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Surrey Hills - I get it

Simmo72Simmo72 Posts: 262
edited August 2014 in Road general
I haven't been over to the surrey hills area for a couple of years but on riding there this weekend I do get why some of the locals aren't too keen on us lycra clad loons.

The volume of riders was significant, which is a good thing, the more riders on the road, the more drivers will learn to adapt and the majority were behaving themselves. However in one ride to see
Littering
Riding 3 a breast with cars behind them
Pulling out with little regard for other road users.
it doesn't give a good impression

Please, use the roads, but have some respect otherwise you give us all a bad name

The ride was finally ruined by one of the many gravel strewn potholes catching me out and resulted in a clavicle separation and a broken rib, my worst injury in decades of cycling, but at least I got some friendly assistance from a couple of kind motorists who stopped to help (many, many thanks). Keep up the respect or this may too vanish.
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  • kingstoniankingstonian Posts: 2,444
    Ouch, nasty. That will take a fair bit of recovery, I guess.
  • GiantMikeGiantMike Posts: 3,139
    Simmo72 wrote:
    ...resulted in a clavicle separation...
    Sounds nasty. Is this different to a break? I broke mine last year and I had to have it plated which has kept me away from racing for a while. Get well soon.
  • BozmanBozman Posts: 2,570
    I had a separation which tore the ligaments off the clavicle which resulted in them having to screw the clavicle down, the head of the screw then wore through my skin so I had to have another op, if I remember correctly they wrapped the ligament around the clavicle to hold it down and that has worked fine.

    Hardly any time off the bike, turbo first and then I just took my time and avoided hills for a while.
  • Mick CornickMick Cornick Posts: 175
    Unfortunately poor cycling leads to generalisation from the locals and drivers but in my experience it is the exception to the rule.
    I do agree that we should set a high standard for this reason but an illogical hatred of cycling is of course illogical.
  • Slo Mo JonesSlo Mo Jones Posts: 272
    On Saturday, some bright spark was climbing box hill with his clubmates and tried to pass one or two of them on the final hairpin, using the wrong side of the road. An old fella (well, about 50) was descending and splatted straight into him. I was a couple of minutes behind and the old guy looked in really bad shape, blood everywhere, from the face I think, but hard to tell. I hope he was alright.

    The ambulance seemed to take an age to come.
  • The ambulance seemed to take an age to come.

    Blame the cyclists riding three abreast for that!
  • Mikey23Mikey23 Posts: 5,306
    Never fear, i will sort it all out on 10th when im down there... People riding 16 abreast, pah
  • An old fella (well, about 50) - Thanks for making me feel old... :<
  • sherersherer Posts: 2,446
    what id like to see more of is Surrey and other councils closing down more roads just for cycling. In Kent a lot of the roads the cyclists like are also the same roads the boy racers like which leads to accidents.

    No excuse for going round a hairpin on the wrong side of the road, you wouldn't do it in a car so why on a bike
  • southdownswolfsouthdownswolf Posts: 1,514
    Mikey23 wrote:
    Never fear, i will sort it all out on 10th when im down there... People riding 16 abreast, pah

    Mike - will you not be racing off the front of the bunch, showing off your Cornish hill climbing prowess?
  • diydiy Posts: 6,680
    We put the gravel and pot holes down to keep those not from round here away..;) Seriously I hope you get well soon. TBH the hate towards cyclists in the Surrey hills is largely due to the road closures for the major cycling events and the fact that all the non-cycling people think that the mass of cyclists on the roads are people coming to "practice" for races.

    There are a few knobs around typically those who ride in club gear and large groups cause the biggest problem, but as a local I really think the issue is over hyped.

    Personally I love having the roads packed with cyclists it makes it much more fun when there is someone in front to try to catch. All the summer riders will have packed off for the season in another 6-8 weeks and we'll have the roads back to normal again.
  • Mikey23Mikey23 Posts: 5,306
    @southdownswolf... I will be lurking in the lead pack ready for that push to the line. Should easily get in under three hours :-)
  • cookeeemonstercookeeemonster Posts: 1,988
    Ultimately motorists break far more rules and cause a staggering amount of harm but dont get a bad rep so why should we???

    Cyclists are a minority group, an 'out' group is what I think they call it. Literally nothing you do will stop people having and spreading negative opinions about us. If 100% of cyclists rode perfectly legally and sensibly on the roads then they'll dig up road tax (abolished 85 years ago, only ran for 10-15 years before that) or something else. Half want cyclists off the road and on the pavement and half attack cyclists for riding on the pavement.

