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"Isn't 8.5w/kg novice level on Zwift?": Reaction to THAT virtual cheating story; Is this the safest cycling route in the UK?; British Cycling CEO merry-go-round continues; FDJ join the dark side; Vine goes Partridge + more on the live blog

Happy Friday! The weekend is just around the corner, Dan Alexander will be bringing it home with your final live blog of the week

SUMMARY

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09 December 2022, 09:29
"Isn't 8.5w/kg novice level on Zwift?": Reaction to THAT virtual cheating story

I've got a confession... whisper it quietly, but for the first time in a while I quite enjoyed delving into a Facebook comments section...

Eddy Hoole races to win in eSports world championship qualifying (Zwift, YouTube)

The online reaction comes after our report that Zwift racer Eddy Hoole has been banned for six months after being found to have pulled off a spectacular ride to earn a qualification spot at next year's world champs by... hacking a data stream.

Despite 6,000 people watching the live stream the South African hoped it might go unnoticed if he launched a four-minute 8.5w/kg 526w attack... unsurprisingly, we have to tell you — it didn't.

Eddy Hoole Zwift stats (Zwift)

> Zwift racer banned for six months and sacked by team for hacking data during world championships qualifier

Anyway, the Facebook commenters were on form... (look away if you don't want to hear people saying mean things about virtual racing)...

Jamie Brown: "You mean people cheat on Zwift? I'm both shocked and appalled..."

Paul Medcalf: "8.5 W/kg is nothing on Zwift. See those numbers often (and higher)😂"

Chris Miller: "8.5w/kg? Isn't that just novice level on Zwift?"

Jeff Rey: "I don't even know why I bothered reading that. What a pointless sport." Cheers for your continued support, Jeff.

Steve Boston: "Why?! For the love of God why cheat? Especially on data driven site."

Ken Burk: "I saw a rider on Watopia today going 5.4w/kg consistently with no fluctuations at all, with over 250 miles rode. Must be the next Lance."

Paul Cooper: "Why do people take indoor riding so seriously? Get out and play bikes ffs."

Apparently things on Rouvy aren't much better, someone sign this lad up ASAP...

Rouvy questionable KOM

 

09 December 2022, 16:37
Martin Lewis' bizarre poll

Here's a weird one for your Friday afternoon...

Why?

09 December 2022, 16:08
Slippery scenes
09 December 2022, 15:46
Cav WON'T be joining Chris Froome at Israel-Premier Tech
Mark Cavendish at the 2022 Giro d'Italia team presentation (picture credit LaPresse).JPG

[📷: La Presse]

With the collapse of B&B Hôtels, the team rumoured to be signing Mark Cavendish, all options are back on the table...

All options except Israel-Premier Tech who say their 2023 squad is "complete". The team today confirmed the signing of Welsh pro Stevie Williams from Bahrain Victorious and, in the press release, say he "completes" their 2023 roster.

Ineos Grenadiers... your move 

09 December 2022, 14:50
This is going well...

Cue the replies...

09 December 2022, 14:31
Kids safer on roads after virtual bike training, study suggests
black mountain kids bikes poll pic - may 2020.PNG

Research by Brunel University London, backed by the Road Safety Trust, suggests that children's on-road cycling safety and performance improves after video training. The study showed that kids communicate their next moves, better understand junction priority and make better observations after video training. To be fair using other people's behaviour on the road alone could lead you to some fairly questionable conclusions...

Sport & Exercise Psychologist Dr Dan Bishop said the difference was "so dramatic that I would say that, as a parent, I would feel more confident in my young children’s ability to cycle safely on roads if they had completed this training."

Researchers tracked 33 10-12 year-olds who had done Bikeability Level 2 training. They were split into two groups and one group tried a new virtual training course. The children pedalled a static bike in a lab while watching immersive real-world footage shot from a cyclist's viewpoint. They rode five virtual routes on main and minor roads, all passing a school. 

Researchers tracked the children's head and eye movements, and when they pressed the brake. The researchers also asked questions to check the children's observational skills and understanding, such as when they can turn and who has priority. Both groups then took video-based tests and were assessed when riding on real roads, by qualified instructors.

