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“What kind of sick joke is this?” Cyclist blasts new “suicide” contraflow bike lane that “invites conflict”; “Invisible” cycle lane kerbs a danger to motorists and pedestrians; Disc brakes: The secret to winning the rainbow jersey? + more on the live blog

After failing to find a wealthy backer for his breakaway live blog project, Ryan Mallon’s back with his tail between his legs and all the latest cycling news and views on the old, traditional, historic Tuesday live blog

SUMMARY

06 February 2024, 09:07
Contraflow bike lane, King's Road, Kingston (Chaponabike, Twitter)
“What kind of sick joke is this?” Cyclist blasts new “suicide” contraflow bike lane that “invites conflict” between motorists and vulnerable road users

Ah, contraflow cycle lanes, our old divisive friend, it’s been a while.

While many active travel campaigners laud the safety benefits of contraflow cycling, it’s safe to say that recent attempts to install bike lanes which travel against the flow of motor traffic haven’t quite hit the mark.

Back in September, a contraflow cycle lane in Brighton was deemed responsible for a series of collisions between cyclists and motorists seemingly unaware of the riders approaching on their right, and described by road.cc’s own Jo Burt as a “shockingly badly designed bit of infrastructure”.

> Shocking video shows multiple cyclists getting hit by "unaware" drivers on a contraflow cycle lane

And in July, a new, green-painted cycle lane in Altrincham became the subject of ridicule for cyclists in Greater Manchester, with one describing its narrow, contraflow design – located between a row of parking bays and a one-way traffic lane, with no physical separation – as “dreadful” and “an accident waiting to happen”, thanks to the increased possibility of ‘dooring’ incidents, or motorists pulling across the lane and into the path of hitherto obscured cyclists.

A few months later, it was revealed that Trafford Council – who claimed at the time of the lane’s completion that the green paint would “heighten driver’s awareness” – was warned in advance during a safety audit about the dangers posed by the lane’s layout and the threat of dooring.

Altrincham contraflow cycle lane (Bob Sweet)

> Council warned about danger of drivers ‘dooring’ cyclists before installing “accident waiting to happen” contraflow cycle lane

And now, it appears to be the turn of the Royal Borough of Kingston Upon Thames to ignore a safety audit’s dooring warnings, with this interesting piece of brand-new infrastructure on London’s King’s Road, which was completed at the weekend, being colourfully described as a “sick joke” and a “suicide lane” by road.cc reader Chapona Bike.

“This is the view going up King’s Road, with Kingston Gate/Richmond Park at top. There is no space for cars going up, to safely pass cycles coming down,” Chapona Bike told road.cc

“This kind of cycling infrastructure invites conflict. Cyclists don’t feel safe cycling next to parked cars, and oncoming motorists will think they have some sort of implied right of way to squeeze through the gap.

“LTN 1/20 Cycle Infrastructure Design sets a minimum standard for councils investing in cycling infrastructure. Questions have been asked of Kingston Council as to why they haven’t followed it.”

However, while many on social media agreed with Chapona Bike’s blunt assessment of the new lane – and asked whether it would be safer for parking on one side of the road to be removed – other cyclists reckoned the revamped layout at least marked an improvement on what was there before.

“I cycle up that road a lot. It’s got to be better and safer than before, traffic flows smoothly. I take the point about coming down the hill and doors opening but that problem was there before, no?” the5krunner wrote under the original video.

“Before you could take the lane going down the hill, but now less confident cyclists will feel obliged to use the murder strip. I guess it’s better than nothing, but LTN 1/20 is being ignored, which is annoying!” Chapona Bike replied.

“No more dangerous than before and at least the vast majority of the vehicles are now facing the oncoming cyclist. I can see an occupied parked vehicle and take the necessary actions and drivers will be exiting onto the pavement,” added Keith.

> New ‘protected’ contraflow cycle lane opens on one-way road – and drivers immediately begin parking in it and crashing into bollards

“In general contraflow cycling has been found to be safe,” noted Hedgehog Cycling. “The painted lane is probably unhelpful and unnecessary.”

“Contraflow cycling alongside a dooring zone?” Chapona incredulously responded. “Don't think that’s safe at all!”

“It’s not perfect but is it an improvement compared to how it was previously. What alternative would you suggest?” asked Dave, to which the cyclist replied: “Design and install cycling infrastructure as per LTN 1/20. Easy.”

