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Richmond Park 'etiquette'...

lastantlastant Posts: 526
edited April 2010 in Commuting chat
So I pootled over to Richmond Park last week to take a look at the place I've heard mentioned many, many times on this forum. I'll be honest...I wasn't expecting it to be quite like that with the cars and everything (not sure why, guess it's 'cos I'm used to Hyde and Regents Park).

Anyway, what's the 'normal' etiquette for cycling round there in terms of direction (counter-clockwise I'm assuming is better with that being left turns?!) and general rules of the road?
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  • cjcpcjcp Posts: 13,345
    The fastest route is regarded as being anti-clockwise. However, there's no right or wrong way to go round. You'll find lots going in either direction.

    As for the rules of the road, just ride sensibly. For example, it's best to avoid silly overtaking moves or riding too close to the rear end of vehicles. There's also a 20mph speed limit. As for other cyclists, don't be a drafting fairy - if there's a strong headwind, particularly on the drag from Roehampton to Richmond Gate, you might find another rider you're able to work with.
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  • london-redlondon-red Posts: 1,266
    On the drafting fairy thing, I really don't mind if someone sits on my wheel - it motivates me to go a bit harder. I also find that it's rare for people who don't know each other to work together in the park.

    Other than that, I agree :wink:
  • amneziaamnezia Posts: 590
    london-red wrote:
    On the drafting fairy thing, I really don't mind if someone sits on my wheel - it motivates me to go a bit harder. I also find that it's rare for people who don't know each other to work together in the park.

    Other than that, I agree :wink:

    On Saturday i had quite a few people who popped up out of no where and started sharing the work load, at one point we had a group of 5 or 6. I guess it depends on what time your at the park.

    Be careful on the descents, the speed limit is 20mph. there are often police cars speed checking cyclists on a Saturday and Sunday morning. £50 fixed penalty notice if you get caught.
  • london-redlondon-red Posts: 1,266
    Really? That's pretty good. I guess my average park trip is for a three-lap challenge nowadays, unless I'm commuting, so I might be a bit anti social.



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  • roger_merrimanroger_merriman Posts: 6,147
    best to remember that there are various groups with often rather different aims, i.e. some will be cutting though others will be gawping at the deer. some may be obvious to the eye others will not.

    i.e. be wary of judging behaviour as you do get some fairly interesting riding/driving.

    in spite of it's closeness I rarely do go for spin there, preferring to head for the surrey lanes.
  • prj45prj45 Posts: 2,208
    lastant wrote:
    I wasn't expecting it to be quite like that with the cars and everything

    There's always the "yellow brick road" which runs around the outside of the road that the cars use, perfectly doable on a road bike, bit gritty though.
  • mrolimroli Posts: 3,622
    I think the thing about the cars is that they are "supposed" to drive at 20 rather than 30 which makes life (generally) a bit more comfortable for cyclists. Also, it is generally a continuous flow of traffic with no traffic lights which is nicer. Watch out for learner drivers (be nice to them - they are learning), deer (especially if riding at night), people stopping to look at deer, people looking at deer and not cyclists, other cyclists who are zooming past you, people pulling out of car parks and the occasional policeman. Generally though, I think it is an amazing facility for cyclists to have in London, even if that is not its intended use!
  • Ian.BIan.B Posts: 732
    amnezia wrote:
    Be careful on the descents, the speed limit is 20mph. there are often police cars speed checking cyclists on a Saturday and Sunday morning. £50 fixed penalty notice if you get caught.
    Is that right - has anyone here ever got a speeding ticket in the park on a bike? I thought speed limits on the roads only apply to motorized vehicles - are the rules in the park different?
  • jongingejonginge Posts: 5,945
    Ian.B wrote:
    amnezia wrote:
    Be careful on the descents, the speed limit is 20mph. there are often police cars speed checking cyclists on a Saturday and Sunday morning. £50 fixed penalty notice if you get caught.
    Is that right - has anyone here ever got a speeding ticket in the park on a bike? I thought speed limits on the roads only apply to motorized vehicles - are the rules in the park different?
    The royal parks are different. The speed limit does, by law, apply to bikes as well as motor traffic. Yes, the cops do pull over cyclists. They tend to set up speed traps at the bottom of the hills, which is annoying.
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  • mrolimroli Posts: 3,622
    One thing I've always wondered about - if you haven't been overtaking cars and don't have a speedo, do the cops apply this fine? It seems a bit harsh if you geniunely have no idea how fast you are going?

    Fair play though - if the speed limit is 20 and you break it, a fine is appropriate - you would expect cars doing 45 in a 30 zone to be fined too...
  • jongingejonginge Posts: 5,945
    mroli wrote:
    I think the thing about the cars is that they are "supposed" to drive at 20 rather than 30 which makes life (generally) a bit more comfortable for cyclists. Also, it is generally a continuous flow of traffic with no traffic lights which is nicer. Watch out for learner drivers (be nice to them - they are learning), deer (especially if riding at night), people stopping to look at deer, people looking at deer and not cyclists, other cyclists who are zooming past you, people pulling out of car parks and the occasional policeman. Generally though, I think it is an amazing facility for cyclists to have in London, even if that is not its intended use!
    The parks were set up as a recreational facility. That means bikes doing laps are more aligned to the original purpose than motorists using it as a cut-through road...