"The effects we saw are profound," Dr Bishop continued. "And while the training only focussed on two of the four Core Functions in the National Standard for Cycle Training (observation and communication) — we saw pronounced effects on the other two Core Functions: positioning and awareness of road user priorities. This suggests that some implicit learning of related behaviours also occurred."

Thoughts?

09 December 2022, 14:26
"An accident waiting to happen": Pedestrian safety fears raised over floating bus stops on new cycle lane in Bath

Floating bus stops are back in the news... this time very close to home for road.cc...

Bath Cycle Lane Bus Stops - 7.jpg

> Pedestrian safety fears raised over floating bus stops on new cycle lane in Bath

09 December 2022, 12:24
If the World Cup was pro cycling...

Quarter final time... the FDJ group chat could be fun come Saturday night...

World Cup pro cycling (procyclingstats)

 

09 December 2022, 11:33
Handcycling across the US for a fantastic cause

Cycling YouTuber Francis Cade is a month into his challenge alongside ride companion Justin, with the pair aiming to cycle and handcycle across the US, from Florida to Los Angeles.

Currently battling across Texas' vastness the pair are raising money for Get Kids Going! a charity which provides funds to help with the costs of the bespoke equipment needed to take part in sport.

The entire journey is being documented on Francis' YouTube channel with daily videos, yesterday's is below...

Incredibly, the fundraising bar keeps getting raised due to the flood of donations to the JustGiving page, with just over £80,000 having been donated at the time of writing. I'm sure that number will be much higher by the time some of you read this!

Find out more about the challenge and donate here...

09 December 2022, 10:19
British Cycling CEO merry-go-round continues

British Cycling's acting CEO Danielle Every, who stepped up from cycling delivery director when former CEO Brian Facer left his post in October, will herself leave the governing body.

British Cycling logo

British Cycling says Every will stay in her role until the spring when she will become chief operating officer of the PGMOL, the body which oversees professional football referees and match officials in England.

She said: "I have loved my four years at British Cycling and will leave feeling incredibly proud of what we have achieved, and the positive impact we continue to have through our work. Over the coming months I am wholly committed to setting us on the right path as we move into another busy and exciting year of activity, and ensuring a seamless and positive transition to a new CEO."

09 December 2022, 10:01
Vine goes Partridge

Tenuous cycling content of the day. I say 'tenuous', it's got nothing to do with cycling other than involving Jeremy Vine who starred on yesterday's live blog...

> Jeremy Vine highlights grim reality of gridlocked London route where cycle lane was ripped out... as council due in court over early removal

Any excuse to get Partridge content on the blog... 

09 December 2022, 09:52
FDJ join the dark side

Someone give the FDJ video editor a raise...

No doubt that'll be blasted in the dressing room ahead of tomorrow's quarter...

09 December 2022, 08:57
Is this the safest cycling route in the UK?

To add a bit of balance to the 'tragic roundabout' debacle from earlier in the week Harry sent us some footage of the entire Manchester route, from the city through Salford and Trafford, and as you can see there's way more to it than just one dodgy roundabout...

Now, considering I don't think I've ever ridden anywhere in the UK where you can enjoy 11km in a major city (or elsewhere, for that matter) through continuous, mostly segregated cycle lanes, I'm going to have to leave it to you lot to offer suggestions of infra that can compete for the title...

Of course, it's not perfect, but it's a hell of a lot better than most lanes we all see on a daily basis up and down the country. It's probably also worth noting the aim here is safe and accessible active travel, not race training and Strava segments, so if you're looking at this and thinking you'd rather use the road, it's probably not designed for you. But, how many more people would be encouraged to pick up cycling for their urban journeys if they had this route on their doorstep?

Dan joined road.cc in 2020, and spent most of his first year (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. At the start of 2022 he took on the role of news editor. Before joining road.cc, Dan wrote about various sports, including football and boxing for the Daily Express, and covered the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for The Non-League Paper. Part of the generation inspired by the 2012 Olympics, Dan has been 'enjoying' life on two wheels ever since and spends his weekends making bonk-induced trips to the petrol stations of the south of England.