If only…

06 February 2024, 12:25
Aylestone Road (Google Maps)
“They are a danger, not just to pedestrians, but to motorists and all road users”: Councillor and residents criticise “invisible” concrete cycle lane kerbing, which caused £350 in damage to one car

More criticism of cycling infrastructure now on the blog, but this time coming from an entirely different direction (excuse the contraflow lane pun), as residents and politicians in Leicester have criticised the recent installation of concrete blocks separating a cycle lane from one of the city’s busiest roads, which they reckon are “essentially invisible” and a danger to motorists and pedestrians.

As we reported back in September, Leicester City Council agreed to replace the temporary wands on Aylestone Road, introduced during the pandemic, with permanent full segregation, concrete kerbing, and extra signs and lights as the Labour-run local authority sought to build on the success of the temporary scheme, which saw “a significant reduction in collisions involving pedestrians and cyclists”.

However, when the proposals were first introduced, they were criticised by Lib Dem councillor Nigel Porter, who claimed that the cycle lane was already a “nuisance” and that the concrete kerbs would be a “trip hazard”.

> Council shuts down complaints about plan for new cycle lane segregation as councillor claims "nuisance" lane will be a "trip hazard"

And now, just over a month after their installation around Christmas, councillor Porter has raised his head again, telling the BBC that at a recent ward meeting on the issue two weeks ago, only three of the roughly 100 people in attendance thought the bike lanes were a “good idea”.

Porter added that while he wants to see cyclists protected (that’s nice of him), he didn’t want their protection and safety to come at the expense of other road users (ah, of course).

“They are a danger, not just to pedestrians, but to motorists and all road users,” the councillor said, before claiming that pedestrians had already fallen over the blocks and that one motorist struck the kerb, causing £350 in damage to their car.

Meanwhile, Sam Bradshaw, an assistant manager at J&S Accessories on the Aylestone Road, said he often saw drivers struggling to move out of the way of emergency vehicles thanks to the segregation, and that motorists were damaging their vehicles while pulling out onto the road.

“Because they’re not marked with white or yellow paint, in poor weather conditions they’re essentially invisible,” Bradshaw, who says he rides a bike and is generally in favour of cycle lanes, told the BBC.

“90 per cent of the people we speak to are not a fan of these cycle lanes.”

A council spokesman said: “The design uses the kind of concrete segregators which have been in use successfully in London Road since 2020 to replace the temporary wand markers, and has no impact on the number of traffic lanes.

“By creating a protected cycleway, we are reducing both the likelihood of drivers colliding with cyclists and illegal footway cycling, which improves safety for people using the pavements.”

06 February 2024, 17:10
The race for promotion: The best road bikes in the world NOT in the WorldTour
06 February 2024, 14:55
Movistar riders at the AJ Bell Tour of Britain - Credit SWpix.com_.JPG
‘Get warmed up, Nairo, I’m sticking you on for the last few kilometres, make a nuisance of yourself on the hills’: Movistar boss Eusebio Unzué calls for substitutions in grand tours and describes cycling as the “most conservative sport”

To many cycling fans, Movistar, that venerable old Spanish team now entering its 44th year in the professional ranks, represent the historic, traditionalist side of the sport – the one populated by grey-haired team bosses who remember the toe strap and cycling cap-wearing, pro-EPO days, the one that refuses to budge in the harsh crosswinds of clinical tactics, sports science, and marginal gains.

So, it may come as something of a surprise to learn that Eusebio Unzué, the longstanding manager of Spain’s oldest team (and the man who thought rekindling Movistar’s relationship with Nairo Quintana in 2024 was a good idea), believes that cycling is too conservative, too rooted in its ways – and that One Cycling, the ‘revolutionary’ breakaway league aiming to shake up the sport with the help of some Suadi oil money, represents a glittering revenue-filled future for the sport.

> Cycling: The new golf? Dan Martin predicts LIV Golf-style problems as Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund emerges as frontrunner to back new cycling ‘super league’

“There are concerns from teams who are understandably thinking about the future of this sport,” Unzué said of the project while talking to reporters in Colombia ahead of the debut of Quintana/Movistar 2.0 at the former Tour de France podium contender’s national tour.  

“They want to discover other pathways to make us a bit more competitive in this jungle of sport. But we can’t give out any details given the phase it’s in at the moment. I think it’s important that we have this in mind, and we’ll see the reactions of the people who could be interested in this.”

While Movistar, naturally, were not originally believed to be involved in the One Cycling project, led by Visma-Lease a Bike’s Richard Plugge, Unzué said his team is “part of the group which is going to have other meetings soon”.

The Spanish team boss also believed that redrawing cycling’s traditionalist structure could help the sport move on from its overt focus on toughness and brutality – with shorter grand tours and even the introduction of substitutions touted by Unzué as a possible alternative to cycling’s staunch but fading hold on all things ‘epic’, and one that could potentially protect the health of the riders while increasing the entertainment value, he says.

