Not sure I fancy commuting to work ...

JGS
JGS Posts: 180
edited November 2008 in Commuting chat
I am starting a new job next week and they have excellent facilities for cycling, so naturally I thought I would commute to work on my bike. I went to check out a few different ways of getting there today, it's a nice easy 5 mile route and mostly on cycle paths. Only there is a slight issue, in my 10 mile first run I've been spat at by chavs 3 times, knocked off twice while stationary at traffic lights and had some idiot jump out on my on a cycle path. This was during mid-afternoon, with me having all my lights on and using a bell (much to my distaste, I hate the damn things). So all I ask is, is it really worth the pain and suffering, or should I just drive to work and go out on my winter trainer when I get home?

Comments

  • Where are you commuting? Gotham city?

    All joking aside, that's dreadful. Would an alternative route with fewer chavs be a possibility?
  • tailwindhome
    tailwindhome Posts: 19,263
    Just guessing here, but as it was half term last week there may have been a lot of *children* hanging about with nothing better to do. These *children* are unlikely to be there at times when you are commuting.

    No idea wether or not an alternative route is feasible (possibly even just at night) but it would be a shame to miss out, especially as your employer provides facilities.
    “New York has the haircuts, London has the trousers, but Belfast has the reason!
  • :shock: - I can see why you're questioning it.
    <insert witty comment here>

    Also, I have calculated my FCN as 12...although I have no idea what that actually means.
  • biondino
    biondino Posts: 5,990
    Who or what knocked you off while stationary? You know, roads get a bad press but they seldom have kids lying in wait to assault cyclists - could you commute on the roads?
  • girv73
    girv73 Posts: 842
    Take the chav path and carry a scythe.
    Today is a good day to ride
  • Boudica Biker! :twisted:

    Attach razor sharp blades to the axles and dare the little scroats to come close. This will also work against Left Hooks and failures to pull out enough :twisted:
    Chunky Cyclists need your love too! :-)
    2009 Specialized Tricross Sport
    2011 Trek Madone 4.5
    2012 Felt F65X
    Proud CX Pervert and quiet roadie. 12 mile commuter
  • JGS
    JGS Posts: 180
    I got knocked off while in the cycle bit at the front of the lights the first time by a numpty who wasn't paying attention and while creeping forward stalled and knocked me off. Fortunately that is quite a rare occurence and the person was more than apologetic, and even pulled over to let me check my bike was 100% ok before they drove off. The second time was an I-ped who just turned at a right angle and stepped out on me at the bottom of a hill where the ground was a bit wet, fortunately I was slowing down for the pedestrain crossing about 25m down, which he'll probably use next time. We had a bit of an argument about it, so at least I felt like I vented a bit.

    Most of the route is a cycle path following a main road, and I don't fancy being on my bike on the actual road as it's a 40mph limit and most people see this as a minimum. There is an alternative route which follows a canal towpath which starts 500m from my house and ends about 250m from the place of work. The downside to that is the fact I am riding a road bike and there's a couple of bridges which are stepped and tough to walk up in SPDs, also the surface is a bit dodgy at best.

    Oh and for location, this is going from Beeston to Nottingham.
  • Holy Cow. So you mean it's the A52 INTO Nottingham???? :shock:

    I'd rather take the spit. :cry:

    I had an issue with the SPD's so I changed them for inset cleats, and got some trainer type shoes... best thing I could've done. Much easier to walk around on now.

    I'd also get the widest tyres you can for that Canal path, I bet you can fit 32c on the bike without a problem. It'll make a world of difference
    Chunky Cyclists need your love too! :-)
    2009 Specialized Tricross Sport
    2011 Trek Madone 4.5
    2012 Felt F65X
    Proud CX Pervert and quiet roadie. 12 mile commuter
  • Feltup
    Feltup Posts: 1,340
    The canal towpath is not the best for road bike tyres, it might be OK with some cyclo cross tyres if you have the frame clearance for them. It's quite a nice ride in then.

    I know what you mean about the cyclepaths around there, I avoid them if I can. I presume the 40mph bit is in front of the Uni? I got shouted at by a motorist for not using the cycle path. The cycle path was crawling with people and had debris everywhere so not road bike friendly either. I would rather take my chances with the cars.
    Short hairy legged roadie FCN 4 or 5 in my baggies.

    Felt F55 - 2007
    Specialized Singlecross - 2008
    Marin Rift Zone - 1998
    Peugeot Tourmalet - 1983 - taken more hits than Mohammed Ali
  • JGS
    JGS Posts: 180
    Holy Cow. So you mean it's the A52 INTO Nottingham???? :shock:

    I'd rather take the spit. :cry:
    Feltup wrote:
    I presume the 40mph bit is in front of the Uni?
    You're both right, down the A52, then from Priory island down towards the Uni and then along the cycle path. I'd cut through the Uni, but that's where the i-ped incident was on the way back!

