actually go fairly directly between places people want to go isn't a thing in most places.  That would mean making space where the main roads go.  Which would involve years of planning and consultation / actual expense (greater than paths although much less than roads) / troubling people currently using the roads.

Avatar
Adam Sutton replied to chrisonabike | 3 months ago
5 likes

What is frustrating here, is that there is a huge amount of development going on. This would be easy to integrate decent infrastructure from the get-go, but it just hasn't happened. The solution has been to simply slap a shared use sign on the pavements. Add to this though on the actual roads traffic calming measures have been implemented that arguable make it more dangerous for cyclists to use the road, creating pinch points and priority/giveway points that encourage close passes.

Avatar
chrisonabike replied to Adam Sutton | 3 months ago
1 like

Adam Sutton wrote:

What is frustrating here, is that there is a huge amount of development going on. This would be easy to integrate decent infrastructure from the get-go, but it just hasn't happened. [...]

Absolutely - and often contrary to their stated policies.

It would be great if we could stealthily improve new infra (avoiding shouty conflict) with each (re)development.  It's vexing we don't.

With our councils it may just be that there isn't actually really anyone in charge of the bigger picture.  Just individuals in individual departments, mostly doing what they were doing before.

Is "planning" at a national level something which could help push things forward?  In the unlikely event of a new government taking active travel / transport change seriously...

Avatar
Wales56 | 3 months ago
5 likes

“You should be on the road. I don’t give a s***. Just go, just f*** off. I don’t give a f***ing s***, I’ll smash you in the face.”

sarcasm and wit not dead then

Pages

Latest Comments