A cycling related article by some old journo
  • http://sport.guardian.co.uk/cycling/story/0,,2272194,00.html

    Where did this guy come from?
  • Dunno, but I wish he would shut up already!
  • I agree with every word of that. Cycle lanes are a joke - like most headline grabbing policies trumpeted by politicians, they're tokenist and they're championed by vote-seeking imbeciles who have no idea what they're talking about.
    Just before Christmas, I was riding west down the A4. A van driver had the gall to have a pop at me at a set of lights; "I nearly hit you from behind! I didn't see you. There's a cycle lane over there. You should be using it."
    The "cycle-lane" is a white line painted on the pavement.
    Mindbuggering. I was going at pretty close to top speed - in excess of 20mph in any case - but had slowed a fair way before the light, as it still had 45secs of red on it. It was dark, but I had a flashing cat-eye light on the rear of the bike and a cheapo flashing light on my bag.
    The big question is obviously, "Does the driver pay so little attention to what's in front of him on the 90% of trunk roads that don't have cycle lanes?"
    Just for research, I timed myself on the journey the next time I did it. I absolutely caned it, but stopped at all the red lights. 27 minutes.
    I the tried the same journey using the cycle lane. I jest thee not - 58 minutes. More than double. At some points the "cycle-lane" on the pavement is the only pavement, apart from grassed areas. It's shared with mothers pushing buggies and pensioners on zimmer frames - and it's not wide enough to pass them. At every junction, cyclists obviously have to stop and give way to left-turning traffic.
    Who the hell would use a "facility" that "assists" them by doubling their journey time?
    The new "cycling facilities" are there to encourage those who can't ride a bike safely in traffic to jump on a bike, in the ridiculous and vain hope that they'll be able to cycle around town without ever encountering any traffic. That is grossly irresponsible.
    It terrifies me that I often slow down and signal "right", in order to move to the centre of a road and overtake, and find some lycra-clad twit simply steaming down my inside - in the "cycle-lane" - as though there were a brick wall seperating him from the traffic on his outside.
    The designation of the space on the inside as being solely for cyclists does narrow the available road space for other vehicles - especially motorcyclists (and cyclists such as me and Bill) who will not gun down the inner of a stationary column of traffic.
    Cycle lanes are a menace.
  • I rode that A4 lane a couple of times. A total f***ing nightmare. Exact same experience as you. Out in the east, the Lea Bridge Road lane is every bit as dangerous, although not as long.

    I thought about trying to fit the word 'tokenism' into the piece somewhere, but didn't manage it. Not a good enough writer! But tokenism describes the push for cycle lanes perfectly. I read somewhere that cycle lanes seem like a good idea to the people that design and decide on them, because they are all over-weight, under-exercised men who don't know how to cycle, and can't get above 5 mph. Cycle lanes are perfect for them, because they only use them on a Sunday to ride to the newsagents and back.
  • Bloody leftie.
  • Why isn't everyone at work? : P
  • And then they go one better and replace the white line with a strip of kerbing, so your completely stuck if you're daft enough to use them. Victim to those motor vehicles turning without looking- who seem to do it more when those strips are there, perhaps 'removing' the cyclist from the 'road' also removes us from their thoughts. It also means when one of those over-weight under-exercised men cycle along at 5 mph you're stuck behind them, if I wanted to be stuck in a traffic jam I'd have bought a *##*ing car wouldn't I!
  • What's with that 20-yard stretch of cycle lane at the start of Bishopsgate, just before Spitalfields? Who put that there? I want names.
  • and that suicide lay-out on the north side of blackfriars, in fact forget names a wall and an AK-47 is what we want for some of these street designers
  • Those cycle-lanes with the f*cking kerb on the outside do my f*cking nut in!I like to overtake muthaf*ckers when I'm working without having to to a f*cking bunnyhop over them.F*ck man!
  • can you get those guns with a handlebar mounting?
  • MP5 yes
    AK47 no
  • Thanks for mentioning my name in the Gruaniad. It's a long time ago that I pointed out that every street in London is a bike route, but it's no less true now than it ever was. Nobody has ever contradicted me, but I have been told that my views are "true but not helpful". While I'm not against being helpful, when I can be, I do think it's the bureaucrat's job to be helpful to me, rather than vice versa.