    Hopefully it should be a bit more normal at commuting times, and I can just chase other people into work. Will be a bit slower but at least being in a bit of a group should be safer.

    The bike is a Ribble Winter trainer, and I'm not sure how big I can go with tyres on it. Also I don't really want to put anything bigger than a 25c road tyre on it as I go for 50+ mile weekend rides. Might end up with a cheap set of commuting wheels and tyres for weekday usage though.

    Right now though I am wishing I was still working in Derby, they might have crap bike facilities but at least the roads I'd commute on would be ok.
  • Derby has some pretty good drivers as well... very rarely met anyone who gives me grief, or even fails to notice me.

    There are a few people I know in Derby who commute in from Beeston as well... Now that's a good commute!
    Chunky Cyclists need your love too! :-)
    2009 Specialized Tricross Sport
    2011 Trek Madone 4.5
    2012 Felt F65X
    Proud CX Pervert and quiet roadie. 12 mile commuter
  • simon_e
    simon_e Posts: 1,706
    Knocked off, spat at. Not nice. Perhaps you should commute with some of the more, ahem, vocal of us a few times - I could train you in the finer points of cyclist road rage, which is a couple of notches up from righteous indignation. I only do it if someone gets really close etc but I don't see why I should be abused or my life endangered because I take my rightful place on the highway. And if you're on the road don't ride in the gutter, assert yourself and take an appropriate line.

    And I'd suggest you spit back but I guess that could be counterproductive.

    If you don't like a bell just get into the habit of calling out 'Excuse me' in an appropriate tone. This can range from a sweet, quiet request to a loud 'Getouttada&*$#! way' voice. As long as you're on a cyclepath, lane or road you've every right to be there. Ooh, you've got me simmering now, better get myself a camomile tea and grab a few minutes of Autumnwatch to calm down... ;)
    Aspire not to have more, but to be more.
  • JGS
    JGS Posts: 180
    Simon E wrote:
    If you don't like a bell just get into the habit of calling out 'Excuse me' in an appropriate tone. This can range from a sweet, quiet request to a loud 'Getouttada&*$#! way' voice. As long as you're on a cyclepath, lane or road you've every right to be there.
    The bell is there because I realised that if I just ask people to move and it's an earphone-wearing-oblivious-to-the-world numpty then at least when they finally acknowledge me I can scream at them without the "legally you should have a bell" argument (someone used this on me once and that didn't help my wound up state).

    As for the commute I am tempted to try and get a second-hand cyclocross bike and just bomb down the canal towpaths. Might even make it a fixie for added giggles, although with just a freewheel I could bunnyhop it and generally arse around a bit more.
  • daniel_b
    daniel_b Posts: 11,761
    JGS wrote:
    As for the commute I am tempted to try and get a second-hand cyclocross bike and just bomb down the canal towpaths. Might even make it a fixie for added giggles, although with just a freewheel I could bunnyhop it and generally ars* around a bit more.

    That's the spirit, AND you get another bike to boot 8)
    Felt F70 05 (Turbo)
    Marin Palisades Trail 91 and 06
    Scott CR1 SL 12
    Cannondale Synapse Adventure 15 & 16 Di2
    Scott Foil 18
  • JGS wrote:
    Simon E wrote:
    If you don't like a bell just get into the habit of calling out 'Excuse me' in an appropriate tone. This can range from a sweet, quiet request to a loud 'Getouttada&*$#! way' voice. As long as you're on a cyclepath, lane or road you've every right to be there.
    The bell is there because I realised that if I just ask people to move and it's an earphone-wearing-oblivious-to-the-world numpty then at least when they finally acknowledge me I can scream at them without the "legally you should have a bell" argument (someone used this on me once and that didn't help my wound up state).

    As for the commute I am tempted to try and get a second-hand cyclocross bike and just bomb down the canal towpaths. Might even make it a fixie for added giggles, although with just a freewheel I could bunnyhop it and generally ars* around a bit more.