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63 comments

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chrisonabike replied to Gimpl | 1 year ago
0 likes

Gimpl wrote:

I haven't read all of your paper 1 because it's rubbish as well as being over 20 years old and out of date.

Don't be shy, say what you really think!  Local knowledge is good - I haven't been there!

Maybe I should have pointed you to the middle bit.  His specific observations about MK are that:

AsEasyAsRidingABike wrote:

The cycle paths, or ‘Redways’, as they eventually turned out to be, are doubly compromised, not just because cycling and walking were afterthoughts to the central design of Milton Keynes – a network permitting fast and smooth motor vehicle journeys across the town – but also because they themselves are a poor adaption of routes which were initially designed solely for pedestrians.

So can you tell me - have they rebuilt the place?  Is there a bunch of new infra?  It looks similar on streetview from a year or so back.  I also watched Alexei Sayle (who he?) cycling about the place a bit more recently.

From the pictures I've seen it looks like - for example - the paths have quite a few ups and downs.  So often you're below the level of a road and then have to go back up to road level.  Being below the land level isn't necessarily a bad thing but if you have to keep going up and down (and gradients are steep) that is a turn-off.  It can also make navigation / orientation a bit more fiddly (although you quickly learn).

Do the Redways feel safe to people?   You say:

Gimpl wrote:

Most Redways are in fact well away from the road network and give a completely different view of the city

That can be nice - and is similar to the paths I use in Edinburgh which are often in cuttings as they're former railway lines.  However though I personally have no problems with them some women say they don't feel safe there at nights.  They're "too quiet" - they're not overlooked by any buildings and there can be "no escape route" for sections of several hundred metres.

Other notes - which I'd welcome comment on:

Apparently the routes also switch from one side of a road to the other multiple times - making the route longer also.

AsEasyAsRidingABike wrote:

The at-grade junction treatments – those junctions where you are not pedalling up and down steep gradients to get under or over a flat road – are very poor. Naturally enough you have to yield to motor traffic, which is not necessarily a problem, but considerable danger is involved.

It looks like an extremely easy and convenient place to drive in.  Is that true?  How easy is it to cycle to the station from e.g. the east?  It certainly looks very convenient to get there directly with a car...

I note you say:

Gimpl wrote:

Outside of rush hour it is indeed easier to drive and the road network is very good. ... both my daughter and step daughter refuse to even consider another mode of transport. My step-daughter used to get in her car to drive less than a mile to work - she has grown up watching me go out on the bike ...

Again, there is some "culture" (and "doing what everyone else does").  I think if it were really easier to go by bike then... people would?  Yes - people do follow expensive, unpleasant and difficult "fashions" (e.g. where something is prestigious) but in general they can be convinced if something is "more convenient".

This all suggests to me that - as it was back in the day - it's still much more convenient to use a car.  Especially once you already have a car!

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Gimpl replied to chrisonabike | 1 year ago
1 like

Yes - much has been improved since this article - there is even reference to it in the comments section. 

MK is much maligned - you really do have to live here to appreciate it. Also, yes, driving outside of rush hour, as I mentioned, is very easy. 

I watched the Alexei Sayle video with much sadness, riding around the business district and centre was not a good advert - I was willing him to turn at one of the junctions he came to and he would have had a completely different experience. 

There are some annoying issues, up and down at junctions, poor lighting in places and poor conditions. Again, as the article and comments note - it's much better than most.

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chrisonabike replied to Gimpl | 1 year ago
1 like

Thanks for the update!

I agree - Sayle clearly wasn't there to demonstrate the fullness of the network.  However I think this has uncovered one point:  maybe it's better cycling around the centre than in some other UK places.  But if it's not good cycling around the centre, people aren't going to cycle there.  And likely then won't bother cycling in at all.

In the same way, Edinburgh works very well for me in terms of cycling.  Best place I've lived in the UK in that respect (though York wasn't too bad either).  I'd happily recommend it to other cyclists.  However getting around, into or through the city centre is not great on bike.  And overall most people don't cycle and most short trips aren't cycled.

