Forum home Commuter cycling forum Commuting general

Cycling on 70mph tripple wide roads

Mr.DuckMr.Duck Posts: 174
edited August 2013 in Commuting general
What do you think about cycling on tripple lane wide, national speed limit (70mph) roads? Fun or stressful?

There's one I've been on a several times. There's no path and there's no way round without going miles out of the way. Here it is if you want to see it... http://i.imgur.com/DetdsYb.jpg

DetdsYb.jpg

It's like cycling on the motorway :). It gets even better if you want to straight on because you have to get into the middle lane :shock:.

The most difficult things are dealing with the noise which is uncomfortably loud just from the car tyres. Being passed at 80mph within 1 meter. And you have to trust that the car driver won't run you down.
«1

Posts

  • owenlarsowenlars Posts: 719
    Wouldn't touch it with a barge pole. Unfair on you, the other road users and your family.
  • anthdcianthdci Posts: 543
    not a chance, it maybe legal but it is certainly not sensible, go the long way round, you'll enjoy it far more. I will go on 50mph dual carriageways at a push but definitely no nationals.
  • markhewitt1978markhewitt1978 Posts: 7,614
    Not a chance in the world. I recall the cyclist last year who tried to join the A19 in Teeside, 2 lanes at that point, he didn't even make it off the slip road alive.
  • I've ridden up the A23 after doing the L2B in 2009 and I've never been so scared in my entire life. The cars pass within a meter of you and there was no hard shoulder to speak of.

    Riding on a 3 lane highway is asking for trouble, IMHO....
  • wandsworthwandsworth Posts: 354
    NFW. I hope you weren't on your bike when you took that photo.
    Shut up, knees!

    Various Boardmans, a Focus, a Cannondale and an ancient Trek.
  • dee4life2005dee4life2005 Posts: 773
    Depends how far you're talking about cycling along it. If it was for only a mile or so to the next junction then yes I may* cycle on it - but would only do so if the weather conditions were perfect, i.e. decent tailwind, dry and good visibility. If I wasn't confident I'd be doing about 25+mph then I'd give it a miss and take the detour everytime.

    I've been on a couple of national speed limit (70mph) dual carriageways beside me (only for a couple of miles), and while most of the cars are reasonably sensible i.e. moving over the while lines to overtake you get far more nobbers than normal that think it's a good idea to blast their horn as they go past and pass within a couple of feet. The cars are bad enough, but when a lorry / bus passes you when it's doing 70mph the draft you get is pretty frightening to be honest.
  • markhewitt1978markhewitt1978 Posts: 7,614
    al speed limit (70mph) dual carriageways beside me (only for a couple of miles), and while most of the cars are reasonably sensible i.e. moving over the while lines to overtake you get far more nobbers than normal that think it's a good idea to blast their horn as they go past and pass within a couple of feet.

    IME a surprisingly large number of people think it's illegal to ride a bicycle on a dual carriageway.
  • shortcutsshortcuts Posts: 366
    Not a chance in hell :!: :!:
  • dee4life2005dee4life2005 Posts: 773
    IME a surprisingly large number of people think it's illegal to ride a bicycle on a dual carriageway.

    Probably explains the fairly common horn blasting ... probably has something to do with the fact that motorways up here in scotland also tend to be two lanes ... so there isn't really much distinction between a dual carriageway and a motorway.

    Still see them as a last resort ... and when I do get on them it's 100% effort until I'm off again.
  • markhewitt1978markhewitt1978 Posts: 7,614
    Still see them as a last resort ... and when I do get on them it's 100% effort until I'm off again.

    Depends where you are going I suppose. But there are precious few occasions where it's worth using an NSL dual carriageway. Even if it means a 1 hour detour, rather that than not get home at all.
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,498
    I've ridden one long dual carriageway - just after it was first built - a long time ago!- it's about 8 miles long, not much of a hard shoulder - but iirc I didn't come into the first lane - I just stayed on the side.

    Cars whizzing past at 70mph+ isn't my idea of fun - I know a few TTs do run along dual carriageways, but at least they're signed and there are other riders out there - safety in numbers! Destination along a dual carriageway is about the only time I'll resort to riding (carefully) on the pavement!
  • Mr.DuckMr.Duck Posts: 174
    I don't really understand how it is unfair on me or other road users?
    anthdci wrote:
    not a chance, it maybe legal but it is certainly not sensible, go the long way round, you'll enjoy it far more. I will go on 50mph dual carriageways at a push but definitely no nationals.
    The journey starts off as 10km of country lanes (60mph limit). Then this 70mph strech lasts about 2km at most, then it's into town. Wow, I mean I tackled this route as a novice on a cheap MTB with no helmet lol :oops:. I couldn't stick to a 50mph limit. All the best roads around here are 60mph country roads. I think I feel more happy here than on town/city roads. It's what I'm used to I guess (I used to only drive them, now I only cycle them). Less people, less polution, no busses.
    wandsworth wrote:
    NFW. I hope you weren't on your bike when you took that photo.
    lol, no it's copied from google street view.
    IME a surprisingly large number of people think it's illegal to ride a bicycle on a dual carriageway.
    Yeah that must be it. I've never had someone sound their horn as they pass me. That's crazy. If they do this, they are either being arseholes or they think it's illegal to cycle on the road.