    So there's no solution, just take responsibility for your own ride and chill out a bit...unless you also go on car forums and attack them for speeding/mobile phone use/not looking/million other things.
  • MountainMonsterMountainMonster Posts: 7,423
    I quite like the idea of going onto a car forum and moaning about the shocking state of some peoples' driving. I would love to see the reaction of some of them.
  • Ultimately motorists break far more rules and cause a staggering amount of harm but dont get a bad rep so why should we???

    Cyclists are a minority group, an 'out' group is what I think they call it. Literally nothing you do will stop people having and spreading negative opinions about us. If 100% of cyclists rode perfectly legally and sensibly on the roads then they'll dig up road tax (abolished 85 years ago, only ran for 10-15 years before that) or something else. Half want cyclists off the road and on the pavement and half attack cyclists for riding on the pavement.

    So there's no solution, just take responsibility for your own ride and chill out a bit...unless you also go on car forums and attack them for speeding/mobile phone use/not looking/million other things.

    I wouldn't call cyclists a minority group in the Surrey Hills!
    And there's no pavement around here so I've never heard that argument.

    My missus is terrified to go out in the car at weekends and despite being a cyclist myself I feel the same. I've seen them stop in the middle of the road on blind bends, ride up to 5 abreast, descend like pro's at 40mph+ on single track roads etc..I see something idiotic literally every time I go out on a weekend. Yet I've never seen a car driver do any of the things you mention in the Surrey Hills. We're all driving on tenterhooks scared cyclists are going to come flying down the hill into our windscreen!

    I didn't know about the Box Hill incident mentioned earlier and someone posted in the commuting chat forum about how they went into a car whilst descending on Leith Hill, also last weekend. That exact scenario is why lots of drivers are scared to go out on weekends. It really isn't negative opinions for no reason at all.

    I do agree with your last sentence though. There is no solution. These arrow roads were here long before cars and this new cycling revolution, they're just not designed for what the cyclists are using them for and cars together.
  • diydiy Posts: 6,680
    Since the road was resurfaced on leech lane on the box hill "olympic" loop, we see cyclists regularly sliding in to cars as they come unstuck on the tight down hill left hander. Its normally because they are apexing the bend which throws them in to the path of oncoming cars on the exit.
  • iron-cloveriron-clover Posts: 737
    It has gotten completely out of hand now. I was on my first club ride to Box Hill out of Guildford since the start of Summer this Sunday, and I honestly thought I was going to see at least one crash either on the way up or down- mostly when our club group was overtaking a single cyclist, then one or two fast individuals coming past us as well before bends/ oncoming traffic, meaning they then try to pull into space that isn't there and there is a coming together of inexperienced riders...

    I do still cycle up Box Hill and around the Surrey Hills regularly- on weekdays. I try to avoid the area on nice weekends because of the cyclists.
  • vimfuegovimfuego Posts: 1,783
    It has gotten completely out of hand now. I was on my first club ride to Box Hill out of Guildford since the start of Summer this Sunday, and I honestly thought I was going to see at least one crash either on the way up or down- mostly when our club group was overtaking a single cyclist, then one or two fast individuals coming past us as well before bends/ oncoming traffic, meaning they then try to pull into space that isn't there and there is a coming together of inexperienced riders...

    I do still cycle up Box Hill and around the Surrey Hills regularly- I try to avoid the area on nice weekends because of the cyclists.


    Yes me too.
    Went up last Sunday morning & it was like Picadilly Circus - I almost got taken out by the NT cafe at the top by a woman on a bike emerging from the cafe and trying to join her friends (who were 20m down the road) - she just wobbled out directly in front of me without so much as a glance in my direction - no idea how I didn't end up riding into her - then she gets indignant because I shouted out in alarm and sugegsted that she looked before she moved next time.....
    Don't get me wrong, it's brilliant to see so many people enjoying cycling (though most of them will disappear as soon as the clocks change/it gets a bit cold) and in the majority of cases they ride considerately and sensibly - just the odd [email protected] that is blisfully unaware that they are riding like a tool or that their actions tarnish all of us. In concentrated areas like Box Hill you can understand how frustrations build. That said, the "reports" of angry ant-cycling locals are greatly exaggerated (I live locally and ride in the SH a lot) and mostly stem from recent road closures for Olympics / Ride London etc - the frustrations of the minority are then projected onto any cyclist riding a road bike and wearing lycra shorts (ie proper cycling attire) because clearly we are all then "racing" - they seem to equate club runs with sportives and sportives as being UCI classified events....

