Riskier routes

thelawnet
thelawnet Posts: 719
edited June 2009 in Commuting chat
Was riding home from Guildford to Woking this afternoon at rush hour, following the designated quiet route on back roads. Notice a lycraed up bloke on the parallel A road.

I wonder what people think about taking the 'dangerous' route, weaving through rush hour traffic, when there's a quieter and safer alternative.

He'd taken the step of wearing a helmet (none for me), so obviously he wasn't completely reckless about his safety, but I wonder if route selection would be a stronger step towards safety.
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Comments

  • prj45
    prj45 Posts: 2,208
    thelawnet wrote:
    He'd taken the step of wearing a helmet (none for me), so obviously he wasn't completely reckless about his safety

    Quite how a helmet's going to help if you're rear ended by a car at 45 mph is another question.
  • Kieran_Burns
    Kieran_Burns Posts: 9,757
    There are a couple of sections on my commute (very close to each other) where I stick to the road and not the safer cycle path.

    This is due to the road being much a quicker and smoother ride. The road really isn't 'dangerous', but you do have to stop when on the cycle path where it crosses the road and I'd rather not have to dodge pedestrians and stop start.
    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
  • thelawnet
    thelawnet Posts: 719
    prj45 wrote:
    thelawnet wrote:
    He'd taken the step of wearing a helmet (none for me), so obviously he wasn't completely reckless about his safety

    Quite how a helmet's going to help if you're rear ended by a car at 45 mph is another question.

    Well yeah. THough probably being side-swiped on the roundabout was a bigger risk.

    Anyway I guess a helmet is a statement to others that you're concerned about safety, even if in reality it makes you less safe.
  • roger_merriman
    roger_merriman Posts: 6,165
    thelawnet wrote:
    prj45 wrote:
    thelawnet wrote:
    He'd taken the step of wearing a helmet (none for me), so obviously he wasn't completely reckless about his safety

    Quite how a helmet's going to help if you're rear ended by a car at 45 mph is another question.

    Well yeah. THough probably being side-swiped on the roundabout was a bigger risk.

    Anyway I guess a helmet is a statement to others that you're concerned about safety, even if in reality it makes you less safe.

    biking is dangerous more on perception than reallity, at least the number killed are really very low, this all said there are roads around here that i'm not keen on riding on but thats more to do with they aren't nice to ride on than i really truely think i'll have a problem as far as i'm aware junctions are the killers, not the open road even big fast ones.
  • Eau Rouge
    Eau Rouge Posts: 1,118
    If he's lycra'd up, the helmet is more of a "well the pro's all wear them, so will I" than any concern about safety. I'm sad enough to admit it's why I wear mine, I don't hold much hope of it being too useful in an accident, though anything it gives me would be nice.

    Cycle routes are, often, completely unsuitable for actually cycling on, so I tend to avoid them a lot of the time. That said, the regular commute home has a steep hill with a proper tarmac cycle path next to it, and traffic islands along it, so I use it. Typically though, it's at the same level as the footpath, with a kerb and an unbroken wooden fence between it and the road. It is, clearly, not part of the road. A decent council would have kept the fence, with the odd break, but put the cycle path at the same level as the road, to show that bikes are still traffic. It will be the law to do this after the revolution.

    I also don't take the direct route home as the road is just not safe enough for me to want to cycle on it. It's the only mile of road I've come across I would actually describe as dangerous to ride on, just my luck to live the other end of it from work :)
  • always_tyred
    always_tyred Posts: 4,965
    thelawnet wrote:
    prj45 wrote:
    thelawnet wrote:
    He'd taken the step of wearing a helmet (none for me), so obviously he wasn't completely reckless about his safety

    Quite how a helmet's going to help if you're rear ended by a car at 45 mph is another question.

    Well yeah. THough probably being side-swiped on the roundabout was a bigger risk.

    Anyway I guess a helmet is a statement to others that you're concerned about safety, even if in reality it makes you less safe.
    Yes, it makes you less safe. That's fact.

    balls1.jpg
  • Capo
    Capo Posts: 439
    Eau Rouge wrote:
    If he's lycra'd up, the helmet is more of a "well the pro's all wear them, so will I" than any concern about safety.