    BTW, because of lots of hills, not such a high level of fitness, and on a MTB, I only average probably 10mph on this route. I would be very resistant to finding a longer way round. But I have just had a look anyway, and it turns out there is an alternative way that I had no idea existed, that would add a tiny bit of time but no extra distance. It would mean cycling on some footpaths though. According to another recent thread on this forum that makes a plea to stop jumping red lights and cycling on the footpath, I shouldn't do it and could get fined by the police.
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,498
    Jeeze - I didn't realise you were serious!!

    With regards to the cycling on footpaths my view is - if there are pedestrians about then walk. If there are none - and no chance of any - then you _could_ ride carefully.
    Eitherwhichway - you wouldn't see me on that road unless it was snarled up with traffic or closed!
  • t4tomot4tomo Posts: 2,643
    troll
    Bianchi Infinito CV
    Bianchi Via Nirone 7 Ultegra
    Brompton S Type
    Carrera Vengeance Ultimate Ltd
    Gary Fisher Aquila '98
    Front half of a Viking Saratoga Tandem
  • oxomanoxoman Posts: 9,627
    I see people riding on the A38 through derby / burton and it horrifies me, even though it's only 2 lanes its still 70mph. its lethal. To my knowledge there has been at least one fatality recently and that was a well known and respected rider who was hit from behind as he rode past the turn-off point on a junction. I'm all for riding along these fast roads but only when provision has been made ie cycle lane. My local bypass's are bad enough at supposedly 60mph.
    Too many bikes according to Mrs O.
  • Mr.DuckMr.Duck Posts: 174
    How am i troll?
    Slowbike wrote:
    Jeeze - I didn't realise you were serious!!
    Why not? You don't think I would try cycling along a 70mph road?
    oxoman wrote:
    I see people riding on the A38 through derby / burton and it horrifies me, even though it's only 2 lanes its still 70mph. its lethal. To my knowledge there has been at least one fatality recently and that was a well known and respected rider who was hit from behind as he rode past the turn-off point on a junction. I'm all for riding along these fast roads but only when provision has been made ie cycle lane. My local bypass's are bad enough at supposedly 60mph.
    I see. Bloody incompetent car drivers. Probably if there were a lot more bikes on these fast roads, drivers would be more used to them and get good practice at overtaking properly and not being such useless plebs.
  • unixnerdunixnerd Posts: 2,864
    You'd be amazed at the number of LEJOG riders you see on the dual sections of the A9 in the Highlands, not a road I like cycling on. I sometimes do it myself as there are places where a diversion takes you a long way off, but it's not enjoyable.
    http://www.strathspey.co.uk - Quality Binoculars at a Sensible Price.
    Specialized Roubaix SL3 Expert 2012, Cannondale CAAD5,
    Marin Mount Vision (1997), Edinburgh Country tourer, 3 cats!
  • steve6690steve6690 Posts: 190
    Speaking from both a personal and professional perspective - you would need to have a death wish to cycle along there. I see people cycling up the A38 at Rubery every day. Two lanes, 70 mph limit. Nutters...
  • jongooliganjongooligan Posts: 223
    Mr.Duck wrote:
    I see. Bloody incompetent car drivers. Probably if there were a lot more bikes on these fast roads, drivers would be more used to them and get good practice at overtaking properly and not being such useless plebs.

    I think this hits the nail on the head. Drivers are just not expecting to share this type of road with cyclists and are surprised when it happens.

    There's a bit of road near me that I had to use last winter 'cos my usual route was covered in black ice. It's urban dual carriageway but for the last half mile another carriageway joins from the left leaving you in the middle lane with traffic passing on both sides at 70 mph. Squeaky bum time!
  • peatpeat Posts: 1,242
    Natural selection in progress.

    Lash at it boy!
  • shyretirershyretirer Posts: 26
    I'm sure there's easier, less messy ways of committing suicide.
  • Mr.DuckMr.Duck Posts: 174
    Death wish? I think it's more like being indifferent to it at the time. Nonchalant.

    On normal roads, any car can run you down and crush you. Or take a bend too fast and oversteer head on collision into you (that happened to me as a passanger in a car years ago). So you can't be too scared of every car otherwise how can you commute anywhere? Putting in cycle lane usually makes it worse (forcing you into the gutter and generating abuse from car drives when you are not in it). Taking up a bus lane is all good though. I like that extra space.
    I think this hits the nail on the head. Drivers are just not expecting to share this type of road with cyclists and are surprised when it happens.