    Once you get out into the SH proper it's still good riding and there aren't so many bikes that you can't move, but we now seem to outnumber cars a lot of the time. The bonus here is that it forces some drivers to slow down, think a bit more carefully, and overtake more safely (the windy roads weren't designed for modern cars to drive quickly down either!).
    In congested areas like Box Hill at peak times you just need to adapt to your surroundings, shoulder check a lot more and accept that even though you want to ride twice as fast as the nodders in front, at times you just can't. Similarly, we're on open roads so taking racing lines round blind bends (particularly ones you don't know well) is just stupid. There's a time and a place & all that.
    CS7
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  • cookeeemonstercookeeemonster Posts: 1,988
    Ultimately motorists break far more rules and cause a staggering amount of harm but dont get a bad rep so why should we???

    Cyclists are a minority group, an 'out' group is what I think they call it. Literally nothing you do will stop people having and spreading negative opinions about us. If 100% of cyclists rode perfectly legally and sensibly on the roads then they'll dig up road tax (abolished 85 years ago, only ran for 10-15 years before that) or something else. Half want cyclists off the road and on the pavement and half attack cyclists for riding on the pavement.

    So there's no solution, just take responsibility for your own ride and chill out a bit...unless you also go on car forums and attack them for speeding/mobile phone use/not looking/million other things.

    I wouldn't call cyclists a minority group in the Surrey Hills!
    And there's no pavement around here so I've never heard that argument.

    My missus is terrified to go out in the car at weekends and despite being a cyclist myself I feel the same. I've seen them stop in the middle of the road on blind bends, ride up to 5 abreast, descend like pro's at 40mph+ on single track roads etc..I see something idiotic literally every time I go out on a weekend. Yet I've never seen a car driver do any of the things you mention in the Surrey Hills. We're all driving on tenterhooks scared cyclists are going to come flying down the hill into our windscreen!

    I didn't know about the Box Hill incident mentioned earlier and someone posted in the commuting chat forum about how they went into a car whilst descending on Leith Hill, also last weekend. That exact scenario is why lots of drivers are scared to go out on weekends. It really isn't negative opinions for no reason at all.

    I do agree with your last sentence though. There is no solution. These arrow roads were here long before cars and this new cycling revolution, they're just not designed for what the cyclists are using them for and cars together.

    I didnt say cyclist were a minority on the surrey hills.

    If you've never seen a car driver speeding or 'any of the things I've mentioned' then you're blind or dont drive, ever. I'm not defending idiot cyclists as they get on my nerves too in london but seriously get a grip - motorists break far more rules on a daily basis, but it's utterly accepted, totally ignored and basically normalised. I actually felt worried on my vespa the other day when I was trying to stick to the new 20mph limit in the city. Seriously I trust car drivers so little to stick to speed limits (30mph also) I have to really force myself not to speed up (and get them off my a*se).

    I do sympathise with your overall situation though, maybe things are geting out of hand, it's just that idiot drivers breaking rules gets zero coverage anymore yet cyclists are the real menace...2000 dead and 20,000 seriously injured nationally by motorists tells me a different story (1 dead, couple dozen seriously injured by bike btw...on a bad year)
  • iPeteiPete Posts: 6,076
    My slowest time up Box Hill is in my car :lol:

    It's great to see, although I rarely see it as I choose to get a lap in super early on Sundays or mid-week. It's nice out there at the moment with no school run!
  • buzzwoldbuzzwold Posts: 197
    Been up Box Hill once. Packed to the rafters - good excuse for my slow time. But, really didn't see the attraction. Big problem in Surrey is everyone's out doing the iconic climbs in one the most densely populated parts of the country and yes whilst I agree that drivers don't come in for as much stick, just cos others are bad at what they do, doesn't make it right for us to behave in the same way.
    Someone's just passed me again
  • Simmo72Simmo72 Posts: 262
    Cheers for the kind words. Broken ribs are a censored , sneezing brings tears to your eyes. Back to the docs next week for a clavical check, hopefully it's just time rather than surgery. Longest I've been off the bike in 8 years, chomping at the bit, knowing I'm going to regret the peanut butter sarnies and spitfire ale. Cocodomol...ahhhhhh.
  • Mikey23Mikey23 Posts: 5,306
    Broken ribs and clavicle are indeed a censored ...
  • sy1975sy1975 Posts: 95
    must admit cycled across (from Sevenoaks , Toys Hill area) to Box Hill this past Sunday for the first time ever.