The peloton endures another miserable day at the 2023 Giro d’Italia (Zac Williams/SWpix.com

> Why pro cycling needs to ditch its ‘hardness’ obsession

“I think this is the most conservative sport,” Unzué said. “I think almost all sports develop, whereas we’re still doing the same things we’ve always been doing.

“Since I started in the 1980s, the rules of cycling have changed very little, and I think you need to adapt to the current time. You have to make the regulations and rules more… well, I’m not sure if it’s right to say ‘more human,’ but certainly they should be less brutal.

“If [grand tours] were reduced to 15 days, the best riders would probably ride all three Grand Tours. That would give them enough time to recover between them and be competitive in all three. It would create spectacle if the best riders were racing against each other more often.”

Matteo Jorgensen, Team Movistar, Puy de Dome, 2023 Tour de France (Zac Williams/SWpix.com)

(Zac Williams/SWpix.com)

Noting his team leader Enric Mas’ crash on the first day of the 2023 Tour, Unzué added: “If a rider crashes, can he not climb into a car or ambulance to get examined and then start again the next day if he hasn’t broken anything. Why not? We want more humanity. We want to protect the riders’ health.

“And why don’t we allow substitutions, at least in the first week of a Grand Tour? We lost Enric on the first day to a crash. So why not at least allow us to replace him and have eight riders on the team?

“I think we’ve all grown used to the idea of an epic sport and the belief that all these things form part of the epic nature of the sport. But remember, football didn’t allow substitutions in the past either.

“Why don't we give it a try? Let's take the step and see if we like it. A change is needed.”

What do you think? Could subs be the way forward for cycling’s grand tours? Could we soon see the likes of Tom Pidcock playing the Ole Gunnar Solskjaer role at the Giro, to keep Geraint Thomas’ GC hopes alive?

Or should cycling simply steer clear of football, or F1 for that matter, comparisons, for its own sake and history?

06 February 2024, 16:29
We’re all doomed…

I’m sure the race to blame the cyclist for when the inevitable happens will be especially edifying – ‘But, but, he wasn’t wearing hi-vis!’ 

06 February 2024, 15:53
The moustache’s takeover of the 2024 peloton

First, it was Brandon McNulty’s First World War soldier look, now Fernando Gaviria has ditched his trademark beard for a Bogotá speakeasy vibe:

Am I missing something, or is the moustache back in fashion (at least among a niche selection of Europe-based professional cyclists)?

06 February 2024, 14:28
Cycle repair business The Bike Boat launches petition to urge Canal and River Trust to change decision on licence, forcing business to close

The Bike Boat, a cycle repair business run from a narrow boat on the Kennet and Avon Canal, is facing closure after the Canal and River Trust informed the boat’s owner that he does not meet their licensing requirements due to spending “too much time in towns”.

The boat’s owner, Ollie, has launched a petition which he hopes will urge the trust to reconsider their decision, which could mean either the closure of the business, which has been running for two and a half years, or the loss of Ollie’s home.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Ollie (@thebikeboatuk)

“The Canal and River Trust has informed me that I do not meet their licensing requirements,” Ollie wrote alongside his change.org petition.

“Paraphrasing their reasoning, ‘mileage is fine, but [you] spend too much time in towns’ – this is despite spending one third of my current licence continuous cruising in the countryside.

“To trade I need to spend most of my time in towns, particularly the only big one on the Kennet and Avon Canal, Bath. Therefore, I can’t both meet the Canal and River Trust requirements and make a living. When I have traded in rural areas on most days, I take nothing.

“If I were to continue my current trading and movement pattern and not meet their cruising requirements, in time, it would ultimately mean the threat of losing my boat, which is my home.

“I am working on other options to continue bike repairs elsewhere, but unless the Canal and River Trust changes their position, The Bike Boat will be forced to close on the 28th of February.”

Ollie’s petition is available to sign on change.org.

06 February 2024, 13:44
2023 Milan Sanremo Mathieu van der Poel - 5.jpeg
Mathieu van der Poel set to start 2024 road season with Milan-Sanremo defence

After one of the most ludicrously dominant seasons cyclocross has ever seen, culminating in a sixth ‘cross rainbow jersey at the weekend, Mathieu van der Poel’s attentions are slowly turning towards a season of racing on nice, (mostly) smooth tarmac – and the odd cobbled road, of course.