    There's a bit of road near me that I had to use last winter 'cos my usual route was covered in black ice. It's urban dual carriageway but for the last half mile another carriageway joins from the left leaving you in the middle lane with traffic passing on both sides at 70 mph. Squeaky bum time!
    Makes me think more people should do it a bit. Not that it's going to happen, but what if they put in a decent cycle lane with a narrow hatch section for a little bit of extra space? At least it would show car drivers that bikes could use that road.

    Passing on both sides at 70mph? I've not tried that one yet. Oooowww! lol. You move over to the left or just stay in the middle lane?
    shyretirer wrote:
    I'm sure there's easier, less messy ways of committing suicide.
    What would you suggest?
  • rolf_frolf_f Posts: 16,015
    oxoman wrote:
    I see people riding on the A38 through derby / burton and it horrifies me, even though it's only 2 lanes its still 70mph. its lethal. To my knowledge there has been at least one fatality recently and that was a well known and respected rider who was hit from behind as he rode past the turn-off point on a junction.

    I've seen markings (possibly on the continent - it was a long time back before I started cycling again) where the cyclists are directed down the turn off and then across the slip road giving way to cars coming off the dual carriageway. That's probably a good idea - it shouldn't inconvenience the cyclist much (depending on traffic levels) given that that sort of road tends to have widely spaced turnoffs anyway.
    Faster than a tent.......
  • BustacappBustacapp Posts: 971
    No way would I cycle on that road. I saw a guy riding along the East Lancs the other day, juggernauts just inches away from him. The thing is there was a cycle lane at the side. Moron!!

    I often see races being held on the A19 in the North East and can't believe it's legal. Every time I pass the riders I think to myself 'how long until you get hit by a car doing 90mph'.
  • jongooliganjongooligan Posts: 223
    Mr.Duck wrote:
    Passing on both sides at 70mph? I've not tried that one yet. Oooowww! lol. You move over to the left or just stay in the middle lane?

    Stay in the middle lane. It's the right one for the junction when the three lanes end and I really wouldn't want to attempt moving left or right.
    I often see races being held on the A19 in the North East and can't believe it's legal. Every time I pass the riders I think to myself 'how long until you get hit by a car doing 90mph'.

    TT's on there all the time and lots of other dual carriageways. If there was carnage you'd hear about it. It's been going on for years and riders will often seek out courses on dual carriageways because they know they get a fast time when being constantly overtaken by fast moving traffic.
  • Kieran_BurnsKieran_Burns Posts: 9,757
    oxoman wrote:
    I see people riding on the A38 through derby / burton and it horrifies me, even though it's only 2 lanes its still 70mph. its lethal. To my knowledge there has been at least one fatality recently and that was a well known and respected rider who was hit from behind as he rode past the turn-off point on a junction. I'm all for riding along these fast roads but only when provision has been made ie cycle lane. My local bypass's are bad enough at supposedly 60mph.

    and there is a perfectly viable cycle path alongside just where that happened as well. I've ridden that section of the A38 myself (on the cycle path) and cannot understand why anyone would choose not to.
    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
  • fossyantfossyant Posts: 2,549
    10 MPH, MTB on there, and not wanting to take a longer (safer and more pleasant) route. :roll:

    Get on your bike, get a fast hybrid as a minimum, and take the long route in. Oh and get fit. Benefit all round.

    I wouldn't choose to ride a road like that when there are alternatives.
  • wandsworthwandsworth Posts: 354
    RIP

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-cornwall-23143314

    A30 is 2-lane, but 70 mph limit.
    Shut up, knees!

    Various Boardmans, a Focus, a Cannondale and an ancient Trek.
  • dee4life2005dee4life2005 Posts: 773
    +1 indeed, very very sad news :-(

    Will certainly make me think about my decision to cycle the 1 mile stretch of dual carriageway near me.
  • Mr.DuckMr.Duck Posts: 174
    fossyant wrote:
    10 MPH, MTB on there, and not wanting to take a longer (safer and more pleasant) route. :roll:
    I tried the route again yesterday with the nice weather. I took it leisurely for sure. But for the first 6 miles I averaged a dissapointing 9 MPH (lots of hills!). I found the secret pathway that goes under a motorway... http://i.imgur.com/ciKihk6.jpg

    ciKihk6.jpg

    The tunnel contains piles of horse faeces. After the tunnel you go along the side of an aqueduct, pass some ducks, and then it soon joins up into town and allows you to avoid the 70MPH carriageway. It's fairly pleasant overall. I would go that way again.
    fossyant wrote:
    Get on your bike, get a fast hybrid as a minimum, and take the long route in. Oh and get fit. Benefit all round.
    I am looking for a hybrid on ebay and gumtree. It takes a long time before something suitable comes up. I'm bidding on a 2010 Sirrus Expert (carbon forks and seat stays), but it's probably going to get quite expensive. Not sure how much I want to pay for it or if I should wait for something cheaper like with steel forks.
Sign In or Register to comment.