    20 can be annoyingly slow, especially as car speedometers are rubbish at that sort of speed, but I understand the need for it.
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  • il_principeil_principe Posts: 9,146
    jonginge wrote:
    mroli wrote:
    I think the thing about the cars is that they are "supposed" to drive at 20 rather than 30 which makes life (generally) a bit more comfortable for cyclists. Also, it is generally a continuous flow of traffic with no traffic lights which is nicer. Watch out for learner drivers (be nice to them - they are learning), deer (especially if riding at night), people stopping to look at deer, people looking at deer and not cyclists, other cyclists who are zooming past you, people pulling out of car parks and the occasional policeman. Generally though, I think it is an amazing facility for cyclists to have in London, even if that is not its intended use!
    The parks were set up as a recreational facility. That means bikes doing laps are more aligned to the original purpose than motorists using it as a cut-through road...

    20 can be annoyingly slow, especially as car speedometers are rubbish at that sort of speed, but I understand the need for it.

    +1 on all points. Key is to get to RP nice and early otherwise the traffic can get very irritating, esp if you are going for 3 Lap challenge, I've had attempts ruined by slow drivers! Actually must have a crack at the challenge soon...
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  • cjcpcjcp Posts: 13,345
    mroli wrote:
    One thing I've always wondered about - if you haven't been overtaking cars and don't have a speedo, do the cops apply this fine? It seems a bit harsh if you geniunely have no idea how fast you are going?

    Fair play though - if the speed limit is 20 and you break it, a fine is appropriate - you would expect cars doing 45 in a 30 zone to be fined too...

    I don't think it makes any difference whether you have a speedo. After seeing the speed some cars were travelling at last night, I started wondering whether speed cameras might actually be a good idea.

    I may risk a backlash here, but I think it's good for the police to keep a check on the cyclists, too. I've seen some genuinely idiotic riding e.g. people overtaking cars on the bend down Broomfield when there are vehicles coming the other way - the road isn't as wide as a normal road - or people riding right up the @rse of cars because they want a tow (resistant training is good; the wind is your friend) without seemingly giving much consideration to the possibility that they will end up going through the back window (I've seen the aftermath of this on the stretch from Robin Hood to Roehampton - the bloodied face and the shattered glass gave it away).

    Given the amount of traffic the Park attracts, it doesn't make sense to go there at midday on a nice Saturday or Sunday and expect to have the freedom of the road or not spend a lot of time feathering the brakes.
    FCN 2-4.

    "What happens when the hammer goes down, kids?"
    "It stays down, Daddy."
    "Exactly."
  • jongingejonginge Posts: 5,945
    cjcp wrote:
    Given the amount of traffic the Park attracts, it doesn't make sense to go there at midday on a nice Saturday or Sunday and expect to have the freedom of the road or not spend a lot of time feathering the brakes.
    This is so true. Why is it, then, that I tend to get to the park at about that time when left to my own devices. Think I'm getting more stupid as I get older...
    FCN 2-4 "Shut up legs", Jens Voigt
    Planet-x Scott
    Rides
  • rjsterryrjsterry Posts: 18,023
    best to remember that there are various groups with often rather different aims, i.e. some will be cutting though others will be gawping at the deer. some may be obvious to the eye others will not.

    i.e. be wary of judging behaviour as you do get some fairly interesting riding/driving.

    in spite of it's closeness I rarely do go for spin there, preferring to head for the surrey lanes.

    +1 Used to use it a lot when I lived in Sheen and Putney Heath, but now I am further south, I reckon for short rides, the drag up to Woodmansterne and the lanes around Chipstead, Banstead and Kingswood are equal or better in almost all respects (no deer spotted yet though).

    I haven't been back to RP on a bike since I moved, except for passing through once on my way to buy Christmas presents in Richmond. I'll brace myself for the angry retorts now.
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  • GussioGussio Posts: 2,452
    cjcp wrote:
    I may risk a backlash here, but I think it's good for the police to keep a check on the cyclists, too.

    I agree. When the speed traps for cyclists were first put into action a couple of years back, I think that it was largely in response to the sizable group rides that were taking place on Sunday and Saturday mornings. The clubs using the park, especially London Dynamo, had quite a bit of dialogue with the police and agreed to keep group numbers (and speed) down. Makes for a more pleasent atmosphere for everyone. Chain gangs wanting to set a blistering pace have the Surrey Hills to play on.

    As mentioned above, early mornings are great in the park. Can also be nice to put in a few laps at night when the park is closed to cars. Need to keep an eye out for deer on the roads though....
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