Edinburgh isn't even a great place to drive in.  Lots of people take the bus - even though it's not too hard to be faster on a bike than a bus at busy times.  But plenty still drive - particularly once you're out of the centre.  It's "not too bad" - even though the bypass at rush hour - or getting to or from it - can be dire.  You just get in your car, put some tunes on, or call a friend, and follow the sat nav...

I've ended up fitting some of my routines round the cycle mini-network.  Yes - people do that with other modes.  But for cycling it's just not convenient if you live in some places in and around the city or have to make some trips.  Or at least - less convenient than driving or the bus.

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HLaB replied to Gimpl | 1 year ago
1 like

I know what you mean but I saw this the other day which is a bit more positive for the future, hopefully it stays that way.

https://twitter.com/activetraveleng/status/1598340908419776521

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NOtotheEU | 1 year ago
6 likes

Is this the safest cycling route in the UK?

If you count safe as 'no cars' then Birmingham's 35 miles of canal path beats that.

If you count safe as 'no knife wielding bike robbers' then that's another story.

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AlsoSomniloquism replied to NOtotheEU | 1 year ago
1 like

Forgetting the second part, I would also argue quiet a few areas are not a safe cycling route with narrow tunnels, steps with no cycle provision, very slippy paving stones, radar gates, overgrown areas and still not safe from cars

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NOtotheEU replied to AlsoSomniloquism | 1 year ago
0 likes

I thought even with all the other problems at least there are no cars but it seems dangerous drivers get everywhere!

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Jules59 replied to NOtotheEU | 1 year ago
1 like

I tried cycling into Birmingham City centre from Kingsbury, a couple of times. But on a road bike and cleated in, I didnt enjoy it. The bridges, with their very slippery went wet bricks and low walls were a bit scary for me.
I, personally,  felt safer on the Tyburn road. 

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AlsoSomniloquism replied to Jules59 | 1 year ago
1 like

I've done a ride from Lichfield to Brum along that canal. TBF, from about Wiggins Hill the paths are paved and minimal issues until Spaghetti. Then you have the 13(?) uphill locks, the thin sidings bridges with at least one (usually) closed radar gate at the bottom of it, the slippy cobbled bridge at the top of the junction, then the slippy brickwork all along to Brindley. Definitely needs a MTB / Gravel / CX bike for some of it. 

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NOtotheEU replied to Jules59 | 1 year ago
1 like

Jules59 wrote:

felt safer on the Tyburn road. 

WOW, you really hated the canal then, although I understand if it was wet or freezing and if the (long gone) Tyburn road bus lane was in operation at the time.

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Miller | 1 year ago
1 like

> Someone give the FDJ video editor a raise

That is indeed a bang-up job of taking mundane footage and making it impactful. Someone slaved over a hot workstation on that one.

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Rendel Harris | 1 year ago
3 likes

Manchester looks fabulous but got to give a shout out for my beloved hometown where one can now ride 14km all on totally segregated paths from Lancaster Gate at the NW corner of Hyde Park all the way to Limehouse in the east without once setting tyre on a shared road except to cross them.

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chrisonabike replied to Rendel Harris | 1 year ago
1 like

Ooh bragging time!  London certainly has more on-street provision but - by historical accident - the North Edinburgh path network means I can cross one road and access a mini network where there are altogether something like 7-8 miles of paved, lit paths which don't cross or use a single road.  No stopping, no traffic lights, no motor vehicles!

The big issue is that although this extends a lot further via "quiet streets" and fairly friendly infra the good sub-sections are not all linked and there is a big gap in the middle.

If you're prepared to put up with some cars and a bit of learning routes Edinburgh can work very well for a cyclist accustomed to the normal UK rubbish (where it exists at all).  Still 1st generation infra I'd say though, with growing patches of 2nd gen.

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TheBillder replied to chrisonabike | 1 year ago
2 likes
chrisonatrike wrote:

Ooh bragging time!  London certainly has more on-street provision but - by historical accident - the North Edinburgh path network means I can cross one road and access a mini network where there are altogether something like 7-8 miles of paved, lit paths which don't cross or use a single road.  No stopping, no traffic lights, no motor vehicles!