    The trouble with making some streets "bike routes" is that it turns all the rest into "not bike routes" on which nobody need make sure that the route is safe, let alone convenient or pleasant, for cycling.

    That, presumably, is why the London Cycle Maps (except for the Central London map) fail to show one way streets, except when the road is coloured blue or yellow. It's just unimaginanable that cyclists would ever want to go there.

    Jeremy Parker
  • 'True but not helpful'

    Ha!

    I read your comments online a while ago, and had been waiting for a chance to use in the most appropriate context.
  • there is nothing in the law about cyclists taking primary position, ie the middle of the lane, when nescessary. for me, when riding through longsight or on hyde Road or anywhere dangerous I always take primary position. You would be amazed at how much care drivers take around you when you are in the middle of the road rather than grovelling in the gutter. A minority of people will beep or give you jip, but the vast majority understand what you are doing and why. Obviously you have to be going a fair speed, 20mph+ so as not to unduely piss people off. Try it.
  • @johnsatisfaction
    "when riding through longsight or on hyde Road or anywhere dangerous"

    Yeah man, I remember nailing through Longsight up Mount rd towards hyde rd about 3 in the morning, primary position saved my life when i got ambushed by 20+ little scroats hurling bricks and bottles... It was like beiruit out there, dunno how I got past em. Then I had to outrun 5-6 on bikes...

    Arrrah, those were the days...
  • Yeah man, that was probably our kid and his mates...
  • I think most couriers do ride in 'primary', most of the time.
  • i thought we road around/ into what ever was in out way.
  • I don't want to be a total bore but http://www.ecf.com/files/2/12/16/070503_Cycle_Tracks_Copenhagen.pdf

    'The construction of cycle lanes has resulted in an increase in accidents of 5% and
    15% more injuries. These increases are not statistically significant. The decline in
    road safety can be seen both at junctions and on sections. The increases occurred
    especially amongst cyclists and moped riders where increases in injuries is
    tendential amounting to 49%.

    In line with cycle track statistics, there was a larger increase in injuries among
    women with the construction of cycle lanes, 22%, whereas the figure for men was
    only 7%. There was a fall in injuries among children under 20 and an increase among those aged 20 – 34.'

    'Shortened or advanced cycle tracks [aka ASLs]
    At signalised junctions, it has been found
    from entry lanes with a shortened cycle track (see figure 1 right) fell by 30%,
    whereas the number of injuries increased by 19%. A significant improvement in
    drivers’ safety occurred when a shortened cycle track was constructed, whereas
    cyclists’ and especially pedestrians’ safety deteriorated.'

    'Road safety of cycle tracks

    The construction of cycle tracks has resulted in a slight drop in the total number of
    accidents and injuries on the road sections between junctions of 10% and 4%
    respectively. At junctions on the other hand, the number of accidents and injuries
    has risen significantly, by 18%. A decline in road safety at junctions has
    undoubtedly taken place after the construction of cycle tracks. If the figures for the
    road sections are combined with those for the junctions, an increase of 9-10% in
    accidents and injuries has taken place. '
  • Cheers Bill!
    I got up early so I'd make it in to Creative in plenty of time, then I tried reading your post and fell instantly asleep.
    Now I've got to rush into town AND I've got a keyboard imprint on my face.
    I'm going to tell Martin the reason I'm late is Bill is soooo boring.
  • Where's my t-shirts?
  • That's better...thanks!
  • That picture is hilarious :D

    It would probably be even funnier if I knew Bill.

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