    I tend not to get involved with the helmet vs non-helmet debate (sometimes I wear one, sometimes I don't), but honestly, what a ridiculous statement.
    Can\'t drive, won\'t drive
  • Eau Rouge
    Eau Rouge Posts: 1,118
    Capo wrote:
    Eau Rouge wrote:
    If he's lycra'd up, the helmet is more of a "well the pro's all wear them, so will I" than any concern about safety.

    I tend not to get involved with the helmet vs non-helmet debate (sometimes I wear one, sometimes I don't), but honestly, what a ridiculous statement.

    Can you then explain why non-pro roadies shave their legs when they don't have massages?
  • lost_in_thought
    lost_in_thought Posts: 10,563
    Stop it stop it stop it.

    Stop hijacking this thread with helmet debate.

    Jeez.

    Anyhow... OP, I tend to enjoy finding safer routes, but also tend to notice that they are slower. I mean this in London really, I tend to stick to country lanes in Essex.

    As a result of the fact that they are generally slower, I tend to only use them if I'm pootling or killing time riding around... which is how I find most of them anyway!

    Unless the traffic's really bad, I stick to my a roads when I'm in a rush.
  • Mithras
    Mithras Posts: 428
    I tend to fel safer on my A road commute than I do on my rural raod one. There is no difference in distance between the routes. The A road, despite being buisier and with roundabouts feels less risky. Espeacially at night. I regularly ride back after midnight. So I think if I do get hit by some errant motorisit, fox, badger or deer I am more likely to be found and get medical attention on the A15 than the b road out in the villages!
    I can afford to talk softly!....................I carry a big stick!
  • always_tyred
    always_tyred Posts: 4,965
    Eau Rouge wrote:
    Capo wrote:
    Eau Rouge wrote:
    If he's lycra'd up, the helmet is more of a "well the pro's all wear them, so will I" than any concern about safety.

    I tend not to get involved with the helmet vs non-helmet debate (sometimes I wear one, sometimes I don't), but honestly, what a ridiculous statement.

    Can you then explain why non-pro roadies shave their legs when they don't have massages?
    What on earth are you on about?
  • That's nothing. I saw a woman on a sit up and beg riding down the hard shoulder of the mentally busy M32 in Bristol at rush hour this week. :shock:
  • Kieran_Burns
    Kieran_Burns Posts: 9,757
    That's not only insanely stupid, but illegal as well.
    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
  • Agent57
    Agent57 Posts: 2,300
    Eau Rouge wrote:
    If he's lycra'd up, the helmet is more of a "well the pro's all wear them, so will I" than any concern about safety

    Is it? I'm pretty sure that's not why I wear mine. In fact, I continued my resistance to wearing a helmet for years, even after they became common (or even mandatory) in the pro peloton.

    I don't think it makes me look pro. I think it makes me look like a tw*t, but I consider it to have safety benefits.
    MTB commuter / 531c commuter / CR1 Team 2009 / RockHopper Pro Disc / 10 mile PB: 25:52 (Jun 2014)
  • attica
    attica Posts: 2,362
    I get really annoyed whenever I drive down the A370 "Long Ashton Bypass" and see cyclists using it, it's a dual carriageway with no hard shoulder FFS, people legally do 70mph down there - often well in excess, a man was killed on a bike on this section of road last year, and yet to ride through LA itself is not only safer, it's less distance too.

    Some people really do amaze me
    "Impressive break"

    "Thanks...

    ...I can taste blood"
  • always_tyred
    always_tyred Posts: 4,965
    Attica wrote:
    I get really annoyed whenever I drive down the A370 "Long Ashton Bypass" and see cyclists using it, it's a dual carriageway with no hard shoulder FFS, people legally do 70mph down there - often well in excess, a man was killed on a bike on this section of road last year, and yet to ride through LA itself is not only safer, it's less distance too.

    Some people really do amaze me
    You get a better 10k time if you draft articulated lorries. :roll:
  • roger_merriman
    roger_merriman Posts: 6,165
    Attica wrote:
    I get really annoyed whenever I drive down the A370 "Long Ashton Bypass" and see cyclists using it, it's a dual carriageway with no hard shoulder FFS, people legally do 70mph down there - often well in excess, a man was killed on a bike on this section of road last year, and yet to ride through LA itself is not only safer, it's less distance too.