I've also found all my needs for broken glass, poorly-aimed fireworks and better-aimed gobbing fully satisfied by that network (although perhaps this is reducing). And therefore I tend not to use the paths on the few occasions I'm over that way from sun-kissed Portobello.

How can we get to a point where cycling infrastructure is safe from both vehicles and local idiots, given where we start from culturally?

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chrisonabike replied to TheBillder | 1 year ago
0 likes
TheBillder wrote:

I've also found all my needs for broken glass, poorly-aimed fireworks and better-aimed gobbing fully satisfied by that network (although perhaps this is reducing).
And therefore I tend not to use the paths on the few occasions I'm over that way from sun-kissed Portobello.

There's truth to that but if you swap fireworks for drinks thrown at me I've had about the same on the roads. Certainly more "I'm going to die" moments.

Plus I used to stay in Muirhouse so maybe I got used to certain things...

Porty - which ought to be a great place to get cycling going - seems "car culture" to me. Or maybe that's just the through traffic. The prom is fine but too many people walking for a "route", main streets are a big ol' snarl-up of motor traffic, with the small side- streets clogged with parking. If passing I'm probably there at the weekend though.

TheBillder wrote:

How can we get to a point where cycling infrastructure is safe from both vehicles and local idiots, given where we start from culturally?

Well as you've noted the paths are at least used by local idiots so that is keeping them safe. And off the road. Sometimes...

The paths are still great for me (maybe I like the road less than I think? ). I think they make Edinburgh very complacent *. Remove that inheritance and the rest is at best average **. I've seen the plans, there is no urgency there and I'm not seeing the idea of "network" front and centre. Home cycle parking is now recognised as important, not sure it's there for destinations.

* The new map boards on the paths are planting the idea of turning them into tram lines - because that's "modern ... very quiet ... no emissions ... fast ... predicatable journey times". Some of them *really* don't get or like cycling!

** With a nod to the East- West cycle path - possibly.

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chrisonabike replied to TheBillder | 1 year ago
0 likes

Also - from Porty to town - for "the average UK cyclist" this might seem great, there are THREE ways with off-main-carriageway or cycle lanes, some with protection. Luxury! But compare to driving and it's a real magical mystery tour where you have to dodge about to link up bits of infra and much feels "grotty".

South - Innocent railway path: that's good albeit maybe lacking "social safety" and the looong overpass from St Mark's Place is very useful (if a bit tired and slightly inconvenient to cycle up to). But then you've either got to navigate the Christians or Magdalens to the path at Bingham or cycle-lane-it beside the big roads through Willowbrae and Meadowbank. Where road gets busy and lumpy. The middle way (via eg Fishwives - more "not socially safe" magical mystery tour) has some genuine beside road cycle path - until you reach the same point. North is probably the most complete, (if the prom isn't busy...) you only have to cross A199 to connect to Leith links or the loop via Lochend.

But most of that feels like "look here's some unused (and unloved) space, if someone wants to make a path we won't stand in their way" or "we can paint a narrow lane next to this very wide lane without impeding traffic, so..."

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quiff replied to Rendel Harris | 1 year ago
0 likes

* Except when something Royal is happening and they close the route through the parks   

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espressodan | 1 year ago
1 like

I took a break from Zwift (while still paying the Zwift tax). On return, the number of riders doing bullshit powers up climbs is off the scale. Every climb at least one suspiciously consistent 5+ W/kg rider slides by. The platform is just the twitter of cycling, some good, some terrible.

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Jetmans Dad replied to espressodan | 1 year ago
2 likes

espressodan wrote:

The platform is just the twitter of cycling, some good, some terrible.

Also ... just like real life then. 

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mattw | 1 year ago
0 likes

Interestng, I'll watch that with my elevenses.

I'm trying to frame some questions that I hope can help me think about the difference between what I'm going pompously to call 2nd gen infra (like this - exists, smooth and largely segregated, without the errors with paint on roads, dumping into traffic etc), and 3rd gen infra (which I'm defining overall as being convenient enough compared to driving to get ordinary people out of their cars with no regrets).

This is messy as I'm thinking aloud.

1 - Routine use of detection loops (or several detection loops, or similar) to turn the traffic off when a person on a bike needs to cross so they don't have to stop.