While the flying Dutchman was originally due to start his road season alongside Wout van Aert, Tom Pidcock, and Remco Evenepoel next week at the Volta ao Algarve, that plan has now been ripped up, according to Het Nieuwsblad, who have reported today that Van der Poel will instead head to Italy in March for his first road rendezvous of 2024 (allowing for some essential, extra post-worlds celebration time, too).

That delay means the world champion will make his debut at either Strade Bianche (which he won in 2021), Tirreno-Adriatico (where he’s won three stages in the past), or Milan-Sanremo, where he soloed to victory in sensational fashion last year.

2023 Milan Sanremo Mathieu van der Poel - 3.jpeg

And Het Nieuwsblad reckon La Primavera is Van der Poel’s most likely starting point, meaning that his spring will consist of all killer, no filler, as he aims to win Sanremo, the Tour of Flanders, and Paris-Roubaix, while taking only his second ever stab at Liège-Bastogne-Liège.

If so, it’ll be the second time Van der Poel has kicked off his season at cycling’s longest monument classic – in 2022 he finished third on his Sanremo season debut, behind the daredevil descending of Matej Mohorič.

And, with the unbeatable form he was showing throughout the ‘cross season, I wouldn’t bet against MVDP bursting clear on the Poggio for the second year running.

06 February 2024, 12:59
“Here, trams run down the streets, not the paths”: Edinburgh cyclists, look away now

> “If we must have more trams, let them take space from cars”: Cyclists “horrified” at plans to replace bike path with new tram line – as council says proposals will be put to public “objectively” 

06 February 2024, 11:57
“Absolutely zero chance of seeing it again”: Soudal Quick-Step communications manager’s bike stolen from outside Manchester coffee shop

Britain’s bike theft epidemic strikes again, as Phil Lowe, the communications manager for Soudal Quick-Step, saw his bike – a team branded S-Works, no less – stolen from outside a coffee shop in Monton, Greater Manchester, on Sunday morning.

According to Lowe, who says he has “absolutely zero chance of seeing it again”, the bike was locked to some railing when the thieves struck.

However, some noted that the thieves may have bitten off more than they can chew, having nicked a Quick-Step-issue and clearly branded bike.

“That’s a pretty rare bike mate, I’ll post it in the FB groups too. Not too many QS team issues around in UK, so don’t rule anything out. Fingers crossed for you,” said Jamie on Twitter.

06 February 2024, 11:38
The FIFA World Cup: Advocating active travel since… Oh, wait

While ultra-distance cycling events are implementing no-fly policies, in a bid to make at least some small contribution to the fight against climate change (and being criticised for doing so), football’s governing body is busy handing its single biggest day to a venue where it is illegal to walk…

Ah, the good ol’ US of Non-Existent Active Travel Policies.

06 February 2024, 11:10
Disc brakes: The secret to winning the rainbow jersey (after crashing into a fence)?

Now that’s what I call a buckle:

That hideously deformed wheel belongs to Stefano Viezzi, the winner of the junior men’s cyclocross world title in Tábor at the weekend, and the first Italian to win a ‘cross rainbow jersey since 2005 – a full year before the 18-year-old was born.

Viezzi took the win after a prolonged battle with French favourite Aubin Sparfel, whose rainbow jersey hopes were dashed by a late puncture.

However, Viezzi also had his issues towards the finish, crashing into a fence and badly buckling his front wheel in the process. However, the Italian youngster was able to carry on, wrecked wheel rollicking from side to side, until the pits, holding off the deflating Sparfel for an emotional victory.

Stefano Viezzi of Italy wins the 2024 Junior Men's World Cyclocross Championship (Simon Wilkinson/SWpix.com)

(Simon Wilkinson/SWpix.com)

Viezzi’s unlikely triumph, as well as being a testament to the kid’s grit and determination, also prompted a few fans to note that – whisper it quietly – disc brakes may have been key to ensuring that the Italian’s late crash wasn’t a race ending one.

“Jesus Christ, how did he continue to ride with that?” asked Dieter, in response to the post-race clip of Viezzi’s buckled wheel.

“Disc brakes and wide tyre clearance,” came the reply from another Twitter user.

> “A dark day for hill climbing”: Widespread horror as British hill climb championships won for the first time using… disc brakes (gasp!)

“Finally a measurable advantage of disc brakes,” added jverheul, aware that good old fashioned rim brakes, as much as we traditionalists love them, would have seen Viezzi come to a juddering halt after his crash.

First, British national hill climb championships, and now providing the secret ingredient to a cyclocross world title – can’t disc brakes just leave one small corner of the cycling world alone, please?