    Some people really do amaze me
    You get a better 10k time if you draft articulated lorries. :roll:

    thats why though roads like that are often faster i tend to avoid them! and because mostly even if commuting i'm not under so much time pressure that i can't take a mildly slower route.
  • Rich158
    Rich158 Posts: 2,348
    Aaaahhhh the old 'A' road debate again :roll:

    I'm of the opinion that some A roads feel safe, some don't. For instance I wouldn't want to ride along the A12, it's bad enough in a car let alone on a bike, and likewise riding along the A2 would just be insane. However there are plenty of A roads local to me that feel safer than the country lanes as the cars have more room to pass.

    Personally I think a new clasification of road may be in order. Many A roads are to all intents and purposes motorways in all but name, and in my opinion unsafe to ride on, therefore cycling should be restricted on them. Maybe the answer would be to add an M akin to the A1(M) to indicate that traffic restrictions apply to certain road users.
    pain is temporary, the glory of beating your mates to the top of the hill lasts forever.....................

    Revised FCN - 2
  • attica
    attica Posts: 2,362
    Rich158 wrote:
    Aaaahhhh the old 'A' road debate again :roll:

    I'm of the opinion that some A roads feel safe, some don't. For instance I wouldn't want to ride along the A12, it's bad enough in a car let alone on a bike, and likewise riding along the A2 would just be insane. However there are plenty of A roads local to me that feel safer than the country lanes as the cars have more room to pass.

    Personally I think a new clasification of road may be in order. Many A roads are to all intents and purposes motorways in all but name, and in my opinion unsafe to ride on, therefore cycling should be restricted on them. Maybe the answer would be to add an M akin to the A1(M) to indicate that traffic restrictions apply to certain road users.

    +1

    Amen to that, this particular section would definitely fall into the M category, yet the rest of the road I still quite happily use.
    "Impressive break"

    "Thanks...

    ...I can taste blood"
  • roger_merriman
    roger_merriman Posts: 6,165
    edited June 2009
    Attica wrote:
    Rich158 wrote:
    Aaaahhhh the old 'A' road debate again :roll:

    I'm of the opinion that some A roads feel safe, some don't. For instance I wouldn't want to ride along the A12, it's bad enough in a car let alone on a bike, and likewise riding along the A2 would just be insane. However there are plenty of A roads local to me that feel safer than the country lanes as the cars have more room to pass.

    Personally I think a new clasification of road may be in order. Many A roads are to all intents and purposes motorways in all but name, and in my opinion unsafe to ride on, therefore cycling should be restricted on them. Maybe the answer would be to add an M akin to the A1(M) to indicate that traffic restrictions apply to certain road users.

    +1

    Amen to that, this particular section would definitely fall into the M category, yet the rest of the road I still quite happily use.

    well indeed the A40, which in parts is a small winding road in others is massive multy lane job.
  • Porgy
    Porgy Posts: 4,525
    In my mid twenties I once cycled on the M11 at night with no lights whilst pissed.

    You don't need to tell me how irresponsible this was. There were three of us including my future wife and an old bloke we met on Critical Mass.

    I consider my life since this event as an unexpected bonus.
  • Rich158
    Rich158 Posts: 2,348
    Attica wrote:
    Rich158 wrote:
    Aaaahhhh the old 'A' road debate again :roll:

    I'm of the opinion that some A roads feel safe, some don't. For instance I wouldn't want to ride along the A12, it's bad enough in a car let alone on a bike, and likewise riding along the A2 would just be insane. However there are plenty of A roads local to me that feel safer than the country lanes as the cars have more room to pass.

    Personally I think a new clasification of road may be in order. Many A roads are to all intents and purposes motorways in all but name, and in my opinion unsafe to ride on, therefore cycling should be restricted on them. Maybe the answer would be to add an M akin to the A1(M) to indicate that traffic restrictions apply to certain road users.

    +1

    Amen to that, this particular section would definitely fall into the M category, yet the rest of the road I still quite happily use.

    well the A40, which in parts is a small winding road in others is massive multy lane job.

    That is a problem, I've ended up stuck on the A10 coming back from Cambridge before and it turns from quite a reasonable A road into a dual carriageway beast that scared the living crap out of me. I'm not sure how you get arround this problem, but given that the TT association is looking at ways to make the sport safer due to the number of deaths on dual carriageways I think it's time something was done.
    pain is temporary, the glory of beating your mates to the top of the hill lasts forever.....................