2 - On a normal run a person on a bike will only have to stop very occasionally.

3 - Fully accessible to all people on the complete zoo of types of bikes, and active travellers.

4 - No interaction with motor vehicles where speed limits or speeds driven are above 20mph.

5 - Limited conflict between people on bikes and pedestrians.

6 - Safe and convenient handling of junctions. TBH I do not know in detail what I mean here, but safe cycling infra through the juntion is a key.

7 - Pavement level crossings across side roads and for Toucan or Sparrow or Ptarmigan etc crossings as default.

(any more telltales to add? Then I need to boil them down.)

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chrisonabike replied to mattw | 1 year ago
1 like

The ever-thoughtful Robert Weetman has a good set of set of cycle infra quality measures here.  Really simple idea but with some subtlety too.  He's also got a set of articles comparing different aspects of current UK, Copenhagen and NL.  These are very detailed and lengthy!  At the end of these however he does try to distil some more general principles of the what and why.  Again see his site but the most obvious comparison series starts here.

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Car Delenda Est replied to mattw | 1 year ago
1 like

Not sure how the Dutch handle junctions but I suspect toucan crossings, set back from the junction so cars have somewhere to stop and let pedestrians/cyclists cross, are the solution. It avoids the need for separate lights for cyclists and allows them to cross safely regardless of the motorist lights (afterall why should the inherent danger of motor vehicles be used as an excuse to hold up safer forms of traffic?)

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mattw replied to Car Delenda Est | 1 year ago
2 likes

Picking up from various articles over the years, and Not Just Bikes and similar, there are a lot of ways but they tend especially to be more intensively invested and use up to 3 detection loops to enable traffic to be turned off conveniently.

I think here we have a ground in habit of not improving things once built, so the bugs don't get worked out, which is why we are still buried in 30 and 40 year old barriers and blockages.

There's also a strange use of greenery as an excuse for not doing things well - contreting over the countryside to make bicycle paths !!!

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chrisonabike replied to mattw | 1 year ago
1 like

One other thing the Dutch do - they are (still) constantly upgrading.  Not just "renew the tarmac to fill in the potholes".  It's "the next time we're here to do refurbishments we'll apply all the changes in infra policy (e.g. cycle track upgrades) that have accumulated over the last n years - oh, and possibly get in some maintenace of the utilities too".  The latter bit may be "cultural" - I think they've got quite different governance to do with land maintenance etc (but don't understand the detail).

On that - question: why does the UK have so many road maintenance issues? Clue - it's not just "weather"...

Lots of examples: https://bicycledutch.wordpress.com/tag/before-and-after/

I'm a bit in two minds about this.  It certainly works very well for cycling.  On the other hand the Dutch seem to be constantly looking at spaces (brown or greenfield) and saying thoughtfully "hmm... we could dig that all up and then put concrete, tarmac and brick down".  So maybe not so good on the environmental front?  May work out better than the UK's massive road-building followed by never-ending patching though?

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mattw replied to chrisonabike | 1 year ago
1 like

chrisonatrike wrote:

I'm a bit in two minds about this.  It certainly works very well for cycling.  On the other hand the Dutch seem to be constantly looking at spaces (brown or greenfield) and saying thoughtfully "hmm... we could dig that all up and then put concrete, tarmac and brick down".  So maybe not so good on the environmental front?  May work out better than the UK's massive road-building followed by never-ending patching though?

That is a very important point. One area where the UK (and our various planning and land categorisation systems) has been notably successful compared to similarly densely populated is imo in preserving a varied countryside, and a relatively speaking not built-over country.

Our small grain planning system can be infuriating, but if you compare 12% of the NL has been covered by artificial surfaces ie hard landscape development, which compares with 7% in the UK. For England the number of 10%. For Germany, Denmark and Italy it is 7-8%.

By comparison, around 40% of our country's area is in protected areas of some sort.

There's a metric hidden inside there for population per developed area, which would I think be interesting.

https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/web/products-eurostat-news/-/wdn-20180523-...(23.7%25),%25)%20and%20Germany%20(7.4%25).
https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/land-use-in-england-2022/land-u...'built%2Dup'.