06 February 2024, 10:29
Ekoi PW8 pedal team nice metropole2
Étoile de Bessèges riders forced to buy second-hand shoes and borrow pedals after UCI prevents them from using new prototype pedal – one hour before start of the stage

Imagine you’re a pro cyclist (alright, I admit that possibility may be harder to process for some than others), and you’re buzzing to start a new season at the Étoile de Bessèges, a start that’s been delayed by one day thanks to some farmer protests.

And then, just an hour before the race begins, as you’re milling around the team buses, a UCI official spots your new fancy, eight watt-saving prototype pedals – the ones even road.cc is banging on about – and says, ‘Sorry, son, have you filled in all your paperwork for those?’

Well, that was the scenario faced by the Nice Métropole Côte d’Azur team at the start of last week’s Étoile de Bessèges, as the Conti squad was forced into a last-ditch scramble to secure some useable shoes, cleats, and pedals after the UCI prevented them from using their new Ekoï PW8 pedals on the morning of the second stage.

The rather radical prototype pedals, which Ekoï say will be eight watts faster thanks to their miniscule 8mm stack height, allowing them to sit flush with the shoe, are set to be tested during their development stage by Conti teams Nice Métropole and Burgos.

> You've never seen pedals like these before! Ekoi’s €2 million radical road cycling pedal project predicts 8-watt savings

But, just not yet, according to the UCI, who told the team they didn’t have the right to use the pedals, not because they’re banned à la inverted handlebars, but because the authorisation file for their use, which has been submitted by Ekoï to the UCI, has yet to be approved by cycling’s governing body.

Classic UCI bureaucracy, eh?

Ekoi PW8 pedal team nice metropole1

Got any spare shoes, lads?

Needless to say, the last-minute news sent the team into something of a frenzy, especially considering their more traditional Look and Shimano-compatible shoes were back at the hotel, an hour’s roundtrip away, an impossible task as the clock ticked down towards the start.

According to French outlet Matos Velo, Nice Métropole’s riders were able to borrow pedals and cleats from other teams, while also – thanks to the specialist shoe requirements of the new PW8 pedals – borrowing footwear too.

Others, meanwhile, were even forced to buy second-hand shoes from a stall located near the start, like a panicked Cat 4 who just remembered he left his kit bag beside the unfinished box of pasta at home.

You’ve got to love professional cycling.

06 February 2024, 10:05
More redundancies at Zwift as co-CEO resigns, but company insists “business is healthy” and “our community is growing”

Just ten months on from cutting its workforce by 15 per cent, which followed an even more severe round of layoffs the previous year, virtual training app Zwift made more staff redundant yesterday, with co-CEO Kurt Biedler also resigning too, despite the company insisting that it “remains a healthy, global business with a passionate community”.

Zwift confirmed that the layoffs would “impact all areas of the business”, though the company would not put a figure on how many staff had been let go.

Jon's Short Mix on Zwift

Read more: > More redundancies at Zwift as co-CEO resigns, but company insists “business is healthy” and “our community is growing”

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.

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41 comments

Avatar
thereverent | 5 months ago
0 likes

I use the Kings Road in Kingston regularly. This change is an improvement on what was there before, but still could be better (the idea of filtering this road and the next two at the Richmond park end was the best). The speed bumps are sharp enough to stop cars going too fast up there. The council need to get brave and make some bigger changes to the rats runs in the area (Kings Road get used as part of a shortcut to avoid a busy roundabout).

The residents on the next road which is now one way are unhappy as they now have some of the traffic (but they didn't want a filter at the top of the road). One saying on NextDoor that the planter at the bottom of Kings Road spoilt the mini roundabout.

Avatar
Rome73 | 5 months ago
4 likes

I live in London and Paris. And cycle in both. In Paris, contra flow cycle 'lanes' exist everywhere and there are no white lines or green paint to demarcate.  Just a sign and a bike painted on the road. Sometimes it feels a little unnerving but at the same time becuase the contraflows are ubiquitous other road users are more used to seeing cyclists cycling the 'wrong way' on one way roads.  After decades of cycling in London I always (rightly or wrongly) feel on the defensive when cycling. So I take this attitude into other environments and always cycle cautiously. 

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Bungle_52 replied to Rome73 | 5 months ago
0 likes

We have one of these in Cheltenham and I've never had a problem. There are bicycles painted on the road to reinforce the signage so I just take the center of the lane and oncoming cars have always pulled in and waited. The problem with the cycle lane here is the painted line which motorists will assume the cyclist has to keep within. That's going to cause conflict. Exactly the same problem as filter lanes (narrow cycle lanes), the difference is with filter lanes you can ride in the main carriageway when not filtering. I'm not sure whether you'd be breaking the law if you did this with this example.