    Revised FCN - 2
  • roger_merriman
    roger_merriman Posts: 6,165
    the other issue is if you don't know the road well, you might not know that it turns into some massive monster or not.

    oh and i've seen a chap on the M23....bike that is
  • Rich158
    Rich158 Posts: 2,348
    the other issue is if you don't know the road well, you might not know that it turns into some massive monster or not.

    oh and i've seen a chap on the M23....bike that is

    I agree, but the individual has to take some responsibility for their actions. I can't believe anyone would unknowingly cycle on a motorway, the blue signs, road markings etc kind of give the game away.
    pain is temporary, the glory of beating your mates to the top of the hill lasts forever.....................

    Revised FCN - 2
  • oscarbudgie
    oscarbudgie Posts: 850
    Saw a guy riding a Wilier on the A1 (hard shoulder) just north of P'boro last Friday night.
    Cannondale Supersix / CAAD9 / Boardman 9.0 / Benotto 3000
  • attica
    attica Posts: 2,362
    Rich158 wrote:
    given that the TT association is looking at ways to make the sport safer due to the number of deaths on dual carriageways I think it's time something was done.
    To quote Kurt Russell

    "You've got to be F*%king kidding"
    TTing on a Dual Carriageway is something I wouldn't contemplate, not ever.
    How on Earth do you get public liability insurance to cover these events.
    "Stick it in my big ring and pretend it doesn't hurt"
    "Impressive break"

    "Thanks...

    ...I can taste blood"
  • mattybain
    mattybain Posts: 115
    I cycle down the A34 from near Manchester city centre. The first bit of the road is single carriageway and has a bike lane, 30 mph speed limit,. Great for cycling.

    Then it turns into a dual carriageway and a 40mph speed limit, no cycle lane. Still great for cycling as the road width is very generous which gives cars / buses enough room to pass safely.

    Then the road gets tricky with motorway junctions (crosses the M60) and at one point you have motorway traffic merging from the left. After this it turns into a motorway grade road wth exit slip roads. I definitely wouldn't cycle that bit.

    So how would we categorise that Road? maybe we should have a new colour of road on the maps and have a cycle advisory sign that says cycling is not advised? however this is a legal mindfield and one persons idea of safe is probably someone else's idea of a nightmare!!
    26km each way commute on a Decathlon Comp 1 2006 Road Bike

    2009 Communting Totals - Car 112 miles Bike 2,765 miles
  • always_tyred
    always_tyred Posts: 4,965
    Attica wrote:
    Rich158 wrote:
    given that the TT association is looking at ways to make the sport safer due to the number of deaths on dual carriageways I think it's time something was done.
    To quote Kurt Russell

    "You've got to be F*%king kidding"
    TTing on a Dual Carriageway is something I wouldn't contemplate, not ever.
    How on Earth do you get public liability insurance to cover these events.
    "Stick it in my big ring and pretend it doesn't hurt"
    I have a cunning solution for the TT association - run events on other roads.

    Wow, I'm clever.
  • whyamihere
    whyamihere Posts: 7,708
    I'm always amazed when I see cyclists on the A34 into/out of Birmingham, the grade separated section. This is a 40mph dual carriageway stretch of road, in reality the traffic's doing 50-60mph, and it goes up and down a lot, meaning that you can only average around 20 on it because of the uphill sections. Next to this road, on either side, there's much smaller roads with islands and junctions to allow access to other parts of Birmingham.
    With the exception of one light controlled junction, I can normally go over these without a problem, most traffic is turning left onto/off the A34, just one or two vehicles coming around the islands. It's less up and down, so probably quicker, and definitely safer.
  • Rich158
    Rich158 Posts: 2,348
    Attica wrote:
    Rich158 wrote:
    given that the TT association is looking at ways to make the sport safer due to the number of deaths on dual carriageways I think it's time something was done.
    To quote Kurt Russell

    "You've got to be F*%king kidding"
    TTing on a Dual Carriageway is something I wouldn't contemplate, not ever.
    How on Earth do you get public liability insurance to cover these events.
    "Stick it in my big ring and pretend it doesn't hurt"
    I have a cunning solution for the TT association - run events on other roads.

    Wow, I'm clever.

    I guess the problem with TT's is finding a suitable road for 10 or 25 miles, A roads suit the purpose perfectly, whereas I'd hate to ride a TT on country lanes.

    I've never competed in a TT though, riding for 10 or 25 miles on my own, on the point of throwing up isn't my idea of fun.
    pain is temporary, the glory of beating your mates to the top of the hill lasts forever.....................

    Revised FCN - 2