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chrisonabike replied to mattw | 1 year ago
0 likes

True - although there's a bit of "preserved by being very poor, owned by toffs, or both!"

I'm not sure it's entirely something to be proud of.  Much is "accident of history" and England (and Scotland for that matter) have highly uneven distribution of population.  That's true even in NL - if you go to the Northeast it's much sparser (used to be where they strip-mined peat).

The UK has its fair share of sprawling developments (e.g. low-density suburban) - although it's much better than parts of where we took some ideas from (US).  Away from urban areas the UK has "splendid countryside" but very often now no "life".  People "have to" drive to access anything - medical care, schools, shops, social life... This urbanisation of course dates from long before cars (see e.g. William Cobbet!) but motor transport has hugely accellerated and magnified it.

This may be yet another reason for the retention of cycling in NL - you could get to a "bigger town" from many places by bike.  In the UK?  More of a mission.

I don't have answers for the countryside.  I love it, and I'm not a "city person".  However I recognise I depend on the urban facilities and - with a couple of exceptions - have lived on the fringes of large towns or cities all of my life.  It's a theme for NotJustBikes, who I think has a good take on what makes a good (and sustainable) urban area [1] [2].  Which would serve the bulk of the UK population.

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mattw replied to chrisonabike | 1 year ago
1 like

The town to bigger town is a very good point.

One on my wish list is a direct and flat cycle route from where I live (consider Kings Mill District Hospital) to Nottingham, which is 18 miles. It gets OK about 1/3 way there, but to get to the start point (Newstead Station) is a sod - requiring some cycling on narrow A-roads, or a major diversion and lots of paths.

I know one or two brave souls who commute by bike, but not many.

We have light rail. But still need a cycle route.

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chrisonabike replied to mattw | 1 year ago
0 likes

Agree again. And again I'm lucky that some of this appears near me (eg. Edinburgh to South Queensferry).

Focusing on that kind of connectivity seems to come at a more advanced stage of infra eg. more like 4th generation infra where the UK is somewhere between nothing, 0th and 1st (with occasional 2nd gen now appearing; Cambridge looks interesting).

The site below has examples and criteria. Although they've got London in there! I've not visited and "great for the UK" I'm sure but I wouldn't put that anywhere near the Dutch (or even Danish) category - from what's visible on the internet.

https://ecf.com/what-we-do/urban-mobility/fast-cycling-routes

This is more what I'd hope for (one for the next generation...)
https://bicycledutch.wordpress.com/2022/07/20/the-finished-f50-cycle-rou...

Note: pleasant environment (you can have a conversation!), people riding side-by-side (or in a three), kids riding without adults, mobility vehicles, the number of traffic lights (were there any?), how many times he needed to stop (any?), number of crossings of main road (a couple but the roads were not busy enough to need traffic lights). In addition the social safety in the urban parts, directness of the route, cars not overtaking on shared streets...

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ShutTheFrontDawes replied to mattw | 1 year ago
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Indeed. I'm very pleased to see more give ways for junctions across a cycle lane, giving cyclists priory (though that still relies on car drivers to see and care about it, and sometimes does more harm than good as it creates a false sense of safety), but I still wouldn't use the cycle lane. Using the road would be loads quicker. Those traffic lights and beg buttons can f right off.

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chrisonabike replied to ShutTheFrontDawes | 1 year ago
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I've thought about this a bit and I think it's two things: first motor traffic has to be managed.  If there's too much of it or it's travelling too fast whatever you do will be at best mediocre.

Secondly I think David Hembrow has it right.  His view is that the best unsignalised junctions are those which actually put responsibility for the cyclist's safety back in the hands of the cyclistHis article shows roundabouts but the principle is general.  He's going against the conventional view in NL that e.g. urban roundabouts should have priority for cyclists but he apparently has done the numbers. (Rural roundabouts in NL do have priority for motor vehicles as standard).

It took me a while to get.  And yes - "priority for cycling" does have a place.  So I'm for "continuous footway / cycle way" across minor side roads.

Again - note that this only works if you have already tamed the traffic.  Just dumping one in many places in the UK now - without major changes to exising roads - would likely be a bad idea.

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