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ktache | 5 months ago
1 like

There is nothing fashionable about the moustache, and very little cycle related, apart from the obvious handlebar...

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chrisonabike | 5 months ago
2 likes

Talking of trams, Melbourne appears to have a network of 24 routes - world class.

Edinburgh has ... one.  To be extended to ... one line with a fork in it.  Possibly at some point after two routes in a cross.

There are still several cycling and walking routes Edinburgh council can reclaim though (bonus tram) before they really need to worry about having to make a choice between public transport and driver convenience.

All together now!  What do we want?  Gradual change!  When do we want it?  In due course!

Avatar
marmotte27 replied to chrisonabike | 5 months ago
0 likes

😄

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Cyclo1964 replied to chrisonabike | 5 months ago
2 likes

I can vouch for the Melbourne tram system being excellent I used it quite a bit when I lived there. I often got a train from the outer suburbs to go into the city and then used the trams once in the city. 

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chrisonabike replied to Cyclo1964 | 5 months ago
1 like

An integrated transport system? Not invented here, thank you!

(Or rather we seen to be falling between stools by trying to keep bus and tram companies happy covering the same route and meanwhile everyone drives...)

Probably should just Google but do you know how they got their network and what does it cost to run? Over a decade on from the start Edinburgh's single tram line is still costing millions per year to operate . Costing money isn't necessarily bad but just wonder how that compares?

Avatar
chrisonabike | 5 months ago
1 like

RE: Here in Melbourne, trams run down the streets, not the paths. These ribbons of green are a peaceful refuge from the energy and discord of the city. On-street cycle infrastructure isn't half-arsed like Leith Walk (and, inevitably, the Roseburn replacement).

Don't want to knock Melbourne - heaven knows, Aussie cyclists and campaigners don't have it easy!  I'd merely set this in context.  So the video showed:

1 section of separated cycle path (which looks the same idea as the Keynsham "deadly cycle path" and seems to be no help at junctions, just like UK ones).

1 or 2 apparently shared use paths.

Two (possibly same?) streets with trams with cycling running next to them.  That's basically Princes Street in Edinburgh, albeit the Melbourne one appeared to exclude motor vehicles - which is not nothing...

So on the Leith Walk cycle paths: these are worse than they could / should be apparently because "tram designers".  However they're genuinely separate from trams / traffic and pedestrians have their own clearly marked space.  That's a step beyond what appears in the Melbourne video.  More so the newest section of CCWEL - which has some continuous footway / cycleway done just about right.

Overall we're probably similar.  The UK hasn't sorted out junctions either.  So welcome Melbourne - to the 3rd class of patchy cycle-infra!  (Copenhagen at 2, Netherlands way out in front, not just for quality but quantity too).

Avatar
Cyclo1964 replied to chrisonabike | 5 months ago
1 like

When I lived in Melbourne I enjoyed using the trams but I didn't cycle around the city as I lived out near Eltham. Melbourne is odd really it has all the possibilities of making it really cycling friendly but just can't get there. I am looking to go back to Australia in future to live but looking towards Perth not sure if it's any different or more of the same ?

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chrisonabike replied to Cyclo1964 | 5 months ago
1 like

Well if you change your mind we've a Perth a bit north of where I stay (Edinburgh - the Scottish one!). Also eminently suitable for cycling provision but somehow missing the mark (they've made some efforts - Perthshire is quite the tractor and landrover / 4x4 place though.)

Several places I've lived in the UK have been "cycling by rights should be mainstream" (eg. York). Turns out though that not only do you have to actually build *networks* before they'll come (bits and bobs and paint and signs aren't enough). You also have to make the competition (driving) slightly less convenient. Because where driving is easy, the British drive.

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brooksby | 5 months ago
2 likes

On the story about 'Cycle repair business The Bike Boat' - I'm sure I've read a lot of articles about how the Canal and River Trust really doesn't want any continuous cruisers who live on the canals: they want more and more holidaymakers, which makes them more money.

That being said, if Ollie by his own admission spends a third of his time out in the countryside continuous cruising then he is spending two thirds of his time in - er - Bath, and you might see why the trust doesn't think he's continuous cruising enough (IMO).

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Matthew Acton-Varian | 5 months ago
1 like

I have to disagree with Movistar Boss Eusebio Unzue, I don't see how substitutions could belong in cycling.

I get that loss of riders in stage races are detrimental to the team, but I don't see how such a system could be implemented fairly. If you get a rider crash, how would you police assessing whether that rider is genuinely unable to continue or is dropped out as a "precaution" with the intent of replacing the rider, because in reality they aren't at their best? It's an unfortunate situation but it's part of the risk of the sport.