    The only risk with taking a towpath route is that if someone jumps out on you there is nowhere to go - except into the canal! :( Check it out first to make sure it hasn't got the same range of misfits you find on your other route. Best of luck matey :wink:
    Pain is only weakness leaving the body
  • Don't be put off by the yobs!! I commute the cycle track out of Bristol and this year have been stoned 3 times!! ( I don't wear a helmet....although i did not know it was to stop me getting stoned :(:( ) and a couple of weeks ago a full bottle of cider was thrown over a bridge (exit of the staple hill tunnel, for those living in Bristol) and landed just to my right. It's always kids and they always run away...ha ha another cyclist. It does not put me off but makes me more aware, there's less trouble in the winter as most of the little brats are indoors...prob getting thrills from their xbox rather than hassling poor cyclists. I have been commuting now for some 2.5 years and the incidents are few....but be aware....and to not let this put you off cycling...when I don't cycle I get withdrawel symptons...

    "Cycling is like a church - many attend, but few understand."
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    www.runningfree.co.uk
  • NGale
    NGale Posts: 1,866
    you know I really don't think James Bond is braver than the average cyclist. I mean he wouldn't put up with the crap we take sometimes.
    You need to have balls of steel to be willing to take on the roads on a bike these days.
    Officers don't run, it's undignified and panics the men
  • daniel_b
    daniel_b Posts: 11,761
    NGale wrote:
    you know I really don't think James Bond is braver than the average cyclist. I mean he wouldn't put up with the crap we take sometimes.
    You need to have balls of steel to be willing to take on the roads on a bike these days.

    yeh but James Bond wouldn't put with it, he would be able exact a suitable drubbing to said numpties, straighten his tie, and cycle off on a Pinarello Tandem with Miss Pendleton in all likelihood :lol:
    Felt F70 05 (Turbo)
    Marin Palisades Trail 91 and 06
    Scott CR1 SL 12
    Cannondale Synapse Adventure 15 & 16 Di2
    Scott Foil 18
  • Feltup
    Feltup Posts: 1,340
    I have been considering a cyclocross bike for the canal and towpaths up there. My mtn bike is not ideal for them as it is full suspension and tbh I have always fancied a crosser. :lol:
    Short hairy legged roadie FCN 4 or 5 in my baggies.

    Felt F55 - 2007
    Specialized Singlecross - 2008
    Marin Rift Zone - 1998
    Peugeot Tourmalet - 1983 - taken more hits than Mohammed Ali
  • passout
    passout Posts: 4,425
    Will you choose the red pill or the blue pill?

    I advise commuting by bike and becoming a militant anti-motoring, 'C.H.A.V.' hating, red light jumping urban menance. At least you won't feel like a victim and you'll have something to post on bike radar! The other option is to drive in everyday, put on 2 stone and try to hit cyclists. It's one or the other - no middle ground.
    'Happiness serves hardly any other purpose than to make unhappiness possible' Marcel Proust.
  • JGS
    JGS Posts: 180
    NGale wrote:
    you know I really don't think James Bond is braver than the average cyclist. I mean he wouldn't put up with the crap we take sometimes.
    You need to have balls of steel to be willing to take on the roads on a bike these days.
    Even though this is about commuting in Nottingham, unlike James Bond I don't own a gun. I would imagine that would change the views of the anti-cyclist louts I met yesterday quite quickly.
  • I dont use cycle paths any more because of this exact sort of behaviour. Snowballs, fireworks, stones, standing in the way, anything to annoy/cause an accident. Now I take primary position on the road despite it one of the main routes through Manchester. I just have to watch for taxis/buses cutting me up, and the nice van driver that through the crust off his bacon butty at me.

    Is this your wing mirror sir? :twisted: :twisted:
    Road: 2006 Trek 1500
    Off: 2009 Carrera Fury

    I asked God for a bike, but I know God doesn't work that way. So I stole a bike and asked for forgiveness.
  • NGale
    NGale Posts: 1,866
    JGS wrote:
    NGale wrote:
    you know I really don't think James Bond is braver than the average cyclist. I mean he wouldn't put up with the crap we take sometimes.
    You need to have balls of steel to be willing to take on the roads on a bike these days.
    Even though this is about commuting in Nottingham, unlike James Bond I don't own a gun. I would imagine that would change the views of the anti-cyclist louts I met yesterday quite quickly.

    only person in Nottingham who doesn't then :roll:

    Need to learn a few James Bond karate moves then instead, never know might get a few of the girls then. :lol:
    Officers don't run, it's undignified and panics the men
  • gtvlusso
    gtvlusso Posts: 5,112
    Move to another city....oh hang on, it is probably the same....
  • simon_e
    simon_e Posts: 1,706
    SPOODZILLA wrote:
    Is this your wing mirror sir? :twisted: :twisted:
    That's the spirit!

    If I was riding on a cyclepath and some brain-dead twerp walking on it had the nerve to criticise me for not having a bell on my bike I'd be unlikely to manage a polite reply.
    Aspire not to have more, but to be more.