    Can't really see what the attraction is - apart from the fantastic road surface. Its a very average hill packed to the rafters. The hills around the Sevenoaks / weald area offer a bigger challenge and in my opinion more breathtaking views - please don't tell anyone :) as still relatively quiet most sat and sunday mornings
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  • iPeteiPete Posts: 6,076
    I like Box Hill, sure its popular (and this alone will make many turn their noses up) and there are many many many more challenging hills but the moderate gradient and surface make it a useful and 'enjoyable' benchmark for me. I find I can gauge my fitness better up Box than killing myself in the lowest gear on something like Crocknorth.
  • drlodgedrlodge Posts: 4,824
    iPete wrote:
    I like Box Hill, sure its popular (and this alone will make many turn their noses up) and there are many many many more challenging hills but the moderate gradient and surface make it a useful and 'enjoyable' benchmark for me. I find I can gauge my fitness better up Box than killing myself in the lowest gear on something like Crocknorth.

    Yeh, I like it for the same reason - its a nice consistent kind of hill, excellent surface and can quite easily gauge fitness by the speed I set. Crocknorth can go good or bad in the first few meters as it ramps up straight from the off.

    Coldhabour Lane up Leith Hill is another good climb - nice and long with a steeper section in the middle, then a sting in the tail once you've gone round the top part just past Tanhurst.
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  • sherersherer Posts: 2,446
    sy1975 wrote:
    must admit cycled across (from Sevenoaks , Toys Hill area) to Box Hill this past Sunday for the first time ever.

    Can't really see what the attraction is - apart from the fantastic road surface. Its a very average hill packed to the rafters. The hills around the Sevenoaks / weald area offer a bigger challenge and in my opinion more breathtaking views - please don't tell anyone :) as still relatively quiet most sat and sunday mornings

    did that last year, went all along the A25 which is such a horrible surface by the time I got there I was worn out. Didn't help that when I got to Box Hill there is no actual sign saying where it is so missed the turning !!

    I prefer the Toys Hill area but to be honest that's more because it's where I live. It's like anywhere round here people may bang on about Toys, Yorks and Ide Hill but there are plenty of others with less riders on that could be better
  • sy1975sy1975 Posts: 95
    sherer wrote:
    sy1975 wrote:
    must admit cycled across (from Sevenoaks , Toys Hill area) to Box Hill this past Sunday for the first time ever.

    Can't really see what the attraction is - apart from the fantastic road surface. Its a very average hill packed to the rafters. The hills around the Sevenoaks / weald area offer a bigger challenge and in my opinion more breathtaking views - please don't tell anyone :) as still relatively quiet most sat and sunday mornings

    did that last year, went all along the A25 which is such a horrible surface by the time I got there I was worn out. Didn't help that when I got to Box Hill there is no actual sign saying where it is so missed the turning !!

    I prefer the Toys Hill area but to be honest that's more because it's where I live. It's like anywhere round here people may bang on about Toys, Yorks and Ide Hill but there are plenty of others with less riders on that could be better

    We took in a route out via lingfield via country lanes and only took in about 5 miles on A25, so it was not too bad.

    Agreed you are always going to be sweet on your own area. we have a wealth of great climbs and routes in our part of the world - i mentioned toys and ide hill as examples - but not the best :wink:
    Sunny Days - De Rosa - King RS Action Azzurro lumina
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  • rafletcherrafletcher Posts: 1,235
    ...2000 dead and 20,000 seriously injured nationally by motorists tells me a different story (1 dead, couple dozen seriously injured by bike btw...on a bad year)

    Got yr stats a bit wrong there - nearer 200 killed, 3000 seriously injured, and 16,000 slightly injured.
  • sherersherer Posts: 2,446
    sy1975 wrote:
    sherer wrote:
    sy1975 wrote:
    must admit cycled across (from Sevenoaks , Toys Hill area) to Box Hill this past Sunday for the first time ever.

    Can't really see what the attraction is - apart from the fantastic road surface. Its a very average hill packed to the rafters. The hills around the Sevenoaks / weald area offer a bigger challenge and in my opinion more breathtaking views - please don't tell anyone :) as still relatively quiet most sat and sunday mornings

    did that last year, went all along the A25 which is such a horrible surface by the time I got there I was worn out. Didn't help that when I got to Box Hill there is no actual sign saying where it is so missed the turning !!

    I prefer the Toys Hill area but to be honest that's more because it's where I live. It's like anywhere round here people may bang on about Toys, Yorks and Ide Hill but there are plenty of others with less riders on that could be better

    We took in a route out via lingfield via country lanes and only took in about 5 miles on A25, so it was not too bad.

    Agreed you are always going to be sweet on your own area. we have a wealth of great climbs and routes in our part of the world - i mentioned toys and ide hill as examples - but not the best :wink:

    Think we need to start a Kent Hills thread one day. There's quite a few round the area I've either never riden, not heard of, or just plain can't actually find where they are
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