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Put off by one dangerous road!

PT_CraigPT_Craig Posts: 28
edited December 2012 in Road beginners
I've been riding my bike regularly around 20-25km using a mixture of roads and cycle tracks, physically i know i can go much further than this and i really want to start pushing the distances however whats holding me back is one extremely dangerous bendy road, it is around a mile long, is very narrow and has had several fatalities already this year. Cars fly through here and knowing from being stuck behind cyclists in the past there is very little room to ovetake. It is the one route into town so there is a constant stream of traffic. As there is a mountain in the other directions using this route is my only chance to cycle a decent distance.

Was just wondering if anyone had any tactics for cycling on these kinds of roads?

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  • hipshothipshot Posts: 371
    Obviously I dont know the road you describe but on some roads the best tactic is to avoid them altogether, your safety is number one.

    The one you describe sounds dangerous, even as you get more experienced and confident riding it, it may always spoil your ride if it really is as nerve shredding as it sounds.

    Sorry if this is a stupid question but can't you cycle over the mountain as part of your training?
  • smidsysmidsy Posts: 5,273
    Drive to a more suitable start point then park up and cycle off to the blue yonder.

    Or

    Get them climbing legs out and go in the other direction.
    Yellow is the new Black.
  • Is there a path/track out of town? Perhaps use that to get to a safe lane/road? It's what I did when faced with the prospect of a fast, bad road on one commute out of my home town.

    Either that or go on the bad road really, really early = less traffic - not perfect and not something I would do but if you really can't use any other road.

    Also get some seriously good lights. A couple of MJ-818s or similar for the back. These are useful even during the day.
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  • Map for suggestions is surely called for. I'll admit to being skeptical as to the only one route out of town option.
  • I wish I had a mountain straight out from my house, sounds fun!
  • I have a similar problem. A major A-road (the A96) runs east to west linking up the towns and villages here.

    I go out out of my way to avoid it. By doing long looping detours on back roads rather than cycle along the A-road.

    It ads a few more km and the empty back roads can be quite scenic and enjoyable. Sometimes I can vary the route by choosing different ways through this maze of back roads.

    When I cycle to my nearest town. I use a pedestrian crossing to cross the A-road rather than face a busy fast flowing round about.

    I try to stay hi vis, well illuminated in the dark and don't feel pressurised into cycling in the gutter or too close to parked cars.
    "The Prince of Wales is now the King of France" - Calton Kirby
  • The other direction! would kill for ridable mountains within 100 miles of me! assuming they are ridable
  • oxomanoxoman Posts: 8,207
    As Ben says loads of Hi viz, and very bright flashing lights front and back with decent batteries, Don't ride in the gutter and that way it gives you space if needed to take evasive action. Always be aware no Mp3 etc and try to do the same time each day that way people get used to seeing you and hopefully drive accordingly. If a pavement on this road use it. I'm sure the old bill would sooner you did that than take a risk. I currently use 3 rear flashing Led lights on rear and 1 flashing on the front plus very bright main Led light. My helmet has a small led flasher on the back and most of my colleagues see that first when coming up behind me.
    Too many bikes according to Mrs O.
  • Mr WillMr Will Posts: 216
    Map for suggestions is surely called for. I'll admit to being skeptical as to the only one route out of town option.

    This! Or if you are feeling really shy, try Cyclestreets.net for some route suggestions that avoid traffic where possible.
    2010 Cannondale CAAD9 Tiagra
  • I don't think there's any wrong in avoiding some roads - there are a couple of very narrow winding ones near to where I live, and one of them in particular I don't use. Ultimately however visible you are it will count for little if some idiot decides to fly around the blind corners.