Let's not forget that cycling is a team sport won by individuals. The teams have a roster to rotate riders between different races and allow teams to target more wins than they would with a sole leader in an entire season. But on stage races the total time of an individual rider will decide their overall GC position, so what rules would you implement if a replacement rider who has 5 or 6 days fresher legs beating all the GC riders who started at stage 1 - because they replaced a rider who was pretty high up but crashed halfway through?

Typical team sports that use substitutions are won by the whole team. It's not a good comparison. The F1 comparison is much more compelling, however when you actually look at it in detail, the argument becomes moot. F1 championship points are awarded for the classified results of each individual race. In order to enter a race the nominated driver must take part in the qualifying session. Driver swaps on race weekends only happen if a driver is injured, ill or withdrawn during a practice session, then replaced by the reserve driver. Rally car racing is a much closer comparison, in the fact that drivers must complete multiple stages over a race weekend and the cumulative time at the end of each race decides the classified results. Points are then awarded based on this classification, and everything is reset for the next race. However at no point in between stages can a driver be substituted. Teams can change drivers between races as per usual protocols.

However in cycling in order to be a worthy champion you must start and finish each stage, and are expected to be at the front on the stages where the time gaps will decide the overall winner. At this point fresh riders could easily interfere with GC contenders and it would throw the race into chaos.

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I love my bike | 5 months ago
3 likes

Leicester Cycle Lane:

How many cyclists are customers of J&S (motorcycle) Accessories?

Motorists don't find any difficulty driving up curbs onto the pavement, so what is special about the cycle lane ones (which are 'even' bevelled & not even continuous)?

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brooksby replied to I love my bike | 5 months ago
5 likes

I love my bike wrote:

Motorists don't find any difficulty driving up curbs onto the pavement, so what is special about the cycle lane ones (which are 'even' bevelled & not even continuous)?

But bicycles.

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Rome73 replied to I love my bike | 5 months ago
4 likes

Regarding the cycle lane - 'They are a danger, not just to pedestrians, but to motorists and all road users,” the councillor said, before claiming that pedestrians had already fallen over the blocks and that one motorist struck the kerb, causing £350 in damage to their car'

in that case shouldn't all kerbs, lamposts, railings, walls, trees be removed in case anyone damages their car? 

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capedcrusader | 5 months ago
3 likes

So, true about the USA and its obsession with cars to the exclusion of anything else. But, given the distances from A-B, that isn't surprising. I once tried to walk from Orlando (Disneyworld) to Orlando City, because I was bored and on the map in the hotel they looked pretty close, and was stopped whilst walking next to the highway by some incredulous cop who (really) insisted that I hop into the back of his car while he took me to the nearest bus stop. The bus to Orlando City took 40 minutes. 

Having the infrastructure to walk to the stadium from the hotel is a very eurocentric view of the situation. 

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chrisonabike replied to capedcrusader | 5 months ago
3 likes

Eurocentric, now... but actually this is chicken and egg. Yes - more vehicle dependence is now baked in to the US situation. But the US is extraordinary in terms of how recently much of the infra has been built - so in many ways they could likely transform quickly also.

If you build car infra everywhere people will drive. Even in the US plenty people live in urban environments - and many journeys aren't necessarily longer than in Europe. People *could* drive less, if only there were e.g. cycle infra or even footways...

Anyway - good luck them - we've got to worry about not copying the ultimately limiting bits of the US and sorting out our own situation.

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Matthew Acton-Varian replied to chrisonabike | 5 months ago
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The main point that is preventing us from going full US on road infra is space. US city streets are wide open spaces, and everything in the cities are several miles apart from each other. In the UK our cities are much more dense and we don't have as many large open spaces of countryside between different cities.

Unfortunately, car width still creeps over what with chassis design being globally the same on any model so it is designed to appease it's largest market (no pun intended) which often is the US.

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chrisonabike replied to Matthew Acton-Varian | 5 months ago
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Matthew Acton-Varian wrote:

The main point that is preventing us from going full US on road infra is space. US city streets are wide open spaces, and everything in the cities are several miles apart from each other. In the UK our cities are much more dense and we don't have as many large open spaces of countryside between different cities.

Looking at what Glasgow did when they got motorway-happy I wouldn't be so confident!  And our bigger cities e.g. London certainly cover a lot of area.  There may be a bunch of other reasons restraining us.  For one it seems lots of the US is built on debt - in a manner that's even more unsustainable than here.