    I should say however that I differ from some cyclists in that I like to use dual carriageways. I find them much less scary than country roads.
  • Police report from an accident that recently happened on the road...
    Mr Williams said:“It is quite a nasty stretch of road. The speed limit was recently reduced to 40mph, it has claimed a number of lives over the years. There are no street lights on the road. Lights would probably help.It is a road through countryside – you get sheep on the road, foxes on the road.One night I came home and there was a goat on the road.I wouldn’t want to speculate what happened, but if something goes wrong on that road, it’s a nasty road for it to go wrong on.”
    The Bwlch. The hardest part of this climb is the bottom, with a 14% gradient, once over this the roads "levels" out to a 6 to 7% rise for the next 3.1 miles until the summit

    Thats from a race report of the mountain, its part of Wiggles dragon run and is a great challenge to cycle, probably much better training than cycling along relatively flat roads however im hoping to get more seriously into triathlons next year so i'd like to be doing some 40km + rides aswell.

    http://www.cycle-route.com/routes/Bryncethin_to_Nantymoel_via_Lewistown-Cycle-Route-1242.html the blue route is the one road in and out i was talking about.

    I think driving the bike out then setting off past the road is a great suggestion and something i'll probably end up doing, otherwise i know that cycling that road will play on my mind for the whole ride and i wont be able to enjoy the ride.
  • Mr WillMr Will Posts: 216
    You are aware that the blue line you just linked to is a dedicated cycle-path away from the road, aren't you?
    2010 Cannondale CAAD9 Tiagra
  • Yeah there is a cycle path but it is often full of people walking dogs with pushchairs and ipods in :evil:

    Anyway i did the "dangerous road" today and it wasn't as bad as i thought :D , cars were overtaking as usual and I never felt particularly in danger so really happy with that and cant use that as an excuse not to get out on my bike now!
  • Mad_MalxMad_Malx Posts: 4,031
    So rather than going slowly on a cycle path for a mile you were considering not riding?

    I'm not keen on cycle paths either, but if the road is as bad as you describe I would do so in the dark. Sadly most drivers believe that you MUST use cycle lanes where present, and get aggressive when you are stopping them from arriving that 30 seconds earlier.
  • andyebandyeb Posts: 407
    If you do need to go along said bit of road, ride assertively (i.e. not in the gutter, but "taking the lane") and make sure you are easily visible - lights, fluoro clothing etc. You might also consider a helmet cam, just in case.
  • thefdthefd Posts: 1,021
    PT_Craig wrote:
    Yeah there is a cycle path but it is often full of people walking dogs with pushchairs and ipods in :evil:

    Anyway i did the "dangerous road" today and it wasn't as bad as i thought :D , cars were overtaking as usual and I never felt particularly in danger so really happy with that and cant use that as an excuse not to get out on my bike now!
    Hang on....am I miss understanding you...!!! You want to ride your bike, but there is an extremely dangerous road you have to use which is a mile long? But it turns out you don't have to use it - because there is a cycle path! But you don't want to ride it (for only one mile remember) because it has people walking dogs and people with headphones in!

    Either put up with the cycle path for 1 mile...or go over the hills. I'm not sure what you want people on here to tell you!!! :shock:
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  • I'm not sure which this dangerous road is? Is it the one from the roundabout (end of Pencoed common) to the Blackmill traffic lights?

    I've done that hundreds of times in both directions, you occasionally get a car or two behind at one point (going up the hill from the roundabout) but they can pass as you descend on what is a very wide road. It then becomes normal sized but I'd certainly not describe it as dangerous. In fact, of all the local roads I've cycled, I've never ever thought that road anything other than very normal.
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  • Yeah thats pretty much it censored , the thing i was most scared of was the cars not being able to overtake and then all sitting impatiently behind me...im still very new to cycling so thats how i imagined it but it was no problem and I feel confident going through it every time now :-)
  • If you want to miss it out, and give yourself an extra workout on the way to the Bwlch, then head towards Ogmore school, go past it, up the little rise, then turn right to go up the Garw (I think) valley. After a few miles or so turn right to go up and over Llangeionor Mountain. You then come down the otehr side and end up on the Ogmore valley road to the Bwlch having missed out that road altogether.
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