The US is certainly known for suburban sprawl.  And there's tons of *country* indeed and inter-urban distances can be much greater.  But "wide open spaces"?  Suburbia - yeah, that's stroad central.  However there are other types of environment eg. city cores - which can cover quite an area and have very high density.

An example - some years back there was lots of excitement as people in the US picked up on a version of Dutch junction design.  (Long story of how / why but think this popped up on the US design radar through e.g. NACTO via a chap called Nick Falbo, and originating I believe from a couple of animations and videos by BicycleDutch).

This got traction because apparently lots of US junctions (in their grid-city designs) are actually not that wide.  I can't remember the figures but read this in chat from a US designer who explained that a lot of the US has ended up solidifying around junctions which aren't necessarily bigger than the average Dutch one!

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OnYerBike replied to capedcrusader | 5 months ago
5 likes

Not sure that is exactly a fair comparison - like many theme parks, Disneyworld is located a fair away outside of the city. That would be more akin to walking from London Heathrow into central London (albeit I'm sure you could do that walk perfectly legally, provided you stay off the M4).

Looking at a map, there are several hotels within a mile or two of the MetLife Stadium. Presumably those hotels primarily cater to stadium attendees (there doesn't appear to be much else around). I don't see that the distance involved should be prohibitive to walking.

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stonojnr replied to OnYerBike | 5 months ago
4 likes

alot of the hotels along International drive in Orlando are literally just 500metres away from some of the theme park entrances, yet you are expected to drive from your hotel and park in the near 20,000 spaces car lot.

Ive even known friends staying in a motel, that had a take away diner just across the road in another part of this retail park setup they were in, like literally 1minutes walk away, and were told theyd have to call a taxi or drive to get there for food.

we might joke the US takes carcentricity to the extremes, and the UK might not have as much space to build humungous multi lane highways, but were going down the same route building tens of thousands of new homes on housing estates that are cut off entirely from nearby shops and services, unless you drive.

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Rome73 replied to capedcrusader | 5 months ago
2 likes

Many years ago, on a job in the US, I was driving from Cincinnati to Indianapolis and we saw a sign for an ATM (this was before smart phones and Apple Pay etc) So we pulled over into a large freeway stop to get some cash. We stepped out from the car and went to find the ATM. We couldn't find it and also noticed that no one was outside their car either. People were ordering and eating food,  or paying for petrol without getting out from their cars. Then, of course, it dawned on us - the ATM was only approachable by car. So we had to get back in the car and, yes, drive upto the cash machine. 

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armb replied to capedcrusader | 5 months ago
2 likes

Not understanding distances on maps works both ways:
https://www.thepoke.com/2023/10/03/this-american-familys-itinerary-for-t...

But I've stayed at a hotel that was literally the next building to the office block I was visiting and had people surprised I walked door to door, instead of walking further to and from parking spaces and driving between.
Another time the cheap hotel we were staying in was less than ten minutes walk from a conference hotel, but there were no pavements/sidewalks, and no pedestrian crossing phase at traffic lights.

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Matthew Acton-Varian | 5 months ago
2 likes

RE: Kerb Segregating Stones

I may be reading too much into this, but could they be a ploy of weaponized incompetence? As in the infrastructure is deliberately designed or implemented badly in order to ensure its removal and prevent further schemes from progressing?

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Dicklexic | 5 months ago
8 likes

Never a good sign when you see vehicles parked facing the wrong way on a one way street!

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lesterama | 5 months ago
1 like

Re. Ekoi pedals, anything that lowers stack height is a good thing. I used Shimano AX (Dyna Drive) pedals in the '80s and loved them. My foot (and centre of gravity) sat a whole 18mm lower with them. The bike felt really stable.

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the little onion | 5 months ago
12 likes

Whoever designed that contraflow should be forced to cycle down it, on a hybrid bike with reasonably wide handlebars, whilst a stream of traffic comes from the opposite direction, and people in parked cars open their doors at random.

 

Get rid of the car storage/parking, and you suddenly have ample space for a decent contraflow.

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Sriracha | 5 months ago
7 likes

So the drivers parked nose to tail on the right, they'll look in their RV mirror, over their left shoulder, left wing mirror and then pull out (indicating in you're lucky) when it's "all clear", and quite unable to see the cycle lane due to their view obstructed by the parked vehicle in front. Again, if you're lucky, they'll edge out tentatively until they can see clearly, but chances are once they've established that there's no cars approaching from behind they'll move out swiftly

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Dicklexic replied to Sriracha | 5 months ago
1 like

Yes, that is definitely an undesirable 'feature' of contraflow lanes like this one.

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